There’s something magical about prom night, or so my mom kept telling me.

mamma had been going on for days about how the prom was special, how it marked the end of high school and the beginnings of the rest of my life. She’d get this corny look in her eyes, like this babe did when this babe watched old black-and-white videos on TV. I rolled my eyes at her, but this babe made me wonder. Maybe she was right, I thought.. Maybe it would make the papier-mache decorations look good sufficiently to decorate the set of a Spielberg flick, the glitter shine a little brighter, and music sound a little sweeter than on any other night. Then again, maybe it would still look like cheap crepe paper and chicken wire. What made me horny was that I was going to discover out for myself.

By the same token, it made me as nervous as a long-haired cat at in a roomful of clipping shears.

I’d had nightmares for a week in which Dylan and I stood together on the stage having blood thrown on us ala Stephen King’s Carrie, or dodging knives, forks, cleats, and other sharp objects flung at us by the rest of the school.

My nerves were frazzled coz I was worried that somebody might object to two lads going to the prom jointly; that our tickets would be refused. I had visions of protesters waving signs, and riots in the streets.

I always was a little on the over-dramatic side.

It was seven-thirty, and Dylan was due to arrive at the abode at any minute. He’d rented a limousine for the night so that we’d arrive in style. I would have been pleased driving there in his Mustang, but this chab wouldn’t hear of it.

I was dressed, and willing to rock and roll, as the saying goes. mom was even greater quantity nervous than I was, it appeared to be. She’d already straightened my bend tie a half-dozen times, and kept swatting the shoulders of my tux, trying to rid it of nonexistent dust particles.

“Don’t u let anyone give u any lip, Tyler,” this babe said. “But don’t let them acquire you into trouble, either. Just ignore everything anyone might say, and have a priceless time.” once more that babe tried to strangle me with my tie, and flicked at the invisible dust on my shoulders. “Not also precious a time, though. No drinking, and no anything else, either. Promise me, Tyler!”

“I promised a hundred times already, Mom,” I said, ducking away previous to that babe could reach for my tie anew. I went to fridge and took out the cold, clear plastic box that had been stored in there since early that morning. Inside was a deep red rose boutonniere, framed against a spray of white, tender baby’s breath. I couldn’t wait to pin it to Dylan’s lapel. I set it down on the lamp table in the living room to expect for his arrival.

The doorbell rang right on time, and it was race betwixt me and my mother to answer it. Honestly, she was so excited that you’d think this babe was going instead of me.

Dylan stood framed in the doorway, as stylish as ever in his sleek black tux, holding a florist’s box in his hand. this chab smiled at me, his eyes lighting up and sparkling. “Hey, Mrs. Waters,” this chab said, acknowledging my mother even though his eyes not ever left me. “You look great, Tyler.”

“You too.”

“You one as well as the other look so handsome!” mommy squealed, pulling Dylan into the living room. “I need pictures! u two stand jointly over by the window.”

“Mom…”

“Might as well just do it, Tyler,” Dylan said, smiling. “I’m under orders from my parents to receive copies. If I don’t produce pictures of us, my mama will freak.”

We stood side-by-side, fingers touching, until we were half-blinded by the flashes from Mom’s camera. that babe still wasn’t pleased with the number of fotos she’d taken, but if we’d stood there any longer, we would have been late for the prom.

Dylan and I exchanged boutonnieres – I pinned his to his lapel, and he did the same, as Mom’s flash went off like a strobe light. His rose was red, mine was white, but we’d ordered ’em at the same time. I’d insisted that I pay for the flowers and would be paying for breakfast after the prom, since he’d bought the tickets and had refused to take a dime for the limousine. “My dates don’t pay,” he’d said obstinately.

“I’m not some chick,” I’d replied, just as stubbornly. I had my pride, too, after all.

The limo was a long and black, with easily more than sufficiently seating for a half-dozen people. The ride was smooth and seamless, and the driver hadn’t even batted an eye at the fact that his 2 male passengers were holding hands in the back seat.

When we pulled in front of the high school, the doors had already been open for about fifteen minutes and people were streaming up the steps to the gym. Mr. Johnson, the P.E. teacher, and Mrs. Sero were taking tickets at a tiny table set just outside the doors.

Dylan produced our tickets, but Mr. Johnson didn’t take ’em. “Where are your dates?” this guy asked. “There are solely 2 tickets here.”

“My date is standing right here next to me,” Dylan replied. this chab was going into defensive mode; I could hear it in his voice. I solely hoped he wouldn’t argue with Johnson. For a minute it appeared to be that my nightmares had been prophetic. I’d rather have skipped the prom than seen Dylan suspended or expelled so close to graduation for taking a swing at a teacher.

Johnson’s eyes widened, his face turning red. “You’re kidding, right? This is no time for pranks. you 2 may think its funny, but-”

“Just take their tickets, Avery.” Mrs. Sero said, jabbing one of her bony elbows into Johnson’s side. he yelped, shooting her a smutty look.

Dylan and I exchanged a shocked glance. Mrs. Sero? The woman who not at any time passed on an opportunity to give us verbal wedgies in class over the slightest infraction was standing up for us? Who’d have thunk it?

