LUCAS SAYS, âI THINK PROM
is a lot like New Yearâs Eve.â He and Chris and I are hanging out in the nurseâs office, because she is out to lunch, and she doesnât care if we lie on her couch. Since weâre so far into senior year, all the teachers are in a pretty generous mood.
âNew Yearâs Eve is for basics,â Chris sneers, picking at her nails.
âWill you let me finish?â Lucas sighs and begins again. âAs I was
, prom buckles under the weight of all the expectations you put on it. One perfect high school night that every American teenager is supposed to have. You spend all this time and money and you feel obligatedâno,
an epic night. What can possibly live up to that amount of pressure?â
I think the perfect high school night will end up being some random little nothing moment that you didnât plan or expect; it just happened. I think Iâve already had like twelve perfect high school nights, with Peter, so I donât need prom to be epic. When I picture my prom night, I picture Peter in a tux, being polite to my dad, putting a corsage on Kitty. All of us taking a picture by the mantel. I make a mental note to ask Peter to get an extra little corsage for her.
âSo does that mean you arenât going?â I ask Lucas.
He sighs again. âI donât know. Thereâs no one here I would even want to go with.â
âIf I wasnât going with Peter, I would ask you,â I say. Then I look from Lucas to Chris. âHey, why donât you guys go together?â
âIâm not going to prom,â Chris says. âIâll probably go clubbing in
with my Applebeeâs people.â
âChris, you canât not go to prom. You can go clubbing with your Applebeeâs friends anytime. We only get one senior prom.â
My birthdayâs the day after prom and Iâm a little hurt that Chris seems to have forgotten. If she goes clubbing in
, sheâll probably stay all weekend and I wonât even see her on my actual birthday.
âPromâs going to be lame. No offense. I mean, Iâm sure youâll have fun, Lara Jean; youâre going with the prom king. And whatâs that girlâs name youâre friends with now? Tammy?â
âPammy,â I say. âBut it wonât be fun if youâre not there.â
She puts her arm around me. âAww.â
âWe always said weâd go to prom together and watch the sun rise over the elementary school playground!â
âYou can watch it with Kavinsky.â
âThatâs not the same!â
âCalm down,â Chris says. âYouâre probably going to lose your V that night anyway, so Iâll be the last thing youâll be thinking about.â
âI wasnât planning on having sex on prom night!â I hiss.
My eyes dart over at Lucas, who is looking at me, bug-eyed.
âLara Jean . . . you and Kavinsky havenât had sex yet?â
I look to make sure no oneâs in the hallway listening. âNo, but please donât tell anybody. Not that Iâm ashamed of it or anything. I just donât want everyone knowing my business.â
âI get it, obviously, but wow,â he says, still sounding shocked. âThatâs . . . wow.â
âWhy is it so wow?â I ask him, and I can feel my cheeks warming.
âHeâs so . . . hot.â
I laugh. âThatâs true.â
âThereâs a reason why having sex on prom night is a thing,â Chris says. âI mean, yes, itâs tradition, but also, everybodyâs dressed up, you get to stay out all night . . . Most of these people will never look as good as they do on prom night, grooming-wise, and thatâs sad. All these lemmings getting their manis and their pedis and their blowouts. So basic.â
âDonât you get blowouts?â Lucas says.
Chris rolls her eyes. âOf course.â
I say, âThen why are you judging other people forââ
âLook, thatâs not my point here. My point is . . .â She frowns. âWait, what were we talking about?â
âBlowouts, manis, lemmings?â Lucas says.
âSex?â I suggest.
âRight! My point is, losing your virginity on prom night
is a clichÃ©, but clichÃ©s are clichÃ©s for a reason. Thereâs a practicality to it. You get to stay out all night, you look great, et cetera, et cetera. It just makes sense.â
âIâm not having sex for the first time because itâs convenient and my hair looks good, Chris.â
I donât know for sure, but I imagine my first time will probably be at college, in my own room, as an adult. Itâs hard to imagine it happening now, at home, when Iâm Lara Jean the sister and the daughter. At college, Iâll just be Lara Jean.