Homecoming

In my last post, “High School Drama…” I ended with saying how I was going to homecoming with a group of friends, including my best friend and the guy that both of us have a crush on.

I have chosen to try and let go of the fact that I like him and move on with my life. There are other fish in the sea, as they say, and if he and my best friend are happy together, then so be it.

Saying that is one thing. Actually doing it has proven to be much harder. And they don’t exactly act or indicate in any way that they are together.

The evening started out great. I went over to a friend’s house with my best friend and the three of us watched Star Wars Episode Five together while we curled our hair and did our makeup. After that we drove to the date of my first friend’s house where we took pictures with the rest of the group. There were twelve of us in total, six boys and six girls, but only three couples out of the group.

We weren’t going to the school dance for homecoming, which was kind of weird. We went out for dinner instead at a nice Italian restaurant about 45 minutes away from where we were. I don’t have my driver’s license yet, so I had to find a ride with someone. People were organizing themselves into one another’s cars, I wasn’t really paying attention, and then suddenly I was told I would be riding with the guy I had a crush on.

My first thought: What a fantastic opportuntity. It’s a good thing I look so cute today.

My second thought: Nope nope nope remember what you decided before? Let it go!

I just rolled with it and hopped into the passenger seat of his blueberry truck. Two of his dateless friends were also riding with us, one of them a freshman and the other with the maturity of a freshman. The four of us talked for a while about marching band (an activity in which the entire homecoming group is involved in) and other school-related things. The other two started a conversation about juice or something stupid, and I talked to my crush. 

We hadn’t really talked, just the two of us, since he asked out my friend. The reasons why I liked him in the first place all came tumbling back, making it even harder to just let it go.

After the long car ride to the restaurant, we walked in and were directed to our seats. I felt very adultlike, being out to dinner on my own with my friends. There was some jazzy Frank Sinatra music on and the lighting was really low, making it feel later in the night than it actually was.

As we took our seats at the long table that was reserved for us, I found that one of the last seats open was next to him. So I sat down. He told a story about a time he accidentally knocked an entire hot chocolate over the railing of a restaurant balcony, spilling it all on a woman sitting below, who was wearing a white jacket. The friend who’s house I was at before was sitting across from him. The three of us dicussed tiramisu and what exactly it was. (The agreed upon description was “you take pudding and turn it into a cake, but it still kind of tastes like pudding”) We ended up sharing some later that night.

My best friend sat a little farther down the table from us. She came in and out of the conversation. I kept trying to figure out if she still really liked him, and if he liked her, or me, but it was all so exhausting. Honestly, he probably likes some other girl that none of us know and thinks of us all as his strange friends.

I rode in his car back from the restaurant. The two idiots that were with us had their own conversation, leaving me and my crush to ourselves. I don’t remember everything we talked about. I just remember making him laugh and smiling a lot. His car would make a concerning beeping sound every time we stopped, and the “check engine” or “check gauges” light would flash.  We theorized what the beeping could mean, and decided it was just the car saying something like,”Hey guys! We’re stopping now, that’s great, stopping is great.” We also tried to come up with a good name for his car. “Blueberry” would have worked, but his truck seemed too big for that name. I looked up the name of the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that turned into a blueberry, but her name is Violet. We agreed that didn’t really work.

The group went to my friend’s house we were at in the first place. We ate brownies, played Clue, watched Princess Bride, and played Apples to Apples. My best friend and I teamed up for Clue, and we were super competitive with the guy we both have a crush on. The three of us all could quote Princess Bride perfectly, and would shush the group when a particular part was about to happen. (Her favorite line: “I am not left-handed.” One of my favorites: “Fezzik, tear his arms off” “Oh, you mean this gate key.” His favorite line: “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”) My best friend won at Apples to Apples, but we were all so tired at that point no one really noticed 

At the end of the night my best friend drove me home. Last night is now a jumble of memories, filled with the chocolate-coffee taste of tiramisu, the sound of my friends laughing and the quiet jazz music that was the background noise of the night, the smell of the perfume and the makeup and the hairspray we used while watching Yoda train Luke Skywalker to be a Jedi, the touch of my high-heels on the skinny step of his truck, the inexplicable love I have for these people, and the realization than in a little more than a year and a half we all will go our separate ways to college. We could be spread out all across the country, thousands of miles apart.

And then the next time we will see each other is when the alumni all come back for Homecoming.

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