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How I Blew Up Senior Prom

Rebecca Lyn Shelley

I never figured I'd be one to get a date to prom. I mean really. No one in their right mind would ask a brainy girl like me. There's no one even close to being in my league, except maybe Robert. I'm head to head with him for valedictorian. I mean, I am totally going to cream that guy, and he knows it.

So imagine my shock when a black garbage bag full of popcorn appeared on my front porch. Now I'm not stupid enough to open something like that. Knowing the kids in my school, I figured it'd be filled with dog poop, scraped up off the park lawn.

Some people are a little jealous of my success and show it in very juvenile ways.

But my little brother, Einstein, got to the bag first, dragged it into the front room and dumped it all over mom's perfect plush carpet.

Popcorn smell filled the house. Not that burned popcorn smell my grandmother always produces when she tries to cook popcorn in the microwave. No, a warm, buttery, movie-theater popcorn smell, making me think of dates and boys and everything my mother claimed I missed out on simply because I had more important things to attend to. Like sending in my application to Harvard.

The popcorn crunched beneath my brother's feet as he danced in it. "Look at this, Elizabeth. We got popcorn. Lots and lots of popcorn."

"Stop that," I shouted. But he paid no mind and continued spreading popcorn around. I did my best to scoop it back into the garbage bag, but I had to keep stopping to lick the salt from my fingers. That's when I found the card done up to look like a movie ticket.

On the back side in sparkling gold script it said:

Elizabeth Blackwell, please accompany me to the Senior Prom. No need to respond. I am certain your answer is yes. I will pick you up on the night of.

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