Palms and Pockets
by Paul Diaz
by Paul Diaz
Chapter 17: Second Prom
Gerard and Colleen arrived at school and they saw their daughter slowly walking towards them. “What happened?” Anne’s mother asked. “Please take me home” the young woman softly uttered. Once inside the car Anne bowed her head and started weeping. “You better tell me who hurt you, is it your boyfriend?” her father asked and she just shook her head.
“Then what happened? Tell us!” Gerard angrily asked. “Lets just go home dear” Colleen said. “Go home? Seeing your daughter like that and you want us to go home? I want to know why she is crying. Anne you better tell me what happened!” he snapped. “I should have not forced him to attend the prom!!!” Anne yelled.
Gerard looked at his wife but Colleen just caressed his hand and nodded at him. “Lets go home” she said. It was a painful drive for Gerard as he could hear his daughter weeping. He momentarily glanced at his wife and saw her calm so he nudged her a little. Colleen pressed her finger on the dashboard and wrote the letter J and immediately he understood and nodded.
Once they were home Anne sat on the couch and her parents sat down beside her. Gerard and Colleen had been used to see her crying every time they had moved to another city. During those times they would just let her be but this time she was crying for a different reason and they wanted to be there for her.
“He looked so handsome” Anne uttered as her parents remained silent and just listened. “All night long he never looked at me and he didn’t even seat at our table. He didn’t even ask me for a dance…I really wanted to dance with him. I waited for him to ask me but he didn’t” she added.
“That is what you call respect. You have a boyfriend now and he has a date” Gerard told her. “Sarah…she broke his heart but why is he with her? She was so beautiful. He danced with her, she even put her head on his chest. They even sang together that is why I had to walk away because I was feeling so much pain!” Anne yelled.
“You are jealous” Colleen said and her daughter looked at her. “Jealous? Why? Why am I jealous?” Anne asked. “I don’t know dear, only you can answer that question. “You don’t have the right to be jealous” Gerard said and his wife angrily looked at him.
“People have choices. You chose to be with Charles so I don’t see why you are acting that way. The prom was for you to enjoy, you cant blame him for ruining it. You ruined your prom. Stick to the choices you have made and stop crying” her father said as he walked away. Colleen ran after her husband and Anne was left alone contemplating her father’s words.
Back at school the party continued, the teachers joined in on the fun which made the band members wanting to play better. An hour later there were only a few students left so the organizers decided to call it a day.
John and Sarah walked out of the gymnasium and the limousine was already there waiting for them. On the way to Sarah’s home the young woman could not hide how happy she was. She wanted to hold his hand but hesitated instead she just leaned her body against his.
Ten minutes later the two were at Gonzales’ residence doorstep. Sarah faced John and smiled at him. “I cant find the right words to tell you how happy I am” she told him. “You know that I didn’t want to attend the prom, you made me and I am so happy you did. Thank you” John replied.
“You told me you might act weird because of her. I was expecting you to” Sarah said. “Why? What would you have done if I did?” John asked and the young woman shyly pinched him. “Something that would have calmed you down” she replied and then laughed. “You are not going to tell me?” he asked and Sarah shook her head smiling.
John got down on his knees and the young woman laughed. “Even if you beg I wont tell you. “So I really should have acted weird then” John said as he slowly got up. “Well yes but then again no” Sarah replied and the young man was confused.
She placed her hands on his shoulders and pulled him closer. His face was drawn close to hers and their hearts started racing. “If you acted weird then I would have kissed you to make you stop but you didn’t. Still that made me want to kiss you even more because you didn’t” she said softly as she gazed into his eyes.
“But John you are not ready yet” Sarah added as their nose rubbed against each other. “What do you mean?” he asked. “You know what I am trying to say. Its okay I do understand and I want you to know that I am stubborn like you” she said.
“You are not making sense Sarah” John told her as he placed his hands on her hips. “You don’t have to pretend John. How I wish I never knew you and I just met you tonight. The sad thing is I do know you and I know you truly have a kind heart. You made this night a memorable one for me because I could see how hard you tried to make it about me”
“When you are ready I will know, right now you are not ready to let go of her. I am not hurt, I know where I stand but John please forgive me” Sarah said. “Forgive you for what?” he asked but the young woman locked her lips against his and wrapped her hands around his head.
Five seconds later Sarah let go and John stood frozen looking at her. “You kissed me” he uttered and the young woman smiled at him. “Yes I did” she answered. “But you said I was not ready yet” John added. “Consider it a thank you for a wonderful evening” Sarah told him.
The young man touched his lips and smiled. “Sarah you have not thanked me yet for giving you the corsage” he teased. Sarah laughed and kissed his cheek, “If I knew I should have brought you lots of things” John joked and the two laughed. “John when you are ready I wont hold back” Sarah said.
The door opened and the two were surprised. “You two have been standing there the whole time?” the young woman asked. “Of course not, we thought we heard a car pull over so we checked” Tod replied. “That was minutes ago and it takes one to open the door” Sarah told them and her parents just smiled.
“Thank you for bringing my daughter home safely” the elder man told John. “I should get going” the young man said. “But youre not ready yet” Sarah’s father softly murmured and he and his wife chuckled. “Mom! Dad! You were spying on us!” Sarah yelled as John hid his face in embarrassment.
“Sorry about that” Sarah said. “Yeah its okay, it just don’t think I will able to face them again after they saw me kiss you” John replied and they both laughed. “I kissed you and for your information my parents are very strict” she told him and the young man cleared his throat. “Yup I am definitely scared now” he said and Sarah laughed at him.
