I hit end on my phone and think of what I should to do next. On the one hand, I should feel devastated and begin pour my eyes out. I should collapse on my bed and not move for the rest of the night. That would be nice, but it doesn’t sound right for me. I should calmly walk back to the room and announce that he won’t be able to come, despite his best efforts, and I probably won’t go anymore. I can already hear what they would all say.
“Sweetie, you already paid for the ticket. You should go, it’ll be fun.”
“Come on, you have to go.”
I don’t know how much fun it’ll actually be though without him. I attended the same formal last year. It was okay at first. The three of us arrived, them with their boyfriends and me alone (I already knew I would be alone, so there was no disappointment). We had our pictures taken, and danced to pop music while the guys looked on. The food was terrible, but we enjoyed complaining about it together. It was all fun, until the slow dances began.
I grab my towel, and head for the shower. Tears still threaten to pour out, but I stop them. I don’t want to seem like the type of person who seeks attention. I ponder whether I should let it out in the shower while no one is looking.
If only he was able to come, I thought. If only his bosses weren’t such jerks! I thought. A fire starts in my chest when I think of them. There was a 50% chance that he’ll be able to come and still keep his job. His tone though, already told me that it was impossible.
The water starts. My hair begins to drown me. My hands move the same way they do every night, but my soul is hundreds of miles away. I don’t know where it is. One minute, I’m in the past, then the future, then outside of my body watching a soap opera. I know no one is around to hear me, so this would be as good a time as ever. I stop myself though.
This is stupid, I thought. I’m just creating more drama than this needs to be. I hate drama. I went out of my way in high school to avoid all the useless drama. All the ‘he hates me’ and ‘she’s so annoying’; I don’t need it. I don’t need it outside and not inside my mind either. I know he wants to come as badly as I do, and making him feel guilty or anyone else feel bad won’t make things better. Even if I really begged him, and he quit his job to rush to my side, I would be one of those selfish preps who have disposable boys. It would be so selfish! He works so hard to help pay the bills in his house and raise whatever he can to go to college, while I’m here watching stupid videos on my stupid computer in between homework assignments. How can I even ask him to spend so much just to come to me for one weekend when that money can go somewhere useful? I’m pathetic. If I worked half as hard as him, then I might be worthy of being selfish.
I make up my mind; I can’t cry. It’s ridiculous high school drama that has no business in the Real World. It’s only a dance and it’s only one weekend. I don’t need the tears. I’m better than that. The emotions soon pass on as I continue to wash my hair and then my body. I think about happier moments in life, and my soul returns to my body by the time I finish by washing my face.
I turn the nozzle. None of the water on my face came from me. I grab the towel off of the rack and cover my face to dry. I try to lift it away, but it sticks. A movie starts and in an instant I hear soft music. I’m transported to a dance, watching so many happy couples dance in the dim light. There’s my roommate, my neighbors, and all my other friends. Our song is playing. I return to the present. One drop from each eye is reflected on the towel. Drama is not for me, so I won’t have it. I step out of the room, all wrapped up. My body is cold, and my heart is frozen.
Kristine Guadagno is a college sophomore from Boston. This is her first piece for Backhand Stories