She was hot! She was hot and she knew it. The table had been ‘guy central’ as guy after guy made the pilgrimage to the shrine to ask for her to bestow even the smallest amount of attention on them. She danced with a few, but turned three times as many away.
Some things never change.
She was hot! She was hot and she knew it. The two girls with her weren’t bad, but they didn’t even come close to her. A steady stream of guys made their way to her table and after a moment or two of conversation she sent them on their way. Football players, baseball players and all of the other types of jocks wanted to sit with her at her table in the school cafeteria, but she turned them all away.
I sat and watched and wished I had the nerve to try, but if she wouldn’t have anything to do with the school’s elite what chance did a bookworm like me have. None I thought; not a chance in hell. Bobby the bookworm. That was me. The kid with the worst case of acne on the planet. The kid who sat in the back of the class room. The shy guy who kept to himself.
Two years went by and Bobby he bookworm had filled out some. The acne had faded, but my face was so covered with scars and pits that it looked like a golfer with spiked shoes had walked across it. I was still the shy guy and I still sat in the school cafeteria and looked across the room to the table where she sat with her two friends and held court.
And then the strangest thing happened. She looked my way, our eyes met and she smiled at me. I knew it as sure as I knew my own name. She didn’t smile in my direction, she wasn’t smiling as she looked off into space – she was smiling at me. The buzzer rang announcing the end of lunch period and breaking the spell and we all got up and shuffled off to our next class. I didn’t have any shared classes with her in the afternoon so I didn’t see her again my first two classes the next day. I thought I saw her glance my way once or twice, but I was probably mistaken.
I was sitting in the cafeteria alone at a table which is how it usually was when she and her two friends came through the serving line. I, along with every other male in the place, watched as she paid the cashier. Next she would look around for an empty table and we would all watch as she and her two friends walked to it. It was the walk that we all wanted to watch. It was the sexiest sight in the world. Even if you couldn’t see the rest of the package the walk alone would give you the hard on of all hard ons.
The cashier gave her her change and she looked around the room. There were several empty tables on the east side of the room and none on the side where I was sitting although there were three empty seats at my table. She turned and headed toward the empty seats at my table and behind her I saw her two friends look at each other in confusion before following along behind her. She walked up to my table, looked at me and said:
“May we join you?”
I was too stunned to say a word, but she knew the likelihood of my saying no was on a par with the moon being found to really be a big blob of cheese and so she sat down. She looked at me and said:
I nodded a yes.
“So tell me Robert, why do you sit here every lunch hour and watch me like a hawk?”
Her friends looked from her to me and then back to her and “what the hell is going on here” was as clearly on their faces as it was in my mind. I was shy, but it was the kind of ‘shy’ that prevented me from approaching people, not the tongue-tied kind of shy when people started talking to me. I smiled and said:
“Beauty attracts the eye. Extreme beauty attracts the eye and holds it.”
She appeared surprised at that. The doofus was not a slack jawed clown? I had no idea what she was thinking at that moment. I wasn’t the kind of guy who was privy to the way a goddess thought. She gave me a dazzling smile and asked:
“If that is true why have you never come over to talk to us?”
“What? Me? A commoner approach the throne?”
She laughed and said, “We could stand a steady diet of that kind of flattery, right girls?”
Her two friends, Carol and Bev, gave half assed smiles that clearly indicated that they had no idea of what was going on.
“Seriously” she said, “Why haven’t you ever spoken to me before?”
“I can turn that back on you. We have been classmates for over three years now. Why haven’t you ever spoken to me?”
“Because I am the queen bee and all the males are supposed to approach me, not I them” and then she laughed and said, “The truth of the matter is that I have been pretty much a superficial stuck up twit. I’m so used to all of the good looking guys fawning over me that I have never paid much attention to guys who look like you.”
There was a sharp intake of breath from Bev and Carol when she said that and she laughed again and said:
“I’m the queen and the queen can say what she likes.” She looked me right in the eye and said, “You know what you look like so you are not surprised that I see you the same way right?”
I shrugged and said, “No, not really.”
“Good. We start off with no illusions.”
“That’s right bubba, start off. Meet me after school and you can carry my books home.”
“Carry your books?”
“A figure of speech Robert. I usually go out the east door.”
