Cindy's Prom

Cindy's Prom

by Melanie Brown

Copyright  © 2014 Melanie Brown

When Steve agreed to give two girls he knew a lift, he didn't know he was going to be taken for a ride.

“Thanks bunches, Steve!” said Kim, one of two high school girls to jump into my car on a clear, cool April Saturday morning.

“Yeah, thanks Steve! With Kim’s car broken, we’re kinda stuck,” said Melody, the second high school girl in my car, riding shotgun.

“Now what did Kim do to her car? “ I said. “I swear, I can’t even graduate without you guys falling apart.” Kim and Melody were juniors last year and I was a senior. We worked together on a science project about robotics and became friends. And just friends, which is too bad because Melody is really hot. I was even going to ask her to the prom but before I could, she told me that I was just like a brother to her. I wound up not going to the prom at all.

Melody laughed and said, “She drove off into loose sand and burned her transmission up.”

“That’s not really funny,” I said.

Kim said as her eyes flashed daggers at Melody, “No, it isn’t. Dad’s pretty hot about it.”

Looking at Kim in the rearview mirror, I said, “So, I just drop you off at the mall?”

Kim rested her chin on the back of the driver’s seat and said, “Can you wait or come in with us? After we’re done with the mall, Melody has to go pick up her prom dress. We’ll only be a few minutes at the mall.”

I laughed and said, “A few minutes at the mall? Don’t make me laugh. Oops! I just did.”

“Yeeesss,” said Kim. “I already know what I want. There are the cutest shoes at Melvin’s Shoe Mart in the mall that are perfect for my prom dress.”

“That time of the year again, huh?” I said.

Melody said, “Yep. We even have dates. You didn’t go last year. I thought you were going to go with Clair?”

“I was, but she changed her mind at the last minute,” I said. “She didn’t go either.”

Kim said, “I hate to break this to you Steve, but Claire did go. She went with Keith Strathmore.”

“What?” I exclaimed. “Are you shittin’ me?”

Melody said, “Nope. No joke.”

Frowning I said, “That little bitch! All this time I thought she was telling me the truth.”

We rode mostly in silence the rest of the way to the mall. I know it shouldn’t have, but thinking about what Claire did made me angry.

We arrived at the mall and I parked my car. Kim said, “Wanna come with us?”

I opened my door and said, “I’m not sitting out in the car on a hot day like today.” We left the car and walked towards one of the mall entrances. I felt a little like a pimp, walking in with a cute a girl on either side of me. I mentioned that to Kim and she punched me in the shoulder.

We did go directly to the shoe store, which amazed me. Well, if you don’t count a couple of stops along the way to greet friends and catch up.

Kim pulled a blue high heeled shoe from the box and said, “Isn’t this the cutest?”

Melody said, “Those are going to be just adorable with your dress!”

Kim dangled it in front of me and said, “What do you think, Steve?”

I shrugged and said, “I think it’s a shoe.”

Kim frowned and said, “Well, technically I guess it’s a strappy sandal, but you have to admit they’re really cute.”

“No I don’t,” I said bluntly.

Melody slapped me on the back and said, “Stay single, Steve.”

Kim put the shoe back in the box, but we didn’t head straight to the checkout. Melody had to look around the store as well. After about fifteen minutes, we finally left with a happy Kim carrying her box of shoes.

On our way out, Melody suddenly said, “Oh! Hey. While we’re here, let’s go to the book store. I need to replace Jeri’s copy of ‘Cindy’s Prom’. My little brother ripped all the pages out of it before I return it.”

Kim’s face brightened as she said, “Oh I just love that book! My copy is now pretty frazzled.”

Melody said, “Yeah. It’s a wonderful book. You laugh, you cry. I didn’t want it to end.”

I said, “What is ‘Cindy’s Prom’? I’ve never heard of it. Sounds like chick book.”

“That’s because it is, silly!” said Kim as we walked into the store.

We found the book case where the book should be. Melody said, “Thank God! They have one copy left!”

Some guy who worked at the store and was straightening out the shelves said, “You’re lucky. That book goes fast and we won’t have a new shipment until a week from today.”

Melody said, “I better grab it then.”

Kim said, “I read they’re making a movie of it. How cool is that?”

“I hope they get the characters right!” said Melody.

As we exited the store, a sudden movement caught my eye. I looked over and saw an old lady knocked to the ground, while some punk grabbed her purse and started running away. Just as I started to run after the thief, I shouted to Kim, “Make sure she’s okay and call for help!”

The thief got a few seconds head start on me, but I quickly gained on him. Within moments, I was able to put my fingers down the collar of his t-shirt. I jumped to get him off-balance and we both hit the floor. The thief dropped the old woman’s purse, got up quickly and ran away. I picked up the purse and walked slowly back to Kim and Melody.

The old woman looked delighted when I walked up with her purse. She took it from my hands. She said, “Thank you so much! All three of you. I wish I could pay you some sort of reward, but I’m just a poor old woman.”

“Think nothing of it, lady,” I said. “We’re all happy to have helped.”

The old woman said, “Well, I wish I could reward you somehow.” She looked at me and said, “Especially you. There’s emptiness in your heart, which is sad for such a good soul.”

I just looked oddly at the old woman and said, “Um yeah. Thanks. I think.”

Melody had taken out the book she’d just bought and was thumbing through it. The old woman’s eyes twinkled as she pointed at Melody’s book and said, “Oh I love that book! You’re going to love that book, sweetie.”

Melody smiled and said, “Oh, I’ve already read it. I’m just buying this for a friend.”

Grinning, the old woman said, “It’s a wonderful book, isn’t it?”

Kim and Melody both said, “Yes.”

The old woman brushed off her clothes for a moment, and then said, “Well, I must be going. Thank you again.” She started to turn from us and then she stopped and said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could live that book?”

Kim laughed and said, “That’d be so cool. I could be Cindy. Melody, you could be Julie and …and Steve could be Katherine!”

Melody laughed and said, “Yeah. She didn’t have a date for the prom either!”

A mall policeman walked up just then and said, “Someone called in a purse snatcher?”

I said, “Yes, this old woman had her purse stolen, but I chased down the thief and brought it back to her.”

“What old woman?” said the police officer.

Kim said, “This…” We all looked around us and she was not to be seen.

*          *          *

The alarm went off. I reached over to turn it off, but I knocked something onto the floor instead. The alarm kept ringing, which is odd because it normally buzzed. It seemed to be on the wrong side of the bed. Am I that twisted around in my bed? The stray light in the room seemed all wrong and I felt disoriented.

