Dusk, Dawn, and Senior Prom Part Two
by Alan Dalby
Dedicated to Anthony Mario Alessi
The day of the prom arrived, and so did Peter. He arrived at Eddie's house, alone; all decked-out in a slick tuxedo with a dark purple vest adorned by swirling lines in black stitching. He'd even found a pair of black and white wing-tip shoes at the rental shop. Eddie looked even better, as usual. His dark hair slicked back, his amazing looking date standing next to him in a black velvet dress with soft white silken shoulders. It all made Eddie look like an Italian James Bond. Kelly slipped on her corsage and aimed her wrist so that the camera being held by Eddie's mom could see it. Eddie had spared no expense, picking out an arrangement of flowers that perfectly accented Kelly's outfit from the Broadmoor's florist. Peter stood aside as the first set of shots were snapped. Then, against his wishes, he was talked into posing with Eddie and Kelly for a few shots. An empty space would appear where his date should have been once the film was developed. Eddie was all set to go, opting to have his van driven by Robby Plankenhorn; Eddie's one-time student aide at the high school. Robby was a very large, very loud man who tended to swing his arms out wide when he walked, smacking his burly hands into strangers without care wherever he went. Peter was a bit jealous at first, not being asked to drive as previously planned.
"Look man," Eddie had explained a few days prior, "Harry is going off on his own, ditching us to drive Gwen in his own car. I've got dinner plans and hopefully some after-prom plans with Kelly, if you catch my drift."
"I understand man. I don't want to be a third wheel, especially when I'd be a flat tire all night." Peter had replied.
"Don't think of it that way. Take your grandma's Caddy, show up stag, and find a girl to dance with. That way, you'll have your own car, just in case you make last-minute after-prom plans." Eddie had a massive selection of smiles to choose from, one of the many reasons Peter enjoyed hanging out with him so much. He gave Peter a 'you might get some action' grin, which was pleasant with just the right amount of mischievousness added to spice up his point.
So, Peter spent his time at Eddie's house; getting admired by Eddie's parents for his tuxedo (people rarely saw Peter dressed nice outside of show choir), and heckled by Eddie's older brother.
"Damn bro you're lookin' sexy!" Curt said as he rushed into the room. He gave his little brother Eddie a hug and shook hands with Kelly. Curt's attention then quickly turned to Peter. "And you man! How can you look like such a stud and not have a date?" Curt patted Peter on the back. "Don't worry bro, if you don't catch some action tonight, come back and see me. I get so lonely sometimes." Curt joked.
"I'll keep that in mind man." Peter laughed.
"Seriously though, you'll do alright tonight." Curt said. "I went stag to my senior prom, and it turned out great!"
"Really? So what happened?" Peter asked. Curt looked up at his mom, who's eyebrows raised with a slight smile as she crossed her arms.
"Yes Curt, what did happen?" She asked. Curt swallowed a lump in his throat. His mother was the only person Peter knew of that could ever intimidate Curt.
"I'll tell you about it later Pete." Curt said as he made his way out of the room. He stopped and turned, pointing in the direction of the prom going threesome. "You all have a lovely evening." He said before disappearing.
"Well Eddie, Robby will be here soon." Eddie's mother said.
"You want me to get you loaded up in the van Ed?" Peter asked.
"Oh, you don't want to mess up that great looking tuxedo of yours Peter." Eddie's mom said.
"Don't worry, it's a rental." Peter smiled. Eddie and Kelly followed Peter out to the driveway.
"Open the door for her!" Eddie whispered louder than some people speak. Peter got the message and did the gentlemanly thing that Eddie undoubtedly would have done himself if he could. Once Kelly was in the passenger's seat up front, Peter opened the back door and unfolded the metal ramp. Eddie had his entry and exit tactics down pat, and was inside the van in no time. Peter stood there for a moment, just waiting for something, he didn't know what.
"Well, have fun at dinner. I'll catch you later at the Broadmoor." Peter said.
"Yeah man, I'll see you there." Eddie said. Peter closed up the ramp and back door. As he puttered away in his car, he saw Robby's car, which was almost in worse shape than Peter's, pull up to the curb by Eddie's driveway. The large bearded man got out, his car sinking down and then bouncing up and down a few times as he got out. He was dressed in kaki pants, light blue shirt, a red tie and a dark tan sports coat. Robby made his way toward the van, his large arms swinging about. He waved Peter off as he passed. Peter headed down the street, not knowing where he might go to wait for the prom to start.
