Allie and Mary Beth were in the bathroom, each crying out their own little hearts for very different reasons---Allie for going through the worst dance night of her life, and Mary Beth for secretly longing for Esmeralda and feeling like the villain who was desperate enough to make contact with the bad girl. Allie and Mary Beth found comfort in each other. Mary Beth said to her, "Are you having a good time tonight, Allie?"
"I don't know," Allie replied. "What about you?"
"Horrible, just horrible. Now everyone will know, and I'm gonna be the most hated girl in the whole school!"
"What are you talking about, Mary Beth?"
"Allie, please don't hate me for this, but I think I really miss Esmeralda," Mary Beth said. "I know, I know, it's crazy, right? But it's just that, you know, when she came over to my house that night of the talent show, she was really being nice to me and I just pushed her aside. And now I think because of me, she's been sent off to boarding school. What have I done now?"
Allie was too wrapped up in her own conflicting emotions over Quincy to feel any sort of resentment toward Mary Beth. "Oh, Mary Beth," she said as she gave her another hug. "I don't hate you---I'm too sad about losing Quincy to hate you. I don't wanna lose you too. Did you really think that Esmeralda meant what she said?"
"Yes." Mary Beth nodded as more tears came running down her face.
"Well, it is too late to take her back, but it is never too late to write her a letter."
"Write her a letter? You really suppose I should do that, Allie?" Mary Beth asked.
"Yes," Allie said with a small smile. "I still write letters to all my friends back in Boston every time I have the chance. I miss them very much, but I'm glad I belong here. You can write to her as many times as you can. I'm certain that she will just love it."
"Oh, Allie, that is actually the sweetest thing you've ever said to me," Mary Beth said. "I thought you would hate me for this."
"I could never hate you, Mary Beth." Allie put her arm around Mary Beth.
Just then, Betty Jane came in. "What are you two doing in here, feeling sorry for yourselves? You should be out having the time of your life!"
"I can't face Quincy, not after all that's happened so far," Allie said. "I'm afraid that he wants nothing more to do with me ever again!"
"That's not true, Allie," Betty Jane said. "He stood up to Jeff for you. Didn't you see that?" She smiled. "It's fate, Allie. Don't you believe in fate?"
"I don't know. Do I?"
"And Mary Beth........" Betty Jane came up to her and gave her a tissue. "Is that the truth?"
Mary Beth nodded. "I'm sorry. I know she was the worst, but I feel that a part of me misses her a little, and........oh, it's hard to explain!" She put her arm around Betty Jane for comfort.
"Calm down, Mary Beth," Betty Jane said to her softly. "And it's okay, I don't hate you or anything. If you miss her that much, why don't you just write to her?"
"Allie suggested that." Mary Beth grinned.
"Is that true, Allie?" asked Betty Jane.
"Yes, I write letters to my friends from Boston all the time," Allie said. "Why not?"
"I will definitely write to her," Mary Beth said. Then they left the bathroom and went out on the dance floor.
Allie wished that she and Quincy were on better terms, so she decided to do the unexpected---bring him a plate of food and some punch. Quincy was sitting all alone at a table, sulking around, obviously having the worst night of his life. Allie wanted to make it up to him by bringing him food. She got him a couple of mini hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, chicken wings, and poured him a cup of punch, and brought it over to him at the table. "Hey, I figured you would be quite hungry after all that dancing, so I brought you a plate of food," she said to him.
"Thanks. I'm not really that hungry yet, but thanks, anyway," he said. He didn't sound too angry with her that time, and she sat down next to him.
Quincy took a small bite of a mozzarella stick, while Allie began munching on another one. "Really good food they have here, huh?" she said, trying to break the ice.
"Uh, yeah........I guess."
After what seemed an eternity of silence, Allie decided to give up. She could take the hint when she was not wanted. "Well, I guess I'd better get going now," she said, and she was hoping Quincy would ask her where she was going on such short notice. "That is, if you're wondering, I'll be going back home," she added, hoping to get his attention. Then she got up and was ready to make her way until Quincy stopped her.
"Wait, where are you going?" he asked. "Come back here, why don't you?"
