Just because people have a romanticized notion of prom, doesn’t mean that it isn’t magical.
I stood in my room getting dolled up.
I dashed over to the mirror that hung on my bedroom wall above my dresser. I smiled at my reflection. I moved my arms in front of the mirror as my eyes dropped down to the nail polish on my fingernails. I took my hands to my dress, making sure it was unwrinkled. Call it OCD, or anxiety, but I would be damned if I had a wardrobe malfunction. It was a black strapless dress and just screamed at me the second I saw it at the local boutique shop on Main Street.
My mother hated it because it was too morbid, not that I cared.
I noticed my pill bottle on the dresser as I ripped open my closet. It was time for the most exciting thing that evening: picking a pair of shoes. I kneeled down on the ground, grabbing a pair of high heels. My heart thumped inside my chest. Two green shoes that were supported by tan ankles popped out at me. I looked up at my closet. I possessed an array of outfits, so it was quite possible that somebody was actually standing there, as the only thing that stuck out was the person’s feet.
My Mother barged through the door. “Oh darling! You look beautiful. I don’t even care about your gothic sense of style.”
I rolled my eyes. “Thanks, Mom.”
She folded her arms together, pressing them against her chest. “Did you take your medication, dear?”
I nodded at her. “Yes, Mom. I wish you would stop asking me that.”
She swallowed a lump in her throat. “I can’t help it if I worry. It’s my job.”
“Well maybe you need to find a new job,” I whispered under my breath.
“What was that, dear?”
I exhaled a long breath. “Nothing. I just said I hope you have a good evening.”
I woke up in a locked room several months later. The door whipped open, revealing two men in white pants and shirts. You see, prom was the beginning of the end for my sanity. I should have listened to my Mom and not went off my meds. Oh well!
People still shoot me dirty looks when I bring up the pair of feet I saw in my closet. But to this day, my Mom says we still have a pair of green shoes in my house that don’t belong to my Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, or me. There were also several murders within a span of two months of me seeing the feet. The first murder even happened on prom night when a girl left the dance only to never come back.
But just because someone is crazy doesn’t mean what they think or say is a lie. I know what I saw that day. Nothing would change my mind.
Chris Bedell's previous publishing credits include essays on the
online magazine Thought Catalog. He has also had several stories
published on online literary magazines, which include "Surface
Tension" on Crab Fat Literary Magazine, "A Little Accident" and "The
House That Never Was" on Quail Bell Magazine, "The Wronger Murder",
"Game Over", "Poof and I'm Gone," "The Vanishing Girl," "Run, Cecily,
Run," "Burning Point," and "Abducted" on Short-story.me, and "The
Wizard" on Pidgeonholes Magazine and "Living Nightmares" on Abbreviate
Journal while Inklette Magazine and Sprout Magazine has published his
creative nonfiction. He will graduate with a B.A. in Creative Writing
from Fairleigh Dickinson University in May of 2016.