Kait Lenox is back! It’s Homecoming Dance time and Kait is excited. It’s her first dance with a date and that date is none other than one of the hottest, most popular guys in her school, Ethan Ripley! For once Kait doesn’t feel like a funeral crashing weird girl and it’s the most perfect romantic evening ever…at least until a girl gets murdered in the high school bathroom. Rumors fly, panic ensues, and Kait can’t help herself, she assigns herself to the case!
At least I was finally getting that great experience I had heard so much about. I
wished I could share it with my mom now, when it was actually true. A wave of sadness
blew through me. I missed my mom. I wished she could have known that a mere year
later, I’d be at the Homecoming Dance with the smiling boy I had gushed on and on about.
“Kait!” I heard a girl yell behind me and it shook me out of my thoughts.
Ethan and I had just reached the other dancers and were about to join them. I turned
to look, wondering if the call was for someone else. I didn’t really have any good friends
in high school at the moment, but there was always a first. Ethan followed my gaze.
Surprised, I looked to see Suzie Whitsett dragging Kyle Jones towards us. I felt a
sudden warmness fill my heart at seeing my friends from Chemistry class. This was the
first time I had ever seen them outside of our Chemistry classroom and they were actually
acknowledging me instead of pretending they didn’t know me. It wasn’t me being
insecure, by the way, talking like that – it was the simple truth. Ever since my ex-bff Ariel
and I had ceased being friends, I had become the freaky weird girl and I had stayed that
way all through high school so far. So, this was a very nice first – being at the dance with
a date and stopping to talk to what might just be blossoming from more than just lab
partner friends into real friendships.
“You guys look so great,” Suzie gushed. Normally she was the quiet girl, but since I
had helped her and Kyle get together, it didn’t seem like she was so quiet around me
I felt myself turn beet red at the compliment anyway, “Thanks. You guys too.”
Suzie turned the full force of her smile on Kyle. He stared back at her like there was
no other girl for him in the universe. They were such a ridiculously cute couple.
“Hey, man,” Mike Finnigan said, suddenly appearing next to Ethan. He was at the
dance with one of Ariel’s bffs, Sarah, and had dragged her along to say hi to his best
friend. I could tell Sarah wasn’t so thrilled to see me, although she was probably taking
mental notes so that she could relay them back to Ariel.
I looked around for Dave Rickerson who wasn’t usually far behind Mike and Ethan,
but he must have been dancing with his date. I wondered who he had brought to the
dance. Wow, we were almost starting to form our own group, Ethan and I. It was an odd
group too – a strange mismatch of popular kids and totally unpopular kids. Luckily,
everyone was being nice to each other despite that, at least so far.
I was only just getting to know Ethan’s friends, Mike and Dave, but I liked them a lot.
They had come to visit me in the hospital even though they were just Ethan’s friends.
Their motto seemed to be that any friend of Ethan, was a friend of theirs and they thought
it was really cool that I had helped him find out what had really happened to his half
sister. Nobody had believed in Ethan’s suspicions at first, that she had been murdered,
except me, and Ethan had turned out to be right. The fact that I believed in Ethan and
supported him in his search, thus, gave me mad points in Dave and Mike’s book.
“You look hot, Kait,” Mike said to me, to his date Sarah’s annoyance.
Ethan smiled and squeezed my hand. He and I both knew that Mike was just trying
to make me feel comfortable in their group. Still, I glanced at Sarah again and hoped
she’d complain to Ariel about me. She didn’t need to know that Mike was just being nice
“Thanks, Mike,” I said, smiling back at him.
There was a bit of a silence as our weird group took each other in. I tried to think of
something to say to kick-start the conversation, but I was drawing a blank. Mike and
Ethan were both sports nuts although Ethan also wrote songs and avidly read sci-fi novels.
Kyle was mostly into all things science. Suzie liked to read about as much as I did, which
was a lot. I had absolutely no idea what Sarah was into besides make-up and boys. We
were all pretty different, actually.
“So, the gym looks pretty cool,” I said lamely to our group, trying to break the
“The Pep Club decorated it,” Sarah said proudly, like she was the Pep Club, instead
of just a member. “Well, with the help of some other clubs too, but I was here until late
last night decorating.”
“It looks great!” Suzie said, chiming in.
Everyone took a second look around, as if just taking in the decorations. I mean, it
was super romantic, but I just noticed it was themed too.
“I like the theme: A Night in Paris. Super romantic,” I said, trying to keep the
It was well done, actually. There was a big banner at the front of the gym, where the
DJ was, announcing the theme for the night. A fake Eiffel Tower stood in the middle of
the snack table, separating the snacks and the beverages. An Arc De Triumphe was the
entranceway into the gym. The tables scattered around the dance floor were covered with
white tablecloths and silver stars. The mood lighting was ultra romantic, with small fake
candles sitting on the tables.
“Yeah, it was all Madison’s idea. She’s our club president. Ariel said it was her idea,
of course, but I heard Madison suggest it first,” Sarah said.
I stopped myself from asking more about what Ariel had said. Was Sarah really
criticizing Ariel? Was there dissension among the new group of bffs? I was dying to
know, but there was no way Sarah was going to give me any juicy gossip if I asked her.
The group lapsed into silence again. What were we going to talk about?
“It looks very cool,” Ethan said, trying to get the conversation started again.
The first notes of a romantic slow song were starting to play. I started swaying to the
music. Couples formed all around us. We all watched them as we tried awkwardly to
think of a conversation piece.
“So, how about we dance?” Mike asked Sarah.
“I’d love to,” Sarah said.
“Bye guys,” Mike said, as Sarah dragged him away, totally grateful at the chance to
get away from us.
Kyle turned to Suzie, “You want to dance too?”
Suzie nodded and turned to us, “See you guys later.”
Then they walked away too, hand in hand. Ethan and I were finally alone. We stared
at each other, suddenly awkward with one another. I felt a little nervous. We had been
about to dance before, but suddenly the air was charged with possibilities.
“Dance?” Ethan asked.
I nodded and took his hand. Ethan led me a little ways onto the dance floor and
placed his hands on my hips, drawing me toward him. I hooked my arms around his neck.
I caught the scent of his cologne. He smelled amazing. We started moving to the notes
together, side to side. My stomach was doing nervous excited flips. Now this was the best
moment of my life.
Ethan looked down at me and I looked up at him, our eyes meeting. I leaned up to
kiss him. I really couldn’t have asked for a more romantic Homecoming Dance moment.
It was so perfect, but just as our lips were about to touch, we both jumped as the music
stopped with a screech, ending in dead silence. Then I heard the girl screaming, and
screaming, and screaming.
About The Author:
Author Milda Harris is a Chicago girl who ran off to Hollywood to pursue a screenwriting dream! She loves watching John Hughes teen movies and playing random sports like Dodgeball and Kickball. Between working in production on television shows like Austin & Ally, Hannah Montana, and That’s So Raven and playing with her super cute dog Licorice, she writes young adult murder mystery, horror, paranormal romance, and chick lit novels.