How to Quit Your Crush - Amy Fellner Dominy
“If I start taking off my clothes, stop me.”
Josie pauses with her hand on the doorknob of Jason’s house. Through the heavy wood door, I can hear the thrum of music and the loud chatter and laughter of our graduation party in progress. A rager. I think that’s the correct terminology. I’ve never been to one myself.
“Are you planning to take off your clothes?” Josie looks over my outfit. Crisp, sleeveless black button-down tunic with satin trim. Black leggings. Gray booties.
“No, but I’ve never had alcohol before.”
“How much are you planning to drink?”
Jason’s party is officially alcohol-free, but that won’t stop kids from bringing it in. Apparently, the students of Cholla High, while not known for high test scores, are geniuses at sneaking in booze.
“Enough to feel it,” I say, “but not enough to kill any brain cells. I need them all for college.”
“I’m pretty sure you’d have to kill a lot of brain cells before you started peeling off clothes.” Josie wipes at the corner of my mouth. “Lipstick.”
She pins me with a suspicious look. I never wear makeup, not even lipstick. With one exception. Her gaze says she knows that, and she’s wondering why I’m wearing it tonight. I bought the lipstick this past semester during a momentary blip of recklessness. How else to explain it?
Explain him. Anthony Adams.
“It’s in honor of graduation. That’s all.” Josie Walters, Best Friend in the Knowable World, was against my crush from the start. Of course, she hated baseball players with a passion. Now she’s madly in love with one.
She pushes open the door. Memories greet me along with a wall of sound. We were here two months ago to watch a baseball game. But really it was so I could stalk my crush.
“I’m not getting drunk, either,” Josie says. “I’m grossed out by the idea of vomit in my hair.”
“So we agree. No undressing and no puking.”
“We could stand on a table, though,” she says brightly. “Do a sexy dance.”
“Do we know any sexy dances?”
I’m distracted when someone screams my name. “Josie! Mai!”
It’s Cooper Davies. He holds up a hand for a high five. Josie smacks it, and then it’s my turn. Cooper is a Cholla High baseball player and someone I shouldn’t know.
“You were awesome today,” he tells me.
“She was, wasn’t she?” Josie agrees.
I shrug. “It was nothing. A few words I threw together.” Only Josie knows how worried I was over giving the valedictorian speech—how much time I spent writing and rewriting it. But in the end, it was a call to action: get off your butt and do something with your life. A message I needed to be reminded of. “You shaved the scruff off your chin,” I say.
Cooper runs fingers over his smooth jaw. “It was time.”
“It was past time,” I correct with a grin. “The beard was truly hideous.”
He’s grinning back when a second shout splits my eardrums. “My Mai!”
Tucker Lewis. Another baseball player who has somehow become a friend. I roll my eyes. I should slug him for that greeting, but it’s my parents’ fault for naming me Maya. It’s not a terrible name, and it commemorates the month of May when they adopted me. But everyone shortens my name to Mai, which sounds like My. I’ve been hearing the My Mai jokes since fourth grade. “Hello, Tucker.”
He holds up a fist.
“Do we have to punch hands? I’m wearing a ring tonight, and it’ll sting.”
He laughs and gives me and Josie hugs.
“You rocked it today,” he says. “Did us proud.”
I wave off the praise, but I secretly love it. “Did you actually listen to