Ahh, it was that time of year again. The start of another school year, the beginning of another fall season, high school football games, and oh yeah...another school dance to worry about. Every kid at school goes crazy when another dance rolls around. What should they wear? What group will they be in? And most importantly, who will they go with?
I, on the other hand, was lucky (or so I thought). My boyfriend had graduated the year prior and fortunately, he was able to make it back for the dance. So while everyone was in a frenzy, frantically searching for a date, I was sitting pretty. I had the boy, I had the dress, and now, the only thing left to do was wait for the big day.
As the date was approaching soon, I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. I sent a text to my boyfriend just to double check that he was going to be able to make it. A couple minutes later my phone buzzed and the text read "Yeah I'll go if you want me to."
To most people, this response could be considered normal. But for some reason I was picking up on an eerie vibe that I wasn't necessarily pleased with. A stream of thoughts started running through my head. "If you want me to." Did he not want to go? Does he feel forced into going? Does he even like me anymore?
September 16th. The day of the dance. My boyfriend was on his way home and I was frantically making sure I have everything. Hair? Check. Dress? Check. Shoes? Check. Boy? Kinda check. I wanted to look the greatest I have ever looked. My boyfriend had been at college and we hadn't seen each other in about a month so I wanted to "wow" him.
Trying to Collect Myself:
5 pm. I was all ready, mom was taking pictures, and finally I heard the gravel in my driveway. He's here! Should I run out to him or is that too clingy? Should I act like I wasn't impatiently waiting for him by the window and act surprised when he knocks on the door? Having dated him for over a year, you'd think I'd be a little more collected.
The awkward Side Hugs:
I decided to keep it natural and wait for him to knock. "Hi so good to see you!" we both kinda mumbled. For some reason there was a strange vibe in the air. We awkwardly exchanged side hugs and began to take some pictures.
The Small Talk:
You know when your mom happens to bump into an old friend at the grocery store that you have never seen in your entire life before, but you're still expected to make small talk? That's what it felt like with him. We kinda stood around and talked here and there.
"So how's college going?"
"Pretty good, how's high school?"
This was basically the entirety of our conversation at dinner. I was craving a conversation that wasn't awkward and ended up jumping in on another conversation the other couple across the table was having.
The Stream of Uncomfortable Thoughts:
Again, more thoughts enter my head. "Okay I was right he really doesn't like me anymore," "Did he even tell me I look pretty?" "Am I doing something wrong?" Finally we got to the dance and I saw a couple of my friends. They told me it would be okay and he probably just feels a little weird since there were no people from his graduating class there.
Trying to Fake Happiness:
Their words of advice calmed me down, until the actual dancing began. I remember trying to get him to dance but he stood there awkwardly in the middle of the gym floor. Other couples nudged me asking me what was wrong with my boyfriend. I nervously said "oh nothing we're great!" Trying to make it look like we were the happiest couple there.
Finally I said "Hey, let's go get some water!" We sat on the steps and I asked him if something was bothering him. He of course replied with a no, which I knew was a lie. I finally confronted him and said he's been acting weird the entire night.
My senior homecoming was in no way going as I planned. A half hour went by and he told me he didn't feel well. I asked if he wanted to go home and he said yes but he didn't want to ruin my homecoming (little late for that, buddy).
The Last Straw:
We went back to his house, leaving the dance early might I mention. We changed into more comfortable clothes, and as I was talking to his mom, he said "I’m going downstairs to watch the game but you can stay up here." That was it - the last straw for me. I was livid.
The Last Car Ride:
We didn't talk much and things were still awkward until his family had the decency to talk to me. It was going on 1 am when I decided things weren't going to get better. I didn't have a car because he had picked me up earlier so I asked him to drive me home. I said goodbye to his family and little did I know that would be the last goodbye.
Not Even a Handshake:
I finally got the guts to confront him about his behavior but it was too late and we were already in my driveway. I walked in the door without giving him anything even as little as a handshake. I just walked in and turned out the lights.
The 2 Hour Phone call:
I couldn't go on without saying anything. I hopped into bed and gave him a call. What I thought would be a call of reassurance actually turned out to be a 2 hour phone call discussing why things weren't working. I said my final goodbyes and hung up the phone around 3:30 am.
Loneliness Creeping in:
"Well this sucks," I thought to myself. I was sitting alone in my dark room, feeling lonelier than ever with no one to talk to. All of those thoughts that streamed through my head were right, my instincts were right, so how could I have not seen it coming?
Yes, it was crappy, but…
As you have probably guessed from the story, it was a crappy senior homecoming. Everything that could have possibly went wrong, did. But, that's not the moral of the story.
I Learned a Thing or 2:
Since then, I've been single and enjoying what life has to offer. Breaking up with my significant other opened my eyes to a whole other world of opportunities. I learned so much about myself and about my happiness.
The Painful Experience Strengthened Me:
I realized my happiness should never rely on another person and that you don't constantly need to be with another person to feel the joy life has to offer! Although it was a painful experience to go through a breakup, the outcome strengthened me as a person and enhanced my overall take on life.