During junior year, the big story arc is always about the upcoming Prom. So many questions are always asked about it – Where is it? What day is it? Who’s going? Who isn’t going? Who’s going with who? – And I honestly couldn’t have cared less at the beginning of my junior year.
I am not a Prom-going type. I do not like to dress fancy, I do not like to wear uncomfortable shoes, and I do not like to waste money on things that were not for my own entertainment.
However, I had to go. My mom asked of very little for us kids to do, and there were only three things she said to me at the beginning of junior year:
“You’re going to Prom, you’re wearing a dress, and you’re going to have a date.”
So I had to fake being all excited about it and dreaded having to ask someone to Prom, since I knew I’d have to be the one to ask. “Well, it’s just a necessary evil,” I thought to myself throughout the beginning of the school year.
Then “Josh” came into the picture and suddenly, going to Prom didn’t seem like such a chore. In fact, I actually wanted to go now. My feelings for him were pretty haywire at this time, but to be at a point that I actually wasn’t going to mind to go do something I never would do normally was rather unprecedented.
Now Josh was a grade younger than me, so I had to do the asking. However, I had only one problem: my bumbling shyness. I am the worst when it comes to trying to confront guys I like.
You see, I want to tell them how I feel and I want to be the one who does the asking and such, but I just get so clammed up. I end up a stumbling mess and end up saying something stupid. I am just not able to get it out. However, for Josh, I was more than willing to overcome this fear and ask him.
It was a sunny day in April and I was shaking off the aftereffects of the flu that kept me incapacitated most of the previous week. During that sick week, I realized that I had to (wo)man up and ask him before my on-again-off-again friend “Lori” (currently off-again) would ask him, since she liked him too.
Of course what I didn’t know was that she asked him while I was out sick and he turned her down politely. However, I didn’t know this, so I was under the impression that I had only a limited amount of time.
“Alright, I’m going do this,” I thought to myself that morning while walking with Josh. “All you got to do is just say it...”
Only that I completely chickened out that morning. I would like to claim that I couldn’t fit it into the conversation, but the truth was that I chickened out. When I saw him again at lunch, I was only in the lunchroom for a few minutes since I had to make up a quiz, I think (I could be wrong and it could’ve been another case of chickening out).
I knew that asking him in Band was going to be a bad option to begin with since Lori would’ve more than likely intervened and gotten angry. I went to my friends “Tom” and “Shannon,” whom were dating at the time. Shannon was more than happy to help out and said that I should do it after school.
“I’ll do it,” I said with confidence, then paused for a moment and said meekly, “... Or I’ll wait till Tuesday.”
“Oh Mel,” Shannon said, sighing in frustration.
After Band was the end of school, and the hallways were swarmed with people. I stood around Tom’s locker with Tom, Shannon and his sister “Julie,” as we waited for the halls to die down. I had to stay after to get a Chemistry project done with this one girl “Penny” who was going on the school trip to Italy for Spring Break and needed to get it done soon.
We were going to meet in the library in 20 minutes and work on it then and there. I stood there as I saw Josh coming over toward the lockers from the corner of my eye and I was backhanded by the feeling of nervousness.
“Uhhh... I gotta see if Penny is in the library yet,” I said, walking away, trying not to give away my nervous demeanor.
So I basically went into the library and calmed myself down. I took a deep breath and headed back out there.
“Okay, you don’t have to do it today,” I thought to myself. “Just do it when the timing is right, okay?” As I headed back towards the lockers, I see Josh being pushed by Shannon towards me. I did a facepalm before saying hello to Josh, who was completely clueless about the entire thing.
“What’s up with her today?” he asked me, pointing to Shannon.
“I dunno,” I said, lying through my teeth. “So, I got some time to kill before I meet up with Penny, wanna walk around a bit?”
“Sure,” he said.
We walked together, just talking normally as possible. I’m sure my tone of voice was twinged in fear and uncertainty, but I didn’t let it get to me. I kept trying to find the right opening to spring the question on him, but the timing was all wrong. I tried to formulate what I wanted to say, but it was a twisted mess of “um”s and nervous laughs.
I really wanted to ask him, but it just wasn’t the right time. And then, fate intervened in the form of Shannon, Julie, Tom and one of Julie’s friends. They were standing in the sophomore hallway together (having moved from the junior hallway) as if they were awaiting the news. Shannon went up to Josh all happily putting her arm around him cheerfully.
