Our Lady of Perfection
By Audrey


All Saints Academy was co-ed, but that was the only good thing about it as far as Mike Logan was concerned. All Saints held chapel every morning at 8:15. Attendance was mandatory, and lateness meant demerits. All Saints had a dress code -- gray pants, blue jacket, white shirt, red, gray, and blue school tie, black socks, black shoes -- and it had the Honor Guard to enforce it. Dress code violations meant more demerits. Demerits meant punishment, detention, or suspension from school activities.
It had been a crappy junior year. He'd tried out for the baseball team, sure that he was a shoe-in since he'd played on the junior varsity team his sophomore year, but the coach had decided that he didn't need another first baseman with an attitude, so he cut Mike on the last day before the team roster came out. He explained to Mike that it was probably for the best -- Mike had so many demerits that it was unlikely he would have been able to play even half of the season. His girlfriend, Leslie Coffey, had dumped him for a guy who was in the school play with her. So now he didn't even have a date for the prom. He wasn't getting anything he wanted.
But he was going to get at least one thing he wanted before the school year was over. Bridget Annamarie McNamara.
Bridget had been prominently featured in his hormone-induced dreams ever since his freshman year. She was completely out of his league, an overachiever with high goals and better grades than anybody else in the senior class. Class valedictorian, president of the Honor Society, chaplain of the Honor Guard, star forward of the All Saints girls' basketball team, National Merit Finalist, Bridget was the paragon of perfection that held all the underclassmen in awe. She had been nominated Most Likely to Succeed, Most Studious, and Best All-Around by the whole school. The yearbook had heralded her as "Our Lady of Perfection."
Her looks were just as incredible as her achievements. She had long, blonde hair that fell in a smooth arc across her shoulder blades. At six feet tall, even in the school's regulation loafers she towered over more than half of the boys and almost all of the other girls; Mike would never admit it, but she was a few millimeters taller than him, too. But it was her eyes that Mike found most intriguing -- ice blue, without a trace of hazel or green. Maybe it was the ice in her eyes that prompted Mike to dub her "Frigid Bridget", or maybe it was simply the cool tone she always used on him when she caught him violating the dress code and issued him a demerit. She was like an icon carved in marble with the words "touch me not" engraved on its pedestal. So, of course, Mike found her irresistible.
A month before, there had been a class assembly to announce scholarships and awards won by various members of the graduating class. All Saints called it a Recognition Ceremony, and its sole purpose seemed to be the intimidation of the younger students by glorifying the achievements of the seniors. It was there that he had heard the destiny of Bridget Annamarie McNamara: she had won a full scholarship to the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia.
He was floored. Virginia? He'd never see her around again, that much was certain. She'd never find her way back to the city. If he was going to make an impression -- and get a little revenge -- on Bridget, he had to do it now. This was his last chance.
He had a plan. Graduation was four days away. Sometime between now and then, he was going to walk up to her amidst the biggest crowd he could find, dip her back over his arm and plant one on her -- just like in the movies. Frigid Bridget would be mortified. And he'd have kissed her. It would be supreme closure to an otherwise unsatisfactory year, and a magnificent achievement in his career thus far at All Saints.
Fate, however, conspired against him. As each day passed, he had no opportunity to work his way close to her. She was surrounded by the minions wanting her to sign their yearbooks and pose for a last Polaroid to capture the moment during this last week of school.
Then, Mike found himself face to face with her at last. There was no crowd. In fact, there was no one in sight. Everyone else was in class taking final exams; he was snagging a quick smoke in the boys' restroom before he had to go to class and display the fact that he remembered nothing that he'd learned in the past year of Spanish II. He had just emerged from the restroom, spraying his mouth with Binaca, when he walked right into her.
She took a step back, then stepped closer, smelling the smoke on his clothes.
"Don't suppose those are cigarettes in your pocket, Logan?" She said icily, eyeing his jacket pocket with x-ray vision.
"Tell me what brand they are, and I'll let you give me ten demerits, no questions asked."
"Marlboros."
"Wrong," gloated Mike, grinning at her smugly as he held up the pack of Camels.
"And that's two demerits for smoking in school." She said, grinning just as smugly right in his face.
Her self-satisfied little smile eradicated any hope Mike had of waiting to do the deed in public. He grabbed Bridget by the arm, awkwardly bent her over into a deep dip, and kissed her with a huge smack. Vindicated, he pulled her back up to a standing position and released her, then turned to go off to face the Ill-Tempered Gods of Espanol.
His trajectory was abruptly altered, however. He found himself plunked firmly against a wall as Bridget held him by the shoulders in a firm grip. The last thing he saw was her eyes, now voltage blue, closing as she kissed him with the sure impact of a right hook.
An electric shock surged through Mike's body for a long moment as Bridget's lips pressed against his. For a long moment, she pinned him there, then just as quickly as it had begun, the kiss ended, and she released him. Mike stood, back against the wall, watching in complete shock as she strode away smoothly. Wow. She's not frigid at all, he thought dazedly.
The girl of his dreams swiveled on her heel and faced him, the ice reappearing in her eyes. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you'd never kissed a girl before." She wiped off her mouth. "Slobber. A sure sign of lousy technique."
"Hey!" Mike yelped, enraged.
Bridget winked at him in triumph and continued on her way. Mike lurched away from the wall and caught up with her in ten strides.
"Hey," Mike said again, still caught in a whirlwind of emotions brought on by the sudden turn of events.
"What, Logan?" Bridget always called him Logan.
"The name's Mike," he declared, still clinging to shreds of his dignity. But he knew that he was a man bested by a worthy adversary. His resentment faded. "Truce?"
"Truce," she agreed, shaking his outstretched hand. They stood for a moment, contemplating each other and a third and perhaps more satisfying kiss, then Bridget collected her composure and proceeded to her Latin final.
Mike watched her go, thinking that the yearbook had been absolutely right about her. She was perfection.
School just wouldn't be the same without her.

end


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