Still half groggy, I rolled over to slap the snooze bar on the alarm. Something didn’t feel right. In fact, everything felt wrong. Completely wrong. The clock felt wrong. The button wasn’t where it was supposed to be, but at least the alarm turned off. The sheets on the bed felt wrong. Even the mattress felt weird to me. But that’s small potatoes to how wrong my own body felt. When I rolled over, there was a disturbing shift of weight on my chest. Hair fell across my face.

I sat bolt upright. Weight dropped on my chest and hair slid across my shoulders. What the hell? A strap from the satin nightie I was wearing slid off my shoulder. I was wearing a t-shirt when I went to bed. I reached up and felt tits…my tits! The room seemed to start spinning as I suddenly felt very light headed and I found it difficult to breathe.

This had to be some kind of nightmare brought on by that BBQ chicken pizza I ate last night after midnight. I fell backwards back onto the bed and felt my tits bounce and a strand of dark brown hair fell across my face. I stared up at the ceiling in the pale gray light. My apartment’s ceiling didn’t look like that.

As I lay there, I looked slowly around my room in the dim light. This was not my apartment. Where the hell am I? Why am I wearing a nightie and have tits? If I have tits, does that mean…? I slid my hand down the front of the satin nightie down to my crotch. I found that I was wearing panties. And under the panties…I felt a slit.

Holy shit I’m a girl! How? And where was I? This had to be a dream. You can’t tell reality from a dream when you’re asleep. None of this could be real. I let my fingers further explore the slit under my panties until my finger hit something and holy crap! I never felt anything like that. That seemed real enough.

I jumped when the snooze alarm went off. I reached over and picked up the clock. It wasn’t my clock. It was just after five thirty, a whole hour earlier than when I normally get up. I found the switch that actually turned the alarm off.

My eyes slowly adjusted to the gray light and I looked around in total disbelief. On my bed were several stuffed animals. None of the furniture in the room was mine. The dresser didn’t look like mine, and it was in the wrong place and my dresser didn’t have a big mirror on it. The bedroom of my apartment didn’t have posters of boy bands tacked on them. What in God’s name was going on? I’m a girl in a girl’s room.

On the nightstand where the alarm clock had been sitting, was a cell phone. Maybe I can call someone? Who? Do cell phones work in dreams? I reached over and picked it up. It wasn’t mine. This phone was in a pink case. When I turned it on, the wallpaper picture showed a pretty teen girl and some guy hugging. I punched the phone button and looked through the list of contacts. None of the names seemed familiar.

Then I noticed the names Cindy and Julie. Those did ring a bell. That stupid book Kim and Melody were fussing over. Cindy’s Prom. I selected Cindy’s name and pressed the call button.

“Hello?” said a somewhat confused sounding girl with an unfamiliar voice. “Who is this?”

I said, “Is this Cindy?”

“I…I…it didn’t used to be,” said the voice on the other end.

“Kim?” I said, taking a stab in the dark.

“Yes!” said the girl on the other end. She sounded nothing like Kim. “Is this Melody?”

Frowning at the phone, I said, “No. This is Steve.”

“Steve? You sound like a girl,” said Kim.

Raising my voice, I said, “I am a girl! Dammit! What’s going on here? How the hell am I a girl?”

Kim said, “I have idea. I woke up in a strange room wearing clothes that aren’t mine. I looked at myself in the mirror and I’m not me. I’m scared, Steve. I don’t know what’s happened to us.”

“I haven’t had the nerve to look in the mirror. I’m afraid of what I’ll see,” I said honestly.

Kim said, “Oh wait! I’m getting a call from someone named Julie. I’ll bet that’s Melody. I’ll conference us all in. I think I got this…hold on. Okay, all of us should be on the call. Melody is that you?”

A new voice said, “Yes! Well, I’m now Julie. Is that you, Kim? Are you Cindy?”

“I’m in Cindy’s room. I don’t look like me. Steve is on the line. When he called the id said it was Kat calling. We all have names from Cindy’s Prom.”

Melody shouted, “Yes! Isn’t it cool? We’re in the book! We’re somehow in the book Cindy’s Prom!”

“Horseshit!” I exclaimed. “That’s fucking crazy. And impossible!”

“How do you explain the fact that we’re here!” exclaimed Melody/Julie.

Cindy said, “That old lady! Remember? She said that it would be great to live in the book.”

“That’s right,” exclaimed Julie. “She wanted to reward us for getting her purse back.”

I said, “How? I mean, was she a witch or something? That’s just as impossible as me being a girl.”

Cindy said, “Well, Kat. We’re all open to suggestions. How do you think we got here?”

I frowned and said, “Girl, I have no idea. I mean, this is like so totally impossible! It just can’t happen!”

Cindy said over the phone, “Well, Kat. Just look at yourself and around your room. It happened. It’s real.”

There was a knock on my bedroom door and a woman’s voice said, “Katherine? Are you up? You don’t want to be late for school.”

Without thinking, I said to the door, “I’m up, Mom. I’m getting ready.” Why did I say ‘Mom’? In the cell, I said, “Mom just told me that I’m going to be late for school. Should we even go?”

Julie said, “Yeah, my mom just said the same thing. Of course we should go to school! Don’t you think it’ll be fun? We’ll get to meet all the characters for real!”

Cindy said, “Yeah. Going to school will be a hoot. Julie, I can’t wait to see Kat when she meets her boyfriend!” She then went into a fit of giggles.

“Boyfriend? Oh no. No way in hell am I going now,” I said.

Cindy said, “Oh yes you are! We can’t live out the book without you there too. The book starts about two weeks before prom. We’ll meet at the park. That’s where the book starts.”

Everyone hung up.

I looked around the room and shook my head. I did not like this at all. I hate being a girl. And I hate being a girl without any time to explore my new body. I rummaged through the closet and saw the dizzying array of clothes. I had no idea what to wear. Or even how to wear it.

I opened my bedroom door and looked down the hallway. No one was around. There was a door in the middle of the hall that I hoped was the bathroom. I needed to go really bad. On the counter were several bottles of make-up. I pulled up the nightie and reached into my panties. What the hell am I doing? I’m a girl. I turned around, slid my panties down and still hiked up the nightie.

As I sat there doing my business, I decided that wild horses wouldn’t be able to get me out of the house. I’m not putting on girls clothes; I’m not even going to attempt wearing make-up. Nope, no way in hell! Fuck this stupid book.