“JOSH! HOW ARE YOU TODAY?!” she said loudly. She then looked over at me and mouthed ‘What did he say?’
Unfortunately, this is where it becomes like a bizarre high school episode of Three’s Company because I ended up mishearing Shannon. I thought she asked me if I asked him yet. Once I gave my response to the wrong question, that was when it happened.
“No,” I said simply
“No?!” Shannon’s face quickly turned to anger and she glared over at Josh. “What do you mean he said NO!”
“He didn’t say no, I didn’t even ask him yet!” I said, trying to keep Shannon from punching Josh.
“Ask me what?” Josh asked, still completely clueless to the entire matter. I was just about to open my mouth when I was interrupted.
“Mel wants to know if you’ll go to Prom with her” Tom said in an annoyed tone, obviously sick of all the dancing around.
I froze, completely in shock. I had no idea how to react to this. I just was so mortified because I wanted to do it myself, but Tom ended up saying it for me.
I was blushing furiously and I kept saying, “I can’t believe you,” as I felt everything going numb for a moment. I then did one of the most ridiculous things that I’ve ever done.
I ran off into the library.
Yes, I ran away. My adrenaline gave me the “Flight” response this time around and it caused me to go run off... for some reason. I have no idea why, I was just so freaked out and I just wanted to crawl into a little hole.
Once I got into the library, however, I realized what I had done and was about to walk outside when Julie showed up to check on me. She had a puzzled look to her face as she asked me if I was okay.
“I really don’t know what the hell I just did,” I admitted, then blushed again “What did he say?”
“I dunno, I just went after you” Julie said as we headed back out there.
While we were out there, Josh was on his way to where he had to go after school, but I think he gave me a look as if to say ‘Don’t worry about it’ while I stood out there mortified. Shannon came up to me initially in a solemn glance, as I prepared for the worst, leaning against the side wall. When she came up to us, she instantly brightened up.
“HE SAID YES!” she said giddily
“.....Wow....” I said taking in the news. I leaned against the wall, just trying to fathom what happened and unsure if I should punch Tom or hug him for his actions.
That was when Penny finally spotted us, wondering what the big commotion was. When we told her, she was happy for me, but then in shock when she learned that it wasn’t how she thought it was.
So anyways, Penny and I left for the library to try to get the project done, only that I was so distracted by everything that we only got our sources together and the beginning of it. It also didn’t help that Lori was in the library as well and I was trying so hard not to say anything to her about it, because I was fairly sure she was going to kill me.
Shannon and Julie, however, came into the library and they teamed up with Penny to break the news by loudly overacting about the news. Lori came up to us, not looking very thrilled.
“Please tell me that you’re lying,” she said, glaring at me.
“N-no” I said meekly.
“How could he say no to me but yes to YOU?!” she said, scoffing.
“I only asked,” I responded sharply to her. I was pissed off at the way she said that to me, as if I was so much further below her on some imaginary social standing she goes by. I honestly had no idea she asked him beforehand until this moment, so it wasn’t malicious at all.
Things calmed down as I realized that I had to get going. Right before I left to go home, I spotted Josh in the lobby of the school.
“Finally a moment alone,” I thought as I went up with Josh. I decided to finally just get the answer straight from the horse’s mouth. It was a given that we were going together, but I wanted actual solid confirmation. I nervously fiddled with my hat as I looked up at him.
“So... You don’t mind going to Prom with me?” I asked shyly
“No, I don’t mind at all” he said with a smile.
We talked a little more before I looked at the clock and realized that my mom was probably waiting for me outside. I said bye to him and headed outside to look for my mom’s car. I hummed the Final Fantasy victory theme to myself as I skipped outside. When I spotted my mom’s car, I booked it to the car, antsy to tell her what had happened. I had one hell of a story to tell her, after all.
Things went well with Josh at Prom and... Well that’s another story for another time. And while Josh and I didn’t last long, I still love to tell this story whenever I get the chance to. Usually I try to tell it as a lesson to others on how NOT to ask someone to Prom.
While the story is a funny one, I wouldn’t recommend anybody doing this. So I guess the moral of the story is that we’re all freaked out about these things and to not freak out like I do if something goes a little off from your master plan.
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