Why Had I Asked Him to the Ball

Written by: Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen

My best friend, Suzanne, and I went to the same church.
I lived in Coral Gables; She lived in Cutler Ridge.
Her boyfriend went to my school; I had no boyfriend.
Being friends at church some of us talked at lunch.
Clayton was a spiritual, handsome, popular kid.
I was a shy and some said cute girl about 12 years old.
Girls my age living in Coral Gables could enter a pageant.
My parents saw me as Junior Miss Orange Bowl Queen.
But beauty goes more than skin deep and I was terrified!
I was so nervous that my ankles buckled while on stage.
Relieved, I was eliminated in the second round.
Being a looser was the least of my problems.
I needed a date for the Junior Orange Bowl Queen’s Ball.
Clayton lived in Coral Gables, too; so, I asked him.
I think we were all surprised when he said, Yes.”
I asked him because he was a friend and I felt safe.
Of course, Suzanne looked at it very differently.
She was hurt and they broke up not long after that.
I had a tonsillectomy on the day of the Ball.
My relationship with Suzanne was strained since that time.
I felt horrible about loosing our close friendship.
After high School, sadly, she ended communications.
Many years later, both of us married with children,
We visited at her home; she was dying.  I cried.
It was then, when we were in our late thirties, that she asked.
Why, had I asked her, then, boyfriend, Clayton to the ball.
Being so young, and not understanding attraction, then,
I thought it would be okay; he was just a friend…

ã June7, 2012
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen

Written for Poetry Soup Member Contest:  ORNERY BEST FRIENDS
Sponsored by: Carol Brown