I felt a wave of nausea, my vision blurred for just an instant and suddenly I found myself standing on the sidewalk next to a tree lined park. I looked down and I was wearing a lavender pleated skirt, a white blouse with a lavender sweater tied around my neck and shoulders. I was carrying a book bag on my back and a purse hung from my shoulder. I saw Cindy and Julie come walking around a corner headed for me.

What the hell just happened?

As they approached, Cindy said, “Hey girl! How did you get here so fast?”

Julie said, “Wow Kat. How did you manage to do your make-up so well? Have you been dressing on the side?”

I frowned at Julie and said, “Are you serious? No, of course not. I have no idea how I got here with clothes on. Until now I wasn’t even aware I was wearing make-up. Last thing I knew, I was sitting on the john swearing that I was not going to school. That I was going to stay in bed all day hoping this will go away. Next thing I knew, I was here, fully dressed.”

Cindy’s eyes went wide. She said, “Oh wow. I guess whatever magic or whatever brought us here insists we play along.”

Julie said, “But it’s not forcing us to follow the book exactly. I mean, we can move on our own. It’s not like we’re just going through the motions.”

Cindy said, “Well, Kat resisted. I think that’s why it forced her here. Lesson here, Kat. Play along. Don’t fight it, just have some fun!”

“Being a girl and living in a teen chick lit isn’t exactly my idea of fun,” I said scowling.

Julie said, “Looks like you can either play along or be forced along.”

We started walking across the park. Cindy and Julie apparently knew which way to go to get to school.

“This sucks,” I said. “Where the hell are we, anyway?”

Julie said, “We’re in a fictional New England town. It’s still small enough to be quaint, but big enough to have a mall, other teen hangout places. The school should be fairly modern like what we’re used to seeing. And we’re close to a few major cities. Not that we’ll have any chance to go to them. I bet we’re only here for two weeks.”

I stopped and said, “What if it doesn’t end in two weeks? What if this is forever? What if this is who we’ll be for the rest of our lives?”

Cindy said, “It can’t be forever. I mean, this is supposed to be a reward. If it was forever, it’d be a prison in a way.”

I said, “Like yeah! I have absolutely no desire to be a girl for the rest of my life. Or now for that matter.”

We started walking again. Everyone was quiet for a few minutes as we pondered our fates.

As we approached the school, I found I was surprised at how the school looked. It was a fairly modern, single story building. I don’t know why, but I was expecting a little red schoolhouse. Kids were hanging around outside the school. A few were going inside. One boy turned when he saw us and started walking towards us.

I said, “You know. I’m the only one here who has graduated from school. I really don’t want to go back to it.”

Cindy turned to me and said, “Just chill and enjoy yourself, Kat. I mean, how many people get to actually live in a book?”

“Who’s this guy coming towards us?” asked Julie. “Since you guys didn’t look like how I imagined you’d look, I can’t recognize him.”

Cindy said, “He knows us. Look at his grin. He’s wearing glasses! He must be…”

The boy looked like he was heading towards Cindy, but he made a sudden change of direction and came straight up to me. He said, “Hey Kat! Where were you this weekend?” Before I could react, he kissed me quickly right on the lips.

Julie laughed as she said, “It’s Thomas! Kat’s boyfriend.”

Thomas gave Julie a strange look and said, “Of course it’s me.” He grabbed my hand.

I stood there stunned. A boy had just kissed me and taken my hand. I pulled my hand free of Thomas’ grasp and said, “You guys said nothing about me having a boyfriend. What am I supposed to do here? I mean, he just kissed me!”

Looking a bit sheepish, Cindy said, “I keep forgetting you haven’t read the book. We all have boyfriends. I can’t wait to meet John. He’s supposed to be gorgeous!”

Thomas took my hand back and said to Cindy, “What am I? Chopped liver?”

Cindy said, “Oh, you’re cute too, Thomas. But John’s the cutest boy in school.”

Julie said, “Well, that’s how the book described him anways. Hey, my boyfriend Brad is supposed to be cute too. We all have cute boyfriends. We’re the popular girls, remember?”

Thomas looked at Cindy and Julie as if they were from Mars. He said, “What book? What are you talking about?”

Cindy just smiled at Thomas and said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m going to go find John. See you guys at lunch?” She then scampered off towards a group hanging out in front of the school.

Julie grinned at me and said, “Yeah, I’m going to find Brad. Have fun Kat!”

“Hey!” I almost shouted. “We need to stick together!”

Without stopping, Julie turned and said, “No we don’t. I don’t even know what we’re supposed to do before lunch. The narrator follows Cindy so we’re on our own. Enjoy your boyfriend.” She then laughed as she ran off.

Thomas stopped and as he had my hand, I stopped too. He grinned at me and said, “Yeah. Enjoy your boyfriend!” He pulled me close and kissed me hard. Mixed feelings blasted through me. I was completely revolted on one side at the thought that I was being kissed by a guy. And for reasons I wasn’t sure of, his kiss was making me melt inside.

When Thomas pulled away and rubbed his nose gently against mine in the cool Spring air, before I could control it, I blurted out in a soft voice, “I love you, Thomas.” I gave him a weak smile. I was shocked. I seemed forced to say it. Actually, compelled was a better word.

Thomas grinned at me, placed one of hands over my ear and stuck his fingers in my hair. He said, “I love you too, babe. You’re the sweetest girl I’ve ever known.”

Looking up at him slightly, I pressed my lips against his in a sweet, gentle kiss and then smiled sweetly at him. I wanted to run away. To throw up. Scream in this nightmare. But all I did was stand there, looking dreamily into his eyes.

“Come on,” said Thomas. “We don’t want to be late to school again.”

I giggled and said, “No! I can’t afford to get into more trouble!” I wonder what trouble I’d gotten into.

At the entrance to the school, Thomas squeezed my hand and said, “Hey, catch ya later, okay? Don’t forget you promised to help me tonight to write that essay for English .”

I stood there for a second waiting to be compelled to say something again, but nothing came to me. Thomas just stood there looking expectantly at me. I said, “Sure. I won’t forget.” That seemed to satisfy him and he disappeared into the bowels of the school.

I just stood there in the door, unsure of where I was supposed to go. I had no idea what my classes were, and if I did, I had no idea where anything was at this school.

As I stood there, some girl pushed past me with a look of annoyance on her face. She said, “Move, bitch! Sheesh.” She turned to the girl next to her and said, “Some people, huh?”

I stepped inside the school to get out of the doorway and moved to one side. I closed my eyes for a moment and tried to relax. Suddenly I knew just where my class was. If we didn’t act, something here was forcing the issue. It seemed we had limited free will here. We had to follow that stupid book. But every second of every day isn’t accounted for in stories. These gaps had to be filled in somehow, especially for those of us who are only secondary characters.

