Fiction High School Teens & Young Adult

Madelyn had always been a romantic at heart. Many YA books had been read by Madelyn as the sole research done for the past five years that proved it was possible! Cute boy would meet cute girl. An instant ‘something’ would be felt by both. They would start talking and seem to never run out of things to say. They would laugh and smile and would both sneak looks at each other hoping not to be caught in the act. Inevitably the moment would come when the air between them would heat up. He would slowly and perfectly bend his head closer to hers, she would part her lips just a bit, close her eyes, stop breathing, and feel that amazing moment when his perfect lips were pressed against hers. As far as Madelyn was concerned that was it. Finding that special someone was the dream! Everything would work out after that. She would finally have someone that would just get her. He would understand her and she would love him. Together they could be strong. They would undoubtedly face the problems of the world having each other’s back the entire way.

It was Madelyn’s senior year of high school. She was excited to end her career as a high school student. Nothing seemed to be more important to her than to finally be out of hands reach of her overbearing and completely oppressive parents. She wasn’t allowed to date, wasn’t really allowed to hangout with friends outside of school, and while her parents told her she was welcome to have friends over any time she wanted, she would never really consider this an option as things at home were always tricky. It was hard enough dealing with her father’s moods and making sure all things were done to her mother’s liking. She never knew what to expect. What she did know is that if they thought she was in the wrong she would certainly have to be put in her place. If asked, and Madelyn was trying to be vaguely honest, she would describe home life as unpredictable . She always felt like she was walking on eggshells. How could she invite people over and risk being humiliated in front of the few people that she could actually be herself around? It wasn’t worth the risk. Her friends couldn’t see what she endured on a daily basis.

Prom season had arrived and enough pop culture had made its impression that it was imperative Madelyn have a date to the prom. She would be old and gray one day and would want to look back on this moment with fondness. With her parent’s dating rules, the fact that they just moved to a new town one year prior, and as she saw it, the major problem- she was completely awkward in most social situations, having so little practice- she knew that finding a date to the prom was going to be close to impossible.

And then it happened. On a regular Monday morning, in the middle of Government class, Steve asked her to the prom. They had been partnered up by their teacher to work together as a married couple and needed to come up with a financial budget that would allow for a smooth and ‘happily ever after’ kind of marriage. Madelyn’s heart sank.

On one hand, she was grateful to have been asked by - somebody. . . anybody. On the other hand, Steve was no where close to the guy of her dreams. She had taken turns crushing on different boys that had fit her imaginary type. The boy she wanted was fashionably dressed in grungy skater’s gear, was thinly framed and athletic, was creative in someway. Honestly if he could do any cool tricks with a skateboard - that would totally count as creativity as far as she was concerned. As she saw it, he was able to creatively move through time and space. The thought alone made her swoon.

Steve did not fit this imaginary person that was supposed to go down in history as her perfect prom date. He was on the school’s football team, easily towering over Madelyn and making her feel small. At home she made herself as small as she could, as to not be noticed by her parents. This was not the person she wanted to spend time with for the few hours of freedom the prom promised her. The size of this boy alone put her right in that same frame of mind, small and unworthy.

Madelyn didn’t want to embarrass herself. She also didn’t want to upset Steve. She wanted this moment to be over as quickly as it possibly could. Her mind was racing. What does she say? How does she get out of this? Was this her one chance to go to prom? How do you even tell someone ‘No, thank you. I’m waiting for the imaginary guy of my dreams to ask me’? What should she do if she said no and then he made a scene for turning him down? When does the bell ring? Does she have enough time to get to her next class without being late?

A couple of things happened in the milliseconds that went by. The temperature around her definitely went up. Madelyn tried to keep her facial expression smooth and sweet. She took a breath in and then politely said, “Oh my God, this is so unexpected! Yeah, sure. Definitely. I would love to go to the prom with you. Let’s get each other’s information tomorrow in class, okay? I really need to get to my next class.” Steve smiled back at her in agreement. She nodded her head at him with a smile on her face and was off.

A lump immediately developed in her throat. Her vision blurred between watery eyes that came out of no where. She still felt so very warm. Why was she warm? Why did he ask her? Why did she say yes? Why was this happening? Madelyn wanted to implode. She wanted to disappear from life as she knew it. This was going to be terrible.  

January 13, 2022 18:45

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Marty B
21:48 Jan 19, 2022

I liked how the story ended, however, there was a lot of description n the beginning. I noticed more tension at the end than at the beginning. One thought would be to have more dialogue to reduce the amount of exposition required.


Marilyn Cortez
16:07 Jan 20, 2022

Thank you for your suggestion. I will definitely go over and play with this one a bit more. Much appreciated!


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Unknown User
00:08 Jan 20, 2022

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