Okay, ya'll, one more chapter to wrap everything up.
I growled in frustration as the zipper to my dress slipped from my fingers once again. Throwing my hands in the air in defeat, I plopped into the vanity chair with an angry huff. There was a soft knock at the door, and once I barked a "Come in," Danny stepped in.
The sight immediately made me laugh. "Shut up." He muttered, glaring at me. I couldn't stop, though. I was already doubled over in laughter. He was wearing a three-size too big, navy blue suit, pinstriped with a lighter blue. A large, silk carnation was pinned to his right breast pocket.
"I feel…"-Pause for guffaw-"So sorry for you." I managed to walk over to him, leaning on him so I wouldn't fall.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," He began sarcastically. "I just look so horrible."
I nodded, my laughter dying, and tugged him out of the room. "Come on. There might be something that fits better in my parents' closet." I chuckled when I heard him mutter something that sounded very similar to "Thank God." We walked downstairs and into my parents' bedroom. I grinned when I saw one of the maids crane her neck to follow us in.
"Okay," I said, dragging him into their walk-in closet and walking to my father's side. "Let's see what we can find…" I rifled through the numerous suits, shaking my head as I passed over one with tacky fur lining. I brushed over a dark violet one looking at Danny and then wrinkling my nose in disgust. "No, not that one." I muttered, turning back to the wall of suits. I flipped through them for a few moments before I jumped in surprise. Danny had obviously found that my zipper hadn't been zipped up yet and taken the liberty himself. His fingers brushed against my exposed skin and lingered a little longer than necessary at the base of my neck, but then retreated without a word.
"Thanks." I murmured, pulling out a midnight blue suit. "What do you think about this one?" I asked, immediately fixing my voice when it wavered a little.
He cocked his head to the side, contemplating this. "Do you think it'll fit?" he asked after a moment.
I craned my neck to look over it. "It might be a little loose around the waist, but that doesn't matter." A blush crept up to my cheeks as soon as the words were out of my mouth. "I meant-" I began, raising my other hand in protest.
"I know." Danny said, taking his turn to laugh at my expense. I stuck my tongue out at him and handed him the suit, muttering that I had to finish getting ready and began to leave. Once I was out, and he had the door just barely cracked, he called after me. "You look really pretty tonight, Sam."
I smiled, but continued walking out and upstairs. I should, seeing as I spent four hours at the salon earlier for her to just paint my nails and then curl my hair into loose locks.
As he changed, I went back upstairs to finish getting ready. My shoes, a pair of strappy heels, were sitting in their box by my bed. I shuffled over to it, sitting down and pulling the left one out. I put it on, following with the next, and stood, walking over to the vanity to grab my clutch. With a quick glance towards the vanity, I walked out, almost bumping into Danny.
"Oh! Sorry, Sam!" He said, saving me from a nasty trip. "Don't want you falling in those shoes…" He looked down at them, cringing. "Don't those hurt?"
I shrugged, letting go of his support. "Not really. Now, we've got to go. The limo should be pulling up any minute."
He nodded, allowing himself to be dragged out. I blushed as I passed the bathroom and noticed I had left the cabinet open, revealing a box of tampons. My period, as if on cue, had come earlier this afternoon, while I was at the salon. I pushed Danny ahead. "Go down; I'll be there in a second." While he started down the stairs, I darted over to the bathroom, blushing as I closed the gaping cabinet.
He was barely down the stairs before I caught up to him, and the empty house echoed with a loud ringing. "That should be the driver." I said, grabbing my clutch from off of a nearby table.
A pang of loneliness hit me as Danny escorted me out and introduced himself to the driver, a quiet-spoken man probably in his fifties or sixties. I knew that at that very moment, parents all over the county were squealing as their daughter had her Walk Down the Stairs or their son came out, tie perfectly folded. I knew that sometime that next morning, my parents would remember what tonight was and send me some gift in apology from their vacation house in Paris, or worse- not say anything at all.
"My lady," Danny drawled, opening the door to the limo and throwing a cheesy bow. I snorted, moving my skirt to get in. He smiled, ducking in next to me and closing the door.
