If you asked me what the heck I was thinking the day I asked my best friend to go to the senior prom with me, I wouldn't have been able to explain why I did it. So many reasons why I shouldn't do it, and yet I wanted to have a date for the biggest event of my high school career. Well, aside from graduation, but prom was special for any girl, right?
It was a night of glamour where all the girls got to dress up in beautiful gowns and glittering jewelry. For the first time, the guys got to wear a tux and get a hint of what being a man meant.
Prom was special, but I was pretty sure I'd never find a date in time. Don't get me wrong. I could have a date if I wanted to go with a guy, but I don't like boys in a 'dating' sort of way. I like them as friends.
Why was I so nervous? What did it matter whether she said yes or no to me? It was just a stupid prom, and it wasn't like the rest of my life would come to an end if she said no. Yet, at that moment, it felt like the fate of the entire world balanced on her answer. Also, Hilary Bradshaw was my best friend, so I shouldn't have been freaked out about asking her, even if I didn't like her that way.
"Hey Hilary, I was wondering if you'd go to the prom with me? As my date?"
She blinked her big brown eyes at me, and I fought the urge to laugh because she looked so startled that I asked. Her face dropped.
"Oh Pam, I wish you had asked me earlier." Hilary reached out and rested her hand on my arm. "I told Tommy I'd go with him."
"Are you kidding me? He finally stepped up to the plate and asked?" I frowned at her. "Why didn't I know this? I suck as your best friend."
I winked to let her know I was teasing.
Hilary studied me, and she frowned. "No really, Pam. Tommy asked me yesterday. You had to work last night, and Mom hovered all night, so I couldn't call or text you about it. Then we don't have any classes together, and Tommy has lunch with us."
Straightening, I smiled at her. "That's so freaking awesome, Hilary. I know you've been leading him up to asking you. I just didn't think he'd ever grow a pair soon enough to do it."
She laughed, and I grinned.
"Of course we'll still have fun. You're riding in the limo with us. You just have to find the right girl to ask." Hilary hugged me, and whispered in my ear, "I've been trying to get Tommy to ask me out all school year. I couldn't pass up this opportunity."
I hugged her back, happy that she felt comfortable enough around me; she was willing to touch me. A few of the girls had changed how they treated me when I came out a couple years ago. Hilary was my closest friend, and I'd hung out with her the most of all my friends.
While Hilary always had the best clothes, and took part in all the latest trends, she wasn't stuck up. Also, her support of me wasn't just because we'd been friends all of our lives. She truly believed everyone had the right to be whoever he or she wanted to be.
"I totally understand, and don't blame you. Tommy's pretty cute." I pulled back and winked at her. "You need a ride home today?"
"Yes. Thanks. Mom has to work and Dad's still on his honeymoon." Hilary rolled her eyes as she skirted around the front of my car.
I waited until we pulled out of the parking lot before I asked, "When's he supposed to be back?"
"Not until next week. He promised me he'd be home in time for prom. I think he's feeling guilty about missing Homecoming." Hilary shook her head, causing her long black ponytail to bounce.
"He should feel guilty. It's not every year your only daughter gets crowned Homecoming Queen," I pointed out.
My parents were still together, and seemed to be as deeply in love as they were when they got married. It was a little sickening, but I appreciated that they showed me and my brothers how much they loved us every day. They never missed one of our school events, and family nights might have moved from Fridays to Wednesdays as we got older, but we still had them.
"Hey you want to come over? I can take you back to your house later on." I turned onto our street.
Hilary only lived a mile or two from my house, but more often than not, she spent time with me. With her mother having a new job and her father getting remarried, Hilary stayed with me a lot more lately.
"I'm going to change and head out to the cafe for an hour or two. You want to come with me?" Hilary dug through her purse to get her house keys.
I thought about the homework I had to do, and figured I could take a couple of hours to hang out with her.
"Sure. I just need to change and tell my mom where I'm headed."
We pulled into my driveway. By the time I'd parked and turned off the car, my mom was out on the porch. For as long as I could remember, she always greeted us like that when we got home from school. She grinned as Hilary got out of the car.
"Hilary dear, how are you?"
They hugged, and I smiled. My mom mothered all my friends, yet she seemed to have a special place in her heart for Hilary. I followed them into the house, and while they continued down the hallway to the kitchen, I went upstairs to my room.
I dropped my backpack on the floor next to my desk and opened my closet door. What should I wear? It wasn't like we were going to a party or anything. Finally, I decided on causal. I pulled out a pair of skinny jeans, and my 'Likes Girls' T-shirt. Once I figured out I liked girls instead of boys, I wasn't afraid to let the world know.