I still felt weird and also normal at the same time, being a girl. When I thought of it, memories of being a little girl poured in. Background information such as my dad being killed in a car accident by a drunk driver five years ago and how my mom has been struggling to raise me on her own. I remembered my first date with Thomas and how he kissed me on my front porch.

All these memories flooded my brain as I walked to my first class. It suddenly became hard to separate these false memories from my real ones. I had to force myself to know that my real dad wasn’t dead and that it was impossible for me to have memories of having my first period. I still haven’t had the chance to explore this female body I now have.

The classes leading up to lunch were nothing notable. They were just high school classes like I remembered from real life. I apparently was making good grades. I seem to be well liked by most of the people I ran into, but I really don’t have many close friends. I never used to be, but now I’m painfully shy.

I wondered what Kim, now Cindy was doing. She was the central character in stupid girl’s book we’re stuck in. She’s probably having a grand time, getting to live the life of one of her favorite characters. Melody, now Julie is probably enjoying herself as well. For me, I don’t think it was fair of whatever method we were put here to have sucked me into as well. I can think of hundreds of books I’d rather be in than this one. And how are we here? Magic? Really? I don’t believe in magic. Were we put in some kind of group hysteria? Or, this just could be my dream. Kim and Melody don’t have to be part of my dream. But how would I know about the contents of the book? I started to have a headache.

It was finally lunch and as I came out with my tray, I spotted Cindy and Julie. Julie waved at me and motioned for me to hurry over. They both looked excited. I guess they were having a good time.

“Hey guys,” I said as I sat down across from both of them. “How are you doing?”

Julie looked fit to burst. She gushed, “Brad asked me to the prom. I expected him to, but now it’s official!”

I said, “That’s great, Julie. Do you have a dress yet?”

Grinning, Julie said, “Oh yeah. I got my prom dress a month ago. Dad actually growled when he had to pay for it.”

Cindy said, “I got my dress on-line. It’s gorgeous, but it wasn’t any cheaper. John hasn’t asked me to the prom yet. If he knows what’s good for him, he’d better. What about you, Kat? Has Thomas asked you yet? What does your dress look like?”

I felt a sudden sadness wash over me as I looked down at my plate of food and idly stabbed at it with my fork. I said, “I’m probably not going. Mom can’t afford a dress and Thomas hasn’t even mentioned the prom. I don’t know.” I shrugged.

Julie looked shocked and said, “You have to go to the prom! It’s the biggest night of our lives. At least so far. At the bridal store where I got my gown, they had some inexpensive prom dresses under two hundred. We can help you pick one.”

I tried to smile and said, “Thanks. Mom couldn’t afford it if it was twenty dollars. And what’s the point? Thomas isn’t going to ask me anyway. I think he has to work that night.”

Cindy said, “Oh, Kat! I’m so sorry. Look, we want you to go with us. Julie and I will find a dress for you somehow, okay? But you need to work on Thomas. Will you let us help you?”

“I don’t’ know guys,” I said glumly. “You guys do so much for me already. And Thomas just doesn’t seem interested.”

Julie said, “Screw Thomas if he’s going to be stupid and not ask one of the prettiest girls in school to prom! You can come without him. There’ll be boys there without dates.”

“I don’t know…” I said.

Cindy said, “You’re going and that’s that, Kat!”

Glumly I looked at Cindy and said, “Can I get out of this book? I really don’t want to go to the prom especially with a guy.”

Julie just gave me a blank look and said, “Book? What are you talking about? And of course you want to go to the prom!”

Cindy looked blank for a moment, then frustrated. She said, “Just enjoy this opportunity to live a new life for a few days.” She then gave me another blank look and said, “What are you talking about? And, yes, you’re going to the prom!”

*          *          *

School was finally over and I had put what I needed for homework in my book bag. I have to admit, I was feeling a bit depressed. Mostly because of prom of all things. I’d decided weeks ago that unless Thomas asked me, there was no way I was going. No other boy had asked me since I’m sure everyone assumed Thomas would. We’ve been dating for a whole year.

As I exited the school doorway, I heard a familiar voice from behind. He said, “Hey KitKat.”

My spirit lifted a bit when I turned around. I said, “Hey Thomas! I haven’t seen you all day.”

“I’ve been thinking,” said Thomas in a serious tone. “About us, actually.”

“Oh?” I said starting to feel worried.

He walked up to me and took my hands in his. He studied my hands for a few moments. He said, “Yeah. About where we’re going. What it means. Stuff like that.”

I gave him a weak smile and said, “I like where were going.”

He smiled back and said, “Me too. That’s why, KitKat, I want to ask you to the prom.”

I gave him a huge smile, pulling my hands free so I could wrap my arms around his neck. I said, “Oh Thomas! I’d love to go to the prom with you! I was beginning to think you weren’t going to ask.” I kissed him.

Thomas laughed and said, “I was trying to build up the courage.”

Looking straight into his deep blue eyes, I said, “We’ve been dating a year, silly.”

“I know,” he said. “But it’s still a big date. Bigger than our usual dates. Plus I had to beg to get that night off.”

And then, standing right in front of the school, breaking all the rules, we stood there and kissed for a very long time. He held me close and I was in heaven.

*          *          *

I slammed the screen door as I bounded into the house and shouted, “Mom! Mom!”

Mom came out of the kitchen still drying a plate. “Don’t slam the door Katherine! And what are you so excited about?”

I hugged Mom and said grinning, “Thomas asked me to the prom!”

Mom smiled at me and said, “That’s wonderful, honey. But what are you going to wear?”

My smile faded. I looked at the floor and said, “That’s right. I can always wear that dress Aunt Sue got me for Easter last year.”

Mom shook her head and said, “That’s hardly a fitting prom dress. Let’s see if we can find something better.” Mom walked over to the hall closet and opened the door. There were no dresses in the hall closet. That’s where we kept our coats and sweaters.

Mom reached way back in the closet and struggled to remove a large brown box that was long and wide, but not very deep. She placed it on the coffee table.

“Open that,” she said. “There might be something you can use in there.”

With growing excitement I started to lift the top from the box. When I removed the lid, I put my hands over my mouth and started to cry. Folded inside the box, was a beautiful prom dress in pink, my favorite color. Tucked neatly in one corner were a pair of matching strappy three inch sandals.

Still crying, I threw my arms around Mom and said, “Oh Mom! It’s gorgeous! But how?”

