Oh, Junior Prom. How poorly you treated me! I typically try to block you out, but occasionally I daydream wistfully about what could have been.

I was seventeen, shy, and fresh out of a year and a half relationship when I met Nick. He was a senior. He had facial hair. He drove a blue Mustang. He brought flowers to my work. He asked me to be his girlfriend, about a month before prom. We decided to go to prom together before that, though. I think we were on the phone one evening, and my mom and her friend were teasing me, loudly asking things like, “Ashlee, let’s go proooom dress shopping this weekend!” while winking at me, as if they were totally getting me the hook-up. I think they were drunk. Like any decent gentleman, Nick asked me to prom and I quickly responded “duh!” and blew any chance to play to hard to get.

So, Nick and I dated, which in high school meant listening to The Shins in his room and making out. We had fun, we laughed a lot. Did I mention he had a Mustang? In general, Nick did not do dances. I found this out when we were picking out his tux – but he made sure I knew he was making an exception for me. I think he was trying to be romantic, but it made me feel like a big inconvenience. And thus, ‘Operation: Ruin Ashlee’s Prom’ began.

I had the perfect dress. It was this beautiful purple-ish color and fit me amazingly. I was tan and wore pearls and it was PERFECT. We chose all black for him, because I decided it would look great with my dress. It did. Prom day arrived, I curled my hair and decorated my face and my mom would not stop snapping pictures, but we somehow managed to get away. I forgot to mention: we went to prom alone. You know how everyone does groups? Not us. We were rebels! We wanted a romantic evening alone! Not really; all of his friends were too cool for prom and I didn’t have many close friends. The restaurant we decided on was about 40 minutes away and we just turned the music up way loud so we didn’t have to bother with talking.

At one point, Nick noticed a cop was behind him with his lights on. We pulled over, and Nick proceeded to get a speeding ticket and was scolded because of his window tint. “My cop radar didn’t even go off! What the hell!” he exclaimed. I knew this was bad, he was really angry. I quietly told him, “I heard it…” which was a mistake. I explained I didn’t say anything because he was the one driving, and how was I supposed to know he was speeding? Not my responsibility, right? Wrong.

Dinner was awful; he now hated the world. I cried in the restroom. We didn’t talk. We left and almost got in a car accident because, apparently, being an angsty teenager gives you the right to not look both ways before you pull out of a parking lot. When it was time for the dance, we decided instead to go hang out at his uncle’s house for a while; I think we both silently agreed that we wanted to spend as little time as possible at the dance. Eventually we went to the “Winter Wonderland” (who makes that the theme for prom in MAY?) We danced a little, and I refused to look at his face during slow songs. Afterwards, he wanted to go party at a local college with his friends who I didn’t know, I wanted to go to a bonfire with some of my friends; he angrily gave in and we attended the latter. I had no curfew but I was home by 1 AM.

I found out early the next morning that a senior, Brett, had an after-party that turned out pretty bad. Long story short, Brett accidentally shot his best friend in the leg, and I saw his mugshot on TV. Brett was my boyfriend freshman year, so I was pretty scared and sad for him. Nick and Brett were complete enemies for some reason, so Nick was less than happy about my emotional distress. He eventually dumped me over it, and pretty soon I pursued Brett only to have my heart run over by his big black truck. I never really talked to Nick again, but I still resent him for not letting me have a magical night with my perfect dress.

Plus his parents made him sell his Mustang.