My blog is a great way to organize my thoughts. And maybe I’ll read it myself some day, after time has obscured the memory. And while these aren’t things I’d just walk around and tell people about, it’s not because they’re private. It’s just more information than anyone would ask me for, and certainly more than I’d force upon them.
* * * * * * *
It was a day in early March. I was walking down the ramp outside our school library, when:
“Hey, Jonathan, are you going to Prom?”
“No, I don’t think so…”
The entire thing, I think, came REALLY close to just ending there and then. But at that moment, a thought occurred to me. I didn’t think it was true, but…
“I was wondering if you’d want… to go with me.”
Oh my god, it WAS true. I closed my eyes for a few seconds, processing everything. Normally, I would NEVER go to Prom. A big, formal party, with dancing. Not my thing.
But she’d just made the situation very much abnormal.
I had a crush on Alex, at one point. We both went to a small private school in Chatham (When I write her name here, I feel sort of like I’m talking about her behind her back. But I’m not- I’d never do that- and I can’t really keep avoiding it). The 7th and 8th grades were so small that they combined us into one class, so I saw Alex a lot despite being a year older.
I loved that school, but it ended in 8th grade, so I had to leave. I applied and was accepted to Gill St. Bernards, where I’ve gone all of high school. I… knew… Alex would like GSB. I tried to convince her to apply, and she ended up there as well. Wow. The chances of that happening were unimaginably slim.
But ultimately, it didn’t do much. She was a grade below me, so we had no classes together. I never really saw her much, beyond the casual wave in the hallway. But now…
I opened my eyes.
* * * * * * *
I couldn’t believe it. I’d just agreed to go to Prom with someone! I couldn’t imagine it.
As the end of the school year approached, I was nervous about a lot of things. Contrary to what I’ve said before, I do care about my score, as I want the college credit… I’m legitimately annoyed at how little I actually learned in those AP courses, but I was largely blowing off nervous energy. So I was worried about my AP tests, as well as my final projects, and, especially, the thought of leaving high school. I couldn’t- still can’t- actually imagine myself actually leaving home, and going to live up in Saratoga Springs, in a dorm at Skidmore.
But imagining myself actually going to Prom was even harder.
And since Prom was after all my other worries- after my classes were over, and after I’d taken all my AP tests- it stood out in my mind as the final climax, of sorts, to my immediate life. The last part of my life, or at least the part of it I could actually see approaching.
* * * * * * *
Prom ended up being a ton of fun. I love excitement, and the atmosphere at Prom was full of it. The chance to see Alex again was equally great.
The thing I’ll remember most though, was the conversation we had over dessert, eating cookies as everyone around us danced to the music.
“Have you liked being at Gill?”
“It’s been… okay.”
“I like it a lot.”
“Thanks for inviting me. I never would have come.”
“I probably wouldn’t have either.”
Again there was a pause, but this time, she broke the silence.
“I wouldn’t have come to Gill, if you hadn’t told me about it. It wasn’t a place I was thinking about at all. You convinced me to apply. Thank you.”
It was something I’d long suspected, but didn’t really believe. Once, back when I kept a diary, I wrote that if Alex came to Gill and she didn’t like it, I would feel responsible. But I also wrote that the notion behind it was silly… too self-centered. I couldn’t have really influenced a decision like that.
But I did.
And she really has loved Gill. I’ve passed her so many times between classes, talking and laughing with her friends. Did I give her this? She says I did. Wow.
* * * * * * *
So here I am, two days after the Prom. And, oh, yeah, today was my 18th birthday. I’m an adult now. If you’re one of the 10+ people that wished me happy birthday on Skype, thank you, and I’m sorry for not responding… I just don’t know… how to feel about it yet.
I’m past the climax, the last event that I could predict. What happens next? I still can’t imagine myself in college, and I’m definitely nervous.
But somehow, life works out. Alex comes to my school, I go with her to Prom… if crazy things like that are possible, who knows what else is in store?
I’ve never believed in the concept of fate. I choose the path of my life. What amazes me though, is how much of an impact my actions can have on the lives of others. Just how much power do I have? In many ways, its scary. I mean, if I do something stupid and screw up my own life, that’s my fault. But someone else’s? Alex could have hated Gill.
But that’s just it. She didn’t, and I’d known she wouldn’t. As much as I’d wanted her to be at the same school as I was, I wouldn’t have told her to come if I hadn’t thought she’d like it. And she knew that.
As long as I trust my instincts going forward, I should be alright. Who knows what else is in store.