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standing on the edge of morning

10 Aug

I have a confession. Well, it’s a series of confessions, I guess. I mean, if I tell you this one thing, I’ll also be admitting to much more. Uh, try not to laugh:

I wanted to be Prom Queen.

Ha ha ha. It all began in the ninth grade. I was at a new school, and I was hoping my clean slate would allow me to reconstruct my life. TV made me believe that starting high school meant an evolution from geekdom to Cool. But it didn’t happen. After a couple of weeks in school, I made a friend who everyone seemed to like. I thought, Yeah! Maybe I am cooler than I thought. But when popular boys would pull me aside before class to tell me how hot my friend was looking today, my self esteem plummeted. And although things got better when they started calling me Cute instead of Steph Friend, I did not feel like anyone important. But TV also made me believe that people notice the Prom Queen. And that, for the most part, is true. In some ways. Right?
At my school, you can only be royalty once. Each year, the homecoming and prom courts change. As the years went by and I received not a single nomination for anything, I was glad. I don’t think anyone intended to save me for senior prom–there were just so many more worthy people they felt they must crown immediately.
By my senior year I had a solid group of friends and no enemies of which I was aware. I was content. But there was always room for dessert. I feared and craved attention from my peers, but was too timid to seek it. Luckily, on one of the many days I was running from the bus stop and late for school, my homeroom class nominated me for Prom Queen. I didn’t even have to object and run the risk of ruining my chance at Prom Queen like I felt I must if I had been there. Steph was the other girl in my homeroom who was chosen, so I was doubtful my teenage dream would be fulfilled. I tried to make myself believe in the joy of having been nominated, but I knew I really wanted to win. At HBA, we did things differently from TV. Instead of voting for PK and PQ the night of the prom, the ballots are handed out during a school day and handed back in immediately. I must admit that I voted for myself. Even if the teachers were the only ones who tallied votes, I did not want to be humiliated by being the only one with zero.
But during lunch that day, people that I barely knew told me that that I was the one they voted for. I knew my friends loved me, but feeling loved on by others made me even happier. I’m not sure how much longer it was until everyone knew that I had won the title of Prom Queen. It was like a dream, like a movie. Suddenly, even if it was all just a big joke, I was noticed.

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