Prom itself can be an important night in a high school senior’s life and even more so for me because that was my first and last prom experience. Prom is about the perfect dress no matter what it says on the price tag and spending weeks scrolling down Pinterest before the day arrives to select the perfect hairdo. Dinner reservations have to be made way ahead of time and the photographs need to look eligible for the cover of a Wedding Magazine. So much work, so much money and SO many memories. It is the impeccable American High School experience. I don’t know if it could have possibly been any more perfect for me.
My prom experience lasted from 9:30 am when I went to get my hair done to 3 am the next morning when prom was officially over. In that entire period of time, there was one fleeting moment that struck me and still brings the tears to my eyes that I could not express back then because it was concealed with the laughter that comes from being with my loved ones. In the middle of the dance, came on one song that is going to be etched in my memory and truly makes me reminisce what a beautiful exchange year it was for me.
When the song “Sweet Caroline” came on, I saw all my closest friends come together and huddle with me and how happy they all looked despite the worries they all faced in life individually. And in that moment, while we all looked up with our heads high and our fingers entwined and smiled the most gleaming smiles I’ve ever witnessed, I felt absolute. The blue and green lights reflected off their faces as we all came together and screamed the lyrics of the song. We embraced each other in a circle and did not stop laughing in each other’s faces. And as we all raised our arms and danced around each other with gentle sways and caresses, it evoked in me a sense of gratitude not for that moment, but for the amazing lives that touched me. And as my best friend yelled in my ears while we danced with our arms around each other, I looked at her and I filled up with sadness because that might have been the last time I’d see her looking that exact way. That might have been the last time we were all together feeling ecstatic and young like that because in about a month I was going to be in a different country for the rest of my life. That song has made a special corner in my heart for itself and every time I listen to it, I can’t help but feel loved and estranged at the same time. And even though they say that moments do not repeat themselves, the feelings they give birth to, can.