Peter found himself at Small Town Inn, the gang's usual hangout. Sitting in a booth all alone seemed strange and uncomfortable. He felt like everyone in the diner was staring at the kid in the tuxedo. Pale and gloomy as usual, Randy approached the booth and handed Peter a menu.
"Just one of you tonight?" Randy rubbed it in. Peter scowled at him and tossed the menu aside.
"Just bring me a chocolate shake." Peter said.
"Sprinkles or no sprinkles?" Randy asked mockingly.
"Surprise me Randy." Peter said. Randy took his menu and headed to the back of the diner. Out of the corner of his eye, Peter caught sight of a large white van through the window behind him. He turned and watched it pull into the handicapped parking spot. It was Eddie's van. Peter raised an inquisitive eyebrow. Eddie was supposed to be at the fancy restaurant up the street. He watched as Robby got out of the driver's side and headed up the walk to the diner's front doors. The large furry man came in, arms swinging, and asked for a table in the smoking section. Peter watched as he was lead by a much less attractive hostess than Cindy over to the smoking side of the diner. He suddenly found that he had a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on top sitting in front of him. Randy stood there looking at Peter.
"Enjoy your shake sir. Just don't get any on your fancy duds." Randy said before heading back to the kitchen. Peter took a few sips of the ice cream treat and sighed. It was a small consolation prize that made the evening seem a little better. He thought about it for a while, then got up and toted his shake over to the smoking section. Robby looked up from his menu thinking he was going to order. He was shocked to see Peter standing there.
"Hey man, what's the deal?" Robby asked. "Shouldn't you be out with some hot babe eating a fancy salad or something?"
"I got dumped at the last minute." Peter said.
"Well hell, take a seat my man. I'm thinking of doing a plate of fries with nacho cheese on them. You want in?" Robby asked, folding his menu. "Ooh, spicy buffalo wings!" Robby said looking at the cover. Peter took a seat across from Robby and sipped his shake. He held it for a while as Robby drooled over the picture of chicken wings on the menu. "Set that thing down before you get frostbite."
"So, what are you doing here?" Peter asked as he set his milkshake down on Robby's table.
"Eddie and Kelly wanted to be alone. I was told that I can sometimes be 'embarrassing'." Robby said as he fiddled irritatingly with the menu. "Besides, I can't even afford a slice of bread at The Golden Liner." The waitress arrived. She was a large dumpy woman with a few missing teeth, the rest were brown. "Yeah, I'll take the cheese fries with nacho cheese and a big old plate of buffalo wings." Robby said as he handed the menu to the waitress. She gave him a dirty look as she took the menu, then left without saying a word. "Oh yeah baby!" Robby said in a loud voice. "You could get some of that if you wanted to Pete." Robby said, talking about the waitress. "You want me to see what time she gets off so you have a prom date?" Robby's eyes grew big as he awaited an answer. Peter always thought it was odd how Robby would come up with things that had to be jokes, then looked dead serious about them.
"No thanks man." Peter said before sipping his shake. There was a long silence between the two. Peter looked down at his vest and avoided looking at Robby.
"So, what if I took you camping sometime and you woke up in the morning with butter in your ass?" Robby asked from out of the blue. Peter looked up, unhappy at the question. He once again wondered, was Robby joking, or if Peter went camping with him, would this hypothetical scenario come true?
"Do you just sit around and ponder these sorts of things?" Peter asked.
"Nope. I just wanted to get a rise out of you." Robby said.
"I hope I never get a 'rise' out of you man." Peter said.
"So, why no date for the prom?" Robby asked.
"It's a long story." Peter said before sipping his shake. "Let's just say I messed up."
"I hear you man. My high school years all sucked. I didn't go to either of my proms. It seemed like a big deal at the time, but it doesn't matter now. Once you graduate and get out into the real world, nothing that happened in high school sticks with you." Robby said as his two large plates of appetizers arrived.
"Hot plates, be careful." The waitress said as she passed them over Peter to Robby. Unnoticed by Peter, a small drop of cheese fell onto his shoulder.
"Wow! She actually speaks!" Robby said to the waitress. She gave him another glare and left. "She's so hot for me." Robby said as he stuffed a handful of fries into his mouth, cheese dripping all down his beard. Peter waited until the cheese was about to fall onto his shirt before he pointed the mess out to Robby. "I'm a messy beast when I grub." Robby said, wiping his beard down with his napkin. He had to steal another rolled up set of utensils to get a second napkin and finish the job. "So dig in man!" Robby said, offering both of his plates.
