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It felt like time was fast-forwarding itself when prom rolled around. All of us were really psyched up about it. We all had dates; Bex flew in to take Nick. Ryan and Elle had launched a massive campaign to get themselves elected junior prom king and queen. Sami and Finn geared up to pull prom-edition pranks. Morgan was excited for her first date post-Lucas. And I couldn’t wait to experience my first dance with my new family and to see Milo in a tux. It was nice having something to whole-heartedly look forward to with my trials right around the corner.
My roommates, Bex and I woke up early the morning of prom. We helped each other get ready. Elle curled my hair and pinned it back. I did the same for her. Bex and I did each other’s make-up as Morgan and Elle tag-teamed to help Sami. At one point, there was screaming. Bex and I rushed into Sami’s room to discover Elle wastweezingher eyebrows.Sami pleaded with us to save her from “Elle’s torture”. We were shooed out before we could intervene. By 7 PM, we were all dressed and ready to go. We all waited in the living room for the boys to show up.
“I hope they show up on time. Ry and I have last minute campaigning to do.” Elle corrected her hair in the mirror.
“We should take pictures while we wait.” I stood up from the couch, removing my camera from my clutch.
“Great idea.” She smiled at me.
“I can take them.” Bex extended her hand to me.
She looked gorgeous, all done up. She wore a little black dress with red lipstick. She was bold enough to pull off such a daring look with ease.
“Okay, but I want some with you too.” I placed it in her hand.
Sami, Morgan, Elle, and I posed together. Bex took several rounds of pictures of us. We switched up poses, positions, and the picture-taker for variety. I wanted plenty of options to put into my scrapbook. I was in the middle of taking a picture of the girls when there was a knock at the door.
“They’re here!” I beamed with excitement.
Morgan went to the door to answer it. “Welcome, Fellas.” She held open the door and ushered them inside.
“You look incredible.” Milo checked me out as he walked through the door.
He looked very dapper in his black tuxedo and thin black tie. It was perfectly tailored and paired well with his glossy black dress shoes.
“Elle, you were right.” I was unable to tear my eyes away from him.
“Yeah, I was.” She checked him out with me.
He chuckled and put his arms around my waist. “What was she right about?”
“Can’t tell. It’s top secret.” I leaned up to kiss him.
“Cannot tell or won’t?”
“Both.” I smiled against his lips.
He kissed me again.
“Ellie, I look good.” Ryan announced as he walked in. She tore her eyes away from Milo and beamed when she saw him.
“It’s just as I imagined!” She cheered. He had on a tux with a white shirt and a black bow tie. His triangular pocket square was the same gold color as Elle’s dress.
“You are stunning, as always.” He smiled, putting his hands into his pockets.
Instead of wearing a dress shirt with his black tuxedo, Finn wore a graphic T-shirt with red lettering. It was the same red as Sami’s pants. And instead of dress shoes, he wore his black converse. Sami opted out of her heels at the last minute. She said she was submitted to enough torture by allowing Elle to do her hair and make up. As I predicted, she wore her black Doc Martin’s.
“We look awesome.” Sams told him.
“Out of dress code is the only way to go.”
“You get me, Watson.”
“Aww, Cutie, you clean up well.” Bex corrected Nick’s red bow tie.
“I’m really happy you could make it. You look really beautiful.” He blushed slightly.
“You need to stop being so cute. I can’t take it.” She kissed him.
“You look great.” Jeremy smiled at Morgan.
She smiled. “Thanks. You too.” She looped her arm through his.
Before heading to the ballroom, we all took pictures. There was no combination left undone. I was seeing spots from all the flashes by the time we were done.
“Alright, guys, it’s prom time!” Elle announced, opening our front door.
Milo took my hand. I intertwined my fingers with his and smiled over at him.
“Remember, vote Elle W. And Ryan S. For prom prince and princess.” Elle gave each of us a pen with their names on it as we passed her.
“I appreciate that you’re buying my vote. I’m worth it.” Finn accepted his pen with a small smirk.
“You know how I feel about free merch.” Sami took three pens, instead of the one that was offered.
“You two better not rig the election and get us disqualified.” Elle warned.
“Never.” Finn replied. Both of them looked to her with innocent smiles.
“I’m serious.” She pointed at them.
“They won’t.” Morgan promised.
“Who else is running? Elle and Ry are the only people I know about.” Nick asked no one in particular.
“My cousin.” Jeremy announced glumly.
We audibly cringed.
“You see why I might win. I refuse to lose to Anna!” Elle declared passionately as we walked down the hall.
“Who is she running with?” Morgan asked.
“Lucas, but she’s going with Scott. I know she’s doing it to pick with me.” Elle reluctantly informed her.
“What an *******.” She thought aloud instead of looking sad.
