She was one of the most popular girls in school. I was a shy, quiet student. She was a mainstay in our high school cheerleading squad. I was a mainstay in our school computer lab. Lindsey and I were on opposite ends of the popularity food chain, but by the end of the school year, she would be my date to the senior prom. It’s quite surreal as to how it all happened, but I’ll start at the beginning…
Ever since I became a quad, I was incredibly shy. I wasn’t sure how people would react to my wheelchair, so I never went out of my way to talk to people. It was difficult for me to even talk to my classmates, let alone a beautiful, blonde cheerleader. Friends weren’t a problem for Lindsey. Her down-to-earth personality made her likeable to everyone.
From jocks to geeks, she had a membership into every niche of the high school life. She seemed like the type of girl I would like to be with, but my shyness held me back as if I was tied to a huge ball and chain. But before we could be friends, she first needed to know I existed. Baby steps. As the first couple of weeks of my senior year passed, I noticed that Lindsey and I cross paths in the hallway in between classes. Since we didn’t have any classes together, this was the time to make my move. So during the next couple of weeks I would smile at her and say hello.
And wouldn’t you know it, she actually said hi back!
It was one small step for my confidence, and one giant leap for my social life. It might be a simple greeting to most people, but for me, it was just what I needed to break out of my shell. Once we returned from Christmas break, the hellos were followed with “How are you?” and “How was your weekend?”
I was actually having a conversation with someone other than a family member, nurse or doctor. Not only that, I was talking with one of the most popular girls in school – she even knew my name! The rest of the year seemed to go by like a blur, and before I knew it, prom season was upon us. Ever since I returned to school my sophomore year, I’ve wanted my life to have some sense of normalcy. I wanted to hang out with friends. I wanted to be invited to all-night parties. I wanted to go to prom with the girl of my dreams. But little did I know, plans were already set in motion. I was in my pre-calculus class when everyone started talking and giggling. Since I sat in front of the class, I couldn’t see what was causing the commotion behind me. Then I noticed my teacher, Mr. Ramseyer, staring at the window behind me.
“Gabe, I think you should turn around,” said Mr. Ramseyer.
I had no idea what was going on. Then I read the huge banner hanging from the window. The painted letters spelled out a phrase I thought I would never hear.
“Gabe, will you go to prom with me?” Asked Lindsey.
All the girls started ooooing and aaaawwing and the boys started cheering. But I still didn’t know who was asking.
“You have a visitor Gabe,” said Mr. Ramseyer as he pointed to the front door.
I slowly placed my hand on my joystick and turned my wheelchair around, only to find Lindsey standing in the doorway. “Will you go with me?” She asked with a smile.
I couldn’t say yes fast enough as my classmates begun to applaud my response. My heart was racing as I tried to grasp what just happened. I would be going to the prom with one of the most popular girls in school. Out of all the boys in school, she picked me. There were plenty of other people she could have asked, but she asked me. Everything seemed so surreal, but the best part was yet to come.
My Senior Prom.
The night of my prom is something I will never forget. My stomach was filled to the brim with knots and butterflies as I put on my tuxedo. I patiently waited in my living room for Lindsey to arrive. Suddenly, I hear a knock at the door. She made her way through the kitchen, wearing a gorgeous, pink dress. Lindsey looked beautiful. After my parents took a few pictures, we went back to her house for dinner. At first, I was a little nervous because I haven’t had anyone other than a nurse or family member feed me before. But Lindsey seemed fine with it, so I was fine with it too. After dinner, we made our way to prom. Once we made it, we went and took our official prom pictures and looked for a table. We spent the night talking and hanging with friends. That is, until the last song of the night.
“Come on Gabe, let’s dance,” said Lindsey.
At first I was a little hesitant, but I went along with it. So we made our way to the dance floor for the last dance of the evening. I had no clue how we were going to dance, but apparently Lindsey had an idea. Without any hesitation, she jumps into my lap and put her arms around my neck. Now it was my move, so I slowly started turning us around in circles. There I was, slow dancing at the prom with a beautiful girl. Suddenly, things got very interesting. Towards the end of the song, Lindsey inadvertently leaned against my hand on the joy stick.
We began spinning around faster and faster, swirling across the dance floor. I notice the table with punch and food getting closer and closer. I was moments away from catapulting my date into a bowl of fruit punch, and I couldn’t stop. Then, without warning, Lindsey leans forward and my chair stops a few feet from disaster.
“Man Gabe, you’re a great dancer!” Exclaimed Lindsey. I didn’t have the courage to tell her what really happened, so I just accepted her compliment.
“Thanks,” I replied. It was quite a night. A night that I will never forget. I never really knew why she decided to go to prom with me. But I am glad she did.