THE WALLFLOWER QUEEN
By Pamela Loperena.
In front of a concrete wall, a girl stood watching pairs of silhouettes swallow the dance floor. Unlike everyone else at the party, she seemed to have arrived there alone. She wasn’t exactly a social butterfly; but, she went since she received a mail invitation and always convinced herself to attend something crazy once in a while. White balloons bounced around. Teenage voices filled the air. She could’ve danced with anyone, but she remained at the wall with shy feet planted to the ground.. She wasn’t the only one against the wall. Shifting to her left, there was a guy smoking a cigarette, exhaling his self-esteem away. To her right, a shorter girl actively avoided her gaze, texting on her phone. Staying near the wall felt hopeless, yet it was the only thing she did best. Then, on the dance floor before her, she saw a male figure glimmering underneath one of the strobe lights. He wore a taupe bomber jacket and beat up kicks. He wasn’t doing anything particularly special. He just hung out with another silhouette, laughing up a storm. Yet the girl somehow liked how he pushed his hair carelessly out of his face and how he pretended to enjoy whatever drink was in his red solo cup. The boy looked smart enough to know that he could be spending his time in a better way than being there. The girl’s heartbeat pulsed a little faster. She couldn’t control the feeling. Her cheeks even grew warmer. A moment later, the boy caught the girl’s glimpse and crinkled his lips into a smile.
As a boy entered a crowded room with his female friend, neon welcomed them. Loud, ambient alternative music played in the background. His friend dragged him to the middle of the dance floor. She mouthed a few words in his ear, but the room was too loud for him to hear her. A beaming strobe light blared in his eyes. He didn’t know how to dance. Earlier, he lied that he could to his friend, just so he wouldn’t kill his ego. That was the dumbest decision he made that night. Ingesting another sip of the complimentary beer, he took his sweet time to prevent his friend from forcing him to reveal the truth on the dance floor. The boy could tell that his friend was getting more drunk, since she was beginning to dance off balance beside a sea of strangers. But she was still conscious of her surroundings. He chuckled at the sight of her. Today, was also his birthday. But he wished it wasn’t so that he could’ve had an excuse to leave. The party wasn’t meant for him either. Before he came to the event, he heard through the grapevine that this large social gathering happened to be some upper-classmen’s idea. Small-talk wasn’t his preferred conversation style. He would have rather spent the night with his female friend, questioning the reality of human existence and chasing comets in the empty park down the street.
The boy witnessed another girl at a wall in the distance. Her thin frame bewildered him. She stood there like her soul feared meeting somebody new. From what he could see in the dim-lit dark, a pair of pale hands shook, as those dull, violet locks of hers drooped. The girl tried to blend in with the bricks as if she were a statue, but failed miserably since she was the most peculiar-acting person there. But the boy resonated with her. Even though he had a friend there with him, he felt lonely living in the world. His friend didn’t really appreciate his introverted nature that much and loved the limelight. Therefore, the boy found beauty in the mutual darkness he shared with the girl. He was enamored with how this girl was brave enough to stand by herself with nobody to tell her what to do or say. She was a mesmerizing wallflower no one dared to pluck. When he saw her eyes piercing straight into him, he felt quite flattered. A small part of him became eager to approach her. His stomach fluttered and soon his brain began to fantasize about a thousand different scenarios of what she could possibly sound like. Maybe he would get the girl’s number later. But for now, the boy couldn’t help but make a stupid grin, hoping the girl would stick around longer to give him one good reason to not race out the door.