There's faith, hope, and then there's charity. The wealthy girls of Manhattan have sent their used prom dresses to the girls of Barlick Falls, Tennessee. The gym is a welter of gauze, crinoline, and taffeta, in pink, salmon, and midnight blue. The tables brought in from the cafeteria are covered with frothy creations. Three hundred girls are in the gym, in various stages of sunburn from their efforts to prepare for the dance, choosing their dresses from the disorganized piles. It is noisy and humid, and Teresa would like to go home.
She picks up a dress. Size 2. Nope. Another. Size 2. What is it with these fucking Manhattanites?
Her eye catches on a long green dress with sequins on the top. She picks it up. Size 10. Must have been ostracized by her peers, she thinks dryly. Then she sees the note. It is written in teal ink on a Post-it stuck to the lining. “I got lucky in this dress!” reads the note, in loopy, unformed letters, hearts dotting the Is. “I hope you do too!!!”
Teresa closes her eyes, holding the dress to her chest. She thinks of Alan, thinks of his warm mouth on the side of her neck, the way it drives him insane when she lets him touch her through her bra but not under it. She thinks of the last time they danced together, and how she could feel his hard-on through his pants and her dress, and she remembers that she went into the bathroom and rested her forehead against the cool mirror until she stopped shaking.
She goes to the woman in charge, the physics teacher.
“I'll take this one,” she says. “Wish me luck.”