"No thanks man. I've got a nervous stomach." Peter said.
"Why?" Robby asked as he tore into a chicken wing. "You're a free man." Robby chomped and talked as he enjoyed his chicken. There was spicy red sauce all around his mouth. Peter decided not to tell him about it until he was done eating. "Just go enjoy yourself. Hang out and do whatever you want. With no girl to dictate your every prom night move, you can just chill out and have some fun."
"I guess you're right." Peter said. He watched Robby suck the sauce off of his fingertips, then wipe what was left over on his nice blue shirt. "Oh, come on man!" Peter complained.
"What?" Robby sat back and spread out his arms. He noticed the sauce and saliva mark on his shirt. "Oh crap! I forgot I was dressed up tonight. Can you hand me a wet-nap?"
"Sure." Peter said before tossing one over from a small wooden holder next to him on the table.
"Man I am such a big fat slob." Robby said as he rubbed the wet-nap against his shirt. "Remember when you were fat?"
"Unfortunately." Peter said.
"Were you this much of a slob?" Robby asked, still scrubbing.
"I don't recall being a slob man, just fat and unpopular." Peter said. He went to sip his shake, but somehow the sight of Robby pitching the used wet-nap aside and blowing on the wet spot on his shirt changed Peter's mind. Outside, the sun was setting. A soft spring darkness began to take over. Robby checked his watch.
"Damn! I have to go pick up Eddie and his date." Robby said.
"Yeah, I guess I'd better get going too." Peter said.
"Oh well. Just leave the bill for your shake man, I've got it tonight." Robby said.
"Really?" Peter asked in shock.
"Yeah man. Just go enjoy the prom. If you get bored, I'll be wandering around the Broadmoor and crashing other parties." Robby said.
"Cool man. I'm sure I'll bump into you there at some point." Peter said as he stood.
"I'm hard to miss." Robby laughed. Peter returned the laugh and waved as he left the diner.
Peter's grandmother's Cadillac easily headed up the slight incline from the diner. His own car would have strained and groaned like a spoiled toddler. It was a straight shot to the Broadmoor Hotel, where the prom was taking place. The sun was all but gone behind the mountains. A beautiful glow outlined the Rockies, giving Peter a sense of peace and relaxation. He was finally starting to feel like the night was going to go okay. He was ready to enter alone and forget about his shame, just to be there and see what might happen. Each night is a surprise, as is each day. Life is never planned. If it is, there's always a very good chance that those plans won't work out. Peter had no plan. He was anxiously awaiting some spur-of-the-moment opportunities. A smile hit Peter's face for the first time in a while. He was all dressed up with somewhere to go..
The memorable night got off to a slow start. Peter was early by fifteen minutes, and after climbing up the marble steps to the hallway outside of the ballroom, he was overwhelmed by the amount of students just wandering around waiting for the music to start. Instead of attempting to push his way in through the crowd once things got underway, Peter decided to turn around and head back downstairs. He would be fashionably late. He wandered around the famous five-star hotel and breathed in the history. He had seen old pictures from a century before when The Broadmoor was a small casino in the middle of nowhere. As time moved on, homes were built and the casino was converted into a hotel. Over the years it grew into the massive castle that now stood at the end of Lake Avenue, a street filled with offshoot streets that were now brimming with large expensive homes. It was a beautiful place right at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain, not too far from Peter's thinking spot, the Seven Falls park. He thought about his stream and his trees, hoping that they were wishing him good luck.
Peter was looking over the pictures in the hall of fame of notable guests like Jack Lemon, George Burns and Ronald Reagan whom had all visited and stayed at the Broadmoor. Suddenly it dawned on him that he had been stalling for a long time. He checked his watch and found that the prom was thirty minutes underway. He took off in a bit of a rush and made his way back to the ballroom. Loud music played as he entered the dance. Neon lights reflected off of a shiny disco ball, causing everything to go from blue to green as the ball turned. The ballroom was packed. Peter looked around, unsure what to do now that he was there. He watched the couples dance as he slowly walked around the side of the room. He looked for lone girls, but every time he spotted one, she was back with her date before he could get over to her. Peter leaned up against the wall and waited a while.
"Hey you." Came a voice he would have recognized, but she had to shout over the blasting music. Peter turned his head, then his entire body to face Mary. She was standing next to a girl Peter knew well, April Morris. Peter had performed a Boy George song for a chorus concert early in the year, and April had done his makeup. That was one event that put Robby's theory of 'nothing that happens in high school sticks with you'. Peter would always remember standing in front of hundreds of teachers and classmates on stage in the auditorium, dressed as a transvestite and singing 'Do You Really Want to Hurt Me' for a cheering crowd.