Mom just smiled and shook her head. She said, “Don’t worry about it honey. Now you know why I clip all those coupons when I go grocery shopping.” She started crying herself. She said, “Try it on.”

I ran to my room with the box and quickly got undressed and took the dress from the box. I just stared at it for a minute, not believing what I saw. I put the dress and shoes on and walked back out to the living room.

Mom’s face just lit up when she saw me. “Oh Kat! You’re so beautiful! If only your father could see you!” I stood in front of Mom and posed, spinning left and right.

I hugged Mom again and kissed her cheek. She was crying and trying to smile. There was still a sadness in her eyes. She was still an attractive woman, but she just looked tired.

“Thank you so much, Mom! I’m going to the prom!” I squealed.

*          *          *

“That’s great news!” said Julie on the three-way call. “I’m glad Thomas finally woke up.”

Cindy said, “Your mom must have been saving for a long time. That’s awesome she’d do that.”

“Yeah, she sacrificed a lot for me. I’m happy to have the dress, but I still feel bad about it,” I said.

Cindy said, “I know. I know you’ve been trying to get a part-time job for a long time to help her out. You’re bound to catch a break sooner or later.”

“And you got that scholarship so college is mostly taken care of,” said Julie. “Don’t worry. I know things will work out.”

“I’m not sure if I should go to college. I mean, Mom needs me here,” I said.

“If you asked her if you should take advantage of that scholarship, what do you think she’d say?” asked Cindy.

“She’d tell me to go,” I said. “But of course she’d say that.”

Julie said, “And she’d be right.”

Cindy said, “Hey. We have plenty of time to worry about the future. For now, let’s just focus on having a great time at the prom.”

*          *          *

I was watching the clock. It was eighth period and only ten minutes left and it was Friday. Thomas was taking me out tonight and I was excited about that. It was going to be Taco Bell and a movie, but it was also time for just me and Thomas to be together.

The PA system emitted several clicks which always announced that the principal was about to say something. I couldn’t imagine anything important that had to be said in the last ten minutes of the day. Announcements were rare in any case. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked towards the ceiling.

“Attention students,” droned the Principal Carter’s voice. She had a really irritating voice anyway. “I have an important announcement to make regarding prom this year. Due to budget shortfalls, prom is canceled. Repairs to the school due to last winter’s storm dug into several budget items. Since prom isn’t academic, and is basically an archaic event that objectifies our young women anyway, we decided to axe it. That’s all. Have a good weekend.” There were a few more clicks over the speaker.

Some boys laughed. But most of the girls in the class room just continued to stare blankly towards the speaker. After a few moments of stunned silence, one of the girls in the class said, “They can’t do that! Does she know how much I spent on my dress?”

“That’s crazy! Prom is a tradition!”

“Thank God I don’t have to wear a tux this year.”

“This is terrible! I had plans!”

“I wasn’t going anyway. I have no desire to be just a Barbie doll.”

“Nobody would ask you anyway…”

I started to cry, thinking about the dress my mom scrimped and saved for. How could they make such a stupid decision?

*          *          *

Cindy, Julie and I, along with our three boyfriends all sat glumly at a table in Taco Bell. Cindy said we should all meet there after school and commiserate.

“This is insane!” said Julie. “How can they just take away prom? Everyone’s been making plans. Zoe is devastated. She’s been on the decorating committee planning everything for over a month. They’ve even bought some of the decorations. They already have an investment. Why throw that away?”

John said, “I talked to a teacher about it who was at the meeting where they decided to cancel the prom. He said they couldn’t afford to rent the ballroom at the hotel and couldn’t afford to hire a DJ. But, he said the main reason is that Carter hates the prom. He said this cancellation is permanent.”

Cindy looked incredulous. She said, “Can she do that?”

John just shrugged. “Well, she did it, didn’t she?”

Julie said, “My dad was livid after I told him. My dress cost a lot and now I don’t get to wear it. I begged him for months for it too.”

“Yeah. My mom cried when I told her. When I left to come here, she was just sitting on the couch with my dress in her lap,” I said, starting to tear up myself.

Julie said, “I don’t understand how they can say it was canceled because of budget thing? Isn’t that why we buy a ticket?”

John frowned and said, “That’s really just to cover the cost of catering. They lost money last year from what I’ve heard. Then there’s the cost of the DJ, renting the ballroom.”

Suddenly, Cindy slapped the table top we were sitting at, making us all jump. She said, “This is bullshit! You know what? We’re going to make our own prom! We can rent the community building at the park for a day. I think that’s only something like fifty bucks.”

Julie said, “That’s an idea. But how are we going to pay for food and the DJ and other crap? Do you plan to sell tickets?”

Brad said, “Well, I know a guy who does DJ’ing. He owes me. I bet I could get him pretty cheap. And he’s good at it. And my dad actually has a disco ball he got back when he was a kid.”

“You know, instead of trying to cater it, we could ask everyone who comes to bring some food. Either something they made or bought. I mean, it’s not like the whole school is going to show up. If anyone, it’ll either just be us or our circle of friends,” said Cindy.

“Let’s do it,” I said. “It’s better than nothing!”

Thomas gave me a hug and said, “I agree. Let’s do it.”

Cindy grinned. “If we all pitch in twelve bucks or so now, that’ll probably cover the community building rental. I’ll get it reserved for next Saturday. As soon as we’re sure we have the building, everyone get on Facebook and Twitter and spread the word.”

John said, “I know a few businesses that might donate to the cause if we don’t mind putting up some advertising signs.”

Cindy shrugged and said, “If they don’t mind giving us money, I don’t mind putting up their sign.”

Cindy held up her soda cup as if she was making a toast and said, “Guys, we’re going to have a prom!”

I leaned over and kissed Thomas.

*          *          *

Thomas reached over and started to roll a window down. The windows were starting to fog over and it was getting a bit too warm inside the closed car. Thomas was practically lying on top of me as we kissed passionately inside his car. It was Saturday night and we’d made it as far as the mall parking lot where we’d planned to see a movie. But before we got out of the car, I’d kissed him. And then he’d kissed me and we just didn’t stop.

Thomas had his hand up my tank top, kneading my breast through my bra. I was sucking on his tongue. We both were breathing hard. I could feel I that I was getting wet. But as much as I loved Thomas, I just didn’t think I was ready to have sex with a boy yet.

There was a sudden light in my eyes. I looked out the window to see the mall security guy holding a flashlight aimed at us. The security guard said, “Kids you need to find someplace else for that. Otherwise I’ll have to ban you from the mall for a month.”

With the light still in our faces, Thomas disengaged himself from me and said, “Yes sir. We were just leaving.” He slid back into the driver’s seat and started the car.

