Prom is supposed to be one of the highlights of your life, but I think my prom night was more memorable than most. Two things happened there that were out of the ordinary. The second one technically happened after prom, but the first was that prom was cut short by about an hour due to a fire.
We actually weren’t sure if the fire was real until the following Monday at school. We thought it was just some idiot pulling the fire alarm as a prank. On Monday, the rumor mill said that someone had snuck into the science lab and lit one of the burners. Nothing was damaged, but the alarm had been real.
“Man! Who’d pull the alarm on the biggest party of the year?” Becky complained as we all piled into our limo outside the gym. The teachers tried to keep us all on the lawn so that they could call our parents and stuff, but no one was really listening to them. If you had your vehicle, you just got in and left. Or, if you were like us and were riding in a limo, your driver drove you away from the dance.
“What are you complaining about?” Eddie Mole, Barbara’s boyfriend asked. “Just means an earlier after party. It’s more fun at the Rooster than the fucking school anyway.”
“Yeah,” Barbara echoed.
“We should call mom and dad,” Laura said. “They’ll want to know we weren’t hurt.”
“Why bother? It was just an alarm,” Barbara argued. “Don’t call the ‘rents or they will make us go home.”
Laura’s boyfriend Trevor was holding her hand, and I saw him give it a squeeze. He knew, like I did, that Laura would make the call once we got to the Rooster. Laura would manage to do the right thing and not have our fun night interrupted. She was good at that kind of shit.
“I still think it was a shitty thing to do at the prom,” Becky said again. She was my date. We had triple dated with my sisters. Who knew that Becky and I would go to prom together? But after that night at our party, Becky and I became friends. When I got ungrounded, we hung out together a lot. Barbara was spending most of her time with Eddie and his friends, but Becky still came over to our house.
Early in our friendship, Laura asked me, “Are you and Becky going out now, GC?”
“No. We’re just friends.”
“But you used to hate her.”
I shrugged. “She’s better now, I guess.”
Barbara, who had heard the question and my answer looked at me slyly and said, “I thought I saw you guys up on the jungle gym at the party.”
“And you looked like more than friends.” Barbara made kissing noises, sticking her tongue out and swirling it around.
“Ew,” I said. “Gross.”
“Come on GC,” Barbara demanded, “tell us what happened.” There was nothing I could do to stop Barbara from finding out, so I just gave in and told them about the kissing lessons.
“Well at least you know how to kiss now,” Laura laughed at me.
“Poor Becky,” Barbara said. “No wonder she didn’t want to tell me about it. You must have really been a bad kisser.”
“I was not!” I said. “I am a kissing master!” I probably shouldn’t have said anything. My sisters spent the next few days teasing me about kissing Becky, but when they realized that our relationship really was nothing more than friendship, they eventually let it go.
Laura and her boyfriend Trevor hung out with Becky and I most often. Barbara and Eddie just thought we were lame. She spent most of her time at Eddie’s house anyway. Trevor and I were becoming pretty good friends because TJ was hardly ever home now that he was in the fire academy. When he had time off, he mostly spent time with his girlfriend, Roselyn Harrow. TJ said he thought he’d ask her to marry him.
“I can’t believe you’re actually going to do it,” I told him when he showed me the ring at breakfast the Saturday after graduation.
TJ got that dopey smile on his face he always gets when he’s thinking of her. “I love her, Dude.”
“But what about firemen’s school?” I asked. TJ and I both had decided to become firemen. I had always thought we’d get a small apartment together after I graduated. We’d make it the ultimate bachelor pad to hang out in after we got home from the fire house each day. Finding out he was planning to get engaged was sort of a disappointment.
“I’m still going to train to be a fireman,” he said. “I don’t have to be single to go to school. Rosalyn is going to the fashion institute and I’ll go to the fire academy. We’ll both be in school together.”
“That’s cool, I guess.”
“You’re going to have to be more enthusiastic little brother,” TJ laughed at me. “I can’t have a best man who isn’t excited about the wedding.”
“You want me to be your best man?”
“Of course. Who else?”
TJ’s wedding was bittersweet for me. I was happy for him, but I was sorry that I wouldn’t be able to hang out with him as often. It wasn’t like they’d want me to move in with them when I graduated and started at the fire academy.
“How’re you doing, GC?” Becky asked me at the reception.
“It was a beautiful wedding.”
“I suppose you’re going to miss your brother.”
“I’m going to miss Alex, too. I didn’t think I would, but now that he’s moving out, I know I’m going to be sad he’s gone.”
I remembered that Becky’s brother had graduated with TJ. He was one of the smartest kids at our school, graduating with honors and all that shit. I didn’t know him really well, but I’d heard he’d gotten a scholarship to study in France.
