The Prom Queen

She was with her friends. Their whole gang of ditzy girls, clenching each other’s hands. They didn’t talk, not really, sure sometimes an intelligible sound would come from one of them. She was at the center, as usual, and among all of them, her gown was the most exquisite. Her face was a blend in her clique, the desert rose but unassuming, generally uninspiring. Beautiful, perhaps. Elegant, especially now. But a face that fades in the colored canvass of a crowd.

When her name was called, and to be honest, no one was expecting otherwise, she shrieked. Not too loud to be scandalous, but loud enough for us to hear her. Her posse threw out ‘congratulations,’ ‘I envy you, you bitch,’ and ‘o-my-fucking-god-you-fucking-won!’ She ramped up to the stage and the crown of centuries weighed itself on her head.

As people clapped, she smiled. She held hands with the king, not me, but the prettiest boy in the room – he has a small dong though, trust me, I saw it in the lockers. The applause got louder and louder. She scanned the room, at first just gazing at her friends, then moving to the others in the crowd. Her smile got bigger and bigger. Her eyes barely brushed by me.

Why would she waste her time staring at me? She is the queen, the goddess slowly rising from the water. I used to be her humble page. She used to hang-out at my garage, we’d sniff glue and junk and eat brownies Kuya has left on the table and watch Ate’s videos and try to copy what the people are doing. Sometimes, she’d brush my hand away but I’d still for it anyway.

But now she’s all grown-up – the Cleopatra of the dance. One hand on the king’s shoulder, the other on top of his hand. They do a waltz to David Pomeranz. For that moment, and maybe just that moment, everyone wanted to be her. Everyone sees the good queen with the plastic crown and the ephemeral dance and the awkward conversation after she gets fucked by the king later. Only I see her and see a pretentious little slut as she tries to claw her way out of our happy life and move on to a group where everyone looks alike. When she looked at me again, for just a fleeting second, she lingered and I thought I saw teardrops in her eyes. Or maybe it was just the glue seeing things.