Someone is going to the ball! On this day, I stopped by the thrift store and fell in love with a dress. And then I tried it on and it was perfect. So my mom gave me ten bucks to buy it. Gotta love her, right? She tells me that this picture does not do the dress justice.
Now, I am going to this ball with That One, and I guess now is as good a time as any to tell our story, or at least as much of it as I remember. Back in the day, I was a cheerleader for the local high school, and That One cheered as well for his school. The first time I saw him, I was a sophmore and we played at his school. I remember seeing those blue eyes of his from across the court, and nudging Ronnie in the ribs and saying “Look at that boy over there! He’s so cute!” I did not speak to him or even learn his name that night.
My junior year, Grand-dad was diagnosed with cancer and had part of his lung removed. He had a wonderful nurse, whose name was Miss That-One’s-Mom. She was one of those nurses who gets to know a patient’s family, and not just the patient. When she found out I was a cheerleader, she mentioned her son cheered too, for NHS and she would bring him out to meet me. I think I probably told her that I had seen him the previous year. Anyway, she brought him to the hospital, and he waved from behind her with those blue eyes and that shy smile. It was the same smile and wave he had when we met again 25 years later, btw. So, he spent a couple days there at the hospital with me and we hit it off very well. And I invited him to my junior prom. I remember very little about the hospital or about the prom. He remembers it all, for better or worse, and he has told me quite a bit, but those are his memories and not my own, so ….
Anyway, after the prom, we never saw each other again. We talked on the phone a couple of times and that was it. I thought he dumped me, and he thought I dumped him. (Keep reading, I’ll explain.) But I kept his picture in my wallet, along with the index card on which he had written his address and phone number. And after Pat and I split up, I was surfing the yahoo personals and saw a picture, and thought, “oh, that looks like That One”, except that really, the picture doesn’t look like him much at all. Not like he looks now, and certainly not like he looked back in the day. I looked at the rest of his profile pics and pulled out the one I had and compared it, and I was pretty certain it was him, so I thought I would call.
And then, I signed up at match.com, and his was the third profile presented to me that first day, and I thought “WOW, maybe I really should call”, and then the same thing at plentyoffish. So, I called and left a message with his mom. And he didn’t call back. And so I let it rest for a few days, but it kept nagging at me, so I called again. No answer. By this time, I had found his myspace and I left a comment, but I knew he wasn’t getting online much and probably wouldn’t get it for awhile. So I called on the way home from work the last Saturday in April, and we talked for a couple of hours that day, and I invited him to come up here to the movie in the park that we had here in Bittyburg that night. And he accepted. And I really thought that we would just spend an evening catching up and that would be the end of it. After all, he dumped me back in high school, right?
So he came, and we had a great time. And he came back the weekend after that and the weekend after that. And in between, we talked on the phone for a couple of hours every night. And some time in one of those long conversations, I got up the nerve to ask him why he never called me back in the day. And he told me he had called “but when you get told enough times that someone isn’t home, you get the message that they aren’t home TO YOU.” And I told him, I was so sorry, and I never knew he called, and that if I had, I would have called him back. And I asked my mom about it. “Did That One call me back in the day?”, and she assured me that she didn’t think so, and that she would have told me if he had. So there it was. I was seeing this guy who I liked a lot. I knew I’d liked him back in the day, cause some things I just know even if I can’t remember, and he said he had called. And all I was able to say in response was that I had spent a great deal of time away with home, because I had a job and also, it was bad at home, so I tried to be away as much as I could.
And then one day, this past fall, I was in the bathroom putting on my makeup and I remembered this thing my dad used to do that made me fairly aggravated. He got this habit of telling me when I got home that “some boy called.” And he told me this several times over several weeks or months (how long it went on, I don’t actually remember), and I realized that That One was Some Boy. Do you know how hard it is to return a call to “some boy”? We don’t think much about it now, with caller ID and all, but this was 25 years ago, yk? I tell myself now that we were young and stupid and would have wasted it anyway, because my heart can’t stand to think about the what ifs. But I know that what happened between us started a bad spiral for him and wasn’t really whoopie for me either, and so.
I am going to the ball in a dress that makes me feel like Cinderella, and I am going with Prince Charming also known as That One and Some Boy, and this time, I think the story is going to end a bit differently.