She came back. "Don't you want me to leave?"
"No, of course not, silly. I want you to stay, Allie. Please don't leave me."
"But I thought you said you didn't want to see me ever again as long as you live."
"Oh, come on, you know I didn't really mean that. I just wanted to share this special night with you, Allie. I know I may have missed my chance to ask you to this dance, but it really riles me up that you chose to go to the dance with another guy behind my back. You really hurt me, you know."
"Well, what did you expect me to do, just come here alone?"
"That would've been better. Allie, you know you don't necessarily need a date for a school dance. I know you're new in town, but here, dates don't really matter. What matters is having a good time with your friends. You're a great girl, Allie. You just got the wrong idea."
"I guess I did, didn't I?" Allie said with a small chuckle. "I wanted to be here with you too."
"Well, here we are together now," Quincy said. "Isn't that better?"
"Yes. Yes, it is." She smiled as she gave him a mini hot dog.
"I'm sorry that this night wasn't exactly the way you planned it," Quincy said. "I guess we each have gone over our heads trying to find the 'perfect' date, huh?" He chuckled.
"Yeah, I guess," she said. "I wanna have a good time with you."
"So do I, Allie." Quincy then took her by the hand as they got up and walked to the dance floor. He bowed down in a humorous way and said, "Shall we?"
Allie laughed and curtsied, and said, "We shall." Then they began dancing slowly to a slow-playing song on the radio. It was a very sweet moment for Allie. She was happy to have finally found the chance to share a wonderful dance with Quincy. They were really great friends, and there was nothing that could ruin that wonderful friendship.
Quincy noticed that Allie was wearing the necklace that he'd given her for Christmas. "I see you're wearing that necklace," he said with a grin.
"I love it, Quincy. I really do; it's so beautiful."
"Just like you," he said softly. "Please promise me you'll never, ever let go of it."
"I will never let go of it," Allie said sincerely. "Never, ever."
And it ended up being the most memorable night for all of them, especially Allie, because she had the chance to share a special moment with Quincy. Pretty soon, school was over, and it was the beginning of summer. Allie was excited to spend yet another summer at a new home away from her real home. She was looking forward to having a relaxing summer. She started by writing in her diary: "Friday, June 6, 1958, the day I finished fifth grade at my new school in Fort Chester Middle School............."
Allie spent that summer writing to each of her friends back in Boston, telling them about all her adventures and meeting Quincy for the first time and making new friends. Allie also had a few traveling plans of her own that summer---going back to Boston for a week in July to visit some old friends and other things of that nature, and going to Disney World in August. But she would definitely spend time with Quincy before she left; for it had been approximately a year since they met for the first time on the Fourth of July at the picnic. At the picnic, Allie just couldn't wait to spend one last time with him before she began her journey abroad.
She sat next to him on the grass, and Quincy said to her, "Wow, can you believe that it's been a year since we first met?"
"I know," she said. "Time really flies, doesn't it?"
"It only flies when you're having fun."
"I had fun at school this year, Quincy. And the best part was, I was with you."
Allie took a bite of her burger, and said, "What are your plans for the summer?"
"Well, my folks are going away to San Francisco next week, and for the rest of this month, to visit some relatives, so I'm gonna be living with my aunt, uncle, and cousins at their house. Goodness, I'll try to manage sharing a living, breathing space with someone else for once." He shrugged, and they both laughed.
"I'm sure you'll be fine," Allie said. "Your cousins probably aren't that bad."
"Thank God you don't even know them," Quincy said. "They're as annoying and pesky as that kid Jeff in your Dance Team. No offense," he added.
Allie chuckled. "None taken. I'm pretty sure Jeff wouldn't mind what you think of him. To be honest, he's a little.........dull for me, anyway."
"Eh, not interesting enough for you, huh?"
Allie shook her head. "Nope. A little too nice, also."
"I can definitely see how annoying that could be," Quincy said, and they both laughed again.
Then Quincy asked her, "So, what are you doing for the summer, besides spending a cherished moment with me?"
"Well, next week, I'm going back to Boston and I'm gonna give my friends a surprise little visit," Allie said, "and next month, I'm going to Disney World. We'll be staying there in the state for the entire month, so the next time we'll see each other again is in September."