I just sat there and looked at Thomas as he drove from the parking lot. I felt so lucky to have him. He’s so nice. He’s gorgeous. I just love him so much! After school is over, we’ll have the whole summer to be together. But in the fall, we’re both planning on going to college. And not the same one. I wanted us to stay together.

Disappointment in his voice, Thomas said, “I guess I’ll just take you home. It’s starting to get late.”

I knew he wanted to have sex with me. And to be honest, I wanted to have sex with him as well. Being a virgin, I was hoping for something more special than just “doing it” in the backseat of his car. I admit that I’m a hopeless romantic.

Thomas pulled his car up to the curb in front of my house. He said needlessly, “Well, you’re home, babe.”

I smiled at him and said, “Thanks for taking me out. I had a good time, even if we didn’t get to see the movie.”

Grinning at me, Thomas said, “You’re welcome, babe.”

I leaned over and kissed him. A long deep kiss. I pulled away and said, “Good night.”

He smiled at me and said, “Good night, babe. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow at Cindy’s Prom Planning Meeting tomorrow.”

I said, “Yeah. She got the community building rented for next Saturday this morning.”

I leaned over and kissed him again. We kissed for a long time inside his car before I finally went inside my house.

*          *          *

“I think this is going to be a bigger event than we thought,” said Cindy while we were eating our lunch on Monday at school. “I think half the school has RSVP’d so far.”

Julie said, “I thought it was going to be mostly us and some friends.”

Shrugging, Cindy said, “We weren’t the only ones who were upset about prom being canceled. They still want to go to the prom. And we’re now THE prom.”

“You’re doing a good job on planning this, Cindy,” I said. “You’ve thought of everything.”

Looking a bit sheepish, Cindy said, “Thanks. I sure hope I’ve thought of everything!”

Julie nudged Cindy with her elbow and said, “Hey, why is she coming towards us?” Looking in the direction that Julie had her head inclined, we saw Principal Carter walking in our direction.

“Hello girls,” said Principal Carter. “What’s this I hear that you are putting on your own prom? I really don’t see why? It’s a lot of trouble and expense just to objectify yourselves.”

“Well, we already went to the expense of buying our dresses. We all had our expectations of a fun evening with our dates while following a grand tradition,” said Cindy after she swallowed a bite of her salad.

Frowning, Principal Carter said, “Now look, girls. Prom has been canceled. You can get a refund on your dresses.”

Julie said, “Our prom is a private party by invitation only.”

Principal Carter said, “What’s the point? Everyone in the school is invited.”

Cindy said, “You’re not.”

*          *          *

“I’m not going!” I cried tearfully into the phone.

Sounding incredulous, Cindy said, “What do you mean you’re not going? It’s tonight and we’re all going to be there.”

“I don’t have a date,” I said, sniffling. “Thomas backed out. Said he needed to work and that the prom was stupid anyway.”

“I thought he had the night off?” said Cindy. “How can he walk out on you?”

“We had a big argument last night,” I said. “He got really mad.”

Cindy said, “John and I had a big fight this morning, but we’re still going. He even admitted he was wrong.”

“Anyway, I’m not going. I don’t want to be a wallflower. I’d rather just not go,” I said over the phone as I flipped idly through the channels on my TV.

“You’re going! You, Julie and I are a team. You have to go! It’s our prom!” said Cindy trying to sound upbeat.

“It’s your prom Cindy. Not ours. I see no point in being there if my boyfriend won’t be there.” I started crying again.

Sounding stern, Cindy said, “It’s OUR prom. And you’re going. Even if we have to hog tie you and drag you there!”

“I don’t know…” I said feeling miserable.

“Brad and Julie will pick you up at six thirty. Be ready. Okay? Please girl. I need my besties there.” Cindy hung up the phone.

I just sat there for a minute or two on the end of my bed staring at the phone. Behind me, lying on the bed was the box with my prom dress in it. There was a knock at my door and then Mom entered the room.

“You’re not in your dress, honey. Shouldn’t you be getting ready?” asked Mom.

“I’m not going,” I said bitterly.

Mom sat on the bed next to me. She said, “Why…why not honey? You’ve been looking forward to this night for weeks.”

“Thomas canceled on me! Just like that! He calls and says ‘Sorry, but I can’t go.’ Something about work, even though he said before he had the night off,” I said feeling tears starting to well up again.

Mom patted my leg and said, “I’m so sorry honey. You know Thomas would rather be with you than go to work! They might be short handed there tonight.”

“Whatever his reason, Thomas isn’t taking me, so what’s the point in going?” I asked staring at the floor.

“Well, to be with your friends,” said Mom. “I know they’ll want you there. Cindy put in a lot of effort to make this happen. She’s one of your best friends. She’ll be disappointed if you don’t go.”

I grunted out a humorless laugh. I said, “Cindy’s boyfriend will be there. So will Julie’s. I don’t want to be there by myself.”

“There will be other boys there to dance with, I’m sure,” said Mom.

I looked over at Mom and said, “I don’t want other boys, Mom. I love Thomas. He should be taking me.”

“Thomas can’t help it if his boss says he has to work. Jobs are scarce these days,” said Mom.

“He said he had the night off. And then he doesn’t. If he wanted to be with me, he’d find a way,” I said on the verge of crying.

Mom frowned and said, “In the immortal words of The Stones, ‘You don’t always get what you want.’ Kat, you’re starting to sound like a little spoiled brat. You should go. You have your dress. You have your friends who also love you and have known you much longer than Thomas has. They’re expecting you to be there. I know you love Thomas, but there are other boys in the world. You don’t have to love one to dance with one of them.” Mom’s eyes suddenly took on a faraway look as she said, “Trust me. You’ll regret not going to your prom when you get older.”

“I don’t know, Mom…” I started to say.

“You’re going and that’s final,” said Mom a bit sternly. “You’re running late. Let me help you with your make-up and you’ll probably need some help getting into your dress.”

*          *          *

“Kat!” exclaimed Cindy as I entered the already crowded community building. She hugged me as well as the skirts of our dresses would allow and we both gave each other fake kisses on the cheek. “I’m so glad you came!”

“Thanks,” I said looking around at the crowd in the darkened room. Brad’s disco ball was hung from the ceiling. Only half the room was darkened for the ball to make any effect.

Julie said, “Brad and I practically dragged her the car and her mom shoved her through the car door. I wish we had video.”

Brad grinned and held up his phone and said, “We do. It’ll be on Facebook later.”

