She has been talking about it since August.
She spent hours at the mall trying on dresses with her friends and sending pictures of dresses to her other friends.
She helped make posters to decorate the halls that she laughs and walks through every weekday with her endless supply of friends and smiles.
She stayed after school making posters with her people to ask girls or boys to the big event.
She showed her mom the style of hair she wanted to have that night.
She spent a Sunday afternoon shoe shopping for the most sparkly shoe even though in the end she picked a little less glitzy one because of family pressure.
She has had her dress on display hanging proudly in her room for all who enter to be reminded that her big event is approaching.
She may have even tried on the dress several times without anybody knowing.
She went to pep assemblies and built the excitement up for the big weekend even more.
She finally was at the big game. The biggest game of the year. Cheers, teens, parents, teachers, facepaint, school colors, everything she thought it would be was all around her in the stands where she was immensely engrossed in all that was around her that night. Laughing. Screaming. And knowing that the next night would be even better because she has been thinking about that punch bowl in the middle of the gym (which only exists in movies) for at least two months straight. And now it was less than 24 hours away. Life for this teen is going exactly the way she knew it would.
She has been worried about this week since August. Since the beginning of school. She vowed to herself that this year would be different and she was going to have a date for that one ridiculous night that deep down she so wanted to be a part of.
She spend some time at the mall trying on dresses for the hope of a group of friends to go with or a special boy. She sorta liked one of them. The next day she told her mom she didn't really find anything that she liked and started trying on dresses out of her mom's closet.
She came home after the halls were decorated and said "the halls were not very impressive". Those halls. The halls that she walks alone in every weekeday with an occasional "hi" from someone who knows her. The halls where she feels like hiding inside of a turtle shell that she doesn't have to protect her because she sees so many beautiful people and wants to feel inside what they seem to be feeling.
She thought about staying after school for the powder puff game. She didn't. She claimed it was too hot. But the real reason would never be spoken out loud.
She looks at the dress hanging so proudly in the room she shares with her sister.
She spent Sunday afternoon helping her sister pick out special shoes. And she picked out a pair of sweater clogs to wear to school because in her mind it wasn't fair if she didn't get "anything".
She may have even went into her moms closet again and tried on dresses again when she was home alone. Trying not to get tears on them. Nobody will know if that happened or not.
Pep assemblies. Ugh. Searching for someone to sit by and try to get unnoticed even though all she wants is to BE NOTICED.
She finally went to the big game. She found one friend who would go with her. The friend was almost 45 minutes late letting her know she was there. But she was a little excited inside to be a part of it all. Just a little.
Mom dropped her off. She had the wrong ID. And no money. She couldn't get in. She was frantic. And embarrassed. Text to mom. Tried both gates. Turned away. Because she didn't have the right ID or the $3.
Mom pulls up. "Please don't embarrass me mom. I just want to go home." Tears. And mom has anger on the outside for all this ridiculousness and a breaking heart on the inside.
Her sister was at the game. Inside. With everything that she longed to have.
She came home and went straight to bed on a Friday night at 8:30.
While her sister enjoyed the game.
Life for this teen was going exactly the way she knew it would, no matter how hard she wants it to be different.
It's Homecoming dance Saturday.
Today will be a long day for one sister. And a blink of an eye for the other.
This is a tale of two homecomings. Yet it is only one.
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