"Will you leave it alone already, Katlyn!" Ari slammed her book closed, annoyed that her friend was bothering her about the party again. "I don't want to go. I'm not going. I have midterms to study for and I'd like to pass them." Aribel Montgomery was a good student, but she found that studying was relaxing, and Katlyn didn't understand that.
"Sorry, Ari," Kat murmured, looking appropriately chastised. "But you never get out! It isn't good for you, and I'm tired of going out al the time, having fun, while you stay in with your books. You probably wouldn't even know what to do with a guy!"
"I would so!" Ari retorted hotly.
"Oh yeah? Then kiss the next guy you see," Kat dared, a cheeky grin on her face.
That stopped Ari in her tracks, and she looked up from shoving books into her bag. "Wh-what...?" she stammered, brow drawing down in confusion. It was so outrageous, just the thought of kissing some stranger, that her stomach fluttered at the idea.
"The very next guy you see. I dare you. Kiss him." Kat grinned, seeing Ari's discomfort but not about to back down now that the challenge was out.
"A-all right," Ari agreed, feeling foolish. It was a foolish thing! She didn't know why she'd even agreed to it; for all she knew, the next guy she saw would be her father. Or some fat, bald, old guy, who smelled like sweaty gym socks. "All right, I'll do it," she said again, with more conviction than she felt. Aribel felt like she was making a mistake, but maybe this would be radical enough to get Katlyn off her back for a while.
With her books finally packed up, Aribel headed toward the elevator, waving absently to Kat over her shoulder. Maybe there would be a way to avoid seeing anyone. She could just keep her nose in a book; then she wouldn't see any guys and feel obligated to kiss them. She had a thought--what if the guy was gay?--and shuddered. It would be uncomfortable for both of them, but at least Kat wouldn't expect any kind of follow-up.
Impatient, she pushed the call button for the elevator a few times, heard it start its lumbering way up from the ground floor. She was on the third floor, and probably should have taken the stairs. In the time it took the elevator to get there, she could be gone already. Ari heard the elevator gears screech to a stop--someone on the second floor either wanted on or off the car. Then the gears started again, and the car began its ponderous way to the third floor, where Ari waited.