The Spiteful Dare
“The Spiteful Dare” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Aveek Das, Global Indian International School, Queenstown, Singapore.
The Spiteful Dare
“Done!”, said Bryce as he hastily ran back to his partners in crime, Paul and Alex, although the three teens were in their senior year of high school, they had nothing better to do than to give each other ridiculous dares. This time it was Bryce’s calling to paste an “out of order” sign on the staff restroom, careful not to get caught he slyly accomplished it as usual. As they chuckled and made their way back to class, Bryce stared at the short, brown haired boy, Paul and the lean, thin and muscular, Alex. Ever since middle school, he was always with his two best friends no matter what. This sudden trance earned him a light slap on the face from Alex.
“Come on! I told you to stop spacing out!” said Alex, with Paul nodding in acknowledgment.
With an annoyed look Bryce replied “Alright! I get it! Anyways what are you guys planning to give me as my next dare?” Waiting eagerly for their response, Bryce couldn’t help but wander his eyes towards perhaps the cutest girl in the class, currently wearing a tight t-shirt and a mini-skirt, silently reading. At that moment his friends snapped their fingers and sharp grins appeared on their faces, giving Bryce a slap on the back they said in unison “We see what’s going on here, you have a major crush on that girl, Asuna, don’t you?” With hesitation Bryce replied “N-No! By the way aren’t you supposed to be thinking of dares?” Cheekily, giving a look of confirmation to Alex, Paul maliciously replied “Yes we are and lucky for you we just thought of one….”. Catching on immediately Bryce interrupts “No, no, no, no, no, come on guys…”, “You know we aren’t very charitable people therefore your dare is to go out on a date with your not crush, Asuna over there!”, Bryce facepalmed hard and said “And what if I refuse?”, now slightly smirking his two friends said “We know for certain that you won’t”. Bryce too knew that he could never back down from a challenge and he also wanted to go on a date with his high school crush, giving in, he silently uttered “Fine, I’ll do it”.
As the solemnly awaited lunch break drew near, Bryce throughout the day of suffering, made up his mind to finally ask Asuna out. The cafeteria was crowded as usual, but one thing seemed peculiar as it always did, the cutest girl sitting all alone, it was quite ironic that she was not quite popular. As Bryce grabbed his lunch, he keenly approached Asuna’s table and asked, “Is this seat taken?”, surprised by the interruption Asuna shyly responded “No, it’s free…you can sit if you like”. Simply hearing her sweet voice made Bryce fall into thought, but realizing that he must sit down, he takes the seat beside her. “Uh…shouldn’t you be sitting with your friends? Why the sudden change of mind?”, Asuna asked to which Bryce nervously responded “Well…Actually I wanted to ask you a question-n?”, Asuna was quite surprised and gestured for him to continue “Will you…. maybe…..consider going out a date with me?” this earned him quite a cunning response “So after one year of staring at me, you finally got the courage to ask me out?”, Bryce now had a smirk on his face “Oh, you noticed that? Well anyways what…um…do you say?”, In thought Asuna said “So, are you free this evening, I know a great restaurant we can go to” Now his eyes were gleaming, Bryce replied “Wait, are you agreeing?”, with a playful smile Asuna said “So at seven o’clock then? I’ll test you the details”, Bryce was left speechless only nodding his head with a brightly lit face. The next five minutes was full of silence due to the suddenness of the heart-throbbing conversation. As they both finished their respective lunches, Bryce gave a warm wave of goodbye to Asuna and headed back to class, his spirits quite uplifted and with a purpose towards everything he did. As he approached his locker, a blonde-haired girl, the most popular girl in school, Amy walked up to him and with quite a confident and playful tone she asked, “So are you free today at around six o’clock, we can go out somewhere maybe?” Suddenly breaking from his fantasy world, Bryce said, while opening his locker, “Oh! Amy, I’m sorry but I already have plans for today, maybe some other time?” Amy slightly grabbed his arm and said quite determined “Okay, but some day you will have no choice but to agree!” “Maybe”, said Bryce quite lost in thought.