“Hey!” I said. “That’s not exactly true.”

Julie laughed and said, “Both of our dresses wouldn’t exactly fit in the car door! I hope we don’t have to pee later. We’ll never get inside the stall.”

Cindy laughed and pointed at the tables in the back of the room. “Well, enjoy yourselves. There’s plenty of food here and the DJ is great.”

Julie said to Brad and me, “Let’s check out the food. I’m starved, but in this dress, I doubt I’ll be able to do much more than munch.”

There was a wide variety of food there. Everything from home-made casseroles to fast-food fried chicken. The acoustics weren’t the greatest in the cinderblock community building so the music was a bit too loud.

Almost the whole senior and junior class showed up. We had strung up lights outside the building as well and people were dancing and milling around outside as well as filling the building. By any measure, Cindy’s prom was a huge success.

I did try to enjoy myself, but it was hard without Thomas being there. Several boys asked me to dance, but I turned them down. I did dance with John and Brad because Cindy and Julie insisted. And I had to admit that I did enjoy dancing with them. I even danced with Julie.

The prom was about half over and I was standing near the entrance talking to a couple of other girls who had no dates either when a familiar figure walked through the door. My heart leaped into my throat. It was Thomas! He wasn’t wearing a tux. Just a sport coat and clip-on bowtie. But I didn’t care what he was wearing.

Leaving the girls I was talking with, I ran over to him. He gave me a shy smile as I squealed, “Thomas! You’re here!”

“Hey Kitkat! I couldn’t miss your prom,” he said. He held out a wrist corsage of pink carnations and said, “Here. This is for you.” He helped slide it onto my hand.

“Thank you so much, Thomas! It’s beautiful,” I said as I took a sniff of the flowers. I looked at him sideways and said, “I thought you had to work.”

“I quit,” said Thomas seriously. “I told my boss if he wouldn’t let me come to the prom that I’d quit. So I did.”

Now I felt awful. I said, “Oh Thomas! I’m glad you’re here, but I wouldn’t have asked you to quit your job!”

Thomas shrugged and said, “It’s no big deal. Mr. Wilson at the hardware store has been trying to get me to come work for him anyway.”

I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him close. I said, “I love you, Thomas!” I kissed him on the cheek and left a lipstick mark.

Thomas smiled at me said, “Would you like to dance?”

Grinning at him, I said, “I’d love to!”

Thomas took my hand and led me to the dance floor. I looked over at Cindy and Julie and they both grinned and gave me a thumbs up. My heart was soaring when Thomas put his hand on my hip and we started to dance. I was so glad I had listened to Mom and my friends and came to the prom.

*          *          *

It was a beautiful, cool evening. Thomas and I took a little walk to get away from the crowd of the community building. The building was at the edge of a park and there was a playground area nearby in the general direction that we were walking. He held my hand and I held my heels in the other hand as I walked across the grass barefoot. The skirt of my dress made a gentle swishing sound.

We walked in silence until we reached the playground. Stopping next to a swing set, I said, “Thank you Thomas. Thank you for coming to the prom and dancing with me.” I know I’d remember this night forever. Dancing with Thomas under the dancing lights of the disco ball, the DJ playing a few slow, romantic ballads.

We stood there, nose to nose, Thomas’ arms encircling my waist. He said, “I couldn’t have missed this. How could I not dance at the prom with the girl I love? It’s a special night for a very special girl.”

I smiled in the dark. The muffled sound of music from the prom drifted around us. “I really need to thank Cindy. None of this would be happening if it wasn’t for her.”

Thomas slid one hand up the back of my neck, running his fingers into my hair. He leaned in closer and said, “You can thank her later.” He then gently pressed his lips into mine.

We stood there in the dark, empty playground for what seemed like forever as we kissed. Long, deep, passionate kisses. Again I felt a wet spot forming in my panties.

Laughing, I broke away from Thomas’ embrace and ran to swing. I sat down, my dress poofing out around me. I said, “Push me!”

“Hey…” said Thomas as he found himself standing there alone. Then with a grin he walked behind me and gave me a big push as he said, “Sure!”

I giggled like a little girl as he pushed me higher and higher. Suddenly he gave me a push a bit too hard and my butt fell out of the swing and I tumbled with a squeal into the surrounding soft sand.

“Are you okay?” asked Thomas as he rushed over to me and knelt beside me.

I grabbed his jacket collar and pulled, making him lose his balance and he fell to the sand next to me.

“You crazy girl!” exclaimed Thomas as he pulled himself over me and held my shoulders. He bent down and kissed me passionately.

Laughing, I wriggled free and got up to run. I made it to the edge of the grass before he caught my arm, spun me around and we both tumbled to the grass. Thomas pulled himself over me again, and stared into my eyes.

“I love you, babe,” he said seriously.

“I love you too,” I said breathlessly.

As Thomas lay on top of me, kissing me, I could feel a hardness pushing into me. He squeezed my breasts and we kissed. My nipples were standing erect. Thomas managed to pop a breast out of my dress and he sucked and licked my nipple. My breathing quickened as he started to grind his still clothed crotch against mine.

Thomas pulled away from me, gulped in some air and said in a breathy voice, “Oh God I want you so bad.”

“I want you too, babe!” I said barely able to breathe. I knew then I was about to lose my virginity. I WANTED to lose my virginity with Thomas. I watched as he quickly undid his belt and unbutton his pants. Before he pulled his pants down, he fumbled in one of his pockets and then pulled out a condom package.

As he pulled down his underwear, his manhood stood out like a flagpole. I had no idea he was so big. I pulled my skirt up, which made it hard to see Thomas. I quickly pulled my moistened panties down while getting short of breath.

Thomas seemed to be taking his time. I pulled my skirt down so I could see and saw him fumbling with the condom. I sat up and took the condom from his grasp. I felt a tingle as I touched his raging hard on and slid the condom onto it. He gave me a sheepish grin as he then leaned into me. I collapsed backwards as he pushed the poofy skirt down.

I couldn’t see much of Thomas and I wasn’t really sure what he was doing at first. Then I felt his penis rubbing against my vagina. His penis rubbed against my clitoris and the sensation was almost more than I could take. And then I felt him push inside me.

At first I was all oh my God I’ve got a boy inside me! And then as he started to cram it inside me, I was more oh my God that hurts! I even cried out in what definitely sounded more agony than ecstasy.

Thomas almost pulled out as he whispered, “Oh shit! I’m sorry babe. I’ll go slower.”