“When does your brother leave?”
“In a few weeks. Dad’s so proud. Alex is talking about getting a psychology degree, too.”
“I thought he was going to France.”
“He is, silly. He’s doing a student exchange at the University in Champs Les Sims. Then he’s coming back and going to Sim U to get his doctorate in psychology.”
“Must be nice.”
“Don’t be jealous GC. Grades aren’t everything.”
“Yeah. Tell that to my mother.” I rolled my eyes and Becky laughed.
I wasn’t doing as badly at school as I had been. With Laura’s help, I managed to get C minuses in my science and math classes. I got As in PE and shop, and usually managed a B- in composition. I’d already applied and been accepted to the fire academy. TJ had even managed to get me into a volunteer program that allowed high school students to work at the fire station.
I couldn’t wait to go to the academy. But before I did, I had to finish school and graduate. And before I could do that, I had to attend Prom.
I wasn’t that enthusiastic about prom, to be honest. I didn’t have a date at first and didn’t really want to go.
“You’re an idiot GC! Maggie totally likes you!” Becky, Laura and I were playing video games with me a few months before prom. They’d been bugging me about it.
“She does,” Laura agreed.
I was still pretty clueless when it came to girls. I just didn’t seem to know when they liked me, and I hadn’t really liked any of them either.
“Should I ask her out?” I asked the girls.
“Go for it. I happen to know she’d say yes if you ask her to the prom.” Obviously I didn’t lack for dates for school dances. Becky and my sisters always clued me in on what girl had her eye on me. I’d ask the girl to the dance and we’d go and have fun. And that’s all.
Oh, I practiced my kissing on a few of the girls. Some of them more than others, but I didn’t really consider any of them my girlfriend.
When it was time for Prom, Becky, Barbara, and Laura were pushing me to ask Maggie Pie, a girl in the spirit club who made rally posters for both the wrestlers and the baseball players. Maggie had made my last two posters, something the girls said was proof that she was into me.
“What if she says no,” I asked.
“She won’t,” Becky told me.
“I don’t know that I want to go with her. It’s prom. Aren’t you supposed to go with your girlfriend or in a large group of friends?”
“But you don’t have a girlfriend.”
“Exactly. That’s why I wasn’t planning to go.”
“You have to go!” Both Becky and Laura said to me. Laura was going with Trevor, of course. I wasn’t sure who Becky was going with.
“Who’s your date?” I asked her.
“Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t been asked yet. I was going to ask one of Trevor and Eddie’s junior friends if no one asks me,” she said.
“What? Not having a date yet or going with an underclassman?”
“Don’t listen to him,” Laura mediated. She didn’t like it when Becky and I teased each other.
“We should just go together,” I suggested. “It would save you from going with one of the goons from the shop or embarrassing yourself with a junior.”
“Hey! Trevor’s not a goon,” Laura defended her man.
“He’s the only one.”
“You’re in that class, too!”
“Yep. And I’m a complete goon,” I joked. “But I’m not as bad as Eddie.” We all laughed. It wasn’t that we didn’t care for Barbara’s boyfriend, we liked him, but he really was a goon. I wasn’t sure what Barbara saw in him.
“Are you asking me to prom GC?”
“Sure.” I hadn’t been, but what the hell? I didn’t really want to ask Maggie Pie, and I knew I’d have fun with Becky. We could triple date with Laura and Trevor and Barbara and Eddie.
“Alright,” Becky answered.
“Alright you’ll go with me?”
“Yeah. I’d rather go with a friend than with some kid that Eddie and Trevor know.”
“Or some junior.”
“Right, but you have to buy me a huge corsage and we should rent a limo.”
So that’s how I ended up going to prom with Becky. I left the planning of the whole thing to the girls. I didn’t really care anyway. I was just glad that I was going with Becky and not some girl who would expect me to ask her to be my girlfriend at some point. I didn’t want a girlfriend.
As I said before, prom ended early because of the fire alarm, but nothing like that happened at the after party held at the Red Rooster. As Barbara and Eddie predicted, hanging out at the Rooster was a lot more fun than the dance. We played foosball and darts. Becky and I ended up in a tie for both games. That’s what I liked about playing with her; she gave as good as she got most of the time.
I probably would have called the whole evening a success if the dance and after party were all that happened. It would have been a good memory, but my night didn’t end there.
At the end of the night, Barbara and Eddie, Laura and Trevor, and Becky and I went back to our house to just chill. Somehow we’d convinced Mom and Dad to let us have a sleep over. The guys were supposed to stay in my room and the girls in Laura and Barbara’s.