It was a very quiet ride to Tucker's, between Danny freaking out at the many appliances of the limo and my impatience and anxious looks out the window. When we finally pulled up to the small home, Tucker was leading some girl with glasses towards us. I later learned her name was Stacy and she was in Tucker's gym class.
They both piled in, their faces flushed and bright with excitement. "You guys ready?" Tucker asked, the grin on his face so wide it hurt my own cheeks to look at.
Danny looked at me. I looked at him. We both looked back to Tucker and shook our heads.
Prom was, in one word, wild. The school had rented a city club for the night, and, though there was plenty of room, everyone wanted to compact in as tight as possible. After dinner, we had arrived late so we got to see the dance at its climax.
"Well," Danny began as we observed from the entrance. "Ready to plunge into the mass?"
I took a deep breath, looking at the hot, stuffy, and crowded dance floor. "As ready as I'll ever be." I took a step towards the center, but Danny grasped my hand and pulled me back.
"Wait." He said, pulling me aside. From what seemed like out of thin air, he pulled out a small wrist corsage, decorated with a few white roses. "You shouldn't go out there looking like you don't have a date. Someone might make a move on innocent, defenseless you."
I laughed, allowing him to slip the corsage onto my wrist and fit it securely. "Innocent defenseless me?"
"I know, I know." He continued, pulling on a cheesy act and making some goofy motion with his hands. "This might be really hard to believe, but…" He pulled me in close and whispered into my ear, like a kindergartener might, "Some of the guys here find you extremely attractive."
"Oh." I said, raising my eyebrows in mock surprise. "And how is it that you have avoided my irresistible charm?"
"Ah, but I haven't." he said, wagging a finger. "I've been drawn in more than most. I just moved stealthily so you wouldn't notice my approach." He motioned to my corsage and my mouth fell open.
"Danny Fenton," I began with sincere shock. "You just successfully seduced me with your goofy male wiles." He took another bow and stood erect, offering his arm. I took it happily, allowing him to lead me to the floor.
If there was one thing to be said about dancing, it was that Danny was as awkward as possible when it came to it. His arms were flung wildly, unsure of where they belonged. His actual dance consisted of some bounce-and-rock technique. It was all I could do to keep from laughing at him.
Every hour or so, the band would stop and take a break, filing off the stage. At one point, the president of the prom committee stood up, wearing a baby blue dress, and walked up to the microphone.
"Would the three Prom Queen finalists please come to the stage?" Danny squeezed my hand as the girl read off of a slip of paper. "Paulina Sanchez, Sam Manson, and Meghan Polke!" There was a roar of applause as I made my way up to the stage, suddenly nervous. I could see Tucker near the front, screaming.
Danny floated to the back of the room, falling into an abandoned chair, and looked up at me as they called the Prom King finalists up as well. The girl tried to shush the crowd, batting her hands down impatiently.
Finally, with everyone quiet, everything hit me at full force. I, Sam Manson, proclaimed Goth and Ultrarecyclo Vegetarian, was standing on a stage, hoping to hear my name called so I could celebrate in the joyous event that was a shallow popularity contest. I was disgusted.
The band drummer had taken his spot at his set. "And your prom king is…" Someone stepped up, handing her an envelope. The drummer had started a drum roll, leading up to a shouted, "Dash Baxter!"
There was a deafening shriek as the jock stepped forward, pumping his fists victoriously. Another girl, a blonde at the edge of the stage, walked up to him, placing a gold, plastic crown on his head.
Plastic. Fake. Just like me.
"Now, the moment you've all been waiting for, ladies…" I heard Tucker let out an encouraging "Whoop!" in the crowd. "And gentlemen… your prom queen," Flash Spotlight. Cue Drum Roll. Pause. "Sam Manson!"
I froze. Trying to fit the pieces together as Dash took my arm, pulling me up even though I squirmed away from his touch; I looked desperately at Danny, who was clapping happily. There was that roar of applause again, overjoyed at the thought of another picture to put on the board outside the office.