Then she switched subjects to who to vote for for the prom king and queen and we talked while we ate lunch. When the buzzer went off she said:
“East door at three. See you there.”
She walked off leaving me sitting there wondering what the hell had just happened. Befuddled yes, stupid no! At three I was on the steps outside the east door when she came out. Bev and Carol were with her and when they saw me waiting I saw the look that passed between them. Each was soundlessly asking the other “Do you know what is going on here?” There was no surprise on her face when she saw me because she knew that I would be there.
She handed me her book bag and I took it. At the bottom of the stairs she turned right, but I took her arm and steered her to the left. She gave me a questioning look and I said:
“Bear with me my queen. All will become clear soon.”
I walked us into the student parking lot and up to a 1993 Ford Mustang convertible. I unlocked the passenger door, opened it as I bowed low and said:
“Your chariot awaits my queen.”
None of the three had ever seen the car before which wasn’t all that odd since I’d never seen it myself before the previous night. It was my eighteenth birthday, but the decision had been made that we would celebrate it on Saturday so I wasn’t expecting anything until then. Mom had told me to take out the trash while she got dinner ready and dad got out the plates and utensils to set the table. I went out the door to the attached garage where the garbage cans were and stopped in my tracks when I saw the Sea Green Mist Mustang with the white convertible top. It had a huge red bow on it and a streamer that said “Happy Birthday Rob.”
I just stood there and stared at it. Mom and dad came up behind me. Mom said, “Happy birthday honey” and my dad said “The color is kind of yucky, but you’re young enough that it can grow on you.”
Mom punched him and said, “Shut up you. It is beautiful and I’m pissed you didn’t give it to me and give Rob my clunky looking van.”
“Couldn’t give it to you” dad said. “You go out driving in that and I’d be beating guys off of you with a stick and I’m too old for that shit.”
Mom laughed and said, “You are kind of old a decrepit. Maybe Rob will loan it to me some night and I can go cruising and find me some stud who can keep up with me.”
Dad said, “I’ll show you old and decrepit” and he picked her up, put her over his shoulder and carried her in the direction of the bedroom as she laughed and told him to put her down.
I held the door so Bev and Carol could get in the back and then she climbed in the front and settled into the white leather seat while I put the top down. I started it up and turned to her and said:
“Where would my queen like to go?”
That was the start of my relationship with Melissa Anne Courtney.
She directed me to Bev’s house and then to Carol’s and told them that she would call them later. Once we were alone she said:
“Why don’t we go through the drive-thru, get a couple of Cokes and then drive over to the park?”
“I hear and obey my queen.”
She laughed and said, “I should have found you sooner.”
“I’ve been here all along.”
“Tell me about yourself.”
“Nothing to tell. I’m a bit shy and I keep mostly to myself except for a half dozen really good friends. Mostly I go to school, study and spend time at the library three or four times a week.”
“Why so much time at the library?”
“I belong to a chess club that meets there on Tuesdays and a book discussion group that meets there on Thursdays. Wednesdays I read books to a group of four, five and six year olds.”
“I notice that you don’t participate in any sports.”
“Don’t care much for them. I’m not into physical competition. I do play tennis with my mom on weekends and bowl with my dad sometimes, but I get most of my exercise in the gym that my dad set up in our basement. But enough about me. Why has the queen deemed this lowly commoner worthy of her attention?”
She was silent for a moment and just as she was getting ready to say something we arrived at the Burger Barn and pulled into the drive-thru. I ordered two value meals and then drove across the street to the park, got out and went to a picnic table and sat down. She took a bite of her burger and a sip of her Coke and then said:
“The truth hurts Robert, but given the way you accepted my comment on your looks I believe you can handle it. I also said that I was a superficial, stuck up twit and it is true, but I had never been aware of it. I didn’t have to be because I was too busy being adored and fawned over. Boys have been flocking to me since I was twelve and I had my pick. If the one I picked turned out to be a toad so what? Just dump him and pick another.
