20: “This is the single most dramatic thing I have ever been a part of and I’m honestly so impressed”

At the beginning of June, Iggy and her friends from high school got invited to a party being hosted by their former prom king, Tim Marcote, at a bar that he had rented for the night. Tim had been voted prom king genuinely because he was the most liked guy at their school. He was actually probably the most liked person at their entire school. He was fun and kind and charming. He was also quite handsome, which didn’t hurt. Tim had thrived in high school and appeared to have continued to do so outside of school, but Miles was determined to call him High School Tim due to his glory days nonetheless.

Iggy met up with her friends and Miles’ friends outside the downtown branch of the Roehampton Public Library so that they could make their way over to the bar High School Tim had rented together. Iggy and Miles were among the first to arrive and had to wait outside the library like degenerates with Dick, Helen, Oscar, and Priscilla for the others to arrive. She had no way of knowing for sure, but Iggy suspected Melly was responsible for the delay. She was feeling particularly fat that day, as her many text messages claimed.

“Why is he having this party again?” Dick asked, leaning against an exterior wall of the library, looking down at his phone. He’d been disinterested since he’d arrived. Iggy got the impression that he was just disinterested in most things almost all of the time. She’d never known him very well, largely because he was closer to Miles than he was to David and she had spent all of their combined time at high school hating Miles’ guts and thus, by extension, Dick’s as well.

“It’s his coming out party,” Iggy explained. Dick finally looked up from his phone.

“Didn’t I already know he was gay?” He returned.

“Yeah, but it was never official,” Iggy explained.

“Does it have to be?” Dick retorted. “Is there a certificate or something?”

“His grandmother was really bigoted,” Priscilla stepped in to help Iggy explain. “But she’s dead now so he can celebrate.”

There was a pause in the conversation.

“I mean, celebrate his sexuality and self-pride,” Priscilla added. “Not that his grandmother is dead…”

“Sounds like it’s a little bit of both,” Oscar chimed in.

When the others finally arrived, Melly was leading the charge, looking beyond furious. She was wearing a floral Mumu that could’ve doubled as a small tent. It absolutely didn’t help that Jana was the kind of pregnant that cute fashion bloggers were. She was wearing skinny jeans and a flowy top. She had that pregnancy glow that everyone always talked about. Melly looked like she’d run along outside the bus they’d taken to get there, red-faced and sweaty.

“So how was that?” Iggy asked Jacklyn in a hushed voice as the group of them set off for the bar High School Tim had rented.

“Holy Christ,” Jacklyn grumbled in response. “No one in the world has ever been more annoyed than Melly is.”

“To be fair, no one in the world has ever been as pregnant as Melly is,” Iggy pointed out. “Not even Jessica Simpson.”

Jacklyn conceded, but extremely reluctantly.

Entering the bar was like stepping back in time to their high school prom. So many people from their grade were there. High School Tim seemed to have invited literally everyone they’d gone to school with and most of them were there, probably because everyone loved him. It was slightly daunting, and only partially because it was the first time any of those people would see Iggy and Miles as a couple. Iggy didn’t really care what anybody thought, but at the same time, she had made such a big deal about hating him in high school and she felt a little bit like a teen comedy cliché.

“I just feel a little embarrassed,” Iggy said to Miles. Oscar was standing on the other side of Miles so she essentially said it to him as well.

“Great,” Miles replied flatly.

“Not of you, of myself,” Iggy explained. “I’m that girl now. The one who claims to hate someone and then sleeps with them.”

“I’m almost one hundred per cent positive that no one ever has or ever will pay either of us enough attention to even think that,” Miles told her, which was neither comforting or supportive.

“Also, there’s not a chance that you will ever be more embarrassing than Calvin Grimstone, who appears to have shown up to this party with a pukka shell necklace like it’s 2002,” Oscar cut in, leaning over Miles to address Iggy directly. “I mean, that shit wasn’t even cool when we were in high school. He’s regressing.”

