Standing Room Only

A World of Short Stories

The Dance

“We were friends from day one,” James said.  “And then everything changed for reasons beyond my control.” 

I sank lower into my seat because I knew exactly what was coming next. James had fallen for my sister and my sister had never wanted anything more. The more time they spent together meant the more James misread the signs. As far as my sister was concerned, they were just best friends, but I was waiting for the shoe to drop. The more I urged her to set the record straight with James, the more she balked, afraid it would mess up what they already had. 

The closer we came to prom last year, the more anxious I got. I knew James was planning on asking Ashley to prom because it was going to be her last chance to attend as she was planning to graduate the following December. To some degree, she is braver than I am because I was content to live at home with my parents until I graduated high school. As long as I was living at home, I didn’t have to pay for rent or bills, but as soon as I moved out, I was on my own. I loved the comforts of home while Ashley loathed them and she loathed anything tying her to one place. 

I just wish James had picked me and not Ashley. Then she never would have disappeared from my life like she did. Everyone is convinced she ran away, but I know better. I know it was James and now I know where he is hiding her. 



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