“NO” – Yeah, that still means “no”

This week the prompt comes from my own prompt collection that you can find here.

Prompt: Character A is trying to woo Character B, who keeps turning him/her down. Character C tells Character A that “no means no.” What is the context of this confrontation.

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“Isn’t that the the fourth time this week he’s asked you out?” Brianna questions. Of course, she knows that it is without asking, but she wants verbal confirmation. At this point the number of times that he’s interjected into their conversations is bordering ‘creepy.’ Jasmine won’t say anything to him distinct, though. She just kindly tells him that, “not interested at this time, bud.”

Brianna’s problem is that her best friend keeps turning this guy down nicely. Doing everything she can to give him enough hope that he is nice to her, but enough dejection that he won’t bother her too frequently. Even though the girls have spoken extensively about it, there seems to be no positive progression in that weird relationship between Jasmine and her almost-stalker. Brianna about cannot stand him any longer.

“He texted me three nights in a row. Puts him up to seven times, actually.” Jasmine almost sounds like she’s bragging about it, like it’s a sick story she can share in the future. This is what makes high school such a sick place. It’s okay to these people to think that a guy can persistently nag a girl to pity date him and for girls to bask in it. At some point the girls are objectifying themselves – sometimes just to be respected by their peers. Brianna slams her hands on the table because it was one thing to ask her in person four times in the course of five days. It is an entirely different matter to be texting daily and asking in person – that has crossed into inappropriate territory instantly.

“I am sorry Nate, but Jasmine thinks you’re about as interested as a cement block. She will never go out with you! Stop asking her every day! It sucks but guess what, there is another person out there that will eat up all your nonsense and you’ll be happy. Move the fuck on!” Everyone in the cafeteria – because that is where all the drama happens in high school – they are all staring at Brianna. Lunch ladies are looking around trying to see if the principles are in the vicinity. As it turns out, there is absolutely no other adult around to witness the spectacle. Jasmine is tugging at Brianna’s sweater in hopes of getting her to sit down and draw less attention, but she won’t stand down until she knows Nate isn’t going to bite back.

A few people start applauding, mostly girls who are tired of the same antics. Brianna knows most of them from her sociology class, some from psychology. It takes another couple of minutes before Nate just shrugs his shoulders and makes a comment to someone at his lunch table. Brianna considers storming over to him but in her heart she knows that she doesn’t have to do it. If anything offensive has been said it will circulate around until she hears it. Brianna won’t play nice if he tries to fight back.

Everyone has a skeleton or two in their closet. As for Nate, she happens to know that he hacks into the school system and changes grades and sick days. Sometimes people pay him to do it – supposedly a couple of teachers gave him free passes on assignments to get an extra day of vacation time. Brianna listens, and she records every rumor that she hears and who she hears it from in a notebook.

Jasmine knows what her friend is concocting, and she opposes the entire concept of having it. She’s often equated it to a “burn book” from a poplar teenage movie. Oftentimes they argue about putting information in it that could be detrimental to someone’s quality of life. Unfortunately, as far as Brianna is concerned, there is no greater way to suffer lost quality of life than losing one’s life entirely.  The way that Brianna’s disabled sister did in freshman year… for example…

“That was not necessary. What are you going to do if someone tells a teacher about what you did?” Always the voice of reason, Jasmine tries to remind her friend that obscenities could result in detention or in-school suspension. It is doubtful that the cafeteria staff are going to say anything, being that they’ve all probably dealt with a jerk like Nate at some point.

Brianna feels pretty comfortable that at most she’ll get a letter sent home to her parents, and everyone knows that they won’t take it seriously; “You’re welcome.”

“You can’t protect me from the world forever, Bri.” No, maybe she won’t be able to protect the tiny blonde from the world forever. What she can do, though, is protect the world from corruption. Jasmine might be her best friend but Brianna is classifying this as just another act of justice. Boys need to stop harassing girls.

As it turns out, Nate complains to the office about the “outburst,” and Brianna’s arguments land her in detention. Her mother has already called twice and yelled at the staff, requesting a meeting with the principle. The detention will be served by then so she’s really just trying to be an inconvenience to the staff. Brianna and her mother are very much alike in that respect.

After detention is over, Brianna tells her mother she’s going to drop her work back in her locker since she got everything done for the night. On her way she overhears a conversation that she simply cannot resist eavesdropping on for the duration…

A guy and a girl are arguing about something. She tells him to please stop asking her out, that she’s said ‘no’ several times already. It would seem someone got their voice at lunch. Pride swells in Brianna’s chest.

“But you didn’t say ‘no!’ You just said ‘not right now.’ Not the same thing!” Sounds as if the boy is being a whiner.

“Well this is me telling you ‘no.’ I don’t want to date you.” Brianna peers around the corner just to see who is talking, and she is certain her heart bursts inside of her chest cavity. At the end of the hall, picking stuff out of her own locker is Jasmine. She is turning Nate down on her own. Baby bird is exiting the nest, apparently.

“You are just as bad as your feminist freak friend Brianna.” Nate storms off, slamming Jasmine’s locker shut as he leaves. For a second Brianna thinks she sees her friend starting to cry. It ends up being a laugh, though. Her tips curl up and her bangs fall over her eyes. Jasmine starts at a low giggle and it turns into a full on cackle.

Pretending as if she hasn’t heard anything leading up to the laughter, Brianna bounces around the corner as if she’d not just been standing still; “What’s so funny, huh?”

But of course – the funny thing is that Jasmine realized the truth: No does still mean no.

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