Iggy accepted it with a nod as the good point that it was. Miles rolled his eyes.

High School Tim entered the party in a blast of confetti to Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out”. People cheered and he walked through the crowd in a spotlight that kept changing colours.

“This is the single most dramatic thing I have ever been a part of and I’m honestly so impressed,” Helen told Iggy as High School Tim walked past them. Iggy couldn’t help but agree.

For the most part, Iggy’s concerns had been for nought as most people ignored them, just like Miles had suspected they would. In fact, the only person who seemed to notice was Iggy’s ex-boyfriend Jesse. Regrettably, while he was only one person, it did appear to bother him quite a bit, which was undoubtedly due to the fact that Iggy had dumped Jesse the summer after they’d graduated because she’d developed a crush on her co-camp counsellor Jake. Jake turned out to be really into motocross and Doritos so that hadn’t lasted very long, but Jesse was still bitter about it.

“So you’re with Miles Rattray now,” Jesse said, approaching Iggy with a sour expression on his face. “I thought you hated him. You used to talk about how much you hated him all the time.”

Iggy didn’t really have an answer or an explanation for him. She had hated Miles. She was in love with him now and she wasn’t sure she wanted to tell Jesse it was all down to Melly forcing them to babysit her perpetually sleeping child together. It was not an incredibly romantic story. Jesse, meanwhile, had brought Iggy roses to their grade eleven biology class the first time he’d asked her out. They’d been together for two years before she broke up with him to date Jake the motocross, Doritos monster and he’d done countless romantic things during that time. The first time Miles had kissed her, they’d been watching a woman on House Hunters International bitch about llamas.

“Yeah,” Iggy said in response to Jesse, having used too much time to come up with nothing. Jesse’s expression soured further.

“But apparently that’s not the case anymore,” he said.

“It would seem not,” Iggy agreed. There was a weighty, uncomfortable pause between the  pair of them, which was interrupted only by the arrival of Miles himself. Jesse looked even more disappointed at that. Iggy wondered how this interaction was going to end. Poorly most likely and definitely not soon enough.

“Oh hey, man,” Miles greeted Jesse. If he remembered that Jesse and Iggy used to date, he showed no sign of it. Iggy didn’t have that much faith in his acting ability. He was a terrible liar.

“Hey,” Jesse replied flatly. Miles’ eyes widened at the cold response. There was another long, awkward silence in the conversation before Jesse shook his head and walked away, looking the most displeased he’d been yet. Iggy watched him go feeling quite grateful for the way her life had turned out.

“I don’t remember him being that much of a jackass when we were in high school,” Miles remarked.

“He’s my ex-boyfriend,” Iggy explained in return. “I dumped him by letter that I sent from camp so that I could date some dude obsessed with Doritos.”

Miles was silent for a moment.

“When you say obsessed with Doritos, what exactly do you mean?” He asked eventually. “Like, did he eat too many Doritos? Was he having Doritos for every meal? Did he also have scurvy? Or did he, like, want to name one of his future children Dorito?”

Iggy turned to frown at him.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” She demanded.

“What’s wrong with me?” Miles repeated indignantly. “What’s wrong with you? You dated someone obsessed with Doritos.”

“Well, it wasn’t, like, weird or anything,” Iggy protested, rolling her eyes.

“I disagree,” Miles retorted. “I honestly don’t see any way him being obsessed with Doritos couldn’t be weird. They’re just a chip.”

“You’re just a chip,” Iggy snapped.

“That makes no sense,” Miles pointed out.

“Shut up,” Iggy told him, not really meaning it.

“You have to know I’m not going to do that,” Miles told her. She smiled at him.

“I do know that, yeah,” she said. “That’s what makes you so annoying.”

“You think I’m charming,” Miles told her in response.

“God help me, I do,” Iggy agreed. She walked away when Miles began fist-pumping victory.

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