My Fairytale Prom (Didn't Happen)
By Stephanie Lynn, age 24, Massachusetts
As a middle schooler, there was only one person I ever wanted to go to Prom with. I met Chris in my fourth grade class, and when I heard rumors that he liked me, I promptly asked him out. He was smart and an A student like me. He was shy and sweet and even bought me stuffed animals on special occasions. We both had a love for math and science, so I thought we were a match made in heaven. We spent fifth through seventh grade hanging out once a week at our school's Math Olympiad club. I wasn't the best at answering the questions, and his friends could be rather annoying sometimes, but it was cool to spend some time with him.
The end of seventh grade rolled around, and I was starting to grow up a bit. I realized that we really didn't spend enough time together to be considered "boyfriend and girlfriend" anymore. It felt more like we were just friends, so I broke it off. A few weeks passed before I got word of the decision Chris and his parents had made regarding his future. Chris would be spending eighth grade at another school, a private school in a far-off town, so he could concentrate on his studies. I thought I'd never see him again.
Throughout high school, I thought about Chris from time to time, and wondered how his life was at his new school. I decided to spend those years focusing on myself rather than dating guys I knew I'd never marry. I wanted to wait for "the one". I made quite a few guy friends, but none of them were "dating material". To be honest, I really enjoyed the freedom!
When I was halfway through senior year, I was starting to think about my Prom. I wasn't sure whether I would attend or not. I never went to Junior Prom, so part of me really wanted to go. My mother, sister, and I were scouring the mall when I came across the formal dress section in J.C. Penney. A dress jumped off the rack at me. It was a long, navy blue thin strap dress with beautiful sparkles and stars all over it. So I tried it on in the dressing room and fell in love. I had to have this dress! After several minutes on my knees begging my mother to buy it for me, she gave in. It looked like I was going to attend Prom after all!
I couldn't shake the fact that the person I really wanted to attend Prom with was no longer in my life. I hadn't seen Chris since seventh grade, even though I saw his sister and brother at school all the time. In church one day they announced an event that seemed to be "guy-friendly". I thought maybe this would be a cool thing to invite Chris to, so we could start hanging out again. I still had his phone number memorized. After much internal debate, I finally picked up the phone and dialed. I was pretty nervous since we hadn't talked in so long. Thankfully, he was excited to hear from me and agreed to attend the event. I brought my younger sister along, and we picked up Chris and his younger brother. We all had a lot of fun that night.
A few weeks later, Chris and I decided to hang out again at his house. It was getting close to Prom, but I was still holding out hope. My younger sister came since she was good friends with Chris's cousin who was staying at his house for a few months. After hanging with the group, I finally got Chris alone to pop the question. We sat on the front steps staring at the stars and chatting about random topics. I knew I had to ask him now before I chickened out. It was nothing fancy, but he said "yes!" My face beamed with joy. I was so excited that my dream prom was about to come true!
Two nights later I was in my room doing homework, err, planning everything I needed to get together for Prom. Prom was only about 9 days away now, so I needed to buy the tickets before end of school on Friday. The phone rang, and it was Chris. I was excited to hear from him at first, but I could hear in his voice that he didn't have good news. After he paused, I pleaded to know what was going on. "Steph, I ... I can't go to Prom with you." My heart was crushed by those words. I tried so hard to hold in my tears, but failed. He apologized and apologized again, saying he "had another Prom to go to". That didn't make me feel any better. My fairytale Prom was not going to happen now.
In the end, after trying to find a last minute date, I decided not to attend my Prom. I sat with his younger sister at lunch the week of the prom. The interesting thing was, she said Chris was in Ohio that week looking at colleges with his mother. I was shocked and hurt. It seemed like he had lied about why he couldn't take me to Prom. I still wonder where he really was that night. It took a while to get over the fact that my fairytale Prom didn't happen, but things like that happen in life. We hung out only once after that. I've tried writing him a few times since, but he has never responded to my messages.
Thankfully, since then, I've found a wonderful guy who's more than made up for any past hurts. Sometimes hurt takes a while to deal with, but remember that you're not the only one who's ever been crushed by a guy. Guys will let you down again and again, but you will get through it. Stay strong in who you are and keep positive relationships with your BFFs. They'll be there to help pick you up when guys let you down.