As the final bell rung, students began pouring out of their classrooms, as Bryce met up with his friends and walked home he had only one thought on his mind, he got a date with the cutest girl in the class. Not to mention his crush. In the middle of conversation, his friends brought up the dare “So Bryce, how’s the dare coming along?” to which Bryce’s cautious response was “It’s in progress…” to which his friends only rolled their eyes to. Upon arriving home Bryce sat down and did his homework as always while having thoughts about his date in a few hours. At 6 o’clock he began getting ready, with all the good clothes that he owned and fresh body spray. The restaurant he had been tested to meet up at was not too far away, only a stone’s throw from his residence. At six fifty five he entered the restaurant only to find Asuna already waiting for him at a small table for two. He immediately took his seat and the first words uttered from his mouth were “Wow! You were earlier than me”, to which Asuna only gave a warm smile, looking cute in her black dress. As the evening went on, they conversed for hours over snacks and drinks about their school life, how they first noticed each other and events that have taken place since then, Asuna giggling at Bryce’s childish behavior and blushing at how he makes her happy from inside. The conversations were drawing to a close but Bryce asked one final question, one that had been plaguing him since the beginning, so he boldly asked “So….Do you like me?”, Asuna visibly blushing replied “Of course, ever since I first saw you I knew that I was falling for you” with a slight giggle at the end and a reassuring smile. And that was how Bryce realized that his life was, in a sense, whole.
The next morning, arriving at school, with quite a different smile on his face, Bryce enters his classroom, only to find that his beloved friends who made this happen had not arrived yet and neither was his supposedly girlfriend there either. As he waited, Amy who was surprisingly early to school on that day, came up to him with the usual playful look in her eyes, coming closer and speaking quite loud and cheerfully “I knew it! You had a date yesterday with that girl, Asuna, I don’t understand what you see in her, she’s always by herself, is she really your type? Anyways I know it was a dare because the guys told me yesterday, that’s alright I guess…I know you don’t actually have an interest in her, right?”, Bryce was feeling quite uncomfortable after this because Asuna had always been his high school crush, deep in thought he saw a figure which appeared to be Asuna running away at the very moment Amy finished her sentence. Reality was now bearing it’s burden down on him, he had to fix this immediately so with no regard to Amy, Bryce ran out of the classroom saying, “Talk to you later…”, which left the clueless Amy quite speechless. Running at top speed, like his life was on the line, Bryce caught up to the sobbing Asuna standing in the empty hallway, catching a glimpse of Bryce, Asuna said between her sobs “Was it…..just…..a…..game…to…..you?”, the always cute and playful Asuna finally succumbed to her emotions, which Bryce couldn’t stand to look at any longer, it was eating him up from the inside to witness the girl that he always vowed to protect, harmed by his own actions.
Finally regaining his breath from sprinting, Bryce replied in agony “No! I really do love you!”. One part of Asuna wanted to believe him but the other wanted to never forgive him, now more composed she inquired doubtfully, but crying more in the middle of her sentence “I can’t believe you, I want to but I just can----”. Interrupting her, Bryce gently put his hands around Asuna’s waist and pulled her in for a passionate kiss, to which Asuna is first shocked at but eventually she deepens the kiss, when they finally broke from the kiss. Asuna had the look of total surprise on her face, to which Bryce says lovingly “Does that answer all your doubts?”. Now returned to her bubbly self, Asuna embraced Bryce in a tight hug and mumbled a resounding “Yes”. Asuna leaned warmly on Bryce’s shoulder and returned with a different aura to herself, along with Bryce who was also deep in thought, back to class. Greeted by the unamused Amy who immediately started speaking with a slight annoyance after seeing them in entering as a couple “Hey Bryce, I wasn’t done talking to you and why is she here? I thought you only went out with her because of that stupid dare”, at that point Bryce was quite composed yet angered from inside, giving a witty response “The only reason I accepted that dare was because I liked her”. Amy, being quite frustrated walks out of the class, annoyed with a parting “Whatever…”
At that moment Paul and Alex walked in, quite late to class as usual. And upon seeing Bryce and Asuna together, commented wittily “So I guess the dare worked out for you after all, didn’t it, huh Bryce?”, giving Bryce a small nudge to which Asuna lightly chuckled at.
Bryce who was feeling quite joyous with a different semblance to him all together said “Well, who knew that such a spiteful dare would end up turning my crush into my girlfriend”, the remark earned Bryce a deep blush appearing on Asuna’s face and a small peck on the cheek.