"Hello." Peter said to both of the girls. He was oddly calm around Mary that night. The three stood there and pretended to dance slightly to the obnoxious music being played.
"So, where's your date?" April asked. Mary looked at the floor. Peter looked to Mary and thought.
"I decided to go solo. I just wanted to have fun you know, no strings attached." Peter answered smoothly. "What about you ladies? Did you go the same route?"
"Yeah, we just wanted to enjoy the night." April said. She had already sensed the tension between Peter and Mary. The song playing changed to a slow song. April grabbed Mary's hand and put it in Peter's. She smiled at the two of them. Mary looked up at April, obviously not too happy with the gesture. Peter thought quickly, and decided to go for the gold.
"May I have this dance?" He asked. Mary turned, changing her expression to blank.
"Sure Pete." She broke a small smile. Peter smiled at April as he escorted Mary onto the dance floor. Peter faced Mary. He placed his left hand on her waist and took her right hand in his. Mary placed her left hand, covered in a purple velvet glove on Peter's shoulder. With a squish, they both discovered the sneaky nacho cheese drop that had fallen from Robby's plate at Small Town Inn. Mary took her hand off of his shoulder and looked at her glove, which now had a small yellow spatter on it.
"Oh God." Peter said, brushing his stained shoulder. "I'm so sorry Mary. Let me go get you a wet napkin." He tried to leave, but Mary's right hand would not let go.
"Forget it Pete. Let's just dance." Mary said with a smile. The two danced their way through the slow song, silently enjoying each other's company. The next song came on, and the Village People loudly declared "Young men!" With that cue, the cheering of hundreds of students filled the ballroom. April ran over to Mary and Peter, and the three of them danced to Y.M.C.A. It was that unexpected happy moment Peter was hoping for. He was glad he had decided to go to the prom. Sure, he could sense in Mary that they would never go beyond friendship, but at least he had his dance with her. That was another memory that he knew would always stay with him. Plus, he still held onto a small thin string of hope that Mary would warm up to the idea of taking their relationship to the next level. As Y.M.C.A. ended, a voice came over the speakers.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please clear the dance floor for our principal, Mister William Jameson." The floor quickly cleared of students who surrounded the empty space in the middle of the ballroom. Out came the short teddy bear of a principal that had helped Peter through many an obstacle in his high school career. With Mister Jameson was an equally short woman who perfectly matched him. "Our prom night just happened to fall on his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. So please, let's all give a hand to Mister Jameson and his wife on a quarter of a century of togetherness, and wish them many more years of happiness and love." The students went wild cheering and clapping. As the noise died down, a slow dance song from the golden oldies era began, and the couple in the center of the dance floor had their moment. Peter looked on, nearly letting a tear slip from his eye. After so many years these two people were still together, still madly in love. Peter looked at Mary who was standing next to him. He realized in that moment that this was high school. Mary was an amazing girl, but if it just wasn't meant to be, Peter would find someone else eventually. As the dance ended, more applause exploded. The Jamesons exited the ballroom as a loud irritating and very song boomed over the speakers. Peter patted Mary on the back and waved at April, then took off.
Outside on the balcony, many students stood around smoking their cigarettes. They were off of school property and of age, so all bets were off. Peter wandered around. He brushed at the cheese on his shoulder some more, but it had set into the fabric of his rental coat. Peter looked out at the lake. The water shimmered softly under the lights of the hotel, the moon barely visible in the liquid, but the reflection was still there. He noticed his island. It was dark and the fence was locked. He decided to head over and enjoy a few moments alone. He walked slowly and took in the fresh air of the spring night. It had been a good night. Peter climbed over the fence and headed across the bridge to his secluded island. There he found the bench and had a seat. All different sounds swirled and echoed around him. Various other events and parties were happening, and outside those noises mixed with the sounds of the prom and the music. Still, the little dark island was calm and peaceful as always. Peter closed his eyes and smiled. Suddenly, he heard girls giggling and footsteps crossing the bridge. Peter panicked and ran around a heavy bush, hiding from the approaching invaders.
"I'm so glad that other party had wine." Came one loud female voice. High heels crunched on the gravel.
"Yeah, I needed a little something to take the edge off." This voice was Mary's. Peter peeked through the bush and spied as Mary and April sat down on his bench.
"I'm glad we came together tonight." April said as she put her head on Mary's shoulder.
