I blinked and blinked again, had Lily really just called my name out? Taking a deep breath I peered toward Ben, smiled and leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. I then started to walk toward the stage. Where Lily stood, I was halfway there when I felt somebody reach over and pull me to the side. As I turned around to see who had graphed me and I was greeted with Linda peering at me.
"Enjoy being 'Princess' for the night." She hissed as she leaned over. "I know what you are, you're a freak and soon, soon I'm going to tell this whole town what you really are." She said lifting her lips to show her teeth. And through those teeth, she hissed.
"And I'm going to make good on that threat. I know some really big football players that would love to have the little sister of the cheerleader. We're going to pick that cherry of yours, and no its not going to be fun, it's not going to be romantic, it's going to be horrible and I hope it shatters your mind." She hissed as she eased her fingers from my shoulder. She then drew back and peered toward her giggling group of girls that surrounded her.
"I will see you in hell before that happens," I whispered toward her. "That no threat girl, that a promise." I marched toward the stage, my back straight and my head held high. I knew in a way I had done two things. For one I had drawn a firm line in the sand. And two I had crossed a line. But let come what will.
"We'll see," Linda said as she peered toward me. She then turned upon her heel, fixed each of the three girls she was with a look and started to make her way out of the gym.
My eyes followed her as she slinked away, the mental image of a cottonmouth slithering away came to mind. And that mental image made me shiver. I stood there for a good long minute, trying to collect my wits and trying to get my heart to calm down. Finally, I forced myself to take another deep breath and as I released I put the scene behind me. I then started toward the stage with my head held high and my back straight back.
And so putting one foot in front of the other, I made my way up on stage where my sister stood. She fixed a smile on her face. She turned toward the teacher and with gentle hands, she reached down and took the crown from the pillow it was sitting on. She then raised the silver circlet high into the air and walked toward me. Slowly she brought the tiara down and placed it upon my head. Next, the placed the sash on my shoulder.
I felt tears building on the corner of my eyes. My sister, the most popular girl in school, had chosen me, the outcast to becoming the princess. My sister smiled and leaned over and wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tightly. She then leaned over and whispered into my ear.
"Don't you dare start to cry on me. We worked way too hard on your make-up for you to ruin it now. Now, give a good speech and enjoy the night." She ends the talk with her patting me on the back and breaking away.
"Okay.." I whispered back as I turned to face the crowd. Everybody had stopped doing what they were doing, dancing, flirting, chatting and evening snacking. Their attention was focused solely on me. Taking a deep breath, I walked up to the stage and peered down at the mike. Gathering up my courage, and my wit I started to speak.
"First, I want to thank everybody. The cheerleaders did an amazing job cleaning me up. I gotta say the slime bath was a little cold." I paused as the cheerleaders present smiled and raised there foam cups in response of me thanking them. Some giggled others laughed as I mentioned how cold the gunge shower was.
"I also want to thank my sister, for talking me into this, this week has been a blast. I'm something of a shadow, so being the shadow of attention was find of fun, if not a little gross. I want to say the football players played really well despite the odds being stacked against them. I want to thank the teachers and all the student volunteers who helped to put on all the homecoming activities."
The football players present nodded there head at me thanking them, the teachers also bowed there head in thanks as I mentioned their efforts. And since I felt it was time to end my little speech, I took a deep breath and in a loud tone of voice I yelled out.
"Go Benton Raiders!"
And the whole crow responded with "Go Raiders!"
And so that how everything ends. Ben was elected homecoming prince, and he and I danced the final dance together. We almost kissed again but at the stroke of midnight I had to leave, I remember shouting over my shoulder a promise that we'll meet again and the poor boy just stood there. In my haste to get home, I remember tripping over one of the loose stones in the walkway leading up to the school. My shoe came to lose, I know as much as I heard it drop on the paving stones.
But being in a hurry to board the last streetcar, I had little time to bend down and pick it up. Instead, I had to climb onboard the streetcar and as I mounted the metal steps, I happen to look over my shoulder, there through the darkness stood Ben, himself nothing more than a dark silhouette upon the backdrop of the glowing background.
"You dropped your shoe!" He called out as he rushed down the brick paved walkway waving the other shoe in his hand in a manner one would wave a flag. The Trolley lurched to life and started to pick up speed, as I reached down, gathered the helm of the gown around me. Reaching up and taking hold of the hand bar for the support I called out.
"Keep it!" I called out. And with that, the trolley rocked around the bend and the school vanished into the night. It took me fifteen or so minutes to minutes for the trolley to drop me off in front of my house. Our house is an old, Edwardian located in the 'Rich' section of town. The streets here are paved in cobblestones and the sidewalks are brick. The streetcar runs down the center of the street.
I paid the conductor my two bits for the ride and stepped down. I then watched as the Trolley started to move again. My eyes followed it, till it rounded a curve in the street and then it vanished from view. And so it had ended.. My night of wonder and magic. I stood there for the longest time, peering up at the stars that twinkled over me, allowing the wind to blow over my exposed shoulder. It was then, I knew what I must do, Jamie had become real, she was somebody who was brave and sweet, somebody who wanted to Live.
James had been a shy, scared, often bullied little boy who had kept his head down and ran away from fights. Jamie, on the other hand, was a fighter, a warrior, she was somebody willing to stand up to the bullies and stand up for her right to live. Jamie had not replaced James, no, standing there I understood I had become Jamie, Like a butterfly...
And so, as I stood there thinking about all of this, I made a vow to myself. From this day forward, no matter what I was going to live, yes I was going to live my remaining days to the fullest. And once I made that vow, I felt something awaken deep inside me. The mental image of a wall coming down popped into my head, as she gray stones fell, shattered and turned to dust. The image of a girl appeared from the dust clouds. And I rushed and embraced that girl. And I felt whole inside.
To be Continued in 'The Trial of Jamie Sarah Potter'