"Wow, you're a lucky one. I'm really gonna miss you, though."
"Me too, Quincy."
Just then, there was a feeling of atmosphere in the air, and Allie and Quincy could feel it. There were so many things they wanted to say to each other before they ran out of time, and now was the perfect time to say it all. Quincy held her hand and said, "You know, I really like you, Allie. I've always wanted to tell you. Since I first laid my eyes on you, I feel like you're the only girl in the world who makes me feel very complete. That's why I acted the way I did when I saw you and Jeff asking each other to the dance---I wanted to be with you. I wanted my first school dance to be......romantic. That's why I was thinking of you."
Allie was amazed; was Quincy really admitting his feelings for her? "Oh, I didn't really know you felt that way," she said. "Wow, Quincy, that's really........deep."
He shook his head, slightly embarrassed. "It's stupid, right? I sound so dumb saying all this random crap, don't I?"
"No, no, that's not true, Quincy! I like where you're going with this. I'm glad that you can be honest with me. Don't feel ashamed."
"As long as I'm with you, I know I have nothing to be ashamed for," Quincy said, "because, you see, I have a crush on you, Allie. Trust me, I do."
"What?" She was a little taken by surprise.
"Here, let me prove it to you." He gave her a kiss on the cheek, a long, good kiss for what seemed like one minute. "Tell me, what does that feel like to you?"
"Gee, Quincy, I don't even know what to say. I.......I like you a lot; I just didn't know........" Then she came to the realization that Quincy had true feelings for her the whole time as she thought about the necklace he'd given her for Christmas, the Valentine's Day present, his good luck kiss for the Spring talent show, and their sudden togetherness since the school dance. It all added up to one thing---Quincy MacKenzie was in love with her. "Oh, my goodness. It is real!"
"How do you feel, Allie?" Quincy asked.
"Well, it has been a year since we first met, and now here we are again," Allie said, grinning. "It's like destiny is working its way upon us. These things happen only because they're supposed to happen, isn't that right?"
"Well, then, I think it is meant to be." Allie kissed Quincy on the cheek, and not a moment too soon, they were engaged in a passionate kiss, which felt like fireworks in the sky. It was a powerful feeling, which one cannot deny its greatness.
"That was.......powerful!" Allie said brightly.
"Your very first summer kiss." Quincy grinned, and Allie laughed as she gave him a hug, cherishing this one last moment together before they each parted their separate ways next week.
The following week flew by in the blink of an eye. Allie and Quincy shared a farewell hug as they went off to their own separate journeys---Allie to Boston, and Quincy to his cousins' house downtown. Allie promised Quincy that she would write to him every day, and he promised he would read her letters. Allie had a very great time in Boston that week. Each day, she made a plan to visit Gladys, Mary Louise, and Peggy Ann, and the three of them could not have been more excited to see Allie again in what seemed like a million years.
"Oh, Allie, has it really been a year already?" Gladys said, practically squeezing the life out of her friend. "My, how much you've changed! You're leaving your hair down; I remembered when it used to be in pigtails."
"Yeah, well, I just like trying new things," Allie said.
"How's your new school in Maryland?" Mary Louise asked.
"It's the best," Allie replied. "You wouldn't believe how much I've told you in all my letters."
"Yeah, we figured," Peggy Ann said. "Any interesting boys so far?" She gave Allie a knowing smile.
Allie laughed and rolled her eyes. "Oh, stop it, Peggy Ann." The four of them were in Gladys' backyard, spending female quality time together just like the good old times. "Actually, yes, there is one boy. His name is Quincy MacKenzie."
"You write to me every day, you don't need to share with us what he's like," Gladys said.
"I insist, anyway," Allie said. "He's simply the greatest. He has the most adorable pair of blue eyes I have ever seen. Quite blue like mine are, in fact. And every little thing he does, it's like fate is telling us that we are destined to be together. I find myself quite mesmerized by his eyes."
"Aw," said Gladys, Mary Louise, and Peggy Ann in unison. "So romantic."
"It sure is," Allie said with a smile.