"Me too. I'm sorry about Peter. He's such a nice guy, but he just won't take the hint." Mary said.
"So just sit him down and tell him the truth." April said, running her fingers through Mary's hair.
"I don't even know the truth yet April." Mary said.
"Well, I think you need to keep him as a friend. I know him, a little. He's an awesome guy. Just don't lead him on and hurt him. At least sit him down and explain that you only want to be friends." April said.
"Yeah, I guess I should. I don't want to lose his friendship over our little secret." Mary said.
"What secret is that?" April kissed Mary's ear. Mary turned and the two girls kissed passionately on the lips. Darwin watched in shock as they made out on his bench. His attention was too focused on this scene to pick up on the approaching goose that was sniffing out the nacho cheese. Suddenly, Peter yelped as the hungry animal nipped him firmly on the butt. Mary and April stopped what they were doing and stood up. Peter came running around the bush, the goose following close behind.
"He's trying to kill me!" Peter screamed. The goose yelled at him as the chase continued. The fact that Peter had been around and now knew their secret was put on the backburner as the two girls, in a fit of giggling, did all they could to help Peter out.
"Go get over the fence Peter!" April yelled with a laugh.
"We'll hold the beast off for you!" Mary added. Peter rushed down the bridge as Mary and April kept the goose at bay. The girls watched as Peter made an impressive leap over the gate at the end of the bridge, landing face-first on the paved walkway that surrounded the lake.
"I wasn't trying to spy." Peter said as April tended to the bleeding wound on his forehead.
"I'll go find a band aide." April said.
"I'll go with you." Mary said desperately.
"I can handle it on my own thank you very much." April said, opening her eyes up wide and motioning to Peter. She mouthed the words 'Talk to him' as she headed off in search of first aide. Mary took over helping Peter. She took off her cheese-stained glove and placed two fingers over Peter's wound. He hissed from the sudden invasion of salt from Mary's skin.
"So, I guess we don't really need to talk then." Mary said. Peter looked down at the ground. "Keep your head elevated Pete."
"I kind of figured out all I needed to know just now." Peter said. "You could have told me."
"Look Pete, I'm confused right now. I'm eighteen years old, I'm trying things out, and I just really don't know what I am doing." Mary said. She lowered herself to look him in the eyes. "All I know for sure is that I don't ever want you to leave. I need you to know that we will never be more than friends, but that's a strong bond. If we went out and broke up, just think of what we would lose. Do you ever want to lose that?"
"No I don't." Peter said with a small smile. The disappointment of knowing he would never be with Mary was hard to take, but he cared about her enough that he just wanted her to be happy. "I'll always be your friend Mary Ross."
"That's good to hear, Peter Johnson." Mary said. Just then, April came rushing up with a patch for Peter's wound. She also had a bottle of water and a towel.
"Okay, let's get that wound cleaned and dressed." April said, moving into the circle of friends. She opened the water and put some on the towel. She began to clean the blood off of Peter's head. "So, is everything cool?"
"Yeah." Peter smiled kindly at April. "I'm kind of glad I was on that island."
"Even with the rabid goose prowling its dark corners?" April asked.
"I could have taken him." Peter said. "I was just worried that PETA might be watching, so I took it easy on the little guy."
"Whatever keeps your feeling of manly pride in tact Pete." Mary said. The three talked as Peter had his forehead attended to. He borrowed the wet towel when April was done and tried to clean up the cheese on his shoulder and Mary's glove. It seemed hopeless. Peter decided at that moment never to eat anything at Small Town Inn with nacho cheese on it. April shook hands with Peter, Mary gave him a hug, and the two girls took off on their own to walk around the lake. Peter headed back to the terrace outside of the prom ballroom. He spotted Eddie and Robby outside, but no Kelly.
"Hey kiddos, why so glum?" Peter asked.
"My date ditched me for another guy." Eddie said.
"What happened to your head?" Robby asked Peter.
"I got goosed." Peter said.
"Have a seat man." Robby said. Peter sat down in between Robby and Eddie.
"So how was your night?" Robby asked.
"It was good." Peter nodded. "I'm glad I came."
"So everything went like a fairytale dream huh?" Robby asked.
"Exactly the opposite." Peter said. "Fairytales always seem to have sad endings. Mine was bitter-sweet I would say."
"My night sucked." Eddie said.
"Sorry to hear that man." Peter said. "Has anyone seen Harry tonight?"
"He called my cell." Eddie said. "He never made it to the prom."
