Status: Finished. Thanks for reading! :)

A Safe Bet

will you?

People were becoming frantic now. Prom was a month and a half away, and Mountain Pointe High School was filled with even more drama. Girls got angry when they couldn't find the right dress. Boys were too shy to ask a girl out. Other girls were angry that some boy didn't ask them to prom, so they refused to go.

Harlow shook her head in disappointment at how everyone was reacting. She had no intention to go to prom. She hated the drama that came with it--the amount of money needed to be spent. She'd rather sit at home and watch movies with Aimee.

"Peterson!" Harlow heard the familiar voice call after her and a smile was immediately plastered on her face and she turned around.

"What's up, John?" She grinned. John grinned back and said, "Two things--I hope you'll like them both."

"What is it?" She asked, curious.

John pulled out a packet of three papers that were stapled together and handed it to her. Harlow put on an excited for for John, when she looked at it, and exclaimed, "A hundred percent! That's amazing, John! I'm so proud of you."

John laughed and said, "Ms. Hastings said the same thing!"

"No, I'm serious, John." She said, smiling. "This is fantastic."

"Well, I learned from the best." He winked at her. Harlow instantly felt herself blush and tried to be subtle in covering it up, but John wasn't even paying attention. He looked nervous himself as he prepped himself for the second thing.

"As for the second one..." He said. "Would you like to go out with me? And only me this time, no one else. Just a Harlow and John date."

Harlow felt like she didn't need to even think about it. She grinned and said, jokingly. "Hmmm, I don't know, I need to tell the guy next in line..."

"Oh shut up, Peterson." John laughed. Harlow nodded her head and said, "Yeah. I'll go out with you, John O'Callaghan."

John's eyes brightened and his grin, if it were possible, grew bigger and he said, "Great! I'll pick you up at seven on Friday, cool?"

Harlow nodded. "Yeah, cool."

John stood for a second. She raised her eyebrows - she thought they were done speaking but suddenly, John leaned forwards, hesitantly, and he kissed her lightly on the cheek. Harlow's cheeks turned red when he smirked and walked away, leaving her frozen in the middle of the hallway.

Why did it give her so many butterflies?


Harlow blew her hair out of her face and she stood in front of her mirror, staring at the outfit she chose. She nodded her head in satisfaction and turned around, only to be startled by her mother's presence in the doorway.

"Um, mom?" Harlow said. "Can I help you?"

Her mother scrutinized her appearance and she said, curtly, "Tonight is a family meeting at Elena's therapists. You are going out." She stated, rather than questioning.

Harlow slowly nodded her head.

"Of course you would." Mrs. Peterson mumbled, turning around.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Harlow asked, feeling that stab in her heart every time her mother is disapproving of her.

"It means that you value your friends over your family - especially your twin sister who needs you more than anything right now." She lashed out, crossing her arms.

Harlow felt that stab, only it felt like her mother thrust it in and twisted it around.

"How could you say that?!" She exclaimed.

"How could I? Harlow - you have been doing nothing for Elena. She has been through too much and you are sitting around with your friends. Last session - she even said how much she needed you."

"That's bullshit." Harlow snapped. "I know Elena way better than you, mother, you know why? We're twins, we know these things. It's a much stronger connection than what you have with either of us. And I know her, Elena had shown how much she does not need me."

Harlow felt tears pool in her eyes and her mother stared at her, flabbergasted. She had never stood up to her mother like that before - and she was afraid of what was to come after that. However, her mother just turned on her heel and left her room.

A tear slipped out but Harlow immediately wiped away. She grabbed her purse and stuffed whatever her hand came into contact with in it and she closed the door behind as she set off to meet John by the door. She'd rather wait outside than stay in with her mother present.


She turned around and her eyes met her sister's. Elena had a hard expression on her face but she didn't say anything. Harlow turned around and almost ran down the stairs - trying to rid the image of Elena out of her mind.

John came right as she closed the front door, and she ran to him. He stopped by her and she threw herself in and said, "Drive. Now."

"Peterson?" John asked, confused, but doing as she told him.

She looked at him. She almost laughed at how he looked - not necessarily that he looked bad, but that he looked different. His hair was still almost as long as hers, but he was combed and he pushed it back.

"I, um," John said, nervously as they waited at a red light. "I thought we could just do a dinner since I'm kind of studying my butt off for this AP test coming up, and I can't think of anything unique for a date." He said, honestly.

Harlow was only half paying attention, staring out the window, but she nodded and said, "That's fine."

"Is everything okay, Harlow?" John asked, starting to drive.

Harlow looked at him and she smiled her best and nodded, "I'm perfect."

What if what her mother said was actually true? What if Elena did actually need her and she had been doing nothing except be with John the entire time? What if it was all true and she was the ignorant one - not her family.

