Seconds of Perfection

June 16, 2010
Lily Thompson only wanted things to be perfect. Was it too much to ask? Throughout her life eveything seemed to get screwed up one way or another. Brad wants you to go to his prom with him? Great! Oh, just kidding, you're grounded for sneaking over to his place. Your volleyball team is going to state for the first time in years? Awesome! That accident when you broke your ankle really was tragic, her friends told her. We probably could've won with you there. But Lily had had enough. Everyone's life needed some kind of perfection because without perfection what was left was unorganized mishaps like being grounded and breaking an ankle. But, like hoverboards, nobody had ever come up with a way to fix your mistakes after you've made them. So the only thing a person could do would be to build a bridge over that river of tears they've cried. At least until someone makes a time machine, or something. The only catch was Lily Thompson wasn't very good at letting things go.

The buzzing of an alarm clock was probably the worst sound in the entire world. Mostly because of that gut wrenching feeling a person gets knowing what they actually need to get up early for. Lily groaned lazily, rolling over her shoulder to smack the snooze button. Smack, smack, smack. No matter how hard she hit the blasted creation it wouldn't shut up. So, rubbing her eyes, Lily pushed her hands into the mattress of her bed and, with a protesting groan both from her and the bed, sat up straight. Now she realized how stupid it actually was to set her phone alarm to go off instead of her regular alarm. But more than that, she couldn't believe how idiotic she'd been to place her phone all the way on the other side of the room on her dresser. Lily's only option was to swing her feet out of bed and trudge over to the complete opposite end of the room. But, as soon as her legs came out from under the comfort of her quilt and sheets, they recoiled from the chilly air that met them. In her head, Lily cursed menopause up and down and the biology that had made it necessary in the first place. Her mother was advanced in years, just turning fifty a month before, and was, to the annoyance of her family, experiencing intense heat flashes day and night. Thus, it was necessary to make the house a bone chilling sixty degrees all the time. When Lily had finally mastered the small feat of shutting up the obnoxious morning buzzing, after stumbling around with headrush, she then realized why it was necessary to wake up like this in the first place. Suddenly she was alert, and rushed into the bathroom to pluck contacts into her eyes and wash her face. While she furiously combed through her matted and tangled locks of auburn hair, a hot mess if there ever was one, she formed a plan of attack for the day. Of course, it was a regular school day, but maybe to everybody else. To her, it was the day she would apply the finishing touches to her get-asked-to-prom plan. For the last week, Lily had been leaving small hints and spent extra time trying to reel her current, but ever-resistant, boyfriend into asking her to his senior prom. Monday she sprayed a little extra perfume on her wrists and neck, something totally out of the norm for her, and even went as far to play with Brad's hair where he wouldn't be able to escape the overwelming floral goodness of Eau de la Notice Me Please. Tuesday, she revamped an outfit and tried to look mature. Since she was a junior and Brad was a senior, she needed to work a little harder. Everyday it seemed like all the senior girls at North Central High School were flaunting their evident beauty in her face. They just screamed Oh look how much prettier we are! Good luck keeping a boyfriend while we're here! Just thinking about them made Lily swipe a little extra mascara onto her lashes, but with too much panic induced force. She had to furiously scrub her forehead to remove the line of black goop. A glance at the clock showed her how late she actually was. Despite waking up earlier than normal, Lily had forgotten that earlier pretty much meant that she might have time to grab a poptart on the way out the door instead of the normal routine of swinging her shoes from her hand as her mom tossed her the car keys while she raced to school. So, with hurried intensity, she threw on her thankfully planned out outfit and grabbed a bluberry poptart from the pantry. She was out the door.

Sitting at a red light at the intersection which was placed half a mile from her school, Lily did a last minute mirror check. Thankfully, she didn't have carpool this week (her friend Raina was visiting family from out of town. Apparently Californians were already out of school; they finished insanely early-May 8th) because she always felt bad for making other people late because of her vanity. However, Lily did look upon herself with a small smile and she regarded the simple yet chique dress she picked out for her last ditch prom invitation inducing efforts. It was a light grey and cottony sweetheart top dress with straps (so it fit school policy). The buttons up the center added a touch of flair, and, in her mind, made Lily look more toned that she saw herself. But, more importantly, it gave her the confidence boost she would need in order to carry out the last bit of her agenda. Normally, Lily was a very subdued type of girl. She didn't eagerly jump into things like Raina always did, and thought things over before saying them. She'd recognized long ago that this may be why Brad never really committed; with her think it out kind of attitude he would never feel pressured and wouldn't get any message of interest from Lily unless she wanted him to see it. Lily loved this type of control, but it did have its ways of biting you in the butt. Like now, she was without plans for next Friday. But hopefully, now that she wanted Brad to see her interest, he would react positively and she would be getting ready for prom Friday instead of sitting around the house mournfully eating Ben and Jerry's.

With an earsplitting screech, Lily pulled into the school parking lot and noted in her head to speak to her dad about the evident brake issues. Within five minutes, she was out of her car and racing down the halls to homeroom, as she had become accustomed to throughout her three years at North Central. Homeroom always went by the same way. She'd sit down next to her friend Mitchie and they'd exchange knowing looks about the plan for the day ahead. On Monday of that week, Lily had explained to Mitchie her plans for the week. Mitchie had jumped in whole-heartedly, but Lily couldn't help thinking it was because Mitchie just wanted to do her hair for the big day. Ever since 8th grade, when the two girls had coincidentally met while volunteering at an animal shelter for Confirmation service hours, Mitchie had shared her plans for one day becoming a beautician after graduating from high school. As a joke, Lily even nicknamed her "Beauty School Dropout", a nickname used more for insults than pal-like banter. For some reason that Mitchie couldn't explain she'd always had a weird obbsession with hair. Each morning when she woke up, she glanced through her hairstyle booklet (a pristine paperback her mother had gifted her for Christmas) and tried fruitlessly to recreate the picture on hand. However, most mornings she failed miserably and ended up wearing a simple, slick backed ponytail claiming that "she'd be better after some real training." Which only made Lily frantic to find a gentle way to let her down and get out of Mitchie doing her hair and skipping off to a salon to have it done by people "with some real training." After listening to the school news cast people rattle on and on about upcoming school events "you don't want to miss!" it was finally time for first period. Lily had History, but wasn't planning on actually listening about any history. Instead she'd be planning out her attack that would be played out during lunch. Everything had to go perfectly. If it didn't, she could kiss her hopes of a happy future with Brad goodbye and go curl up in a ball in bitter anguish. But, hey, there was no pressure. At least nothing a couple class periods of procrastinating wouldn't cure.





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