Michelle’s shoes and bag
Homecoming was an actual date. The first time we begrudgingly tried to be some kind of “item.” You were new, a Philadelphia Yankee in Carolina’s court, and I took a shine to you and you took a shine to me, probably mostly because I took a shine to you despite that everyone else found you abrasive and off-putting. (You were, and I liked it.) It wasn’t some fairytale love story, ever. It wasn’t like I was swept off my feet, despite that you did that, literally, a couple times. We were kids and we acted like kids, and if you didn’t know us you’d probably assume we hated each other, and half the time we did. But homecoming was an actual date. You picked me up. We went over to your house before the game. You gave me a tour and we fooled around in a walk-in closet on the third floor, all lips and hips and awkward angles. Further than I wanted to go but not as far as you did. We spent the first half of the game under a blanket and I spent the second half of the game hanging out with friends after you disappeared. I didn’t realize you’d truly disappeared until your sister tracked me down after the game and asked me where you’d gone, because you were supposed to take her home after the game, because she was too young to go to the dance. I didn’t know about that either. She got a ride home with a friend and I went on to the dance and danced with friends and had the time of my life, and I never saw or heard from you again until Monday at school. I don’t remember what your excuse was, but I do remember the months of cold that followed between us, a relationship that mimicked the seasons, that year.
The coolness developed into a mocking friendship, as those things sometimes do, because despite it all I was still one of the few people who really paid any attention to you. So that’s probably why that one day in early spring you approached me at my locker and leaned on the door. “So I was thinking. We should go to the prom. You and me. Sound like a plan?”
I snorted. “You act like I don’t have someone to go with or something.”
“It’s early, you don’t know that. Besides, I don’t even know if I want to go to Prom this year.”
“Suit yourself. We’d have fun and you know it.”
FUCK. I want.