"So what's got you all frowny-faced, Starshine? You look like your dog just--" Horror dawned on Kwan's face. "Shi--, that's not what happened, right? Pluto's O.K., I mean, oh, I am so, so sorry, I. . . ." he stopped, grimacing.
This elicited a small, tinkling laugh and was followed by an even smaller sigh. "No, it's just, Paulina, and on top of all this other crap, I just, I dunno." Star's shoulders slumped, and Kwan noticed the neckline of her strapless dress shift downward with her movement.
"Um, well, let's start with what Paulina--" Star's laughed turned bitter.
"What?" Kwan asked, somewhat hesitant. He realized that he had put his foot in it again, but did not quite understand how. "What did I say?"
She stopped laughing enough to say, "Paulina first, typical."
Eyes widening, "No, no, I just meant that whatever she did might be easiest to fix, and--" Star rested a hand on his forearm, halting him with a gentle smile.
"Nah, I get it. Look," her eyes darted about the room, pupils dilating. With unprecedented strength, she grabbed him by the collar and pulled him behind a nearby column. He followed her like a confused puppy. When she was finally satisfied with their level of privacy, she leaned against the streamer-wrapped column and whispered, "She thinks I stole my shirt from her."
"But you're wearing a dress," he said loudly and incredulously, not reading the atmosphere.
"Shhh!" she bit her lip and checked their surroundings, just to be safe. "No, like, she took this shirt that my grandmother gave me--"
"The one that's gone?" She glared at him.
"Yeah--wait, are you talking about the shirt or my grandmother?"
"Just shut up and don't interrupt and you'll find out, 'kay? So, like, we were looking at stuff in my closet and she finds this shirt that my grandmother--yesthegrandmotherwhodied--gave me just before she, ya know, kicked it. And it's a really pretty shirt, silk and everything, so of course Paulina takes it and says that she's going to wear it to the formal."
"But she's not wearing a--"
"SHH! And what did I say about interrupting me?"
"Sorry," he whispered sheepishly.
"Right. Anyway, so, like, she spent the night at my house, which is fine because we, like, go to the same school so mom doesn't have a problem. So she puts the shirt in her backpack and just, like, keeps it all squished and wrinkled there all day with all those candy wrappers at the bottom of her bag and it reeks of perfume and urgh. But, yeah, when she got home from school, the blouse was gone. And she's blaming me because she thinks I stole from her and she had to plan a new outfit. It's just so totally not fair, right? Am I right?" she repeated.
Kwan's glazed eyes sparked back to life. "Right! That's, like, totally not fair. But, you know her. She'll probably forget all about it after Dash proposes."
"HE'S GOING TO PROPOSE?" Star screeched. A few heads turned in their direction, but the music was too loud for most of them to comprehend what she had announced.
"Um, I think so. He was saying all this weird stuff earlier, so I asked my sister and she said that's what her husband was like just before he proposed to her."
"Ohhh, my gosh. Who else knows?"
"Well, Dash, me, you, and my sister." Star crossed her arms and tapped her foot, eyes expectantly fixed upon his face. Rubbing the back of his neck, he continued, "And maybe Trixie, and from her Veronica, so probably Tad and Chad, Mr. Lancer, the entire football team. . ."
Sighing, Star dropped her pose.