“They’re…together, Edna!” Johnson hissed, as if we weren’t standing right there in front of him. I wanted to rip the cheap toupee off his head and stomp on it. “They’re two boys!”

“Oh, for goodness’ sake, Avery! Step up and join the twenty-first century, will you?” Mrs. Sero said, reaching past him and taking Dylan’s tickets. she ripped ’em in two and handed half back with a smile. I believe it was the first time we’d ever seen her indeed smile in four years.

she should do it greater amount often, I thought. It makes her look so much younger.

“Enjoy yourselves, boys.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Sero.” We exchanged one more surprised look as we turned to leave, but didn’t question soever made her intervene on our behalf. Evidently, nobody argued with Mrs. Sero, not even the other teachers. In any case, we were both grateful that she’d been there ‘cuz things could have gotten ugly if our tickets had been refused.

“Forget about it,” I whispered to Dylan as we hesitated in front of the doors. “Don’t let him receive to you. It’s over and we’re in. Let’s just have fun.” I knew by the way a muscle twitched in his jaw that this guy was still angry.

“I know, I know.” this guy looked at me and smiled, relaxing. “Ready?”

I nodded. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

It was dim beyond the doors, candlelight flickering on the linen-draped tables. Our tickets had us sitting at table eight, seats five and six respectively. We’d be sitting with some of the other members of the track team and their dates, all of whom knew Dylan and I were going jointly. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about any nastiness at the table.

We passed underneath the cardboard cutout of the Arc de Triomphe, looking to the left and the right, trying to find our table. Then Dylan spotted Kenny Silverman waving to us and we headed in that direction.

I could feel eyes on us every step of the way. The music played on, people continued dancing and eating, but I knew they were watching us. waiting for us to do smth “gay” I suppose, although what, I had no idea. Maybe they thought one of us was going to show up in drag, or that we’d start making out in the midst of the gym, or launch into the YMCA dance.

“Hey, you boys look great!” Sheila Robbins, Kenny’s date told. I knew that she’d dated Dylan, too, which made me a little uncomfortable. this babe didn’t appear to be hostile, though, and when this babe smiled warmly at me, I felt much greater quantity at ease.

soon sufficiently we were seated, eating and chatting just as if Dylan and I had been together all of our lives and weren’t the first homosexual pair to attend a prom together at BJ valuable High.

The band struck up something slow and Dylan stood up, gracefully plunking his napkin down on his chair. “Ready?” that guy asked, holding out his hand. “Come on. I desire to voyage the light fantastic.”

Dance? Us? No way! Not a chance!

A hush fell over the room, or at least it did in my mind. I felt as if every eye in the building was zeroed in on us. Then I looked up into Dylan’s eyes and he winked at me.

What the hell…you solely live once, I thought, taking his hand and standing up. that guy pulled me onto the dance floor. The song playing was Melissa Etheridge’s Come To My Window, a slow and hot ballad. There was no fumbling over who would lead – Dylan put his hand my waist, and I didn’t argue. My right hand rested lightly on his shoulder, our other hands clasped together, and our feet began to move in time to the music.

We gazed into one another’s eyes and forgot that there was a gym full of people watching us. There was merely Dylan and me, and for these wonderful small in number minutes no one else even existed. I didn’t desire the song to ever end, but it did and it was then that I realized no one else had stepped out onto the floor – we’d been dancing all alone out there. My heart stopped for a moment, but when people began clapping and whistling, it started beating again, shoving all the blood into my cheeks. I knew that I was blushing furiously, but I was smiling, likewise.

Then the band launched into smth fast and violent. I don’t fast-dance. I never could. I’m all elbows and knees on a dance floor – uncoordinated and geeky. My neck tends to disappear, swallowed up by my hunching shoulders until I look like a turtle trying to duck back into its shell. Luckily, Dylan didn’t seem to mind that I led him back to our table.

After that, the night seemed to fly by. We danced to the slow numbers, sat out the fast ones. We ate, we laughed, and we toasted every other, the school, and the track team with glasses of syrupy-sweet fruit punch. It was one of the best nights of my life.

I felt a twinge of jealousy when the ballots for King and Queen of the Prom were passed out. I’d had a secret little fantasy of Dylan and I being voted Prince and Prince, like a couple of other chaps had been not lengthy ago at another high school in a different state, but we hadn’t been nominated. I got over it quick enough, and Dylan and I voted for Sheila and Kenny.

The night passed far too quickly. Suddenly, it was midnight and everyone was saying goodbye. A bunch of us were going to the diner for breakfast afterward, but it was still kind of sad that the prom was over.

you merely get one prom, I remembered Dylan telling me. One prom, one prom date.

I was so cheerful that he was mine, and that we’d braved our fears and had gone together. I don’t think I was ever as proud of myself as I was that night, walking out of the prom with a group of people who’d accepted us, with the boy I loved on my arm.

I knew then that I loved Dylan. I’d realized it for sure when he’d led me to the dance floor, wanting to dance with me so badly that that guy hadn’t cared at all what anyone else might think.

Maybe I’d tell him, maybe I wouldn’t. It didn’t matter.

All that did matter was that it had been a ideal night.

Categories: Novelette

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