most likely to… by juleshg

4 Jul

Liam looked in the mirror and sighed.  He had tied and re-tied his bowtie three times and it was still uneven.  Who was he kidding?  Even in this tux he was never going to look handsome or sophisticated.

He had been dreading this night for months; senior prom was not for people like him.  It was for the good-looking, popular kids.  It was for the kids who were comfortable mixing with their peers.  Liam had been attending the same high school since the ninth grade and he could recall few occasions when he had felt like he truly belonged.

Liam was a pianist, a musician with a gift that was envied by men and women twice his age.  When Liam sat at a piano people took notice but when he walked down the high school corridor he felt invisible.  For most of his high school years Liam had taken refuge in the small practice rooms in the back of the music room.  Sitting alone at a keyboard or with a handful of like-minded friends he managed to isolate himself from the jocks and the bullies who had deemed him Beethoven.  They thought their nickname was clever but for the life of him he could not imagine why they had expected him to take offense at the name.

As he left the house with a corsage in hand he was glad Amelia was going to be there to stand beside him at prom.  Amelia was his next door neighbour, his best friend and his constant companion throughout his high school years.  She had stood by him through thick and thin.  He knew that he has not Amelia’s first choice of date for the prom but that did not bother him.  Amelia had been in love with that stupid jock Todd Swenson since the seventh grade and he barely knew she was alive.  He shook his head at what an idiot Todd must be not to appreciate a girl like Amelia.

Amelia was not Liam’s first choice for prom date either but there was a social hierarchy in high school that could not be ignored.  Musicians did not hook up with athletes; popular kids did not mix with geeks; a guy with the nickname Beethoven was not allowed to ask out the graduating class’s ‘most likely to succeed.’  Instead he went to the prom with is best friend.

When they arrived at the prom they stopped at the front door before going in.

“Amelia, you look … amazing.”  Her deep red gown was snug and had a slit which showed off a pair of shapely legs that Liam did not even know existed.  “There is not a guy here that is not going to notice you tonight.  Todd Swenson is going to be kicking himself.”

Amelia smiled then stood up on her tip-toes to kiss Liam on the cheek.  “Thank you.  You look pretty debonair yourself.”

“Maybe we’ll both turn some heads,” he said with a smile as he opened the door.

Senior prom looked exactly like he had expected: overdressed kids in a balloon and streamer-filled gymnasium dancing to bad music.  He looked over to see Amelia lock eyes with Todd across the room and he gave her a little shove in his direction.  “Go,” he whispered to her.  “I’ll be fine.”

Liam headed over to the punch bowl keeping an eye on Amelia.  He hoped that she wouldn’t get her heartbroken.

“Having fun?”

Liam looked up to find Matt O’Leary smiling politely.  His heart jumped in his chest and he felt a red blush creeping up his face.  “Uh, yeah.  So far so good.”

“Your date seems to have abandoned you,” Matt commented nodding at Amelia who was now dancing with Todd across the room.

“Yeah, wWe’re just friends and she’s had a crush on Todd for years.  I guess it’s not really a secret anymore,” he said with laugh.  “Where’s your date.”

“Don’t have one,” Matt said shaking his head.  “I came alone.”

Liam had no answer to that.  Instead he just stared at Matt.

“I had my eye on someone and I thought they were going to ask me but, well, it never happened,”  Matt continued.

Liam’s voice had disappeared.  He cleared his throat and looked up.  “You should have asked her.  No girl would have said no.  How do you expect to live up to ‘most-likely-to-succeed’ with an attitude like that?”

“I had heard that he already had a date,” Matt said with a wink.  “But it looks like my odds of success may have taken a turn for the better.”

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