The Anti-Prom - By Abby McDonald

He doesn’t kiss me like that.

That’s the first thing I think when I find Kaitlin Carter getting to second base with my boyfriend in the back of our rental limo.

Followed closely by, Is she wearing any panties?

And then, Ew, ew, EW!

I watch through the open door in a daze. Kaitlin is straddling Cameron’s lap, kind of . . . grinding at him, her pinned updo thwacking against the roof in time to the rap track they have playing on the pimped-out stereo. I blink. A half hour ago, we were slow-dancing inside, my cheek resting against the crisp lapel of Cameron’s tux. Now, his jacket is crumpled on the seat beside them, next to her strapless bra and the stray lipstick I came back out here to collect.

I try to leave, but for some reason, I can’t look away.

She’s unbuttoning his shirt now, as he gropes at every available inch of flesh. And Kaitlin’s dress provides plenty of it to grope. We hit every mall in a hundred-mile radius to find these dresses, but while my mom vetoed everything slit way up my thigh and down my chest, Kaitlin walked away with a clinging pink jersey thing that could probably get her arrested in some states.

Cameron sure appreciates the easy access. As I watch, his hands creep up her thighs, pushing the fabric higher, until —

I reel back, freaked.

Make that third base.

“Omigod, Bliss, where WERE you?” Nikki pounces the minute I get back inside the country club. “The DJ totally promised to play that song we love. I’ve been looking everywhere for you!”

I can’t find the words, but I’m lucky: Nikki is too high on prom to care. Not even pausing for breath, she drags me through the gleaming marble lobby overflowing with flowers and floating balloons. “And Kaitlin totally ditched me, too! I know you guys are, like, BFFs or whatever, but this is prom! You should be hanging out with us. Bliss? Hey, earth to B!” She snaps her fingers in front of my face.

“Oh, yeah, sorry.” I pause. Nikki’s waiting, her forehead creased in a tiny frown, and for a moment I think about telling her everything. It would be all over this place in minutes — no, wait. The way Nikki gossips, everyone would think Kaitlin had thrown an orgy with Cameron, the limo driver, and the pimply freshman valet before she even has time to pull that bra on again.

But just as quickly as the thought comes, I push it down again. Winding up the biggest scandal of the night is so not on my prom agenda. “I was, umm, with Cameron,” I tell her, arranging my face into a perky grin. “You know, just getting some private time.”

“Nice!” Nikki gives me this knowing look. “But seriously, how hot do the guys look in their tuxes? They should make them, like, mandatory uniforms.”

“Right.” I even manage a giggle. “Anyway, I’m here now. Let’s party!”

Linking my arm through hers, I head into the thick of the crowd. It’s crazy out here: five hundred kids cutting loose on the dance floor in a flashing mess of formal gear and floor-length gowns. East Midlands High has always been famous for our prom, and this year is no different. The PTA started planning way back in the fall, throwing fancy dinners and auctions to raise funds, even when they didn’t need it. Half the school district is so loaded, all it takes is a couple of fat checks and a few calls and voilà! The exclusive country club is booked up for the night with uniformed waiters, armfuls of sparkling streamers, and a DJ flown in special from the East Coast by some senior’s doting dad.

Tickets sell out so fast, they make it upperclassmen only, so when junior year finally came around, you can bet we were ready. I started looking for a dress in December, found the right shoes in March, and perfected my half-braided, tumbling hairstyle at the salon by the time Cameron finally asked me to go in May. It was going to be perfect.

It was supposed to be freaking perfect.

We finally reach the others, already staked out in prime position — in the center of things, like always. “Awesome!” Nikki cries as the DJ switches to a new song, some club hit with a sexy dance routine. The rest of them squeal as well, flushed and happy like this is everything we’ve dreamed about. Nikki turns, clutching me with glee. “Isn’t this perfect?”

“So perfect!” My cheeks