The more that Harlow thought about it, the more that it was eating her up inside. One of the most popular boys in her school was sitting next to her, taking her to their date, while all she thought about was her sister.

Harlow wished she didn't care so much - just so she could enjoy her date with John.


They arrived at Famous Dave's and John went around the car and opened her door for her, taking her hand in his and leading them inside.

He smiled at her when the waiter got them their table, but he noticed the far away look and was slightly disappointed and guilty that he may have done something wrong for it.

They sat down at their table and looked through their menus, but John stared at Harlow the entire time and she looked like something was bothering her. She didn't look like that at school - was it his fault? Or did something happen home?

"Harlow, don't lie to me and say that you're okay." John said, putting his menu down.

She looked up at him, startled, as if she forgot he was there for a second.

"Wha-? Oh, I'm sorry, John." Harlow said, sighing. "I'm loving this date, I swear I am. It's just - something came up at home and my mind has been on that the entire time."

"Do you want to go back home? I mean we could always - " John started, even though it interfered with his plan, he was all too knowing of how family problems work.

Harlow shook her head. "No! I want to be here."

"Harlow." He sighed. "If this is an actual problem, then you should go back."

She shook her head again and smiled, but he could see right through it. "I want to stay here John...if I'm with them then I'll just end the night in tears or something because I know that we will all just end up fighting or something."

"Is your family okay?" John asked, skeptically. She shrugged and said, vaguely, "All families have their ups and downs."

John stared at her. He was so close...

They were silent when their waiter came around and asked them for their orders. When he left, the two stayed silent. John flicked his eyes from her to the surroundings.

"You know Elena, right?" Harlow asked. "And I mean like, you know her pretty well."

"Well," John replied. "Probably not as well as you, but yeah, I know her pretty well."

"She opens up to people all the time, right? Like she opens up to Kendall Desper or Rachel Pickett?"

"Uh, I guess so." John said, confused. "I guess not lately though. Kendall was saying how she hasn't seen Elena in a couple of days during lunch."

Harlow furrowed her eyebrows. John looked up at her and he said, "Harlow, are you sure you don't want to go back home?"

Harlow said, shaking her head, "I'm staying here."

"Okay, then we can go back to our date, okay?" John said, a little ticked. Harlow nodded her head and played around with the utensils that were originally set on the table.

The dinner didn't go as John had planned. He wanted it to be happy and romantic. He wanted to be able to have Harlow wanting to kiss him or to pull him out of the restaurant and go back to his place or something, but Harlow sat there, obviously with Elena and her family on her mind. He wanted to help her out - to understand better - but every question he asked her, she only answered vaguely. He wanted more.

By the end of the night, John felt exhausted from trying so hard. When they got to his car, John got to it before Harlow did, and a sudden thought came to mind - that could help him later on.

He turned around and Harlow looked up at him. He pulled her into him and attached his lips to hers. Harlow started but she relaxed into him and continued to kiss him back - her legs feeling like jelly.

John turned them around and pushed body against the car and one of his hands rested on her waist and the other rested on the car.

When they broke apart, Harlow and John stared at her. He grinned and said, "I've been wanting to do that all night."

Harlow laughed and grabbed the front of his t-shirt and pulled him into her and kissed him again.

"I'm sorry I ruined the date." She mumbled into him. He shook his head and said, "I think that made up for it."

She laughed.

"Go to prom with me." John said, breathlessly.

Harlow pushed him away and he looked down at her, very confused.

"Will you?" John said, awkwardly. Harlow started up at him, bewildered at the sudden request.

"John," She whispered. "Why?"

"Why?!" John asked, incredulously. "Are you kidding me? I like you, Harlow. Why not?"

He stared at her, as she didn't say anything. "Prom would be no different than this date right here. It would just include our entire senior class - but you'll be with me, isn't that all that matters?"

She nodded her head.

"I was hoping you'd say yes." He chuckled, nervously. "But we don't have to go together. That's okay - "

John was cut off by Harlow pressing a finger to his lips and she smiled, "Just know that prom really isn't my thing."

"Is that a...?" He prompted.

Harlow smiled, genuinely. She felt elated that a happy ending occurred. She thought she had ruined a night with John - something that she had been looking forwards to - and there he was, asking her to prom.

♠ ♠ ♠
I hate writing dates. I find them so boring - I love drama and intensity and dates are so happy and perfect. Blech. But this obviously wasn't a happy date. The end was though. :)

Yeah, school started. I'm a junior now, and Ramadan starts on Monday. This sucks lol.

I'd love some comments. You guys actually do motivate us to continue - despite the fact that we have so much going on that restrains us from doing so. SO COMMENT WITH YOUR THOUGHTS! :D
-Raveena :)