Taylor Swift cheated on her math test by copying my answers. The teacher caught her, and she didn’t even get in trouble because she seems sweet, and she said to Mr. Benson that society made her do it, and there was a laugh in her voice as she said it, and the moment I saw Mr. Benson chuckle, I knew that she wasn’t going to get in trouble. The crazy thing is that I got a week’s detention because Mr. Benson was 77% certain that I was in on it, which I wasn’t, though I probably would have been if Taylor Swift had asked me, because I couldn’t really say no to her. I’m only guessing about that because she had never asked anything from me. I was below the radar.
After class Taylor Swift seemed genuinely remorseful. She caught up with me in the hall and said that she was so, so, so, so, so sorry and that she didn’t mean for me to get detention.
I waved it off with my hand and told her, “Hey, what do I have to do after school anyway? You did me a favor.”
She said that I should come over sometime and make chocolate chip cookies. It was just like her to know that I like chocolate chip cookies a lot. So I said, “Okay. What about this weekend?”
Taylor Swift did a little half shrug and scrunched up her face in such a way as to say, Eh, I don’t know about that.
“This weekend?” she said. “Yeah, I think this weekend is bad. I have dates with my boyfriend.”
I nodded like I knew what that was like.
I was supposed to be getting to biology, so I started walking. Taylor Swift fell in with me, as if we were BFFs. She held her books in her arms over her chest rather than in a bag. It was something Sandra Dee would do.
“I’m supposed to take him out on Saturday night,” she said. “I’m supposed to take him to the roller rink and also to dinner.”
“Is that a problem?” I asked.
“No, it’s totally great. I love roller skating. And it will be fun to go to dinner.”
“But you don’t seem happy,” I said.
“Do you think I should make him brownies?” she said.
I said that it seemed to me it was hard to go wrong with brownies.
She suddenly looked sad. Like, for real sad. Not the exaggerated sad face you get when you’re trying to let people know that you’re listening sympathetically.
“What’s wrong?” I said.
She waved it off, but the motion was half-hearted.
“Tell me,” I said.
“He doesn’t really like me,” she said. “Not really. Maybe he even thinks he does, but he’ll be tired of me in two weeks.”
“No,” I said. Who couldn’t love Taylor Swift?
Her shoulders drooped. She looked defeated as we walked down the hallway together. Which continued to be weird. I felt like I needed to say something. So I said “no” again, but it didn’t solve her problems.
“Also, I don’t have enough money to take him to dinner, is the thing,” she said. She shrugged and it really was a beautiful, graceful shrug.
“Do you have any money I can borrow?” she said.
She opened her eyes wide. Beseeching. It was super appealing.
“No,” I said.
“You don’t have any money?”
I had money, but I didn’t want to give it to her. I had been saving up my allowances for a while. I was going to buy some new clothes before the next school year.
“I have some money, but I was going to buy some new clothes before the next school year. Cool clothes.” I don’t know why I said it out loud. Taylor Swift had a way of making you say things. But I definitely didn’t want her to think I was trying to be cool.
Nonetheless, she brightened. “I can lend you some clothes! You can lend me your money and I can lend you some clothes. It’s like this was meant to be.”
It wasn’t meant to be. She was 5’10 and I was 5’2, and there was no way her clothes were going to fit me. She’s a twig.
“But I’ve been saving my money for such a long time.”
“That’s why it’s so nice of you to help me take my boyfriend out.” She was practically skipping down the hallway.
She veered away from me. She pointed at a doorway. “Choir practice. I’ll see you this afternoon. You can bring it by my house.”
“I have detention,” I said.
“No rush,” she said with the sweetest of smiles. Then she mouthed “Thank you!” as she slid in the door.
Fuck. I didn’t want to bring her money. But what could I do?
I didn’t think that Taylor Swift’s clothes would fit me. I didn’t think we were going to be best friends now. She wasn’t going to make me more popular next year. She may or may not have known my name. I doubted that I would get my money back. I didn’t even think that we would ever hang out and make chocolate chip cookies together. And yet, I was happy because I think I made Taylor Swift happy, and that’s the thing: you just want to make Taylor Swift happy.