We all looked to her with smiles. “***** yeah, Mom!” Sami cheered her on.
“Who’s Lucas?” Bex asked.
“Morgan’s ex. He was terrible to her.” Milo informed her.
“You’re not allowed to touch them!” I blurted out quickly.
She groaned and rolled her eyes. “It sounds like they have it –“
“Nope. Nothing. Well behaved and happy.” I interrupted.
She sighed heavily. “This is a waste.”
“Bex, you need to stop being the love of my life. I’ll get into a lot of trouble if I try to steal you from Nicky.” Sami told her.
Bex chuckled and blew her a kiss.
The golden banquet hall was beautifully decorated in a way that made you feel like you were in a classic Hollywood film. The crystal chandeliers along with the lights that were strung around the pillars, added just the right amount of lighting. The wooden dance-floor was surrounded by circular tables with white table clothes. The centerpiece of which featured lit tea candles.
Our first order of prom business was getting our pictures taken. Milo and I allowed the photographer to put us in a cheesy pose and take our picture. We loved it — feeling like normal high school students. We took a second one with all of our friends. He let us create our own poses that time. Milo kissed my cheek as I looked up at the ceiling with a smile. Ryan popped the collar of his jacket with a smoldering gaze and compatible smirk. Elle had one of her hands behind her head, the other on her hip, and leaned back into him as she made eyes at the camera. Sami balled up both of her hands into fists, placed them on her hips with her legs apart, and stared off into the distance like a superhero. Nick shrugged with a smile. Morgan laughed. Finn put his hand on his forehead as if he was trying to make out something in the distance.
“I can’t wait until we get those pictures.” I giggled as I looped my arm through Milo’s and we walked away from the photographer.
He laughed and nodded. “I am sure it is great. The third time he asked if we were sure we wanted those poses made that clear.”
We voted for Elle and Ry before sitting down at our table to eat dinner. We chatted amongst ourselves as we ate our food.
Finn removed a metal flask from his jacket. Sami lowered her glass beneath the table.
“Is that –?” I started to ask.
“Shhhh.” She held her index finger to her lips before pointing to Morgan as she allowed him to spike her drink.
I smiled and nodded in understanding.
“Jeremy.” Anna greeted as she walked up to our table on Scott’s arm. He looked really uncomfortable when she stopped in front of us, for good reason. He looked around, trying to find an excuse to leave.
“Anna.” He grumbled in response, looking at Elle apologetically.
“This is a low blow, even for you. For someone who thinks she’s so much better than everyone else, everything you do screams insecurity.” Sami called to her, bringing her newly alcoholic drink to her lips.
“It’s a good thing you wore pants. Seeing a man in a dress would’ve made everyone uncomfortable.” Anna retorted.
Sami shot up from her seat. I grabbed her jacket and yanked her back down.
“Walk away.” I urged Anna, still holding on to Sams to keep her from pouncing.
“I can’t say ‘hi’ to my cousin?” She feigned innocence.
“Not when you come over here with Elle’s ex-boyfriend.” Nick fired back.
“Izzie’s with mine.” She glared at me.
Milo kept his arm around me. “We were not bothering anyone. You came over here. Is there a reason you chose to do so? You have upset virtually everyone at this table at some time or another.”
“Not her. Are you his sister? Everyone is wondering how he managed to get someone like you. ” Anna sized up Bex.
“Nope, his girlfriend. The name’s Bex. I don’t like you.”
“Do you even go here?”
“No, I don’t.” She fired back with a tauntingly bright smile.
Anna rolled her eyes. “I also stopped by to wish you good luck, Elle. Coming to prom with Ryan was a bold choice. It might cost you the girl vote. They think you have taken away their shot with Ry. They are clearly misinformed. You can’t be in a real relationship, you know, because -“
Elle looked at Scott and looked down with tears in her eyes.
Ryan draped his arm across her shoulders. “We’re very happy together. It takes a real man to treat a lady of her caliber the right way. I am very surprised you didn’t bring Lex. I heard he was really into you.” He bore directly into Anna’s eyes.
“Screw you, Stephens! I -”
“But I’m with Elle.” He whinced playfully to pick with her.
She stormed off.
Sami slammed both of her fists on the table after she was gone. She looked to Finn and had one of their ****** expressions-only conversations. I looked to Elle. Her fallen expression made it clear that Anna’s taunts really got to her.
“I’ll be right back.” I stood up from my chair.
I walked over to Elle and tapped her on the shoulder. “Will you go to the bathroom with me?” I requested when she looked up at me. She silently stood up and looped her arm through mine. The two of us went into the nearest bathroom. I checked all the stalls before I started talking.
“Say it.” I urged with a sympathetic smile.