"What? Where did he go?" Peter asked.
"He went to Gwen's house and played cards with her grandmother all night. He's pissed off." Eddie said.
"What game?" Peter asked.
"What?" Eddie asked him in return.
"What card game did they play?" Peter asked as he leaned over a bit towards Eddie.
"Old Maid." Eddie said. There was an immediate burst of laughter from Peter. He was bright red and out of breath before Eddie finally joined in and laughed. Finally, Robby gave into the infection and all three sat outside laughing until none of them could breathe. They began to calm down and catch their breath.
"Let's get the hell out of here guys." Peter said. On the way out, Harry called Eddie's phone again. Eddie told him that they were just leaving, and that prom was over. After Harry cursed and grunted for a while, he told Eddie that he had finally escaped Gwen's house. She had stayed because it was getting late and time for her to get to sleep.
"Harry is out of the rat's den guys, and he is solo." Eddie said.
"So, where to now?" Peter asked. Robby looked at Eddie and Peter with an evil grin across his face. A half an hour later, they met up with Harry in the parking lot of a strip club that Robby knew well; The Jiggle Jungle.
"Okay guys, first thing is first." Robby said. "Who is paying my cover charge?"
"What is it like fifteen bucks?" Peter asked.
"Wow, somebody sure knows the prices around here." Eddie kidded.
"I used to work here until the penis gave me away." Peter joked back. "Now let's all pitch in five bucks so Robby can get inside." Harry, Eddie and Peter all gathered a five from their wallets and Robby collected the haul. Inside any strip club, you notice two things first. The booming music, and the smell. It's a mixture of freshly showered women, dry ice, and cigarette smoke. The bouncer looked over all of the foursome's identification cards and driver's licenses. Once Robby approached, the bouncer smiled.
"Hey, Uncle Buck! Welcome back big boy." The bouncer and Robby did their secret handshake that neither of them seemed to know. As soon as the guys were inside, Harry laughed.
"Uncle Buck?" Harry asked.
"I used to wear an overcoat and hat when I came here because I was embarrassed. They started calling me 'Uncle Buck' because of that and the fact that I'm, well, big and tall." Robby explained.
"You do realize that's now your nickname with us too right?" Peter asked.
"Damn it!" Robby exclaimed. The other three guys laughed.
"So, should we grab that empty table?" Peter motioned to a small round table in the back of the room. All four looked up and suddenly remembered where they were. On the stage was a voluptuous senorita dancing around a pole completely nude. The guys stood and watched, then continued to stand and watch some more. A strange red- haired man in a suit approached them from behind and put his arms around all four.
"Gentlemen, why so dressed up tonight?" The stranger asked.
"What, oh, it was our senior prom." Peter said. The stranger nodded, then looked at Robby.
"I'm the chauffeur for the night." Robby said. The stranger smiled.
"So, prom night not go so well gentlemen?" The stranger asked.
"How did you guess?" Eddie asked.
"Well, because you're here instead of in separate motel rooms with your respective dates." The stranger said. The four guys went silent. "Anyways, my name is Vinny. I'm the manager here and I want to help cheer you guys up."
"Oh, nice to meet you sir." Peter said shaking Vinny's clammy freckled hand.
"The pleasure is all mine guys." He said as he reached into his pocket. He handed out one card to each of the guys. "You find a girl you like, hand her that card, and she'll give you one free lap dance. Two songs, on the house."
"Awesome! Thanks a lot Vinny!" Eddie said.
"No problem fellas." Vinny lifted his arm, shook his jacket sleeve back and checked his watch. "But get to it right away. I want you back up here front and center by the stage in twenty minutes. We've got a special guest tonight, and I am going to reserve four spaces up front for you guys, so don't be late."
"Sure man, thanks so much!" Peter said.
"My pleasure gentlemen. I'll see you in twenty." Vinny said tapping his watch. He took off for the DJ's booth. The four guys looked at each other in shock and smiled wide.
"The night just got better." Harry said.
"Hurry up, I got first dibs on all of the girls." Eddie said. "You guys can pick once I've got my girl."
"Okay buddy, go get your woman." Peter said. The other three watched as Eddie found his perfect woman and was lead to the back room. Then Harry was tapped on the shoulder by a different dancer and taken to the back. After that, Robby found his woman, and the two of them headed toward the back. Peter stood there shyly in his cheese-stained tuxedo with his bandaged forehead and danced badly with the booming music. The announcer's voice came over the speakers as the song faded out.