“That’s not what I meant. They usually act cold and strict when guys are around. This is the first time I saw them act that way” she clarified. “Meaning?” he asked. “They like you” Sarah said and the young man was all smiles. “But they just met me” John told her. “Oh trust me, they know lots of things about you. Its getting late John you better get home. The prom happens once in a lifetime and you just made mine so memorable. Good night John” Sarah said and the two smiled at each other.
Back at the limo the driver opened the door for John and smiled at him. “She isn’t the one am I right?” he said and the young man was shocked. “What do you mean?” John asked. “I saw everything and I can say she isn’t the one. There must be someone else” the driver clarified. “I don’t know what you are talking about” the young man said.
“You know what come seat with me in front” the driver offered so the two got in front. “My name is Edward and let me tell you I have been that road before. I saw you two and she kissed you” the driver said and he saw John smiling. “If it was really her then you should have kissed her. I saw you two staring at each other for a long time. If there was really something then you should have kissed her at once and no the other way around” Edward added.
“She said lots of stuff and told me I was not ready” John told him. “Even so, if you really like then you would have kissed her no matter what. Its rare to be in situations like that, faces close to each other. Whatever she was saying you would not hear it but I am sure you heard every word she said because it was not her. She told you that you were not ready? Then she was right” Edward told him and the young man remained silent the rest of the way.
The limousine pulled over and Edward looked at John. “Here you are” he said. “I have a choice, its either to break Sarah’s heart or break my heart. If you were me what would you choose?” John asked. “Its never good to break someone’s heart” Edward replied and John nodded his head as he stepped out of the car. “Thank you Edward” he softly uttered and he turned around and slowly walked towards their home.
A few houses away Anne was standing by the window and was staring at the bright moon. Colleen walked up to her daughter and embraced her from behind. “Its almost midnight, you should get changed and go to sleep” she whispered. “Mom, do you still remember your prom?” Anne asked. “Oh dear you don’t have to compare” Colleen told her.
“Do you still remember your prom?” the young woman repeated. “Yes I do” Colleen answered. “I want to forget mine but the problem is you could only have one prom in your life. So whenever I would hear the word prom then I would remember bad memories. If there were more than one then I could choose to remember the happy ones, but we can only have one” Sarah said.
“I know dear. Just think of it as a bad dream and pretend that it never happened” her mother suggested. “That is difficult to do” Anne said. “Just go to sleep and maybe tomorrow will be better. There will always be better days ahead. Get some rest dear okay?” Colleen told her as she kissed her daughter on the cheek.
Anne sat in front of her study desk and stared at her computer. She took out her portable music player and turned on her computer. “Arent you going to sleep yet?” her mother asked. “Go ahead mom, I have to do something important” Anne replied. “Okay then, there will be better days Anne. Good night dear” Colleen said as she left the room.
Several shooting stars have passed and John’s neck started to ache. The young man was seated on the pavement of their driveway while thinking of which road to take. He bowed his head and trembled as he looked at his hands. He already made up his mind and his heart was starting to fall in pieces and so he closed his eyes.
A few seconds later he felt someone hold his hands. He slowly opened his eyes and saw Anne standing in front of him. John quickly stood up and the young woman fixed his tie. “Dance with me” she whispered and then placed one earphone on her ear and the other on his. She turned on her music player and John recognized the tune, it was the exact song that was played during the prom.
Anne placed her hands on his shoulders so John held on to her hips. Under the bright moon they danced with their eyes fixated on each other. It was not the typical prom setting but somehow for them this was perfect.
All alone under the moon and stars, the school backdrop did not even compare. The gymnasium may have had a good sound system and all they got was a minute music player. It didn’t matter for they were not listening with their ears, the music they were dancing to resounded from their hearts.
John was again torn, moments ago he was ready to let go of her. His heart even started to crumble but this time she was holding it in place. As he stared at her eyes he knew that this would not last forever, it was only temporary and when the sun rises the next morning his heart would start to ache again.
The young man didn’t want that anymore and so he mustered all the strength he had left. “Anne, I have to tell you something” he whispered. “I too want to say something” she replied. “Okay, ladies first” John said.
The music player stopped and the two stopped dancing. Anne bowed her head momentarily and John could feel that it was not good so he braced himself. “Its okay Anne, you can tell me. I can take it” he told her. The young woman slowly raised her head and took another deep breath, she cleared her throat and pulled him closer.
Anne kissed John on the lips and embraced him tightly. The young man trembled, his lips were stiff for he didn’t expect this to happen. He was waited for five seconds but Anne would not let go. What happened next he could not control, his arms embraced her back as his lips relaxed and he kissed her back.
After a minute Anne released her lips and bowed her head. John knew that is was too good to be true so he tried to step back but the young woman looked at him. “Wait, could you put this on repeat” she whispered. John took the music player and did as instructed and returned the player to Anne. The young woman placed the player inside John’s coat pocket and placed back her arms around his head.
John’s heart was pounding madly as he stared at Anne’s eyes. Their faces were close to each other and lips barely touching. “You were going to say something?” she whispered. John’s lips trembled but Anne pressed her lower lip against his. A while ago he had decided to let her go but this time he embraced her tightly and kissed her.
All the pain he felt had vanished, so did hers. Together in each others’ arms they danced. John didn’t know if this was permanent but tonight he didn’t want to let go. Anne easily forgot about her first prom, this was her second and this is what she wanted to remember forever.
This night was theirs.