"I am so stupid," Ashley moaned.
Amber responded by heaving and puking in the bathroom. "It wasn't that bad," Torrance said. "It's not like you puked on him or punched him in the head."
"No, I just threw a high heel at him."
"Well, I mean, it's not like he didn't know you were drunk."
"Oh, that's comforting. And now he knows the other thing too, right?"
"Great, that's just great."
"Well, what do you want to do about it?"
"Dive off the Sears Tower, maybe, if I'm lucky, into George Michael's waiting arms, just to make him jealous."
"Well now you have an excuse to talk to him. You know, to ask for your shoe back."
Ashley sighed. "I've officially blown it."
She turned on her record player and "Love Hurts" by Nazareth and the Munich Philharmonic played. "It's beautiful, isn't it? The song I mean." Ashley was talking to herself, which caused Torrance to furrow her eyebrows.
"You're not still depressed, are you," Amber asked, leaving the bathroom. "Because I, for one, would like to party."
"Go, then. I'll come down in a second." Torrance and Amber left, but Amber turned back around.
"You're not going to kill yourself or some dumb shit, are you?"
"You're not going to die of alcohol poisoning, are you," Ashley snapped back.
"Even if you don't come downstairs, if I don't hear you dancing upstairs, I'm getting your brother, Ashley, swear to God."
Ashley nodded. "Affirmative."
Amber rolled her eyes, smiling. "See ya downstairs?"
"Probably not." Amber shook her head and went downstairs.
Ashley switched out the Nazareth album for her mix tape, and started dancing to "Johnny, Are You Queer?" Somehow, changing the lyrics to "Teddy, Are You Queer?" helped slightly.
Eventually, she changed out her dress into some more casual party clothes: a pink Camp Beverly Hills sleeveless dress over a gray sweatshirt with the sleeves rolled up. She went downstairs danced with tons of guys, for what felt like hours on end. None of them really caught her eye, except for Ferris, a sophomore with brown hair and big brown eyes.
"You know, play your cards right, and you could be my date to junior prom next year."
Ferris kind of had a big head, but she could tell he was kidding around. Ashley giggled in response. "If you ask nicely, I might be willing to change my schedule," she said.
Ferris kept smirking as he told her, "You're kind of cute for a freshman."
Ashley was desperate to forget Ted, so she replied with "You wanna go make out in my parents' wine cellar?"
He almost lost his cool, but then shrugged. "Yeah, sure, Ashley," he said.
They practically raced down the steps and immediately started making out. Ferris slid his hand up Ashley's dress and rubbed her upper thigh, still kissing her neck. His hands traveled all around her body. Ashley didn't protest, and she wasn't uncomfortable, but she really wished it was Ted. Powers that be, Ashley thought. Give me a sign about what I should do.
Just then, one of Jake's weights fell into the cellar knocking over all the cabinets. Ferris and Ashley jumped out of the way just in time, running back up the steps.
"Ohmigod, you were down there," Torrance squealed, as she and Amber rushed over.
"Are you OK?"
"Yeah," Ashley said. "I'm fine." Ferris nodded."Yeah, it's cool."
Amber nodded towards Ferris.
"Are you guys like dating now?" Ashley shook her head. "What," Ferris said, surprised but not upset. "I thought we could hang some more. We don't have to date or anything."
Ashley sighed, rubbing her forehead and nudged Ferris towards a brunette girl in her English class, Sloane
"Ferris, meet my friend Sloane Peterson. I think you would like her." Ashley gave them a thumbs up as the trio rushed off to Ashley's room as Ferris and Sloane stared at each other.
"He was cute; why'd you shove him off," Amber chided.
"Because he was controlling," Torrance said. "I saw how he lead you around." Ashley rolled her eyes.
"It's because I love Ted, OK?"
Amber's eyes popped out of her head. "I just remembered! Ted was here! He was looking for you and told me to tell you he had your shoe."
Ashley squealed. "OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD! Where is he?"
"I don't know; I think after he couldn't find you, he and his friends went home." Ashley playfully slapped Amber's shoulder.
"You should have made me come downstairs."
"We thought you might be too embarrassed," Torrance pointed out.
"Did he say anything else?"
"Yeah," Amber said. "He asked if you were really dating Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties like some of the junior varsity cheerleaders were saying. It was this rumor they started because Jamie Faber's been saying he thinks you're a lesbian, since you won't go out with him."
"Oh, yeah, that whole stupid thing," Ashley said, rolling her eyes. "So what did you tell him?"
"I told him you weren't dating the guy from Family Ties, duh! But I didn't say anything about the lesbian thing because he should know you aren't one because he knows you like him."
"Did he say anything about that?"
"Not really. He did say that he thought you looked really pretty tonight though, and that it was really nice of you to ask him to dance."
Ashley squealed into her hands. "Was that all?"
"Yeah. He kept the shoe though. He might still have it, but some seniors snatched him off, so we can't be sure."
Ashley smiled like a dope. "What are you thinking about, Ashley," Amber asked.
"I touched him tonight. I was so close I could smell his aftershave."
She looked her two friends. "Do you think he wanted to kiss me?"
"Probably not at first, since he was all into Sam Baker," Torrance said. "But maybe he almost did before you threw your shoe at him."
"Do you think he still does?"
