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“Prom Night”

Written by: John

It rained the day of my prom. The
cold bit hard and the wind cut across my face like cow hide whips laced with
glass bits. My traditional black and white tux was tucked neatly and tightly
under my black and red Michelin Man jacket. The rain battered my raincoat so
hard I could’ve sworn my tux got wet despite the coat protecting it. Thirty
minutes of waiting for Chase to come with the car in the pouring rain and
freezing cold is nothing compared to the pain and sorrow I feel at the moment. The enduring rainfall and growing grayness only
served to deepen the gash sorrow had caused. The only color I can see are the
red roses sitting next to me on the red painted bench I sit upon, but even the
bench is losing its paint. Suddenly the cold is gone and the rain has ceased to
exist. My mind goes back to last night, but my body remains an object of the
present. I thank God for the rain because it helps to blend the tears falling
from my cheeks with its innocent water. I place my head in my hands and rock
back and forth. My throat is shut tight and my breath is cut short causing
short outburst of something between a hic up and a cough to result. My face
hurts from contracting it so much but I can’t help it. “I’m so sorry
Elizabeth.” I can barely manage her name out of my mouth. This is the hardest
I’ve ever cried in my life. I’m angry, and cold, and frustrated, and hurt, and
hating myself for all of it. “I should’ve never cheated! It’s all my fault! Please forgive me! God, forgive me babe!” By
this time I’m wailing like an infant and my tears are well distinguishable from
the rain on my face. My face is glowing red with torment. “I hate myself for
what I’ve done!” I violently remove my oversized raincoat and let my tux drench
in the fluent downpour. My brown hair turns black and lays flat over my eyes. I
fall to my knees and let grief overtake me. I sob miserably, my shoulders
reflecting this action. “All I want is you, but I can never-
can’t finish my words. I can’t…

                ‘It was just yesterday.’ I think to
myself. I can hear her voice, screaming at me. “I’m done with you! I hate you
so much! You don’t deserve me you cheater!” I could see more hurt in her eyes
than anger. Shame embraces my body and leaves a huge distinguishable scar on my
face. I know no words will due. I can’t look at her either, her perfect face,
smile, lips, curves. Even her torturous scowl is
blissfully perfect in my eyes. “I love you.” I say barely over a whisper. But
the room is so quiet, she has no choice but to hear
me. “Oh really?’ She responds “Tell that to Gwen. Tell
that to the girl you slept with last night! I don’t love you anymore!” She
walks out the door in a fit of rage. The wind from the slammed door makes me
jump. Even now, all I can think about is how beautiful she looked while she hated
me, and how penitent I felt. The rain serves to remind me that I’m not in the
past, but in the present. A present without Elizabeth.
Even the squeaking of breaks from Chase’s 1980’s vintage Chevy Camaro doesn’t drag me from the depths of Hades’ sorrow. I
remember my friends grabbing my arms and forcing me into the newly polished
leather seated car. After a few spits and pudders,
Chase’s car roars to life. I hear them make a few remarks about me being so wet
and getting water all over his polished leather. Suddenly, like a lightning
bolt I remember the bouquet of red roses sitting on the fading red painted
bench. “Stop, stop the car!” I yell frantically. Out of sheer fright or
obedience Chase stops the car abruptly. I swiftly remove my seatbelt and dash
out the car door. I run like my life depends on it, it
does depend on it. I reach the bench out of breath but scoop up the flowers in
my small wet hands and head back to the car. I jump in, put on my seat, and
shut the door. I become aware of my friends Chase and Eric looking at me like
I’m half crazy, maybe completely crazy even.”Drive.” I say running my left hand
through my hair causing water to fly everywhere. Chase grunts at this but commences
to driving. I stare at the bouquet of flowers the whole ride there. Chase,
Matthew, and Eric talk about their dates, football, school, and other things no
longer significant to me. We drive up behind the school gymnasium where the
prom will be taking place. I sit and wait in the car for the others to leave,
then grabbing the bouquet of flowers I open the back door and cautiously
proceed to the gym. I know everyone will stare, I know they all know of the
tragedy. They will greet me with kind words and try to comfort me, but I can’t
bother with them. I have a date with Elizabeth.

presence seems to attract the faces of everyone in the vicinity, but I can’t bear
to look at anyone. One by one, just as I predicted. “Are
you okay?” One says. “I’m so sorry.” I hear a voice say to me. My gaze is
locked with the floor as I try by best not to spill over in tears. “He must be
going through such a hard time.” I hear a girl exclaim. This and more is said
to me, it’s mostly inaudible. I solemnly make my way to a table in the far back
corner with two seats and a single lit candle. It was a table meant for a
couple. I take the seat furthest from the crowd and sit the bouquet of flowers
down next to the candle. I look across from me, and when I put my heart into it
I can see her smiling back at me. To everyone else I must look like a complete
idiot, to be smiling at an empty seat. But its not empty, because she’s there, they just can’t
see her. I mouth the words “hi” at her and she does the same back. I’m smiling
so hard it hurts. Not my cheeks but my chest. I know I’m on the verge of
crying. I stretch out my hand and I can almost feel her warm petit ones close
over mine. There no stopping the tears now, but I’m still smiling. “I love you.”
She says. “I love you too.” Is my involuntary response.
Her hand touches my right cheek, so warm and intangible. The sobs start to kick
in. “I forgive you my love.” Her voice is so heartbreakingly kind and gentle it
melts my heart into lava that burns my stomach. My bottom lip trembles so hard
that words refuse to form. Everything turns into a huge watery blur and she disappears.
The single flame illuminates the ruby red roses and part of my face is caught
within the glow’s radius. “I told myself I wouldn’t cry.” I tell the vacant
chair. “I told myself –sob- I told myself I could be strong.” More sobbing. “I said I wouldn’t cry. Oh God, I love you so
much Elizabeth. I love you so much baby and I’m so so
so sorry.” I manage to regain some composition. “I-I-I
told Gwen…that I won’t be seeing her anymore.” I stutter. My eyes have been cast
upon the red and white table cloth I just now realize. I make strong efforts to
return my gaze to Elizabeth. “I still love you.” I can’t stop weeping. “And I’ve
always loved you. I don’t know what I was thinking when I cheated. And it’s all my fault. If I had never cheated, then you’d still
be-you’d still be-“My mind, body, and soul is overwhelmed by anguish and pain.
I don’t realize the empty gymnasium nor the fact that
all the lights except for my candle are out. Just me in a
dark lit corner, a candle, empty chair, and a bouquet of flowers.
I pull
out my phone and go to my last voice message. “Hey
babe, it’s me Elisabeth. I want to apologize for the way I acted and I want you
to know that I still love you and am willing to work things out. I still think
you’re a great guy and I feel bad for how I treated you. I guess it’s just all
the pressure from work, home, and school. I let them all out on you, and I
shouldn’t have. I’m on my way home right now; you won’t believe how much
traffic is out on the road tonight. I love you so much, and I look forward to
an awesome prom and second year anniversary. Happy anniversary babe –kissy sounds-
I love you. OH MY GOD!!!
unmistakable sounds of fiberglass on fiberglass and the screeching of last
minutes breaks is heard before nothing. My face is
soaked in darkness but the candle light manages to reflect the clear silver
tears streaming from my face. I replay the message. This is the twentieth time

What would you do in his situation?
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Submitted on
May 4, 2013
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