“You look absolutely amazing tonight. You took the high road like a champ out there. She criticized you to feel better about herself. You’re so much more than a pretty face. You’re brilliant, compassionate and determined, just to name a few. You have a whole table full of people that love you. Regardless of who the student body votes for, you’re the real winner.” I kept my eyes locked on hers.
She took a step forward and hugged me close. “You’re the best.”
I smiled and hugged her back. “I have to be to keep up with you.”
The two of us touched up our makeup before heading back into the ballroom. Most of our table was empty when we returned. Milo and Ry remained in their seats.
“Where are the others?” I asked, putting my hand on Milo’s shoulder.
He looked up at me and smiled. “Most of them are on the dance floor. Aside from Finn and Sami, who told us that information was classified.” He stood up.
I giggled. “There’s no telling what they’re up to.”
“We just have to wait and see. Would you like to dance with me?” He offered me his hand.
“Always.” I put my hand into his and he lead me to the dance floor.
We found Nick, Bex, Morgan, and Jeremy in the crowd and made our way to them.
“Have you seen Finn and Sami?” I called to Morgan over the music.
“They’re collecting pens. It seems harmless enough.” She pointed to them.
I nodded in understanding. “Are you okay about the Lucas thing?”
She nodded. “I’m so over him. He’s not nearly as great as he thinks he is.”
I smiled. “You’re absolutely right.”
Ry and Elle soon joined us. We all danced to the music the DJ played over the stereo system. We were bouncing around and having a good time when Headmaster Lawrence took the stage. The DJ killed the music, immediately grabbing everyone’s attention.
“Good evening, everyone. I hope you’re all enjoying prom.” He spoke into the microphone on stage.
We all cheered in response.
“You’ve all voted for this year’s prom royalty. I have the results right here.” He held up an envelope.
I made my way over to Elle and took her hand into mine as he started opening the envelope.
He cleared his throat and returned to the microphone after reading the names. “Your prom prince is Ryan Stephens –” He announced first. Everyone started cheering.
He didn’t allow himself to bask in his own win until he knew if Elle had one too. He kept his arm around her waist and remained silent, instead of walking up on stage like he was supposed to.
“Your Princess is Anna-Lizbeth Simpson.”
Ryan whispered something in Elle’s ear. She smiled through the tears collecting in her eyes. He kissed her on the cheek before walking up to the stage.
“We can leave if you want.” I offered.
She shook her head. “I don’t want to give her that satisfaction.”
“Your prom king is Scott Mathenson.” He walked on stage with a smug smile.
“There was an unorthodox write-in vote for Prom Queen; a junior, instead of a senior, but there is a first time for everything — Eleanor Woollard.”
“You did it!” I cheered.
She beamed and hugged me.
Milo put his arms around me as they walked across the stage. We cheered them on as they were crowned. Elle reluctantly walked up to Scott, par tradition. Ryan interrupted and separated them the entire time they had their pictures taken. Afterward, they made their way to the center of the dance floor for their spotlight dance. Things were uneventful for a couple of songs. I was dancing with Milo on the sidelines when Finn and Sami ran up to us.
“Wait for it…” They urged us pointing in Anna’s direction.
For whatever reason, she had Elle’s box of campaign pens. When she placed her hand inside of it, blue ink erupted from the pens, coating her hand and splattering her dress in pigment. She dropped it and stormed out.
“What did you do?!” Morgan looked at them.
“We thought ahead.” Sami shrugged and Finn nodded.
She narrowed her eyes at them.
Finn sighed and rolled his eyes. “We knew she’d throw some sort of fit because Elle won queen. Of course she’d target her. Those pens are the only things she could break at Elle’s expense; we changed the game by rigging them to explode.” He explained.
“We had a good time AND kept her from ruining Elle’s win. We should get an A+ instead of a lecture.” Sami added.
Milo and I busted out laughing.
“Fine, but no more. Did you rig it?”
“No, she did that fair and square. We actually forgot to vote because we were executing our main scheme.” She removed a remote from her pocket.
“What is that?” She eyed it with horror.
“You’ll see.” She smirked.
“And 5, 4, 3, 2 -” Finn counted down.
Sami pressed the button on one. Balloons and confetti rained down on the dance floor. Everyone started screaming in exuberance. I smiled over at them.
“Sometimes we do nice things.” Sami shrugged.
“The majority of the things you do are nice. They just have a mean overtone.” I corrected
We danced the night away, laughing and playing around the entire time. Before we knew it, prom was almost over.
“Did you have fun tonight?” Milo asked as we slow danced.
“What kind of question is that?” I smiled up at him.
“One you should answer.” He played along with a small smirk.
“I had a blast. I have no clue how we’re going to top this next year.”
“We’ll do it. I believe in us.”
I moved in and kissed him tenderly as we swayed back and forth to the music.