Prom – Part Two

Last Time: I recounted memories of meeting and losing my senior prom date.


There I was looking at the computer screen, waiting for a reply from Serena about why she couldn’t be my prom date as planned. A few minutes passed before she admitted that her father’s mother had passed. I wouldn’t be able to comprehend that level of loss for another year, but I already understood the pain of losing a family member.

Sunday flowed into Monday, and even more problems were starting to arise in my tight-nit group. My friend George and his girlfriend broke up – two people who tried to unsuccessfully convince me to go to my junior prom. Another friend’s date also fell through. Not telling them about my problems, my fellow James – James Crabtree – went on a mission to find our friends some dates.

Crabtree found George a date from another school while I helped convince Chris – another buddy who also had a potential date fall through – to go with a mutual friend who had audibly and physically expressed her feelings for him many times. By Wednesday, I had to make a decision whether I would ask someone else out or go to the prom alone. I muddled through the day contemplating my decision. Having set my sights so high with the thought of Serena as my date, I couldn’t bring myself to ask anyone else because I knew I wouldn’t enjoy myself like I would’ve with her.

How in the world am I gonna have fun by myself? was what ran through my mind when Friday’s final bell of the day sounded and I was officially dateless.

It was a humbling experience to say the least. George picked me up in his swank Cadillac with his new date in the passenger’s seat. George’s buxom beauty was a sweet girl who listened to my story and actually made me feel better about going alone.

A group of my closest high school friends met up at a small Italian restaurant to laugh, talk about the craziness of the week leading to the day, and how I could beat everyone at the table in a game of “Street Fighter II” (an arcade stand was sitting in the corner behind us). Thankfully, with the fast hands of E. Honda, I didn’t look like a fool and served everyone.

We arrived at the Marriott Hotel less than an hour after our meal, with everyone scurrying to the photo area. Lacking significant funds after spending the money I would’ve used on Serena to purchase video games to pacify my disappointment, I was unable to buy a good photo package to capture the magical moment of me standing alone, getting my prom picture taken without a date on my arm.

For the next hour, I walked around with a red cup in hand. I had gotten the last cup of Mountain Dew Code Red in the only remaining red cup. It was interesting to see people I knew come up to me thinking I snuck the cup in to have some extra, illegal-at-the-time beverages. I guess the perception wasn’t helped by several of my classmates stumbling up to me, barely able to stand without my help after chugging a few too many before and during the event.

I wandered around the beautiful hotel, chatting away, trying to find some true enjoyment in the night that should’ve been one of the most important of my life thus far. But without Serena on my arm, I just couldn’t get in the mood. At the mercy of my friends’ transportation, the only thing I could do was ride prom out and wait for someone to call it a night early like I already had.

After doing another lap with my empty red cup in hand, I took a seat on a nearby couch positioned some fifty feet away from the dance floor. It was the wallflower club in full effect as I looked around. Shockingly, a lot of the wallflowers were people who came with dates. Things weren’t going too well for them, either. It was then that I decided being a glum sap wasn’t for this night. It was a night for fun, excitement, and dancing!


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