“I never lacked for a date and I didn’t have a care in the world and it might have gone on that way forever if I hadn’t overheard a conversation between my mom and dad. I wasn’t supposed to be in the house. I was supposed to be at a sleep-over at Carol’s, but she got sick and so I went home. Apparently my parents didn’t hear me come in and they were talking about me. My dad was worried about my future if I didn’t change my ways. He commented that all of my boyfriends were empty headed jocks and if you took the last five I’d gone out with and lumped all their brains together they still wouldn’t be able to come up with the sense that God gave a grape. He said that they only reason that any of them spent any time at all studying was because they had to maintain a ‘C’ average or they couldn’t play sports.
“My mom said it wasn’t really that bad and besides I was young and having fun like you were supposed to when you were my age. My dad said that was true, but he was afraid I’d take my taste in boys with me when I went off to college this fall and I’d end up with some meathead whose only ambition was to play pro ball.
“I went up to my room and thought about what he’d said and I realized he was right. The only guys I had ever dated were good looking jocks. A lot weren’t as dumb as my dad depicted, but they were almost all interested in sports and it seemed like that was all they talked about. When I studied it was never with the guy I was dating at the time; it was always with Bev, Carol or a couple of other girl friends. I tried to remember the last time I’d had a meaningful conversation with one of my boyfriends and I couldn’t remember even one. My dad was right. I picked my boyfriends on appearance alone and it dawned on me that the reason I went through boyfriends so fast was that except for looks they didn’t have anything going for them that would capture and hold my interest.
“I thought about it for a couple of days and decided that I needed to see how the other half was. I looked around and there you were. This is the truth may hurt part. I wanted to get away from jocks. I wanted to get away from yummy looking hunks. I wanted someone who my daddy wouldn’t think of as just another meathead and like I said, there you were. Even at that you were the luck of the draw.
“It was night before last that I finally decided to do it and I spotted you yesterday sitting alone at lunch and I thought, “Whoa Lissa, there he is, the perfect guy. Not the best looking and not a jock and he is on the honor roll every semester so when I saw you sitting alone at lunch today I headed for your table and here we are. So what do you think of your queen now?”
“So I am a social experiment?”
“Why don’t we say that you are part of a project?”
“Yes. The project is to try and change the self important, stuck up superficial twit into something else. Are you up to the task?”
She lifted an eyebrow at that and I said, “You said it yourself about four hours ago when you told me that you never paid much attention to guys who looked like me. The problem is that you are not the only girl with that attitude. I’m eighteen and have never been on a date with a girl and not from the lack of trying. I wouldn’t have a clue as to what I could help you do as part of your project.”
“You are pulling my leg right?”
“Not in the least. Never found a girl who wanted to go out with a guy whose face looked like it had been worked over by a cheese grater.”
She sighed and shook her head. “Last weeks Mellissa would have been one of them. I guess there are two projects to work on now.”
“Yep. Me and you. You get to work on the re-invent Mellissa project and I get to work on the turn Robert into a social butterfly project. Maybe they will compliment each other. Can you dance?”
“My mom made me take dance lessons when I was in the seventh grade.”
“Done any since then?”
“With my mom at home. She and my dad used to compete in ballroom dancing events. When he is gone on business trips she wants to dance to fill in her evenings.”
“Okay then. The first step in what I shall refer to as the “Bobby Project” will be to get you out into the company of others on dates. The goal will be to have you ready to shine at the prom.”
“The prom? I don’t have a date for the prom. I don’t even know anyone I can ask to the prom. Every girl I have ever asked for a date has turned me down.”
“Of course you have a date silly. You just haven’t formally asked me yet.”
“You? You are going to be my prom date?”
“A silly little requirement known as “asking.”
I looked at her stunned and she said, “Repeat after me Robert. Will you go to the prom with me Mellissa?”
I stared at her in total confusion. How could this be happening? That the best looking and most popular girl in the school was sitting on a park bench and talking with me was mind boggling in itself. That she was telling me to ask her to the prom defied all logic.
“Come on Robert; you can do it. Just follow along with me. Will you go to the prom with me Mellissa?”
I pinched myself and felt the pain so I knew it wasn’t a dream. I took a breath and asked:
“Miss Courtney; would you do me the honor of allowing me to be your escort to the senior prom?”
“I thought you would never ask. Of course I will. Now that we have that settled we need to go and see your mother.”
“My mom? Why?”
