Ready to Mingle

The day really snuck up on me. I decided to do one of my writing prompts for the year with a Valentine’s theme, and this is the result. Jacob, as ace as can be, giving a pep talk to his best buddy on the day of dates and hearts and all that sappy stuff. The start of it came from a prompt, which I’ll put in bold, and the rest is mine.

“Just let me have like three seconds to pretend everything is okay before we go back in there.”

Jacob raised his eyebrows and wrestled a bemused smirk from his face. “Seriously, dude? It’s just some cheesey dance.”

Chase shot him an exasperated look. Of the two of them, he seemed better prepared for the event. His suit was crisp and he’d actually put some effort into styling his sleek black hair. By contrast, Jacob had a nice button-up shirt, some slacks, and he’d done his hair in the same style he always did. Chase was ready to charm people, by the looks of things.

It was odd to see him so unnerved about a social event. If Bobby wasn’t spending the whole time with his girlfriend, he’d have already started giving him shit over this.

Jacob was tempted, but instead he clapped his small friend on the back. “Come on, Chase,” he encouraged. “There’s free food in there. That’s like specifically for the people who showed up without dates. Eat your loneliness.”

Chase sent him one more put-upon look, and then glanced at the doors back into the gym. The hallway was decorated with signs and streamers in red, pink, and white, all pointing towards that big echo chamber. Their school didn’t have many dance events like this, but everyone always went to them.

What else was there to do?

“Come on, man,” Chase muttered. “This is easy for you. You get to just go ‘nah’ to the whole date thing and go have fun.”

Jacob rolled his eyes. “You know, bi or not, you could just do that, too. You don’t have to have a date.”

Chase huffed and stood up straight. Next to Jacob, he barely even reached a shoulder, but his usual confidence returned in small bursts all the same. Chase was the kind of person who could talk his way into (or out of) anything. Or, most anything. He’d asked a handful of people to go to the event with him, but they’d all paired up already.

“They better be good and ready for me, then,” he said, almost more to himself, but Jacob laughed along with him. When he opened the door again, the music and talking all but burst out into the hall, welcoming them back to the party.

Chase’s grin was already back in place. “Who’s ready to mingle?”

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