nothing happened the night of her senior prom

pg | no warnings

Nothing happened to Donna Moss on the night of her senior prom.

(This is the story that she tells herself.)

Her dress was a powder blue color that, in hindsight, was one of her more hideous fashion choices. It brought out her eyes, sure, but it wasn't doing any favors for her skin tone. And for some reason, in the pictures, her hair looks like it's tinged with green.

Her breasts (such as they were, at the age of 18) looked fantastic, though.

She can't remember her date's name. 'Donna + Carl' is scribbled on the back of one of them. He doesn't even look like a Carl; he looks like a Peter, or a Robert. Maybe a Doug. He was quiet, shy, reserved. Didn't do much more than kiss her all evening. The prom was their only date, and she doesn't know why she's held on to this picture for so long.

It goes in the trash, along with a program from their 4th grade science fair, where young Donnatella Moss apparently had done some uninspiring things with lima beans.

She doesn't remember anything about that, either.

Her leg twitches, involuntarily, and she yelps with pain as she spills white wine on her sofa. She rubs the wounded muscle, wonders if it's too soon to take another pill, wonders if the half-glass of Chardonnay will compound the effects and she'll sleep until Tuesday.

Josh would call. Panic when there was no answer. Arrive at her door with FBI and half the police in the district. Find her partly naked and drooling on her couch.

She'll live, she decides, as she tosses pressed, dried rose petals into the trash can.

It wasn't as if she had been a virgin, it wasn't as if she was a slut, but she expected to get lucky that night, and she was more than a little surprised to discover that he didn't seem to want to know what underwear she had on under her dress. (Also powder blue, lighter than her gown.)

By 10:30 PM, she was grumpy. Okay, so her breasts weren't as big as Janet's, but they looked good in her dress and she had spent almost half an hour plucking her eyebrows to make sure they were near-perfect mirror images.

She looked good.

Although her waist was a little tight, on account of the fact that they didn't have this dress in her actual size, so she had to go one lower, which wasn't a big deal, as long as she didn't try to do a split or hold more than a teaspoon of liquid in her bladder. She's coming out of the bathroom for the millionth time, wondering if her friends think she has some digestive disorder, when she nearly runs into Ms. Haas.

New teacher, barely twenty-five, in a dark red dress that made her pale skin look washed out. Dutch, Donna thought. Or maybe German? She had a faint, barely there, wisp of an accent, from leaving the country when she was young. She had a funny way of saying 'hello', but none of the boys really made fun of her, as she also had a tendency to wear clingy shirts that showcased breasts that were almost as big as Janet's.

"Hhhhaallo, Donna," this is what she remembers Ms. Haas saying. "Hhhhaallo," as if the word didn't quite want to come out of her mouth. The teacher complimented her on her dress, maybe, or her hair, or the earring which she was playing with, which fell onto the floor and they both bent down to pick up, although they managed to avoid some pathetic recreation of a Laurel & Hardy routine. Their fingers brushed a bit when she handed Donna back her earring, and the next thing she remembers is that Ms. Haas was kissing her.

Lips and tongue, hands on her waist (and she suddenly had to pee, again), everything she wanted from Peter-Robert-Doug-Carl, except it was coming from her math teacher, who happened to have all the wrong kind of anatomy.

Ms. Haas noticed her discomfort immediately. She disengaged, apologized. And Donna felt compelled to apologize right back, for not being interested, for not being gay, for apologizing for not being gay, because she didn't want Ms. Haas to think that she had a problem with gay people, she didn't, she just, personally, liked people with penises, that's all.

It was over in moments. Donna was back out on the dance floor, making her way to the table with Janet and Jason and Peter-Robert-Doug-Carl, and Ms. Haas was still in the bathroom, possibly using the same stall that Donna just came out of, and she sat down and worried if her lipstick was messed up, and then Janet was making fun of Hillary's dress, and who could ever think that shade of green was attractive?

At graduation, Ms. Haas sought out reassurances, because it was inappropriate and wrong, and she didn't know what she was thinking, and Donna did her best to put her mind at ease. She didn't feel like she had been molested, and she had no intention of ruining someone's career, but Ms. Haas's skin still looked paler than usual, and she wouldn't stop apologizing. The apologies made her feel more uncomfortable than the actual kiss.

Over the summer, she learned that Ms. Haas moved to Vermont. Got an offer to teach Calculus there. Donna pried for more information, tried to remember if there was someone else in the bathroom, in the next stall, wondered if she accidentally got the poor woman fired.

She felt guilty, for no good reason. And then she felt guilty for feeling guilty.

If anyone asked, nothing happened to Donna Moss on the night of her senior prom.


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