But a little less than confidence in my decisions, too.
Tonight, I will be sitting at home studying for an exam, working on a collaborative project alone, and probably quietly drowning myself in sleep.
Tonight is my prom night.
I did not go to prom.
I am not one for big ceremonies; I have no particular interest in formality, or elaborate venues, or big crowds. I've always believed that the best types of friends are the ones with whom it doesn't matter whether you're at a concert for your favourite band, or you just stay in, rent a movie and order a pizza. As such, prom seemed like eighty-five dollars (Closer to 130, given that they wanted to rent a limo O_O) and an evening that could be much better spent, in the end. Of course, I wasn't like this to begin with. I was never super-enthusiastic about it, but I had some semblance of hope. There was only really one reason for it, though. A last chance to connect with a girl who had been my closest friend all through this year. I had held her hand while she cried herself half to death, I had sat up for hours with her just talking about nothing, and we had leapt for eachother every chance we got for group projects. Without a doubt, she was the girl of my dreams, and I knew I had to make some sort of impression so we didn't drift apart. So one weekend, I had to do a photoshoot for school, and offered to let her come along. This was the plan. To ask her, then and there. We walked through a park for about four hours together, talking and laughing all the way. Finally, at the end, just as she was walking away, I gathered all my courage, and asked her. From the second the question escaped my lips, I could see the answer written in her eyes. God, I hope she isn't reading this. Fortunately, last I saw, she had about 7000 devwatch messages backed up and hadn't opened even one of them in years, so I feel alright with putting this out here. Anyhoo, I had the perfect girl, I was so sure she would say yes, and was rejected without even consideration. I'm not going to say this crushed me--it's hardly my first time--but what truly killed me was what happened next.
One other guy asked her, a (relatively) close friend of mine. She said no to him. This kind of cheered me up, in a cruel sort of way. I figured, alright, maybe she'd just rather go alone. Then, another guy, a not-at-all-relatively-but-incredibly-close friend of mine, asked me if I was taking anyone to prom. I told him I wasn't going, and then asked him who he was taking. He said he had someone in mind, and having known him so long, I could immediately tell who it was. I told him he should go for it. I'm not proud of my thoughts at the time, as I knew she would reject him too.
Next week, he did in fact, "Go for it". I had suggested that, since she was not one for huge spectacles either, that he should just get her alone and ask her straight to her face. The next day, he told me this: that he had asked her, but she wanted him to come up with a creative way to ask her. Turns out I was quite wrong about her. The next few days for me were sort of mentally anarchic; both he and the girl were incredibly close friends, so I filled my head with contingencies that better suited my naive reality, like that perhaps she wouldn't actually want to go to prom with him, even after the fact. Jesus, what is wrong with me?
The "creative method" he came up with was a short Homestuck-style comic which he left the last page of blank, for her to respond. The answer was, of course, yes. Both he and the girl were and (hopefully) still are very close friends--she was perhaps my absolute closest friend--so I was nothing but a wreck for a good week deciding what I should do. I knew, with all my heart, that I couldn't be angry at either of them. But I felt so discarded somehow, unable to go on. I truly had no desire to do anything, and every time I was alone with the two of them, it would be a push to smile, when before, it would be an impossibility to not.
I should note here that I did not tell anyone at all that I had asked her to prom, and still haven't. Originally, it was because I didn't want to discourage other guys from asking her--I wanted her to be happy above all-- but even after she was asked, I felt it was cruel to her to play her off as the bad guy. That wasn't the impression I wanted to give at all. I never intended to pressure her to go with me. So I just pushed it all back, coughed away tears, and kept going, as I always have. I was determined to not ruin her happiness for my own selfish sake. I had also kept it mostly a secret that I wasn't going to prom, but that eventually got out, and more than a few people were angry with me. A few girls, very good friends, even, offered to go with me if I just went, but I declined. I told them I didn't have the money. I made jokes about how much of a waste it was, playing up a cheeky sort of cynicism to avoid dealing with the real reason I had so obstinately decided to not go to prom. I did not want to see her there. I just didn't think I could stomach a whole evening of sharing a table with the person who has everything I've ever wanted.
I did, however, agree to meet them before prom and see all the girls' dresses, and take a bunch of pictures so that they could pretend later that I went with them. And there, I couldn't escape it. I still couldn't hate them, but I couldn't shake a resentment of myself. I felt as though, had I asked her in a more extravagant way, she may have said yes. I know it would've been shallow, but it would've happened. I managed to contain myself long enough for the photoshoot to end, even as I had to take pictures of the two of them together, and at the end, the dad of the guy who asked her offered to give me a ride home, despite the fact that it would be hugely out of the way. I declined and declined, but after a while, it seemed impolite to deny it any further, so I got in the car with him. It was an impossible struggle to contain myself the whole way home, but we managed to keep the mood light for his sake; he was proud of his son, and I couldn't ruin it by injecting my feelings into the situation, no matter how much they hurt. When he dropped me off, I fumbled an inept goodbye, and went inside. This has been all that's on my mind for the last three hours, and sufficed to say, I have done no studying, no writing, and not relaxed one bit.
I don't even know how coherent this is. I may remove this journal entry when I come to my senses. But for now, I have to press submit before I can correct myself.