"Okay gentlemen, if you want a private dance, grab yourself a girl because the next song is starting right now!" The announcer proclaimed. Peter looked around, but didn't see any other girls. The attractive Latina dancer exited the stage and gathered her outfit. She stopped and looked Peter over with a smile. She noticed his free lap dance card and took his hand.
"Let's go handsome." She said, leading him to the back. "Do you want me to get redressed and strip, or just cut to the chase?"
"Um, it's up to you really." Peter said.
"Okay. Cut to the chase it is." She said. "My name is Moonlight."
"I'm Peter. Nice to meet you." Peter said, trying to keep his eyes up.
"It's okay to look Peter. That's the whole point you know." Moonlight smiled sweetly. Peter chuckled nervously.
"Okay. I'll keep that in mind." Peter said. Moonlight sat him down on a leather couch in the back. Peter saw Harry's girl and Robby's girl sitting on other couches alone. He looked over and noticed Robby and Harry lifting Eddie out of his wheelchair and onto a couch. Peter smiled. 'Way to go Eddie' he thought to himself. Peter watched Moonlight as her amazingly well-toned nude body straddled him. Her breasts were rubbing against his face when Moonlight giggled.
"You've got some cheese on your tux you know." She said.
"I know." Peter said, afraid to open his mouth as her dark perfectly formed nipples neared his chin.
"I'll give you my drycleaner's card. They can get anything out of any outfit. Trust me." Moonlight leaned back and smiled at him. It suddenly hit Peter what Moonlight might need to get out of her outfits. He was now very content with her choice to stay naked for the dance. Peter was nervous. His mind was as rigid as a corpse as Moonlight rubbed her body all over his. "Relax and smile Peter, don't hurt my feelings." Moonlight said. She placed her hand on his face hand rubbed his cheek with her thumb. Peter smiled. "I can tell that that's the only place you're happy at the moment." Moonlight said as she rubbed her thigh against his groin.
"Oh, um, I get nervous and can't really, you know..." Peter was embarrassed.
"Don't worry about it." She gently rubbed her thumb across his bandaged wound. "It looks like you've had a rough night."
"You know, I did and I didn't." Peter smiled.
"Oh really? Do tell." Moonlight turned around and pushed her bare rear-end into his lap. This made it a tad difficult for Peter to think.
"Well, I went into this night thinking that I'd be worse off for going to prom. Though, as I walked away from my experiences there, I felt somehow at peace with some things that had been holding me back." Peter said.
"Well, if nothing is holding you back anymore, why are you holding back right now?" Moonlight turned her head back and moved her soft cheek up and down his face. Her other cheeks spiraled around, still digging into his lap.
"Like I said, I get nervous. It doesn't seem very gentleman-like to, you know..." Peter said.
"Well, you are a gentleman Peter. I can tell." Their songs ended. Moonlight stayed on his lap and turned to face him, putting her arms around him. "I hope whatever this change in your life is leads you down the right path." She smiled and kissed his wounded forehead.
"Thanks Moonlight." Peter said.
"It's Nancy, Peter." She smiled as she stood and gathered her outfit.
"Goodnight Nancy." Peter smiled. Nancy smiled back as she exited the back room. Eddie was back in his wheelchair. He, Harry and Robby all approached Peter who was still sitting on the couch.
"What's the matter buddy, can't stand up yet?" Robby asked. Peter stood and stepped down to join the group.
"We'd better get up to the stage." Eddie said before taking off in that direction.
"You guys go ahead." Robby said. "I have to go clean up."
"That is the last thing I ever wanted to hear in my entire life." Harry said. "Come on Pete, let's go watch the special show." Harry took off and Peter followed him. They saw Vinny helping Eddie by moving some chairs and getting him up to the table the surrounded the stage.
"Welcome back fellas!" Vinny said as Harry and Peter approached. "You can go take your seats next to your friend up there." Vinny looked around. "Where's Uncle Buck?"
"He's, um, in the restroom. He'll be right out." Peter said. Vinny nodded knowingly.
"Well guys, enjoy!" Vinny patted them both on the back and exited. Peter and Harry sat next to Eddie. All three were excited about whoever this special guest was and what the show was going to be. The announcer came on the speakers just as Robby arrived and took a seat. Harry and Peter scooted away from Robby a bit in disgust.
