Hopelessly Devoted

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Chapter Eight: Prom night

Tex had been blowing my phone up from the start. It wasn’t until afternoon that I actually answered his call, and told him I was getting ready and that, yes, we were still going. I called the girls and told them that Tex and I would be going in his car for this dance. They seemed disappointed, but I told them it was because we would be running a little late due to Tex’s work with his dad, and we just didn’t want them to have to wait. The truth is…I just couldn’t fathom the idea of trying to act like everything was okay, when it most definitely wasn’t.

I did my own hair and makeup, and then took a long breath before sliding into my dress. I loved this dress. It was one of kind. I went all through three different stores, and just when I was about to double back, and settle for a navy blue strapless, I saw the perfect light shade of pale yellow peeking out of a rack. The dress was shoved in tight with tons of others that had been pulled as old inventory. I tried it on and knew it was the one. The chiffon was light and the fit was perfect. The top was a halter that had additional off-the-shoulder sleeve strips. It was snug and trim to my waist and the bottom cut up high on my right thigh, and then angled while flowing out to the ground. It was beautiful.

I approved of my reflection before going downstairs to be bombarded by my parents and their desire to take a million pictures.

We were supposed to be there at six. When he wasn’t at my house by five I started calling and texting. When I didn’t get a response back, I told my parents I was going to meet him at his place because he had gotten stuck doing something for his dad and was just now getting ready. They said alright, that they understood and to make sure we came back by after the dance so they could get pictures of us together. I assured them we would.

I know it is super bad to lie to your parents, but what would you have done? Said, “Oh hey mom and dad, you know my boyfriend…well, he’s sort of cheating on me…but don’t worry it’s just complicated, and so what and so on.”

Well, no thank you to that nightmare. With a smile to the door, I drove out of the driveway and headed to Tex’s house.

There is this feeling for people like me, maybe perhaps, you have felt this too. I’ve been told by my mother that it is the gypsy in us, our…gut intuition if you will. Regardless of what it is, I just know it SUCKS. The best way to describe it is to have you think of your stomach

and where it is. Not something we put a lot of thought into on the regular, right? Now, just imagine…how you think it would feel, inside, if all of a sudden your stomach just dropped down to your intestines... Can you imagine that? Have you felt something like that before?

Because that is exactly what was happening to me, right at that moment. I was driving, already crying even though I had no idea what was going on, and in an instant my stomach dropped and I knew I was about to die.

I came to the driveway and noticed a little mini coup parked at the entrance side close to the garage. I could have driven in past it, I mean the wrap drive was huge, but I decided to make a u-turn and come back to enter from the other side. I whipped the car around so that I was facing back out the entrance I came. I don’t know why, but I just knew to do this. I got out of the car and had to walk across the driveway, to the porch; across the porch and then turn to get to the steps leading up to Tex’s apt. I climbed the stairs wondering what I was going to say, or trying to think of any plausible explanations for why he would have stood me up. Maybe he was just so tired he fell asleep, or maybe he was in the main house still with his father and T.C. wouldn’t let him leave.

All these perfectly innocent scenarios were dancing in my thoughts, while my heart was scolding me with each beat. Every two thumps telling me…You know (da dum) You know (da dum) You know (da dum)…

When I reached the door, I started to knock…but I didn’t. I let my hand fall, because I was drawn, instead, to the large window around the side. The one above the garage door that Tex and I would stare out of as we lay in his bed together. I would look up at the stars and ask him what constellations were up there, and was that the big dipper or little dipper? My heart fluttered and I slowly stepped from the door to the window.

I looked down into his room. I looked down at his bed. I looked with love at the young man who completed me and made me ecstatic to live my life…the same young man…that was now…killing me, body and soul. My mouth dropped, my eyes flooded and ran over, and finally my chest heaved. I watched as Elizabeth Ewing zipped her dress and put on her shoes. I crumbled as she walked to Tex and gave him a long lingering kiss. I heard her heels click against the hardwood as she made her way to the door. My stomach settled firmly against my intestines as Tex shoved on the pants for his prom tux and tried to dress quickly. He grabbed his watch and checked it. Then, realizing something horrifying, he checked it again. His body turned quickly to snatch his phone. Another burst of realization hit him when he saw the time and how many calls and texts he had missed from me. He looked up and shouted the F word…but in doing so…he locked eyes with me. There was not a sound in the world, except a small mini coup car driving away into the night.

I bolted, and honey…I mean I BOLTED! There aren’t words that could describe how I managed to get from where I was, down the stairs and halfway across the porch before Tex could even make it out the door.

“SELENA!!!!” I heard him roar out into the night, “SELENA WAIT!!! SELENA!!”

I went to run down the porch stairs. I heard the front door opening just as my shoe caught in the bottom of my flowing dress. I fell hard. An instant later his mother was beside me, helping me. She was crying herself and mewling at me.

“Oh dear, oh sweet girl…” she was saying.

I hiked the dress up into my hands and shot like a bullet for my car. I was in it and turning the key when Tex had just made it to the front door, still screaming after me. I never looked into the rear view mirror. I never looked back.

I didn’t see Tex’s father shoot out of the door and wrap his son into his arms, keeping him from coming any closer to me. I didn’t hear his father shout at him to let me go, that it was over and it was for the best. I didn’t see Tex fight with his father until he was wrestled to the ground and held there. I didn’t know that eventually Tex would sneak off in his car and race to my home. I never heard him beg my parents about where I was and if they had seen me. Neither Amber nor Cassey told me how Tex showed up at the prom like a raging lunatic trying to find me and ended up slinging Patty’s hands off him and telling her to buy some panties and wear them for heaven’s sake. Lastly, I wasn’t aware of the worry and fear I caused my parents and my friends…because I didn’t go to prom, and I didn’t go home. I died…and then I drove….for two hours.

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