“If she competed in ballroom dancing competitions she knows how important it is for you to be in sync with your partner. We need to have her see us together so she can make comments and suggestions. As you point out Robert I am the queen and the queen will need to reign supreme on the floor at the prom. When would be a good time?”
“I’ll have to ask when I get home.”
She looked at me and I found that she was pretty good at reading facial expressions.
“What are you thinking Robert?”
“I find it hard to believe that this close to the prom the best looking and most popular girl in the senior class doesn’t already have a date, but mostly I find it hard to believe that you want to go to the prom with me.”
“I have been asked by a half dozen guys and I have put them off since I was having a hard time trying to pick between them. I’ve already told you why I’ve never dated any one guy for very long and all the guys who asked me were the same as the ones I kept changing. There were all cut from the same cloth; out of the same mold so to speak. Your senior prom is supposed to be special and I was hoping for something better to come along. Then I did the re-evaluation thing and here we are. As your queen I’m going to lay a quest on you. It is up to you to see that your queen’s senior prom is special. Accomplish this and your queen may grant you a knighthood or kiss you and turn you from a frog into a prince. Fail your queen and she may leave you a frog forever.”
“I hear and obey my queen.”
She laughed. “You big doofus. I should have checked out frogs sooner.”
I drove her home and walked her to her door. She kissed my cheek and told me she would see me at school the next day.
Over dinner I told my mom that I had a date for the prom and told her what Mellissa said about getting some pointers on our dancing and mom told me to bring her home with me after school. I called Mellissa and she told me she had no plans for that afternoon and that she was looking forward to dancing with me.
Mellissa and I shared two classes and they were both in the morning and at the end of the second one she told me to make sure that I saved her a seat at my table during lunch. When I sat down in the cafeteria I thought I saw people looking at me and I wondered what was up with that.
I found out when Mellissa and the ever present Bev and Carol joined me at my table. Mellissa had told the guys who had asked her out that she wouldn’t be going to the prom with them. She told Carol, Bev and a few others that she was going with me and the school grapevine spread the word. After some small talk about what Mr. Anders had covered in third hour Mellissa asked me if it would be all right if Carol and Bev could come with her to my house and I said that it was okay with me.
At three I was waiting for them at the east door and we drove to my house. Mom and Mellissa seemed to instantly connect and after a bit of conversation mom said:
“Okay you two; let me see what you got.”
We went into the family room which had a hardwood floor and mom put on the CD that we usually danced to and started it playing. The first number was a waltz and it became immediately apparent that Mellissa couldn’t dance. I mean she could dance like most teenagers, but she wasn’t up to ballroom dancing standards. I was making her look bad. Not at all what I wanted for my queen. Mom was not the soul of discretion. She flat told Mellissa:
“You need some work honey. Let me show you what it should look like.”
She held out here hand to me and hit the play button again and I took mom around the floor until the tune ended. Then mom said:
“We need to do one of two things here. Either Bobby has to tone it way down or we need to bring you up.”
Mellissa said, “I vote for bringing me up. How do I do it?”
“Hard work honey. Hard work and time. How much can you give me?”
“Every minute I’m not in school. That includes weekends.”
“What do we have? Two weeks until prom?”
Mellissa nodded a yes.
“Okay then. Every night after school and all day on Saturday. If we make good progress we can skip Sundays.” She turned to me and said, “It means that you will be responsible for having dinner ready when your dad gets home. That all right with you?”
Mellissa said, “He cooks too?”
“My Bobby is a man of many talents. Sooner or later some very lucky young lady is going to realize what a catch he is.”
I blushed and mom told me I wouldn’t be needed for the day’s lesson, but to be prepared to work hard the next day. As I headed for the kitchen I heard Bev ask if she and Carol could sit in. I didn’t hear what mom said, but I was pretty sure it would be okay with her.
As I drove the girl’s home they talked about dresses and other prom related things and when I got Mellissa home I walked her to her door. I got another kiss on the cheek and she told me to remember to save her a seat at my table next day.
I was late getting to lunch the next day and when I got there Mellissa, Carol and Bev were already at a table, but the fourth seat was occupied by Ray Hendricks so I found a seat on the other side of the cafeteria. That afternoon at three Mellissa showed up at the east door alone and as we drove to my house she apologized for not saving me a seat at the table.