Of course that’s not how it ended up. So, even though I thought prom night was over, I was wrong. The second unusual thing that happened was that Becky ended up coming into my room that night.
“Psst, GC,” I was sleeping on my bunk when I heard Becky come into my room.
“Uh huh. Can I come in?” She didn’t wait for my answer, just came in and laid out her sleeping bag.
“Where are the guys?” I asked, coming awake fully.
“Where do you think they are?”
“Oh.” What was I supposed to do about the guys sleeping in the girls’ room? Mom and Dad would freak if they found out, which they probably would since they were sleeping just down the hall.
“Can I just sleep here with you? We’ll all switch back in the morning.”
“Sure. You can sleep in TJ’s old bed.”
She looked at the lower bunk and then back at me.
“Haven’t I ever told you how claustrophobic I am?”
“Yeah. I can’t sleep under there. The bed might fall on me and squash me before I could get out.”
I laughed at this. That bed had never fallen in all of the years I’d been sleeping in it.
“I’ve got my sleeping bag. I’ll just sleep on the floor.”
“GC, I had a good time tonight,” Becky said as she settled in. “I used to dream of going to prom with you,” she added.
“Yeah…before I realized that I really didn’t like youlike you.”
“Before you knew what a terrible kisser I am,” I joked, remembering the night that Becky taught me how to kiss up in the jungle gym.
“Right. But you’ve had time to improve since then.”
“I think you should come down here and show me. Prom night is supposed to end with a kiss, you know.”
“Is it?” I started climbing down from the top bunk. Becky looked so tussled in her pajamas. I sort of wanted to kiss her.
“Yeah.” She unzipped her sleeping bag and I snuggled in, bringing in one of the bags the guys had left on the floor to cover me.
“Now how does this go again?” I jokingly asked.
“You put your hands here and you open your mouth slightly,” she said, putting one of my hands on her hip.
“Oh yeah,” I said, then lowered my mouth to hers, slightly open like she said. Then I showed her what I’d learned since the night she taught me how to kiss.
“Wow,” she said when I pulled away from her. She was breathing heavy.
“Yeah,” I said. Even though I knew that I didn’t really have feelings for Becky and she really didn’t have feelings for me, I suddenly wanted to kiss her again and more.
I pulled her closer to me so we were touching down the entire lengths of our bodies. I kissed her again until we were both breathing heavily. I was touching her, too. When Becky’s first told me where girls liked being touched, she’d only shown me spots above the waist and over the clothes. We were much more intimate than that in the sleeping bag. I had never been sexual with a girl before, but I seemed to know what to do without Becky’s guidance this time.
She let me remove her pajama shirt and she helped me out of my pajama pants. We were both clad only in underwear that provided very little barrier. She was wet between her legs and gasped when I touched her there. I think she was as shocked as I was when I did it because she sort of pulled away from me.
“I’ve never had sex before,” she said.
“Do you have a condom?”
I nodded. What guy didn’t have one? Every player on the baseball team could have pulled one out of his wallet. I was no exception.
Becky took control after that. She put the condom on me, reminding me that we’d learned how in our health class.
We kissed and touched a lot before I actually entered her. It was a strange sensation—one I’m not sure would have been any less strange without the condom. She was tight. I think it hurt her a little.
But then we were both moving and somehow we found a rhythm that worked for both of us. It probably didn’t last very long, but I felt like I was pumping in and out of her forever. And then she sort of gasped and everything inside her squeezed. She’d come. I thought that girls had a harder time doing that, but I swear Becky did. And when she came, I couldn’t help myself. I came, too.
“Oh man.” I said when I found the power of speech again.
“Yeah.” Becky agreed.
Both of us were breathing hard. I was still inside her, so I shifted a bit, sliding out of her. I felt the wetness of the condom still on me. I got up to take care of it. I didn’t want to go to the bathroom, so I grabbed some tissues on my dresser and wrapped it in them and threw the whole mess away. I’d have to empty my trash can in the morning. Mom and Dad would be so pissed if they found it.
I came back to the sleeping bags and found my boxers and pajama pants. Becky had found her t-shirt and put it on already. Once we were dressed again, I slipped into the bag with her.
“Are you sorry, GC?”
“No. Are you?”
“Good. I’m glad.”
I fell asleep next to Becky. I had meant what I said at the time. I wasn’t sorry that we’d slept together. What guy wants to be a virgin forever? Maybe when I woke up, I’d realize that I should have waited. That I didn’t love Becky. That no matter how much protection we used, there could be still be consequences. But as my eyes closed, I didn’t even think of those things.