In the passenger seat was my only offering, a down-trodden pile of once bright red roses. I should have made a poster. All my friends made posters. Will she care that I didn’t make a poster? A thousand fluttery, anxious thoughts darted through my mind. I had absolutely no expectation that this was going to go well. Both my apprehension and the sight of the flowers next to me choked out my optimism and refused to let hope shine through. For some reason, whether it was bravery or stupidity, I got out of the car anyway.
I immediately felt like I was going to be sick. Clutching the roses to my chest, I sank down to the ground and hid behind my car. Look at me, sitting in the street, holding a bouquet of broken dreams. I’ve really reached my peak.
This was all very pathetic. What was I even going to say to her? ‘Hey, I know I just threw up in your front lawn and you have almost no time left to shop for a dress, but do you want to go to the most important event of our high school existence with me’? What a joke!
But in reality, she did like jokes. Just the thought of the silver bells that tinkle when she laughs put some color back in my face. She was the sweetest, most perfect person I knew. No matter what happened, I knew she would still accept me. With a strange surge of confidence, I stood and marched around the other side of the car.
And wow was that sidewalk long. What should have been ten feet looked like one hundred yards. A single step seemed to only take me inches.
On my right shoulder, a little devil spoke up. “You know, we could just go home, like we did for Homecoming. And Freshman Mixer. And-”
“Oh, don’t listen to him,” a little angel interjected. “You really like this girl, right? How is she ever going to know that if you don’t tell her?”
The angel was right, of course. Unfortunately for it, just because it was right didn’t mean I was going to listen to it.
“Come on,” the angel persisted, “There’s no reason she wouldn’t want to go with you. Besides, prom is fun! You’ll have a great time even if you don’t go together.”
“You know what else is fun?” the devil asked, “Sitting in your room and binge-watching trashy horror movies.”
The angel opened its mouth like it was going to argue, then closed it and looked up at me. “He has a point, actually.”
I frowned and brushed them off my shoulders. I wasn’t about to let voices in my head tell me what to do.
My legs began to push me forward of their own accord. I guess I was doing this. I was really doing this. The closer I got to the towering front door, the more doubts filled my head. What if she turns me down? What if someone else already asked her? What if her parents don’t like me? The thought of her shotgun-wielding stepdad made me freeze on the spot. With a resigned sigh, I kept moving. If I was going to die, at least I was going to die professing my love.
The fronts of my shoes hit the white wooden stairs leading up to her porch. Without even realizing it, I had made it up the entire expanse of the sidewalk. Oh no. I was past the point of no return.
Making it up the two tiny steps took me much longer than it should have. I had no doubt that her younger siblings were watching me make a fool of myself through their bedroom window. Oh how great I am at first impressions.
I stood in front of my adversary, the door. This was it. All the worry, all the doubt, this is what it was all leading up to. The next few moments would decide the fate of the rest of my senior year. That was a terrifying thought. Would people make fun of me if I got rejected? If she went with me would they say I didn’t deserve her? It was all too much to think about.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. With shaking hands, I raised my finger to ring the doorbell. Despite all the fear, I rang it anyway.