A heavy bouquet of roses was thrust into my arms, jostling my corsage. I looked sadly as a few white petals fell to the stage floor. I ducked my head as the same blonde girl placed my crown upon me. It was surprisingly heavy.
The blonde took back my bouquet and I looked out at the crowd as the music started, some cheesy frat-boy song that had been on the top ten months ago. Dash took my hand and pulled me close, wrapping his greedy arms around my waist. A hush went over the crowd as he twirled me around the stage, seemingly the picture of the perfect date.
"Stop spinning me." I hissed as he whirled me again.
"Hey, at least I know how to dance." He shot back in a stage whisper, a fake smile plastered on his face. "You've already stepped on my feet twice."
"'You've.' Oooh- don't trip on that contraction." I tried to pull back from his grasp unnoticeably, but he pulled me back tight against his chest. "Let me go!" I hissed.
A few murmurs rose from the front of the crowd as they picked up that something wasn't right. "Stop whining." He snapped, a little louder, holding me securely. I caught a glimpse of Danny as Dash tried to resume our "dance." He was moving towards the front, elbowing past people gently. I could tell, even in the dark that his eyes were green and that he had picked up on what was going on.
"I said let me go!" I said at a normal tone, pushing him away. A gasp went up from the crowd and the music stopped abruptly. Dash let me go, stepping back angrily.
"You're ruining the prom!" Paulina whined from somewhere, her thick accent annoyingly obvious.
I rolled my eyes as I looked at the committee president, who was staring on dumbfounded. "Can I use that?" I asked her, stepping down the steps to take the microphone from her hand, and stepped back up.
"What are you doing, Manson?" Dash hissed from behind me.
"What's it look like I'm doing, Baxter?" I mocked. I raised the microphone to my mouth. "I am relinquishing my crown." Another gasp rose from the crowd as I reached up with my free hand. "Sorry, Tuck." I muttered.
I raised the crown up in front of me so everybody could see. "This goes against everything I believe in." I began. "The only reason you guys voted for me was because I changed my look, my make-up, and my status for a guy." I tossed the crown to the committee president, who, after fumbling for a moment, caught it. "Tuck, my clutch?"
He looked at me incredulously, but tossed up my small purse. I grabbed it in the air, almost tripping in the heels, and opened it. "This," I pointed at my face. "Isn't who you want as Prom Queen. Because this," I found what I had been digging for and wiped my pink lip-gloss off with the back of my hand. Using one hand, I rolled on my favorite purple lipstick. "Is this." I popped my lips and looked out at the crowd. "And admit it: you don't want a Goth as Queen. You want someone like Paulina- refined and perfect."
Dash took my wrist, hissing in my ear. "Why don't you just get off the stage and dance with Fen-tina?"
I looked down at the foot of the stage where Danny was staring up at me, his sky blue eyes focused on mine. "You know, Dash," I pushed the microphone towards him. "I think I will."
He sputtered behind me, and the crowd looked on, scattered applause bursting into a full-out roar as I stepped up to the edge of the stage. Danny and I both grinned as he reached up, taking a hold of my waist and helping me off the stage. He pulled me into the crowd, but they moved back, the music starting again despite the committee president's pathetic cries.
He pulled me into his arms, and for once, I didn't pull back, letting him lead me as I buried my face into his neck. I could feel his pulse at my temple and I smiled. It felt amazing, knowing there was something I could hold onto, and something, like his repetitive pulse, that would never change, never force me to move along with it. Because maybe this was what I had intended all along, a chance to let go and be able to leave everyone's expectations behind.
I've been a lot of things. A cheater. A liar. And maybe they're true. I've told you a lot of things. My good moments. My bad moments. And maybe they're my confessions. I've felt a lot of things. Hope. Desperation. But maybe, just maybe, I'm not so broken-hearted anymore.
Ah. Completion. I really hope you guys have enjoyed reading this. I don't think the conclusion was that great, but, oh heck, I've enjoyed writing it. Everything you've read goes out to Me the Anon One. Without her pushing me, I could've never been able to reach the point that I am with my writing now. Love ya, Nonny!