Knee-high black boots completed the outfit. I checked my hair and make-up before I grabbed my purse and headed downstairs. I was very much a 'girly' girl, and that had thrown my older brothers off as to my true nature. I laughed aloud as I walked into the kitchen.
"What's so funny, Pam?" Mom looked up from where she sat at the table with Hilary.
"I was remembering how Rodney and Mark reacted when I told you all I was a lesbian."
Both of them burst out giggling. I grabbed a soda out of the refrigerator and joined them.
"Yes. They certainly were shocked," Mom commented.
"They kept saying I didn't dress like a lesbian. I didn't own any flannel or work boots." I shook my head. "Shocking how stereotypical they were about what they thought a lesbian would look like."
Hilary shrugged. "You have to admit you're more girly than most lesbians they've met."
"I can't help it. I like dresses, make-up, and shoes." I winked at her. "You covet my footwear, Hilary. Don't lie."
"Hell yeah, I lust after your shoes. It's unfair your feet are smaller than mine." Hilary pouted.
Mom leaned over and patted Hilary's shoulder. "Don't worry, honey. Boys don't mind girls with big feet."
I spit my soda out, and Hilary's mouth fell open as she stared at my mom. I laughed so hard, I snorted, which drew Hilary's attention to me, and soon she was laughing just as much as me.
"Did you ask her?" Mom nodded toward Hilary.
"Yes, but someone beat me to it. I'm pretty sure she's happier Tommy asked her than me." I blew Hilary a kiss.
"Oh I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm sure you'll find a date." Mom stood and gathered our empty bottles. "Why don't you girls go hang out at the cafe? Your father won't be home until late, so dinner's on your own. I'm almost late on a deadline."
"Thanks, Mom." I kissed her cheek and dragged Hilary out of the house.
"Aside from the fact I've been wanting Tommy to ask me out since school started, I want to be the pretty one in the couple. If you and I went together, you'd be the pretty one," Hilary informed me as we climbed into the car.
I turned to look at her before I started the vehicle. "Hil, you don't have to explain why you said no. I'm not upset. I mean, yeah, I thought we could have fun, but I know you're not into girls. I think one of the reasons why I asked you was because I knew you'd say yes, if you were free."
"Oh, so you asked because I was a safe bet." She raised her eyebrows at me. "In your deepest, darkest wishes , who would you really want to go to prom with?"
Hilary punched me in the arm. "Pam, seriously. While she's beautiful and all, she's way too old for you. I meant in our local sphere, who else would you like to take?"
I started the car and backed out of the driveway. We drove to Hilary's house while I thought about whom I really wanted to ask to prom. While there were a few girls in our school I thought were cute, there weren't any who made my stomach flutter and my skin flush.
"To be honest, there isn't anyone, though I guess I could ask Sandy. She's fun to hang out with, and she doesn't mind the fact that I'm a lesbian."
Hilary shook her head. "Nope. David asked her yesterday, once he found out Tommy asked me."
"Ouch. Does she know she's second choice?" I stopped in front of Hilary's house.
"Oh no. I told David to never say a word about asking me first. Actually, if Tommy hadn't asked me, I wouldn't have gone with David any way. There's something about him. He makes me nervous." Hilary climbed out of the car, walked around it, and leaned in my window. "I'll be back out in a few."
I rested my head back on the seat, and closed my eyes. Since I came out, Hilary's mother requested I not come into her house. Hilary honored her mother's wish, though Hilary told her she wouldn't stop being my friend. Mr. Bradshaw, Hilary's dad, treated me the same as always, but I thought most of that was because he was caught up in his new family.
My family hadn't always been accepting of my being gay. At least my mom hadn't been. My father looked relieved, and said he was glad I liked girls. Less likely to have a teenage pregnancy that way. I wasn't surprised when he said it. I think having a girl freaked my dad out after raising two boys.
My brothers were a little shocked, but fine with it. Of course, they both had gay friends, so they never saw anything wrong with it. While it took a year or two for my mom to come around, she finally got to the point where she accepted me and let me live my life as I wished.
The creak of the car door caused me to open my eyes, and I watched Hilary climb in. She was dressed just like me, only her T-shirt was a solid green. She'd taken her ponytail out, and let her hair hang over her shoulders.
"When did you get so pretty?"
She blushed, but smacked me in the arm again. "Don't be silly. You're the pretty one."
"Oh hell, let's just admit we both look good," I bragged.
Hilary giggled, and I drove us to the cafe. When we stopped at a light, she glanced at me.
"Did you mean it when you said Tommy was cute?"