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Butterflies

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"I can't believe you're going to prom," Claudia said as she handed me a silver necklace. It was a delicate chain with a real (tiny) diamond pendant. I only wore it on special occasions.

"I can't believe you're going to prom with Sam," Kristy said. She didn't sound nearly as wistful as Claudia. Probably because Sam is her older brother.

Mary Anne sighed, sounding the most wistful. In fact, if I looked closely, she may have been tearing up a little bit, which was pretty typical for Mary Anne. "Oh, Stacey, it's so romantic."

"No," I said, clasping the necklace carefully. "It's not romantic. Sam just asked me because we're friends. He wanted to go to prom, and there are only a few other sophomores going, so of course I wanted to go."

"He knows more girls than just you," Claudia said with a little bit of a smug smile. "He could have asked anyone."

"We're riding in with a bunch of his friends, it's not anything," I said, but I was more excited than I was letting on. I tried not to let my butterflies get the best of me.

Sam and I had dated very briefly when I was in eighth grade, but after that, we weren't much of anything. I was his sister's friend. We'd gotten a little closer since I started high school, and we kept being in the same math advanced math classes. He'd dated other girls, and I'd dated other guys, but as senior prom approached, we were both single.

"It's prom!" Mary Anne exclaimed, eyes shining. "Even if you're just going as friends, anything could happen."

Kristy made a loud gagging noise, and I laughed.

"Why are you even here?" I asked her. Mary Anne had seen enough teen movies to think prom was the most romantic night of the year, and Claudia was my friend, so of course she was going to help me get ready, but Kristy didn't care about dances.

She shrugged. "It's more fun than watching Sam get ready. And your mom said she'd order us a pizza after you left."

I laughed again as I turned to the mirror. My hair and makeup were perfect. The long black dress that Mom and I had gone to New York to buy from a small boutique in Greenwich Village was perfect. Having my friends here help me get ready, it was perfect. It wasn't even my senior prom, but I couldn't imagine anything better.

"Stacey!" Mom called from downstairs. "Sam is here!"

Mary Anne, unable to control herself, let out a little squeal. Kristy gagged again, and Mary Anne swatted her arm.

Claudia handed me my little clutch purse that she had packed with anything I may need throughout the evening. She grinned. "Have fun and be careful."

I grinned too.

My friends followed me down the stairs where my mom was waiting with a camera, and Sam was waiting in a tux. His face lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw me. I don't think I'd ever seen him look at anyone like that. The butterflies were back.

Sam held out his arm. "Ready to promenade?"

I giggled. "Let's dance."