Lil’ Romeo (#44 – Pretending)

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Analyzing the cover: This is actually a pretty good one! Hope gets to be featured for once, as she plays Cyrano in Sean’s attempts to win Kate back. 

Sean’s girlfriend Kate says she’s working on a class project with a guy named Teddy Miller. Sean is slightly jealous. But Kate gets aggravated because Sean barely pays attention to what she’s saying. “Cars and sports, cars and sports. Sometimes I think all we ever talk about is what you’re interested in!” she says.

Teddy Miller’s girlfriend moved away, so Kate listens to him talk about the difficulties of a long-distance relationship as they work on their project. He’s so touched by her advice that he writes a little lame poem about her and how nice she is. The poem makes her FEEL THINGS, which then makes her feel guilty and confused.

Sean tells Kate that he and Peter need to go to the car shop, and asks if they can drop her off at Marnie’s and pick her up when they’re done. She’s offended by his “sexist” suggestion of a clothing store, and instead she waits for him at the bookstore. There, she runs into Teddy, who magically has the same interest in art books as her. She mentions that she’s waiting on “the cheerleader” and is going to be late getting home for dinner, and Teddy offers her to give her a ride back to Sean to see if he’s almost done. Sean is not done yet, so Teddy says he’ll give Kate a ride home. When Peter calls out Sean for being worried about the competition, he plays it off: “She’d be crazy to give up Sean Dubrow.”

Ted writes Kate another dumb limerick, this time mentioning how much better it would be to be on a date than studying. Kate plays it off that she would have more fun on a date with SEAN, her boyfriend, and Ted doesn’t say anything to correct her. Sean rushes to the library to find Kate after she didn’t show up for the end of his cheerleading practice. He gives her a ride home, and she acts fidgety and weird. When she gets out the car, she accidentally leaves some papers behind, which includes Ted’s latest poem. Sean reads it and is not happy.

Sean carries the poem with him to school, and when he runs into the worst person possible, Diana Tucker, he drops it on the floor and she reads it. When she sees Sean and Kate out at a restaurant, she recites the first line of the poem, which tips Kate off that Sean knows about it. She’s pissed, thinking he read it to the squad and to Diana, of all people. He explains what really happened and demands to know why Ted is writing her poetry. She insists they’re just working on their project, and asks Sean to bring her to Ted’s house because they still have work to do. They fight all the way there, and Sean drops her off with them on bad terms.

Ted buys Kate a book of limericks, then offers to take her to Wolfe College, which is named after Margaret Wolfe, the person they’re doing their project on. It’s over 2 hours away, and they’ll eat lunch in the dining hall and watch a drama competition. Ted says he’d love to call it a date, but they don’t have to. Where is this loser’s boundaries? She has a boyfriend, and that would be a terrible date anyway. But Ted is making Kate start to wonder if Sean understands her or even has anything in common with her.

Kate goes to Wolfe College with Ted and has a wonderful day. He again tries to broach the subject of them dating, and she says she needs to have a talk with Sean. Meanwhile, Sean asks Peter to talk to Corey – Kate’s friend who Peter has gone on dates with – to see if Corey knows what’s going on. Corey says Kate is confused.

Kate comes to Tarenton to see Sean, and basically says she wants a chance to explore things with Ted. Ugh. Sean is very hurt and says she should have just called to break things off. He says he’ll have someone else by Monday.

All of the cheerleaders quickly learn that they should just steer clear of Sean, who is miserable, heartbroken, and nasty to anyone who tries to talk to him about Kate. They have a game against St. Cloud, Kate’s school, coming up, and everyone is dreading it. Sean tries to write a poem: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I feel like a jerk, and this won’t rhyme.” Hope suggests he get someone to ghostwrite a poem for him since he’s having trouble doing it himself, like Cyrano de Bergerac.

At the St. Cloud game, Sean spots Kate in the crowd with Ted, and misses the cue for a cheer. Kate comes to talk to him at halftime and see how he is, and he plays it off like he’s great. She goes back over to Ted.

Sean goes to Hope’s house so she can help him write a poem for Kate. Tony rides by on his motorcycle and gets mad seeing that Sean is there. Kate gets the poem from Sean, but because it’s not signed, she assumes it’s from Ted. Ted has actually been a little TOO attentive lately. She liked being the center of his attention at first, but he’s becoming a little smothering.