It still hurt, but not as much as he slowly slid his stiff manhood inside me. I moaned and gripped the grass as he slowly started pumping his penis in and out. As his cock moved more freely in and out, Thomas increased his speed. Without thinking, I squeezed my vagina against his cock as he continued to pump me. Just when I was starting to get really into it, he made one final deep thrust and I felt his penis pulse. A wave of disappointment flowed over me when he was finished after barely a minute.

Thomas lay close next to me, his penis slowly shrinking but still pulsing inside me. I was glad I’d stuck that condom on him. And though it was over too quickly for me, I still lay there in the glow of my lost virginity. Still inside me, Thomas moved so he could kiss me.

“I love you, babe,” said Thomas with a goofy grin.

“I love you too, Thomas!” I said gasping for air. I closed my eyes and felt him pull out of me. Eyes still closed, I reached over to touch him.

“Steve!” called a vaguely familiar girl’s voice. It seemed far away. The voice pulled me from what had to be a dream. A totally bizarre dream. I really stupid dream where I’d fallen in love with a boy and had sex with him.

My back hurt. I was apparently lying on the ground. As I tried to open my eyes, I just managed to make out the shape of trees. I was cold and the grass I laid on was damp. Sun glinted through the leaves of those trees and I could hear birds chirping. Why was I outside?

“Steve!” shouted a different girl’s voice. That was Julie…no…that was a dream. The voice belonged to Melody. That’s who it was.

I started to sit up. I was stiff from being cold and lying on dew covered grass. I hoped I wouldn’t get sick. I saw two figures walking in my direction.

“Is that Steve?” asked the first voice. Now I recognized Kim’s voice. I almost called her Cindy.

Melody laughed and said, “Not unless he’s started wearing skirts.”

I finally managed to sit up and saw Kim and Melody walking up to me. Why are we all out here in the park? Where it’s cold?

Kim said, “Excuse me. Have you seen our friend Steve? Tall, goofy looking guy around nineteen or so?”

As I started to stand, something seemed off. I said, “Have you been drinking again Kim? I’m Steve.”

I stopped trying to stand up. That was not my voice.

Melody said, “Oh my God, Kim. He’s still Kat! He’s a girl!”

I looked at my dainty hand with the nails polished. I was wearing a short, tight skirt and a sweater. Long hair was tossed into my face by a gentle morning breeze. On the grass next to me was a purse. “What the fuck?” I shouted. “I thought I had a dream!”

Kim looked at me with a confused look. She said, “We all had the same dream. Or we were all in the book…” Her voice trailed away.

Melody said, “That didn’t really happen, did it? Just group hallucination?”

Kim said, “How do you explain Steve?” She rushed up to me and helped me stand up. She said, “You still look like Kat from the book. Why did Melody and I wake up from the dream normal and you’re a girl?”

Irritated by my own voice, I said, “You’re asking me? How the hell should I know?! How can I be a girl anyway?”

Melody said, “What was the last thing you remember doing in your dream?”

I screwed up my face in thought and said, “Thomas and I were by the playground behind the community building and he…and he…um…we…”

Kim gasped, and said, “You had sex with Thomas? A boy? Oh my God! Maybe that’s why you’re still a girl.”

Melody said, “I don’t think so. I had sex with Brad and I’m not Julie anymore.”

Kim frowned and said, “You had sex too? Am I the only one here who didn’t have sex with her boyfriend?”

Melody laughed and said, “You didn’t have sex with him in the book, either!”

“Can you pipe down?” I asked. “I really don’t want the world to know I had sex with my boyfriend.”

Melody gave me a wry look as she said, “You still love him, don’t you?”

I frowned and said, “He doesn’t exist. So no. And I’m not in love with my boyfriend.”

Kim said, “You keep calling him your boyfriend.”

“Will you stop?” I said, starting to get pissed.

Kim suppressed a chuckle and said, “Seriously though. There has to be a reason. Is your driver’s license in your purse?”

I picked up the purse and said, “I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.” It annoyed me that the thought that the purse was mine and that I’d just casually pick it up.

I opened the purse and found a girl’s billfold. I opened it and there in the center, clear pocket was a driver’s license. I just stared at it for few moments.

“Well?” prompted Kim. “What does it say?”

I shook my head in disbelief at what I saw. “This is insane!”

Melody said, “What does it show for your name? Katherine?”

I looked up and said, “That’d be funny, wouldn’t it. No. It says my name is Stephanie. It also says I’m seventeen. I’m back to a restricted license until I turn eighteen in two weeks. But look at this. My address is still the same. And crap! It’s my student ID card. I haven’t graduated yet apparently. And this…this picture of me, Mom and Dad. Remember my family vacation two years ago when I fell off Pike’s Peak? Here’s that picture of us sitting on that perpetual “It’s cold” sign. But…but I’m a girl.”

Kim shook her head. “This is totally bizarre. I mean. Like, you’re so a girl. But you look like Kat from our mutual dream. And your life is almost your life. But different.”

“Excuse me, ladies?” said a voice from behind us. We all turned around and all three of our jaws dropped. A boy had walked up to us without us knowing about it.

I squinted at the boy and said with surprise, “Thomas?”

The boy laughed and said, “Good guess. But no. My name is Rick.”

Kim stood there, frozen. She whispered, “He looks just like Thomas from our dream!”

I grinned and said, “He does, doesn’t he?”

Melody said, “Maybe it was more than just a mutual dream.”

Rick said, “My family just moved to this town over the weekend. I know the school is somewhere just over that small hill, but I was wondering if one of you very pretty girls would be kind enough to show me how to get there? Maybe show me around the school too.”

Kim said, “Your family moved to a new town just months before school ends?”

Looking annoyed, not at us, but at having to move, Rick said, “Oh believe me. I fought with my dad something awful over it. I didn’t really have a girlfriend, but I had asked a girl to the prom. I really hated having to tell her we were moving. And all my friends…” He frowned and shrugged.

Melody said, “Well, prom here is just around the corner. Maybe you’ll meet a girl here to take to it.”

Rick smiled and said, “Well, I doubt there’s enough time for that. Well, anyway. I’ll try to find the school. Maybe I’ll see you there.”

I blurted, “Hey. I’ll take you. My name’s Ka…Stephanie. Nice to meet you Rick!”

Rick smiled and said, “Nice to meet you too, Stephanie.”

As we started walking towards the school, I turned back around and said, “Hey. See you guys at lunch!” I waved and they both waved back at me. Melody wore a huge grin.

As Rick and I walked slowly towards school, chatting about which students to avoid and hopeful picks for classes, I kept thinking about that stupid dream.

I’m going to have to buy that book.

*          *          *

The End

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