I Did It All Right.
Prom. I struggled for weeks, day after day to keep my grades in top shape. I purchased my ticket on time, earned and saved the money to fill in the gaps my parents couldn’t. My dress was flawless, everything I had dreamed As I twirled in the dressing room, whether it was the lighting or the bubbling excitement, I felt like a princess. My friends. They squealed for me, swooned over my sign, given to me by my boyfriend, the perfect ‘promposal’. My hair appointment was scheduled weeks in advance, assuring I got the best possible bang for my buck. I looked amazing. Hand in hand, I walked into the venue with my date, his nervous smile burning in my brain as a memory I knew I would come back to time and time again. The music blared, but I felt at ease, spinning around the room with my best friends, ending up in the arms of the person I loved for that last sweet slow dance. Magical, just as everyone said it would be. By the time the dance was over, we were dead tired, planning to crash at whoever’s house was closest. Our principal stood by the exit, pleading with students in her best mom voice; ‘Please be safe, be smart, you have families to come home to, and school on Monday. I expect nothing less than perfect attendance.’ It was meant to spark a small laugh, and it did, as she wagged her finger at us, sending us off with a good night. So we turned down the drunken offers for car rides and we got a cab, split the fare even. I settled back with a soft sigh, feeling safe and secure in my choice. I did everything right. So why didn’t you? I didn’t even get to finish the text to my mom letting her know where I’d be, I didn’t get to hear the punch line to my boyfriend’s joke. I didn’t even make it a block. All for what? That text? That one drink too many? That red light you wanted to ignore? I’ll never know. But you will. You’ll see it every day, hear the screeching of rubber on road, the breaking of glass. The shaken screams, the clamor of people, the distant and then suddenly screeching sirens. Was it more important? Whatever you were doing, was it more important than the girl who felt like a princess. Was it more important than her boyfriend who can’t fall asleep without seeing the wreck? Was it more important than the driver, who can no longer walk? I did everything right. And now? I’ll never get to do anything again.