Through Corey, Sean finds out that Kate is confused about the poem and who it is from, and he loves it. It’s like a mystery, which he thinks Kate will like. He goes to the sports clinic to volunteer, and he sees Kate there. She feels disappointed when he doesn’t bring up the poem and rose she received, so she thinks it must really have been Ted. She watches Sean talking to the kids he’s coaching in gymnastics, and then glances at Ted, who’s reading a book and is only there to be near Kate. Yikes. Get a life, dude.

Tony walks in on Hope helping Sean write another poem. All he hears is Sean telling Hope that she’s special, and he assumes Sean is making a play for her. They end up fighting about it and don’t talk for several days.

Kate gets a limerick from Ted asking her to the St. Cloud dance, and then she gets the couplet written by Hope from Sean. She wonders why Ted would send her two different poems in one morning. She decides to stop by the sports clinic even though she wasn’t scheduled to be there, and she runs into Sean. She tries to ask him about the couplet, but doesn’t quite get the question out, and Sean pretends to be confused. He offers her a ride home, and she asks again if he’s been writing to her. He asks if it would make a difference, and she says she needs time.

Kate gets another couplet, and still isn’t sure if it’s from Sean. Corey makes a comment about Sean having another girl, and Kate feels a stab at the thought. Corey says she doesn’t know for sure, she just figures he would already be going out with someone new. Next, Sean has Corey plant a “bus stop” sign for Kate to remember the time they went and saw the play “Bus Stop.” Kate realizes it must be from Sean and figures out that Corey was helping him. Corey says she likes Teddy, but Sean is better for Kate.

Kate shows up to the Tarenton game and watches Sean “wistfully” throughout. They talk after, and she tells him she was impressed by his poems and the sign. She has felt like an outsider in his life, always tagging along with the squad, and she just needs to figure things out and she still has to go to the dance with Ted. Sean doesn’t let her know that the whole squad has been helping him, and Kate asks him not to tell anyone else about what’s been happening.

Of course, Diana Tucker, who had previously eavesdropped on the girls talking about Sean’s mission to win Kate back, runs into Kate playing tennis and tells her all about how it’s practically been a squad project. “Hope writes the poems, Peter delivers them, Tara buys the reminders, and somebody must have picked up the roses along the way, too.” Kate is pissed that the squad knows everything about her life.

She writes Sean a letter saying she knows everything, and tells him not to send her any more notes. He drives to her house and tells her he’s sorry, he just wanted to show her that he cared, but he sucks at writing poems so he asked Hope to help him. It was never a secret that he wanted her back, and the squad got into it because he’s been miserable and hard to live with ever since she dumped him. He hands her a matchbook from Dopeys, a playbill from Bus Stop, a barrette she left at his house one time – all things he’s saved from their relationship. She laughs and says she believes him, and he begs her to tell Teddy that she’s going back with Sean. She says she will call him Saturday morning, but she still has to go to the dance on Friday night.

Kate shows up to the Tarenton game Friday in her green silk dress from the dance. A note gets passed around until it reaches Sean: “Ted understands why I left the dance; will Sean give me another chance?”

As she leaves the school, Hope watches Sean and Kate kiss and get into his car. She is happy at least one couple got a happy ending, and then Tony walks up behind her. She had written him a note apologizing for getting distracted by Sean’s mission to win Kate back, and now Tony is accepting her apology. Tony unknowingly prophesizes a future Justin Bieber song when he asks, “Is it too late to say I’m sorry?” Hope says that’s all she wanted to hear.

Other notes and quotes

  • Sean is distracted at cheerleading due to his girl problems, and he blames his off timing on Hope being “much lighter” than Jessica. Ouch.

Book Deets
Author: Leslie Davis
Year: 1988
Pages: 149

Grade: A

Next time on Cheerleaders… Mary Ellen is hired as the new cheerleading coach, and the squad is up in arms! Read Cheerleaders #45, HERE TO STAY.

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2 thoughts on “Lil’ Romeo (#44 – Pretending)

  1. Pingback: NOT Hot for Teacher (#43 – Telling Lies) – We've Got Spirit

  2. Pingback: The Best & Worst of Cheerleaders – We've Got Spirit

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