Torrance sighed. "Ashley, I think it's time that you, me, and Amber all sit down and have a talk about the real reason we think it's stupid how you act about Ted."
"Because, Ash, you aren't the most popular girl in ninth grade, but you're probably the hottest."
"Amber, what are you talking about?"
"Ashley, it's not normal to get asked out twice a week by a different guy every time. But you're stuck in a mental rut. You still think of yourself the way you did in sixth grade, when you had braces, glasses, no chest, and bad acne. And back then, Ted still thought you were cute and that really impressed you. And then, in seventh grade, you came back looking, well, like you do now, and a lot of guys either started asking you out, or decided you were too good for them. Well either that, or they're snobs who think you're dumb just because you barely passing bio or algebra, and you're not really intellectual. And Ted was in the second category, sort of."
"What about Sam Baker," Ashley pointed out. "Not only was she out of his league, she's a sophomore!"
"Well," Torrance pointed out. "He's a guy. Logic doesn't work with guys."
"So you guys think he really likes me?"
"Duh, " Amber said. "That's only what we've been saying all night."
"But, I mean, what could he see in me?"
"What do you see in him," Torrance retorted.
"He's tall, he has killer blue eyes, a great smile, he's smart, and funny, and sweet, and he smells good."
Torrance rolled her eyes. "He smells like Aqua Velve, he's a pervert, and a dweeb, he has braces, and he's only tall compared to you, since you're, like, five one."
"He's not that bad," Amber interjected. "She's just being hard on him since she hates freshman guys."
Torrance rolled her eyes. "You can date him if you want. But if you ditch us for him, both of you had better like sipping soup out of a straw."
Ashley smirked. "I wouldn't ditch you guys. You're the only ones who call me on my shit, but still put up with it.
"Good," Amber said. "Because I could probably take Ted in a fight, and I could definitely take you. You learned your lesson after that one fight in junior high."
Ashley rolled her eyes. And then she heard a very familiar voice come from downstairs: "Jake, would I dick you? Tell me what happens if I dick you."
"I kick your ass."
Ashley turned to her friends. "Ohmigod, he's down there! He's talking to my brother!"
"So," Torrance said. "Go down there."
"You think I should?"
"Duh," her friends said in unison.
"Besides," Amber said. "You have to be there. Otherwise Jake might say something that makes you look like an idiot."
"Ohmigod, what if he already did?"
"Just go down there! God," Torrance shouted. Ashley stood up and brushed off her skirt. "OK, I'm going for it."
She took a deep breath and walked out of her room and closed the door. She took another deep breath, turned around, and went back into her room. Amber had gone back to tossing her cookies after the second round of drinks, but Torrance was still pretty lucid.
"You're going to develop a defeatist attitude if you don't go down there," she said.
"I'm going to go psycho if he laughs in my face, so maybe that's for the best."
"He's not going to laugh in your face," Torrance said with a sigh. Then she smirked. "At least not in front of your brother."
"God, Torrance, do you have to say shit like that?"
"Just go down there," Amber quavered from the bathroom. "Or at least quit being so loud."
Ashley sighed. "OK, I'll go downstairs, but I can't make any promises."
She walked down the steps, listening to their conversation for somewhere she could jump in.
"I'll give you a deal ok? You give me these, and I'll let you drive Caroline home."
"Jake," she heard Ted say. "I don't have a car." She saw Jake give him the car keys.
"You can have mine."
"Jake, I don't have a license."
"I trust you." Ashley raced down the stairs and into the kitchen, her opportunity thrust at her.
"I can help him, Jake. I'll show him the way to Caroline's house."
"You're awake," Jake asked, surprised.
"Yeah, Jake, I'm not ten." She turned to Ted. "You want me to help you?"
She leaned back flirtatiously on the kitchen counter, accidentally knocking over a plastic mustard bottle. Her head turned slightly, but then she turned back to the guys.
"Yeah, sure," Ted said nervously, glancing at Jake. "Oh, here's your shoe."
"Why would he have your shoe," Jake asked gruffly, staring at Ted less admirably than before.
"Oh, nothing happened," Ted said, with his voice cracking. "She just threw it at me."
Jake made a confused face. "I was smashed," Ashley admitted. Jake rolled his eyes.
"I don't know if Mom and Dad would want you out this late," Jake grumbled.
"Mom and Dad wouldn't care."
Jake shrugged. "Fine, go with him. Be home by..." He checked his watch. "Three, considering it's already one in the morning."
Minutes later, Ashley smiled and strolled behind Ted, who was carrying Caroline, and Jake to the car, hopping into the front seat.
"I don't know if you're tall enough to sit shotgun," Jake commented. Ashley rolled her eyes.
"Jake, don't be such a dweeb; I'll be fine."
Jake shrugged. "Hey, whatever you say. But if I get a phone call saying a blonde five foot one one hundred pound girl flew through the windshield, I'm telling Mom and Dad exactly how things happened."
"So you're going to tell them about the party," Ashley snapped back with a smirk, calling his bluff. Jake shook his head and held his hands up in mercy. "Fine, just be home by three, alright?" Jake watched as Ted, Ashley and Caroline sped off into the distance. God, he thought to himself. When since has Ashley liked boys? Or drank? Or went out past one in the morning? He shrugged to himself. Since tonight, I guess.