I was a senior. The prom was coming up. I’d bought myself a ticket because I didn’t go the year before as I wanted it to be special for my last year of high school. The only thing was, I didn’t have a date.
I was (and still am) a romantic. I longed for someone to ask me out on a date. I wanted someone to buy me a rose from the student government on Valentine’s Day and pass it to me in between classes. I hoped for a love note slipped into my locker.
But none of these things happened. This was a devastating blow to me because I wanted all of this and more. I wanted to be popular. I wanted to be included.
Throughout my years in high school, I had a crush on one guy. To me, he was the epitome of what a date-able guy should look like. Plus he looked like Harry Potter. To me, that added a thousand points (to Gryffindor!) in hotness. The year before during prom time I really wanted him to be my date for prom. He never asked me and I finally decided that I needed to brave the storms and ask him out, with the encouragement of a couple friends of course.
The day I was going to ask him to prom, we had a two hour delay. I was frustrated. He was taking college courses as part of his high school curriculum and was only at the high school for an hour in the morning, so I didn’t get to see him that day. I will see him tomorrow in homeroom, I thought, it won’t be that bad.
It turned out that it could.
Later that day I was in anatomy class. Someone who was my so called friend was sitting behind me with a bunch of girls. All of a sudden I heard her say,
“I’m going to prom with Keith.” (named changed, for obvious reasons)
I stopped what I was doing. Did I just hear that right? I thought. But…she knows I like him. She knows that I was hoping we’d go to prom together.
I turned in my seat to look at her in shock. On cue, she turns to stare at me and smirks. “I know you were going to ask him, but I went ahead and got him right from under your nose just because I can.”
For the rest of the period, I endured the girls behind me gushing over how good looking he was and how good the two of them looked together and even into the minute details of what dress she was wearing on the night. I didn’t go to prom my junior year. I couldn’t face seeing the two of them together.
Fast foreword back to senior year. I didn’t have a date and I really wanted one. I hoped that Keith would be going to prom. One day, I saw him come into my work and I decided to take my break so I could sit and talk with him. After a few minutes of small talk, I decided to finally ask him the question:
“Are you going to prom this year?”
He gave a rueful smile. “No, not this year.”
This was disappointing. The one guy I wanted to go to prom with wasn’t going because he already went last year. This was disappointing. We talked for a few more minutes and all too soon it was time to go back to work.
I was in a panic. Now what was I going to do? I didn’t have a date when most of the people going that year had already made plans. One day I was sitting with my friend K. and we were talking about prom. I asked her if she was going and if she made plans. She said she was, but wasn’t planning on going with a date or anything. It was then decided that the two of us would go together as a friend/group date.
She came over early, went out to eat at a pizza place, and then came home to get ready. The night ended up being a blast. We socialized, ate little snacks, and danced. The highlight of my night was being that the foreign exchange student asked me to dance with him.
No, I didn’t get a date for my prom. I didn’t get a boyfriend in high school either, even though it was something I really wanted. Instead, I realized that love can be shared with friends and the people around you. It didn’t stop me from my longing, but being alone was fun too. All I had to do was be myself.