Everyone But Me


Everyone was going to the prom except me. It just wasn’t fair.

It was only two days before the junior prom, and all the junior class was looking forward to one of the great events in the life of a high school girl.

To make it an even more memorable experience, the senior boys had drawn up a list of all the girls in the junior class. They made it their duty to be sure that each girl had a date. It was a wonderful gesture, and because of them, every girl in the junior class had a date. Everyone but me, that is.

Somehow I had been overlooked. The knowledge of that only added to my embarrassment, and I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone, not even my closest friends. I felt sure I would be able to live through this and simply hide away in my room for the night eating peanut butter cups. Everyone would be too caught up in the spectacular evening to realize I wasn’t there.

But that plan was also not to be my fate. I was reminded that the junior girls on the drill team were required to perform the “Couples Dance” after the introduction of class members. I would have to go to the prom without an escort, perform the dance, and leave by myself. Everyone in the world would know that I didn’t have a date to that all-important dance.

Two nights before the prom I locked myself in my room to perform the peanut butter cup ritual that I had earlier envisioned would take place on the night of the prom. I lit a solemn candle as a reminder that I alone carried this humiliating burden. Before I could take the first pitiful bite of candy, the tears were already racing down my face. What a lonely, sad creature I was. What a terrible day to remember and someday explain to my grandchildren, “Oh yes, the junior prom is a night I will never forget.” I pictured myself quickly changing the subject with them so they wouldn’t know what a reject their old granny had been.

But as I sobbed in the middle of the greatest agony I had experienced in my young life, a wonderful, warm feeling of peace and love engulfed me. There were no words spoken to my mind, but suddenly I had full knowledge that I was not alone. My Savior was aware of my sorrow, very much aware. He had not forsaken me even when the outcome was not essential to my salvation. He cared enough for me to let me know He shared in my pain.

What a spectacular knowledge this was. Suddenly, my memories of the prom would not be as tarnished as I had imagined. One of the greatest truths of my life had been taught to me in a very special, loving way.

After that moment of sadness, everything changed. The next day the error was discovered and quickly rectified. Several boys apologized and insisted that they thought I already had a date. They were very thoughtful and concerned, and soon I had an escort.

The night of the prom was great, but it was nothing compared to what I had just experienced. Even though the decorations were beautiful, my dress was perfect, and I had that all-important date, that night could never compare to the feeling I had when the Spirit bore witness of the great love my Savior has for me. His love never fails, even when our pain is temporary, or even seemingly silly. It wasn’t essential to my salvation to go to the prom, but it is essential to know of the great love the Lord has for each of us. Now I know I’ll be able to truthfully tell my grandchildren that the junior prom was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

[illustration] Illustrated by Sam Lawlor