“Ray sat down before I could tell him that I was saving the seat for you. He started talking to Bev about their prom date so I couldn’t chase him away.”
I shrugged and we pulled into my driveway. We were just walking into the house when I found out why Carol and Bev hadn’t been with Mellissa when she came out of school. Ray pulled up in front of the house and he and Bev got out of his car even as Carol and Steve Miller pulled up behind him. I looked at Mellissa.
“Your mom said she would also work with Bev, Carol and their dates.”
I just shrugged and said, “I guess the queen’s court should look good to” and we went into the house.
Mom was in her element. She had to be a dance instructor just waiting to come out of the closet. She spent the afternoon going through the basics using me as a visual aid until about and hour before dad was due home and then I had to hit the kitchen and start fixing dinner. When dad got home he worked with mom on the lesson and around six-thirty things broke up and mom came and told me that Mellissa was staying for dinner.
Dad pretty much dominated the dinner table conversation asking Mellissa all about herself, her family, what she was going to study in college and what were her goals in life. When dinner was over he said he would handle the clean up so I could work with mom and Mellissa. At nine I drove Mellissa home and as soon as we pulled away from my house she said:
“Okay Robert, give.”
“Why the long face earlier when Ray and Steve showed up with Bev and Carol?”
I was silent for a moment and then said, “I’ve spent most of my school years with girls having little or nothing to do with me and then my fairy godmother took pity on me and waved her magic wand. The fairy dust settled and there you were. That is the only possible explanation for it. And like the fairy godmother only gave Cinderella until midnight I know that I am only going to have a short time with you and I guess I don’t want to share what little time I will have with anyone else.”
She didn’t say anything to that, but then what could she say? She knew it was true. I walked her to her door and she turned to face me with a strange look on her face as she said she would see me at school the next day. She leaned forward and kissed me. Not on the cheek, but on the lips. Then she turned and went inside.
When I got home dad said that he would order pizza for the next day’s dinner and then take over the kitchen chores on Saturday to give me more time to work with Mellissa.
“I think you got a good one there sport and we need to do what we can to see to it that you keep her.”
“Yeah! Right” I thought. Like that could ever happen.
Friday at lunch all the talk was about dancing and prom dresses and my only part of the conversation came when I was asked what dances I thought were likely to be played. I said is was more that likely that half would be waltzes and the rest fast numbers based on current popular tunes and I speculated that there would be at least one each tango, cha-cha and samba.
“Do we have time to learn those?” Carol asked.
“Maybe some of the basics” I replied.
Of course that night Carol had to bring it up and equally of course mom took it as a challenge.
“How hard do you want to work?” she asked. “We can work late tonight and then a full day tomorrow. You will need to be here Sunday most of the day and next week work a couple of hours later than we have been. We have tonight, all of this weekend and all of next week and weekend. I think we can do it, but you won’t have time for much else.”
I could tell that Ray and Steve were not all that interested in doing it, but Mellissa, Carol and Bev were all for it so Ray and Steve got dragged along. It was either that or possibly losing girlfriends thirteen days before the prom. We worked until ten before calling it a night and then I took Mellissa home. We were almost to Mellissa’s house when she said:
“Your queen is pissed.”
“And what pray tell has this lowly one done to upset his queen?”
“We haven’t been on a date yet. We have spent all this time together and have yet to go on a date.”
“This lowly one apologizes, but at the risk of incurring the wrath of his queen he must say that it was the queen who made the decision to fill up all of her available time with dance lessons.”
She looked at me for a moment before saying, “I guess I did didn’t I.”
Before I got to her house she told me to take a left on Jerry Street.
“Why are we doing that?”
“Be patient; you’ll see.”
She had me make a right on Paris and I looked questioningly at her because Paris was a dead end. At the end of the block she told me to pull over and park. I did as she said and then she said, “Get in the back” as she got out on her side and moved to the back and I followed.
“It doesn’t look like we are going to be able to squeeze in a date before prom and I’ll be damned if I’m going to wait thirteen more days to do this. We can’t do it up front because of the bucket seats, center console and gear shift so we will have to do it back here. Kiss me.”
I was going to argue? She broke the kiss and said, “You weren’t joking when you said there hadn’t been any girls in your life were you? If there were they sure didn’t teach you how to kiss. Here, let me show you.”
