Michelle had gotten used to the idea that she was dead. She’d even come to terms with the idea that she was going to have to miss prom. What Michelle found hard to accept was that Daniel had asked someone else to be his date.
And now, on the day of what would have been her senior prom, Michelle’s spirit watched him preparing for that date and dressing himself in the black knock-off of a Tommy Hilfiger tux. The tux was very elegant, but not nearly as well made as the original. The jacket was a black, single-breasted, three button affair. The tux looked good on him as long as you didn’t look too closely.
Her gown, if she’d had a chance to wear it, was by designer Tadashi Shoji. It was an indigo gown with an asymetical neckline. It had ruching across the bodice and shoulder straps.The shoulder straps were wide and formed a sort of cap sleeve. It had a pleated mermaid skirt. It was absolutely stunning. It made her tall frame look longer and leaner. It was all about understated elegance.
She was frustrated. She looked at Daniel’s bed and thought about sitting on the edge of it. She didn’t have a physical body anymore, and though her spirit could apparate in a way that made it seem she was sitting, she didn’t really have the substance that made sitting possible. If she had decided to “sit” she wouldn’t have even mussed the sheets.
Another thing about being dead that was frustrating was her inability to see how she looked. It didn’t matter that the living couldn’t see her. She could see her own hands. The nail polish was a bit chipped on her right index finger. She wished she’d had time for a manicure before she died. The idea that she would spend eternity with chipped polish was annoying. She could also look down at her shoulders, arms and chest. The only thing she couldn’t do was to see her own face. She didn’t reflect in mirrors. For all she knew, she would spend eternity with poppy seeds stuck in her teeth. It might be silly to the living, but even without a body she cared about how she looked.
Of course, being a ghost had its advantages. No longer would she need to get up early and face Mr Maltese’s trigonometry class. In fact, the day she died she was supposed to have a test on radian measures and circular functions. She had really dodged the bullet on that one….well, actually she hadn’t dodged the bullet that day, but had at least gotten out of her trigonometry test. It would have been awful to have had to sit through the test, and then to have died.
Daniel struggled with tying the silver-gray bowtie. She had suggested he get a pre-tied one, but he had insisted he could learn to do the real thing. She was certain he could, but after three attempts which each resulted in a differently unfashionable result, she had to laugh. She went and stood in front of him as he tried one last time. She took his hand in hers and guided them. She used to tie her kid brother’s bowtie when he was in the school chorus. Daniel couldn’t feel her hands on his now, but it must have helped because the fourth time he got it.
She smiled triumphantly as he headed to the kitchen, and came back a moment later with a corsage that he had picked out for her. He had made sure he knew what color her dress was before he ordered the flowers. No orange flowers on her indigo gown. He had ordered a white orchid with navy satin-ribbons. She smiled as she looked at the small bouquet he had ordered for her mother. She remembered he had done the same thing at homecoming – brought a corsage for her, but also brought her mother flowers. She had to admit that Daniel was a class act.
Tonight, someone else would be wearing her corsage. She hoped that the girl would appreciate it as much when she got it as Michelle was appreciating it right now. She hoped it would look good with whatever she was wearing. She hoped most of all that Daniel would have fun dancing with her and that she would have fun dancing with him.
He took one last look in the mirror to make sure his tie was straight. She touched the grey pocket square over his heart. She smiled as she felt his heart beating against her finger tips. She was glad he still had a pulse, even if she did not. He kissed his finger tips and then touched the framed picture of her on top of his dresser. “I’ll miss you, sweetie,” he said. With a bittersweet sigh, he left her alone in his room and headed off to pick up his date.