"Gentlemen, you've chosen a great night to come down to the Jiggle Jungle!" The announcer sounded excited. "We have a very special guest who graduated from high school right here in Colorado Springs! From there she went off to Hollywood and danced her way through a tough few years of looking for work as an actress. She finally broke into the adult entertainment industry, and has over three hundred films with her name in the credits." The announcer then got into the very explicit details of all of the different sex acts she had done, how many times she had done them, how many guys she had been with at once, and how many total over her years as an adult film star. After this very disturbing introduction, she hit the stage. "Give it up for Krissy Krisco!" The announcer yelled. The faint sound of the other men in the club clapping could be heard, but barely over the music as it started. Krissy toured the stage, starting on the opposite end from Peter and the guys. As she hit the pole, hanging upside-down and leaning her head backwards facing Peter, it suddenly hit him.
"Oh my God." Peter put his hands over his face. He could sense the girl coming closer. She leaned over and took Peter's arms and pulled his hands off of his face. It struck her right away.
"Peter?" Krissy asked. Peter shook his head slightly. "Oh wow, it is you!" Krissy smiled. Harry handed Peter a ten dollar bill under the table. Peter pushed it away. Harry and Peter struggled until Peter finally took the bill. Krissy danced for Peter, turning her rear to him and bending over, slapping her thigh. Peter tried not to look. He held up the ten as she turned back around. "Put it in your mouth Peter." Krissy instructed as she stretched out on all fours. Peter reluctantly put the folded money between his teeth. Krissy slowly and seductively slid forward, opening her lips and licking them. Peter closed his eyes tightly as she closed in on the ten. That's when Robby decided to speak up.
"Don't do it Peter! Highway much traveled! Highway much traveled!" Robby hollered as loud as he could. Peter opened his eyes. An angry Krissy took the ten with her fingers and walked to the other side of the stage.
"So, the bouncers were surprisingly nice." Peter said.
"Gentle too." Harry said. "They really went easy on the threads." Harry, Peter, Eddie and Robby were all gathered around Eddie's van in the Parking lot.
"Sorry guys. Big loud clumsy Robby has done it again." Robby said.
"Nah." Peter said. "I didn't want to watch my older sister's friend who used to baby sit me strip anyways."
"I did." Eddie said.
"Me too." Said Harry.
"So if you know her, what's her real name?" Eddie asked Peter.
"Tori O'Rear." Peter replied in monotone. The other three guys began to laugh hard. They looked at Peter's face and began to stop laughing.
"You're serious?" Harry asked. Peter nodded. They all paced around for a while looking at the asphalt and feeling like everything had come to a horrible close for the night.
"So what now?" Eddie asked.
"It's late guys. Maybe it's time to call it a night." Harry said.
"No way." Peter said, striking a dramatic pose. "I've had my ups and downs tonight, we all have. Are we really going to let it end like this? On a down note?"
"Hell no!" Eddie said.
"Well, if Eddie is in, I'm in. I kind of have to be." Robby said.
"So, what's the plan?" Harry asked.
"Mega-Mart is open twenty-four hours a day right?" Peter asked. The other three guys nodded. Peter smiled.
"This was a cool idea." Harry said as the foursome unloaded their Mega-Mart purchases. They all went to the park right across from Eddie's house. Eddie and Robby armed themselves with silly string cans. Harry opened up his plastic double-sided red light saber, and Peter brandished his single bladed blue light saber. The four guys battled it out in the park as the sun rose on a brand new day. Peter and his two best friends were not yet men, no longer boys; but living in that very brief time that falls just in between the two. He felt that this was an important time. Yes, responsibility was just around the corner with graduation fast approaching. In fact responsibility was already there in many ways. Life would soon begin. Life in the real world, and these three best friends would change as their lives changed. For the moment, they were creating a memory. As the plastic light sabers clashed and the silly string was strewn about, life was momentarily just fun. This was exactly the way Peter wanted this botched and bungled prom night to end: smiling faces, three guys on the verge of heading out into the unknown, just giggling and letting out all of their frustrations from the night of their senior prom with toy weapons and cans of gooey ammunition.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you enjoyed it, please check out my other work that I have posted on this site. I am looking for some good feedback, comments, and maybe even praise that I can use to shop these stories around to publications. If you would like to help out, please leave your positive feedback for any of my short stories that are posted. Also, I'd appreciate it if you could leave your first and last name for me to attach to your praise when I send in my submissions. If you don't feel comfortable posting that information on this site, you can always email your comments to me at email@example.com. I would truly appreciate your help, and will be sure to check out the posted stories of anyone who provides me with positive comments. Of course if you have negative feedback or some suggestions on how to polish a story, feel free to either post it here or email it too me as well. Thanks everybody!
Alan Dale Dalby