And she did. After a couple of minutes she said, “Not bad, but we will have to spend some time working on it” and then she sought my lips again. It was another half hour before she told me that it was time for me to get her home. The goodnight kiss at her front door was a little on the intense side and I drove home giving my fairy godmother effusive thanks. It might not last long, but I was going to have some very nice memories.
The next ten days took on a sameness. We spent twelve hours a day on Saturday and Sunday working under the task master that my mother had become. Monday through Friday was school and then after school four more hours of lessons. The following Saturday and Sunday were also twelve hour days. Each night when I drove Mellissa home there was a make out session. Sometimes I got the feeling that Mellissa was waiting for me to do something, but I didn’t know what.
When I got home after taking Mellissa home following Sunday’s session mom told me that she thought that Mellissa and I were almost good enough for competition.
“You’ve always been ready baby, but Mell does need just a little more work. Carol would be too if she had a better partner, but I’m sorry to say that Bev and Ray don’t have what it takes. They will shine at the prom, but that will be because most of the other kids won’t have had the benefit of lessons.”
“You really think that we are that good together?”
“You bet baby.”
I went to bed that night feeling pretty damned good.
That good feeling was with me right up until the end of fourth hour. At the end of our second hour class Carol asked me to meet her outside the east door before going to the cafeteria for lunch and then she took off for her next class without giving me a chance to ask why or even agree to meet her. Curiosity being what it is I was there waiting when she came out. She walked up to me and hesitated. She wanted to say something, but it seemed she either didn’t know what to say or how to say what she did want to say. I tried to help.
“Go ahead Carol. As you might imagine I’m used to hearing bad things from girls. I can handle it.”
She took a deep breath and then she said, “Mell is my best friend and I usually don’t butt into her business, but over the last couple of weeks I’ve discovered what a great guy you are and what a great family you have. I don’t want to see you hurt Rob, but I’m afraid that Mell is going to hurt you. I know why she is spending time with you, but I know her Rob. I know that you aren’t the kind of guy who will hold her interest for long. She is using you to satisfy some need she feels she has and then she will drop you like she has a dozen others.
“I see the way you look at her Rob and I know how you are going to feel when it happens. I guess I hoped if I prepared you for it that it might help some.”
“I appreciate your concern Carol, but I’ll be okay. I’ve always known that it wouldn’t last. At least I will have had prom and that is something that wouldn’t happened before Mellissa took an interest in me for whatever reason.”
“That brings up the other thing. You do know that you will only be able to spend part of the prom with her right?”
“What do you mean?”
“She is bound to be elected prom queen and Dick Harbor will more than likely be named prom king and they will have to spend some time together. The there is the queen’s court and tradition says that she has to dance with all the male members of her court.”
I shrugged and said, “At least in the record books I will have been her date and our picture will be in the class year book. That is something I’ll always have. Come on; were late for lunch.”
That night after our dance lesson I drove Mellissa home and as soon as I pulled out of the drive Mellissa said:
“I saw Carol talking to you today. What was that all about?”
I hesitated and she said, “Come on sweetie; you can tell me. Carol and I are too tight for whatever you tell me to affect us.”
“She says she likes me and doesn’t want to see me hurt.”
“She more or less told me not to let myself get too close to you.”
“Why would she do that?”
“The idea was that if I didn’t get too close it wouldn’t hurt as bad when you dumped me and moved on to your next conquest.”
“And you think that is going to happen?”
“Given my history with the opposite sex why wouldn’t I? You are the queen and I am a lowly serf and we lowly serfs know better than to try and climb too high.”
“Pull the fuck over!”
I’d never heard a profane word from her so I was shocked, but I did pull over next to the curb. She turned and climbed over the center console and shift lever, turned off the ignition and then she kissed me. The kiss turned into a hot make out session. She lifted her sweater, grabbed my right hand and put it on her breast and then she placed one of her hands on my hard cock and rubbed it.
“I’ve never done this with any other guy. Not one of the studs and hunks I’ve dated have ever gotten this. You are special Robert and you are my guy. You are stuck with me asshole so get used to it!”
It was a nice thought for me to carry around even if I didn’t believe it.
