Sparkly, way-too-expensive dress? Check.
Perfect hair, all held together by an entire can of hairspray? Check.
Probably way too much makeup, applied and gorgeous? Check.
You gaze upon yourself in the mirror once more, a smile gracing your full, red lips. Prom night is a go.
You hear honking from outside, and you grab your bag before walking carefully down the stairs. The last thing you need is to trip on your dress and go tumbling down. You grin in embarrassment as your mother snaps picture after picture of you and your friends outside before admonishing you for not having a date.
“I don’t want a date,” you say, for at least the tenth time. “I just want to go with my friends, that’s all.”
Your mother purses her lips but says nothing. Your older sister though, much to your irritation, smirks at your response.
The car ride to the school goes by in the blink of an eye, and you feel the familiar bubble of nervousness and excitement filling you up to the brim. Last year in high school, last dance in this building.
“Come on!” your friend giggles as she tugs on your hand. You follow after her, grinning at the sight of your fellow graduating classmates in their best suits and dresses. Despite the years of stress and crap that you had to go through with these people, you feel a pang of nostalgia.
The decor of the dance is as expected; cheap, sparkly, gaudy, and altogether magical. The beat of the music they’re playing reverberates in your bones, and a feeling of giddiness threatens to make a break out of you.
A few bachelors whistle at your group, quirking an eyebrow and eyeing you all up and down. You respond with a toss of your hair, grinning as your friends laugh. Something about the night and your dress has you leaving your normally shy and awkward personality back at home.
The music spins into a popular song, and a collective scream erupts from the crowd. With a great smile, your friend leads you into the heart of the crowd, and you begin the night.
“Hey, looks like someone’s taken a fancy towards you,” you friend whispers out with a giggle. You follow her finger to the corner of the hall, where a tall, gangly boy stoops, his bright blue eyes glancing furtively away before you can catch his gaze.
Your eyes widen. “Wait, is that…?”
Your friend laughs out loud. “Dan Smith, yes.”
Dan Smith? Daniel ultimate-geek Smith, with his calculator watch and wire-rimmed glasses and wild, afro-like hair? Dan, who you’ve barely seen say a word to anyone your entire high school career? It can’t be. This Dan is…
Hot. There’s no other word. For once, his hair’s shaved cleanly on the sides and styled into a neat quiff. Gone are his glasses, which hid exactly how blue those eyes of his are. He’s wearing a three-piece suit, which hugs him in all the right places.
“Go say hi to him!” your friend shouts over the music, which you recognize as an old song by Corona. Of the Night, or something like that.
Normally, your friend would have to practically pick you up and plop you in front of a guy just to talk to him, but tonight, drunk on music and the moment, you put on your best winning smile and saunter over to him. You bit back a laugh at the way Dan’s eyes widen ever so slightly before breaking contact again. Now, this Dan you recognize.
“Want a dance?” you say with a flirtatious smile, extending a manicured hand out to him.
Dan licks his lips, mumbling out a response that’s entirely lost in the pulse of the music.
“You’re gonna have to speak up!” you shout back with an amused shake of your head.
Dan tries again, and this time, you hear a faint, “I don’t know how to dance.”
You laugh callously as you grab both his hands and yank him onto the floor, quirking a challenging eyebrow. “And you think I can?”
As you start dancing – jumping up and down, really – Dan starts to do the same, looking self-consciously around.
You shake your head. “No one cares tonight,” you tell him, closing the gap between the two of you. You look up at Dan with fever-bright eyes. “Come on, Smith. Live a little.”
This is the rhythm of the night
The night, oh yeah
The rhythm of the night
This is the rhythm of my life
My life, oh yeah
The rhythm of my life
Slowly, Dan starts to dance too… or whatever he calls dancing. You bite back a laugh at how God-awful he really is, but you merely shake your head and take his hand again, jumping along to the beat.
After the song ends, you clap your hands and cheer along with everyone else, nudging for Dan to do the same. Dan complies, offering you a small, genuine smile. Your gaze lingers on him, your heart fluttering at the appearance of two very adorable little dimples.
You really need to dress this boy up more often.
“Right, we’re going to take things a bit slower now, so find a partner!” the DJ says. You immediately look back to your new friend, a smile spreading as Dan does the same. Wordlessly, you snake your hands up to wrap around his neck, Dan doing the same around your waist. Slowly, you both starts to sway back and forth in place.
“This isn’t too bad, now is it?” you say, smiling softly.
Dan chuckles in reply. “No, not at all,” he replies.
You respond by gently leaning your head against Dan’s chest, closing your eyes to the steady, rhythmical thumping of his heart. When you peek your eyes back open, you find your friend grinning manically at you, flashing you a thumbs up before giggling. You go back to closing your eyes and dancing with your partner, slowly inhaling his musky scent.
There will never be a night like Prom Night.
~~~~~ Of the Night ~~~~~