When Ronnie called to say he declined his leave…Deep breaths! Deep, Deep Breaths! I wasn’t suppose to upset him in anyway because he was so far away. I had to keep my chin up and suck up what I was feeling. I am sure he felt enough from the periods of silence to know I was not happy about it. Ronnie knew when it came down to it I would always follow his lead. What he says goes. He was the boss and it always made sense latter but boy did I want my way.
“Heather, I know Prom is coming up. Call Jim, I am sure he will take you.” I know he wanted me to think of something in the near future to look forward to but that was so not what I wanted to hear. I wanted Ronnie to take me to Prom! In my mind I was thinking - sure, my fiancé who said he was going to take me decided it wasn’t worth coming home for. No guy in my high school would ask me to Prom since I have been telling everyone for a whole year that I have a fiancé and how much we love each other. Thank goodness we have Jim on call for any dating situation that would require my fiancé!
Oh well, at least Ronnie wasn’t depressed any more and once again he was right. If he came home in April for one week I would be so close to graduating that it would be insane to leave school now. We couldn’t get married in one week. It would take more than a week to talk our parents into it. If he came home and we didn’t get married there was the issue of having to say goodbye, again. I didn’t know if I could go through it again. If he came home I would want to leave with him no matter what. So I sucked it up and dealt with the great disappointment.
With that settled I eventually call Jim but guess what? “Heather, I would love to take you but I have already agreed to go to four other proms and I’m not even in high school any more.” I could have begged him or Ronnie could have called him but that was degrading. I could have told the high school Gossip that I didn’t have a date for the prom and I was mad at my fiancé. Had I gone that route I would have had a date from my high school that very same day. No, not sounding conceded. Just a fact that one of my rules was about to be broken would set off the hope of all my rules being broken. All through high school, rules or no rules, there were guys who never gave up asking. Still, I couldn’t go to prom with someone from my school. I was upset with Ronnie but I felt the need to keep my rules for my own reasons. The rules were in place before I met Ronnie and they were there for good reason.
The next Sunday Ronnie called and I explained that Jim was busy that night and every night that month doing prom duty. “We thought you would be here so he didn’t keep the date open. We didn’t think he had to.” Ok I was getting a pissy but I toned it down after he apologized a few times. I figured he knew best and I would have to figure this out. Yes, it was my Senior Prom and I might have to go stag. I wasn’t worried about showing up and people thinking I couldn’t get a date. I was worried about going with my friends and being the odd one out. When slow songs came on I would be standing by the punch bowl or worse hiding out in the bathroom away from guys who came with dates. Again, not being conceded, my guy pals would have been there with dates and no one at the table when I knew there were guys from our school who wanted to go out with me…seeing me alone at my own prom. I would have looked like a sitting duck. That was a bit much for me to think of. Ok, maybe I was being conceded. Surely none of my guy pals would have been the type to leave their dates to dance with me. That would have been a huge dent in their shinny armor in my eyes.
That night at Players everyone was talking about the up coming Prom. The Angels were all chattering about their dresses, dates and possible dates for those who had not made definite plans yet. I already purchased the perfect dress at Lerner a few months ago and it was absolutely perfect for the theme - Night In The Old South. My mother had altered it to fit me already. The only thing I needed was a hoop skirt to go underneath it. Giggles was working at a store at the FSK mall where they still had a few small enough for me.
I mentioned that I might not go since Ronnie wasn’t coming home. Now all my Guy Pals knew I needed a date for Prom or I would have to go stag. Again, going stage was not a real problem but I didn’t want to feel like a burden to anyone. It was my Senior Prom and I should feel like a princess. So there I was at Players with Guy Pals who were not from my school and not friends with my brothers. Even Todd was somewhat considered a Guy Pal but not fully. There was something about Todd that wasn’t exactly genuine when he promised to be good. He did behave himself and it was sort of nice to have a completion weight lifter and body builder on my side when guys got out of hand at Players. After Ronnie left for Germany Todd started to come to Players on a regular basis. I wouldn’t dance with him. I still didn’t trust him that much. He offered to take me to Prom and even the Angels said I should consider it but still, I didn’t trust him enough. If I went to Prom with Todd, Ronnie would have gone into a rage.
Ray-Ray offered to take me but his armor was starting to slip. Yes, I cried a lot and complained a lot about Ronnie being away in Germany but I wasn’t about to go there. Ray-Ray seemed to be waiting for the other shoe to drop and maybe I would break off our engagement. I didn’t need that in a Prom date.
Patrick even jokingly said “I would take you to Prom but it is beneath me to take an upper classman to Prom.” Back in 10th grade when I first met Patrick he asked me, in a back door fashion, if I would ever consider dating an underclassman. I laughed loudly and said I couldn’t because I was near the bottom of the high school food chain as it was. I didn’t realize he was actually asking if I would ever consider going out with him until he was walking away. Nicky came up to me and explained that Patrick had been working up the courage to ask me out. I felt so bad. A few weeks later he was happy with us just being friends. He had a date with a really cute girl. I loved it when Patrick talked to me about his dates and who he liked in between girlfriends.
Back to My Senior Prom. I finally came to the conclusion that Chris would be the best choice. Ronnie and I both trusted Chris. He was so nice and in control of himself. Any time Chris danced with me at Players I never had to worry about him behaving badly. He always kept his hands and eyes where even a Priest would approve. There was one draw back with Chris. He had this way of coming up with the most profound thoughts. You never saw it coming, he would just say what he thought and exactly what his thoughts were. He was open honesty on steroids. He and Giggles had one thing in common, they were both quick to bring in reality when you were hoping for the best. Giggles and Chris were too much alike so they crashed like huge marching band cymbals! Oh how I wish I had a tape recorder when the two of them had enough of each other and went on for 15 minutes or so. No political debate to date could top their exchange of words once they got in to it. To listen to them argue the point of what q-tips were actually made of was completely hysterical!
Next step was to ask Ronnie if it was ok for Chris to take me to Prom. I dreaded it but at the same time I felt Ronnie owed me a date for Prom since he was passing on my Prom. Still, I didn’t want to ask him. I didn’t want to even mention it when we were on the phone. He asked me about Prom… “Who all is going to Prom?” “All the Angels are going. Oh, my dress is finished. Mom fixed it up perfect. I need to get a hoop and find gloves small enough for my arms.” “What? Small enough for your arms?” I was a bit embarrassed but I replied “My dress has 1 inch straps. It even has a cute ruffle across the front but nothing on my arms. You know how I feel about my arms. I need long gloves that fit and go past my elbow.” Ronnie laughed and said “Your arms are perfect. I wish I could have them around me.” That made me feel warm all over. I was thinking of my arms around him and him holding me. Then he burst my warm fuzzy feeling with “Who are you going to Prom with?” Huh? Did he know about the discussions at Players? Oh how I hoped he didn’t! I didn’t want him to worry. Then I started to think Giggles must have told him. Before I could muster up how upset I was with Giggles, Ronnie said “Someone has to take you. You... you cannot go stag to your Senior Prom.” Wow, he actually understood. Apparently, he had a little chat with his Mom and she said how unfair it was to ask me to go stag or even skip my prom. He was so relieved that Chris was my choice and readily agreed.
This hurdle was cleared. There was another one but I chickened out of telling him. It would have to wait until the next phone call. Maybe right before Prom. First, I had to come up with a way to tell him gently so he wouldn’t blow a fuse.