I smooth my hands nervously over my plum-colored dress as I look up at the stage. Caesar the Promman stands before me. This year his hair is as white as the sheet of paper he holds in his hands. Little lights embedded in his suit flash encouragingly as the contestants enter the stage. My breath catches in my throat as all four of them take a seat on the far right side of the stage. Each one is more handsome than the next. Caesar stands before the cheering crowd, his arms raised in welcome. “Happy Prom Games!” he yells, as the crowd cheers. “May princesscat_A be ever in your favor!”
The crowd goes wild as he gestures towards the first contestant, Fieryo. He looks incredibly attractive in his white button-down shirt tucked into light khaki pants. He sits down in the high-backed chair next to Caesar and runs his hands over his short buzz cut.
“Welcome! Welcome!” Caesar says before sitting down next to him. “Let’s begin.” Fieryo nods nervously. “So, Fieryo, how did you first meet princesscat_A and what were your first thoughts about her?” Caesar places his hands on his knee and leans forward.
“We met on the first day of school when she sat next to me in math class. She was really nice and we had a lot of conversations.”
Caesar nods slowly. “Interesting.” I put my head in my hands. Why does Fieryo seem so nervous?
“So, why do you think princesscat_A has chosen you as a prom date contestant?”
Fieryo turns bright red before answering, “I guess because we’re friends. But…I have a prom date.” He looks down as the crowd gasps.
“You have a prom date? Who is it?” Caesar looks around wildly, trying to calm the jeering crowd.
“I asked a freshman from my German class.”
Caesar puts his hand on Fieryo’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, but this means you are DISQUALIFIED!” He shouts the last word as Fieryo backs away. Ceaser turns back to the audience. “Three contestants remain. Let’s meet number two. Tigger, come on down!”
Tigger jogs over to Caesar, his dark hair falling over his bright eyes. He looks as handsome as ever in his black suit with the red and white polka dotted bowtie. He sits down next to Caesar and flashes the crowd a confident smile.
“So Tigger, how did you and princesscat_A meet?”
Tigger laughs. “We met at work. She turned out to be pretty funny and we had a little joke about the song 'Last Friday Night' by Katy Perry. I used to sing it all the time just to annoy her. We always had a good time.”
“Is that why you think you might be a contestant for PROM?”
“Probably. I did ask her to another dance at her school, though.”
“Oh?” Caesar wiggles his eyebrows at the crowd. “I do hear you have a girlfriend.”
“I do,” Tigger replies seriously, “but I wouldn’t mind going to prom with princesscat_A as a friend.” He shrugs and flashes another smile.
“Well, our time is up,” Caesar says apologetically. Tigger nods and jauntily walks off stage. The audience claps approvingly. I join them, though a feel a guilty knot in stomach. I know I could never ask a guy with a girlfriend to prom. By the time I break out of my dark fantasy, Ceaser has already called Naveen to the stage. I have missed Ceaser’s first question, but Naveen is laughing too hard to answer.
“I’m sorry,” he finally says, “this is just really stupid.” I roll my eyes.
“Anyway,” Caesar continues, looking a little peeved, “can you summarize your last week with princesscat_A?"
“Sure…I guess. We worked together a few times. We had some cool conversations.”
In my seat, I nod, thinking back to Saturday night. The store was closed, and we went outside just to get away from all the work. Nothing romantic happened, but it was…well…nice. But then I remember what happened the next time at work. We were joking around, but he basically told me I suck at doing the job I have had for nine months. I still feel depressed when I think about it. Is he out of the contest or not? I ask myself. He’s still in, my heart replies. I just have to stand up to him once in a while. I hear the buzzer buzz. Naveen saunters off stage. Ceaser calls Prince Charming up. He walks slowly over to Ceaser and gingerly sits down beside him.
“So, how did you meet princesscat_A?” Caesar asks, all smiles.
“Work,” Prince Charming replies. I laugh to myself. Prince Charming has as much personality as the prince in the movie Cinderella. I listen to the rest of the interview. It seems that Prince Charming is competing with looks alone. He gives one-word answers to all the questions and seems happy only when he is escaping off stage.
Finally, Ceaser rises to his feet. “Our contestants!” he roars. He gazes at the audience with a steely look in his eye. “Now, let the games begin!” The crowd is still cheering as they exit the room, but I am still in my seat, thinking. Because the only man on my mind is Mystery Contestant #1….
If your potential prom dates were interviewed, who would come out on top?
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