Tuesday and Wednesday went by quickly and it was prom night. My mom had picked out the corsage and she handed it to me as I started to leave. I was headed for the garage to get the Mustang when my dad said:
“Where are you going?”
“To get my car.”
“Your ride is out in front.”
I went to the front door and saw a stretch limousine sitting at the curb. He handed me two one hundred dollar bills and said, “Have fun.” When I got to Mellissa’s house and she came down the stairs to greet me she was so beautiful that I almost lost my breath. If I didn’t get to experience anything else I at least got to see that vision walk toward me.
I had to pose for pictures as Mellissa’s mom took twenty or thirty shots with her camera and she told me that she would make a set for my mom as I walked Mellissa to the door.
“You might want one of my queen getting into her chariot” I said as I opened the front door and Mellissa walked out onto the porch and saw the limo.
“Hopefully it won’t turn into a pumpkin before I get you home.”
Mellissa turned and kissed me with a kiss that made me weak in the knees and her mother got a shot of it.
“Would you please make me a thousand copies of that one” I asked and her mother laughed.
All eyes were on us as we walked in. Half of those watching were probably thinking “What the hell is she doing with him?” and most of the males present were drinking in her beauty and wishing they were me.
Mellissa, Carol, Bev, Ray, Steve and I dazzled the rest of the attendees as we dipped and swirled around the floor. Mellissa was indeed installed as Prom Queen and Carol and Bev ended up as part of her Court. The biggest surprise was that Dick Harbor didn’t make it as King. The honor instead went to Mike Ashell who was one of Mellissa’s old boyfriends.
The biggest shock of the night came when it was time for the King and Queen to dance. Mike had this big grin on his face as he walked up to Mellissa while the band started playing a waltz. The smile disappeared when Mellissa reached up, took the crown off his head, walked over to me, placed it on my head and then led me out onto the dance floor.
Just the two of us, alone on the floor with every eye in the place on us. If we had been in a dance competition during that dance we would have swept the floor with the other contestants. We were that good together. When the music finally stopped Mellissa and I bowed to each other as the place erupted in thunderous applause. I found out later that the band leader played the waltz an extra three minutes because we were doing so good he didn’t want to stop us.
Mellissa took the crown from my head and took it back to Mike and then led him out onto the floor for the next dance. Carol walked up to me, elbowed me in the ribs and said:
“Show off. My turn now.”
I danced with Carol, Bev and several other girls that night because there was no way I could keep Mellissa to myself for the entire evening, but I did have her for more than half the night.
There were one or two other highlights. When the band played a cha-cha mom’s students were the only ones out on the floor and when a half hour later they played a second one mom’s students each grabbed a partner from the crowd and led them out onto the floor and tried to lead them through the dance. The same thing happened when the band played two tangos. The first was just mom’s crew and the second was mom’s crew pulling partners from the crowd.
During the second tango I pulled Nancy Neubert out onto the floor and as I tried to lead her through the dance she said:
“Damn Rob. Where the hell have you been hiding?”
I almost laughed in her face. I had asked her for a date at least a half dozen times since we were in ninth grade together and she had always shot me down. I just smiled and kept my mouth shut.
The last dance was a waltz and all was well with my world as I moved around the floor with Mellissa in my arms. As the last note faded she kissed me and said:
“You are a frog no more my Prince.”
My reverie was broken as she sat down beside me.
“Having second thoughts?” she asked.
“Not at all. Just thinking back to the senior prom.”
“I could tell. That’s why I asked you if you were having second thoughts.”
“Not a one. It was just a paving stone on the walkway that led us here.”
“More like two or three.”
“Want another drink?”
“I don’t think so. I told the sitter we would be home by eleven.”
“Okay. I just need to make a quick trip to the bathroom.”
When I came out I saw Mellissa talking to Carol. Carol said something and Mellissa laughed and then Bev said something and Mellissa laughed as Carol stuck out her tongue. They all hugged and I marveled at a friendship that had lasted for over eighteen years; from the sixth grade until now. I’ve had friends and good buddies galore, but I couldn’t think of even one that I’ve been as close to as Mellissa, Bev and Carol were to each other.
I walked up and put my arm around my wife. “Goodnight all” I said as Carol and I turned and walked out of the Landing Strip Lounge and headed for home.