Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: The Prom (08/02/04)
TITLE: Best Prom Date Ever
By Jayson Tabor
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Ten minutes late.
-Could he have forgotten where I am?-
Twenty minutes late.
-Mom and dad haven’t said anything, but it’s written all over their faces. Chip didn’t have the heart to tell me…deep breaths… that he changed his mind. I thought this might have been a sympathy invite.-
“My! You look beautiful! You must be off to your prom!” Nurse Coleman burst in the room to check Cindy’s vitals. A lingering smile rested upon the nurse’s confused face as she acquired the necessary data and scurried out through the door. She saw Chip in the hallway. She saw Chip and half the student body crammed in the hallway of the hospital.
Her dad sat unaffected to Cindy turning slowly each page of the Wall Street Journal. He knew what was coming and said earlier to his wife that he was going to have to stay occupied in order to keep a straight face. Her mom was standing in bedside allegiance holding Cindy’s hand and stroking the curling locks.
“Mom, quit messing with my hair! He isn’t coming!” Difficult as it was, Cindy managed to cross her arms in frustration, knotting the IV tubing that the nurse was going to remove just before Cindy departed on her big night. The doctor said she could be gone one hour at the most.
Thirty minutes late.
Cindy’s mom glanced at the door, wondering what everyone was waiting on. “He who waits upon the Lord…” She recited verses to calm the evident rage that began to boil inside her daughter.
“Chip is no Lord, mom, I can tell you that… but I am…starting to feel weak.”
-I know the doctor told me that I may not have very much longer, but I hope I can make it just a little bit…-
Erratic beeping sounded from behind the hospital bed. Lights flashed. A steady monotonous tone hailed out of the tiny little speaker in a machine that registered a silenced teenage heartbeat.
-Who is that walking towards me?-
The hospital door flew open and in barged Chip and all the students who came to celebrate their prom with someone they knew wouldn’t make it very long at the real thing. Celebration turned to sadness and quiet joy as each student saw the lifelessness that lay before them.
-You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.-