Losing My Religion

I am now looking back and very slowly realizing that I didn’t really care much about PROM. But I have accepted that it’s okay that I didn’t.  The reasons why I didn’t wasn’t clear at that time. The proof that I didn’t have the slightest inclination towards having a picture-perfect experience of a night full of dancing and possibly making-out is the fact that I went out and look for a partner a week before it.

I didn’t have guy friends that were single at that time, they were already taken by my…well..my friends. And really, at that time I didn’t feel the need to conform to the standards of the girl-world. I am a 4th year student who’s part of the school band. I play the lyre, by the way. And I am graduating soon. Imagine the possibilities or the fact that there may be none at that point. It’s Senior Year. For me it was another rite of passage that I need to go through because everyone has to go to PROM because it’s “Senior’s Night” and high school for you will be irrelevant if you were not part of it. Plus, it’s part of the tuition fee you’d be paying so why put good money to waste? And it’s my parent’s money at that time too!

Prior to that week though, I already have my dress, my shoes and well, I’m have pretty-much prepared for it except for the fact that I had no one in mind (and heart) to ask. I know it was ridiculous—to have been prepared and not having thought of who to take. It’s like going out of a country without a passport or getting into a surgery without the surgeon. W

My partner, whom I just met a week before the said event was the cousin of one of my friends. He was a year younger than I am and the only reason why he obliged is 1.)  because his cousin was my friend and  2.) yes, it’s a free pass to get to enter the world of an all-girls-school.

He wasn’t that bad I thought, except later you’d see how it will turn out.

Prom Night. Everyone was pretty excited. I felt so-so like it will just be one of the family gatherings where you have to pay attention to your Aunt’s stories, nod on cue, laugh at the appropriate timing, eat your cake and compliment your relative’s cooking.  Easy-breezy, I thought. No pressure. I felt good because I think at that time I look good. My partner is just a ticket for me to actually go. No date, no entry. Although the sign did not exist at the entrance, it was pretty obvious that it should have been posted for all of us to realize that really, it will take two to tango…

Proper introductions was done to the whole PROM committee, the batch President, the Prom Moderator and the entire nunnery.

Seats-check. I was seated with my friends of course ( where the prom king and queen) were seated.We were near the stage because two of my friends were the hosts too.

My only concern is it’s a wide open space and the chances of precipitation was somewhat high. My other concern was the food. I need to get my money’s worth. At this point you’d see how much I didn’t even notice what my partner was wearing, how does he look like. Okay, this is what I have remembered. He was wearing a suit. I didn’t remember the color of the tie.  I did not remember if we danced because I think for most part of the PROM he was frolicking the school grounds.

The music, I forgot to tell you about the music. The pop tunes of our time were played until right before the whole slow dance they played  R.E.M.’s Losing my Religion. And the whole song, got stuck to my head.

In one of the slow dances in which at that time, my partner is still M.I.A, my friend asked me to dance. He’s the boyfriend of my other friend – who might have taken a shot of pity slash sympathy. I thought it was sweet and he had earned some points from me.

Before the night ended, it rained. I was right. My boobs predicted the weather. Okay, bad Mean Girls reference. I wasn’t even finished eating my breaded pork. There was little victory left to celebrate on.  And since we’re in a catholic school exclusive for non-alcholic women, booze is OUT. Sad.

Final cut of the night. The whole picture-taking with your date is essential. At this point my missing cretin of a partner finally found his way back from Wonderland.

When it was our turn, I smiled and a posed like a good catholic school girl. When the photo was developed, I looked awesome, my partner on the other hand, was droopy-eyed and looked like he was on something very “illegal”.

Picture-perfect, didn’t I tell you? No expectations.  Most of us, attended the after-party which was held at the only club there is so everyone who’s anyone were actually there. I called the night early. I still have to take the night duty with my mom.  And PROM, the very first and last experience of it did feel like one of the family gatherings, except my Aunt wasn’t there to comment on how awesome my partner was and that I didn’t get a chance to finish dinner and comment “appropriately” or better yet gave a review to the caterer.

When I went home, my dad was surprised. It wasn’t 2.a.m. and I wasn’t drunk as hell. I was completely sober and I didn’t lose anything. He asked how it was and all I can muster was a smirk and said “It’s prom. BEST DAY EVER.”  We laughed.

Funny fact. My partner was one of his students. I would have asked him to flunk him but I wasn’t as sinister as I am now.

The Freshmen

Can’t be held responsible
‘Cause she was touching her face
I won’t be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

The first time I had butterflies in my stomach, I was in the third grade. It wasn’t because of that impending doom that involves my Math assignment and/or a science project about growing plants out of cotton which I was procrastinating on around that time. His name was Brian Sibulo. Of course, that was his real name. I mean. Now, he’s probably in his late 30s and he does not have a clue who I am.

He was a freshman at that time in my Dad’s English class. My dad sometimes brings me to one of his classes. An all-boy-school plus the only girl in the classroom — that’s somewhat a big deal for a third grader from a  Catholic all-girl-school. A little grin always comes up to my face when I pass by B114. That was the name of the classroom.

Brian was different from all those fresh out of puberty squirts. He smiled at me the first time he  saw me walking with my Dad. He pinched my cheek at one time and let me sat on his lap.He pretends to listen to my Dad during his class and I would just look at his awesome face and sigh. Of course, that not what I did, I was in the third grade. I simply doodle away in his notebook while he effortlessly pretends to listen to my Dad’s lessons.

The definition of crush spelled out his name and from my innocent little giggle when he asked if he’s cute, I could pretty much tell that he is my first ever dreamboat, until one day he said he’ll show me something.

Shut the front door. It’s not what you think it is.

So one day, he, as usual asked me to sit on his lap while my Dad lectures away. For some reason he trusted Brian, to have let me sit on his lap. And I trusted him too and wished that he’ll pull out a lollipop from his pocket and give it to me as a sign of his unwavering devotion.

But of course that wasn’t the case. He pulled his wallet from his back pocket and instead picked the very first picture  that I have mentally burned the very first time I laid my eyes on it.

It was his girlfriend at that time (who knows she may have been Mrs. Sibulo now or the mother of his first bastard, who gives a fart?). I stared at it for a very long time. She was very pretty and she was from my school too. And I hated her guts, I think.

Brian started blabbling about Sandra. Actually, I wasn’t so sure if that was her name. I was mentally spacing out in between. But what I did remember — is  him asking me if  she was pretty and if I wanted to be like her someday.

I might have said yes. I wanted to be Sandra or whatever her name was. I don’t like her innocent smile or her pimple-free face though. I wanted to be a Sandra because Brian wanted her.  I smiled at him  and pretended I was happy as a clam but in my mind I was really mentally cursing him and his Sandra.

And so that’s how I held my very first grudge and how I became the little school girl who punched the next student who called me “fat girl”. Yep, it was in my Dad’s class too – a classmate of Brian’s and he became the easy scapegoat for my passive-aggressive tendencies towards the first dreamboat.