Homecoming (a short story inspired by a Pewdiepie remix song)
Credits to PartyInBackyard Youtube channel. And thanks to Pewds for the catchy tune.
He was literally in hell at that moment.
He knew when he entered the Homecoming dance floor, he would regret it. All his friends had come up with one or another excuse to not go to the dance this year. But it was the Homecoming, his mom said. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments that you couldn’t miss. All the nice girls would be there, she said. Maybe you’ll finally find someone there, she said.
Mom, he ruefully thought.
He absentmindedly drank from the fruit punch mixed with gin tonic, nervously looking around. He didn’t remember going back for seconds. Or thirds. He only remembered that he got so hammered that he worried he’d piss himself on the dance floor. Which thankfully didn’t happen.
What did happen was that he sat on the bench on the third row, and watched distastefully as the couples on the dance floors giggled and swayed, and moved and smiled with their googly eyes at their partners—while the band leader on the stage sang sappy love ballads. The vocalist had just ended his song, and addressed a crowd too busy with their partners, while he introduced a new song and began to play a retro 80s ballad.
He sighed. Could this get any worse? He puffed off air impatiently, staring listlessly across the room. He stared reluctantly at the dance floor.
Then it happened.
He didn’t know if it was the song, or some sudden magic of Homecoming, but as he watched the dancing, the couples parted and cleared a line of sight for him long enough for him to see, across the dance floor, a girl sitting with a pained look on her face, her chin resting on a hand.
She was beautiful.
It took him a while to register who it was. Monica, the silent, brooding girl from Literature class. Monica, who always came to class with a drab shirt and loose pants. Monica, who once surprised their professor when, roused from daydreaming to reflect on some thematic allegory in a book, seemed to understand more of the book than anyone in the class. She was deep.
But he never thought she was this beautiful.
Transfixed by her face, and almost under a spell, he found himself descending the rows of benches, and walking to the dance floor. He didn’t feel the bumps or the angry cursing of the dancers as he walked a straight path to Monica.
Couples would obscure his vision for just a split-second, but there she was again. It was as if she was calling out to him. It was as if all his life was leading to this moment.
Two dancers suddenly blocked his path. He lost sight of her, and when he saw her again, another guy was offering to dance with her.
He stopped in his tracks, and felt as if a train had hit him. No, it was the universe that hit him square in his heart.
Never, it seemed to say.
He watched long enough for Monica to take the guy’s hand and walk slowly to the dance floor. He didn’t catch her looking back at him as he turned away.
How could he have been so stupid? He hit his head repeatedly with the base of his hand as he bumped and stumbled and profusely apologized to the dancers as he struggled to get across the dance floor. The magic of Homecoming? What a joke. He thought that the fruit punch finally got to him, and for a moment he thought he really was going to piss on the floor.
He made it to his seat, at least, as he chalked this disaster up as another episode of his sad, pathetic life.
He felt a nudge on his shoulder. What now? He thought.
It was Monica, looking at him with a glimmer on her face.
He opened his mouth to speak, but she merely smiled and took his hand.
She led him to the dance floor, and put her hands on his shoulders.
He felt himself clutching tightly at her waist.
Ugh, he thought, as the band vocalist sang another corny 80s ballad.
Then, the lights went out. He looked around and they were alone. The room was empty, and it was only him and her, staring into each other’s eyes. There was no music, so he hummed a little song. She giggled lightly, as they moved slowly on the dance floor, locked in each other’s embrace.
The moment seemed to last forever, and it felt to him that if this was how he would spend eternity, then he was fine with that.
Then the music came back on, and the lights went back. And suddenly he was roused from his dream, the couples around them looking at the band on the stage and clapping. He made a weak hurrah to join the cheering, and looked back at her, embarrassed.
She was still looking at him, smiling.
He realized he was still holding her waist, and quickly withdrew them. He scratched the back of his head and laughed nervously, and she laughed back. He weakly lifted a hand and waved hi, and then bye, as he endured an awkward pause, before hurriedly turning back and shaking his head. What’s wrong with you? He asked himself. Stupid, stupid.
A hand pulled him back.
He looked back and Monica was clutching his hand tightly. Another song was playing, but he didn’t hear. He only felt her hand reaching to caress his cheek, then their eyes searching each other, asking.
What was happening? He thought, as Monica turned from him. What was happening? He thought as she pulled him away from the dance floor. What was happening?, as she led him to the exit, a sly look on her face.
He took a last look at the Homecoming dance floor, as the door closed and the song faded. He looked on as she pulled him by the hand and across the hall.
He felt under a spell. What was happening?
Was this all the magic of Homecoming?
He chuckled as he shook his head and chalked it all up to the fruit punch he drank earlier. He still wondered if he was going to piss himself.
He hummed a song as he ran away with her.
Author’s Note: When I first saw the video, I immediately saw this story. I had to write it. Kudos to PartyInBackyard for a good remix, and to Pewds for the song.
Hey, I don’t know the lyrics to the song. But the melody was perfect.