The snow had all but melted away and the smell of spring filled the air. Just a few months of school were left; it was my eighth grade year. Much preparation and months of work had been done to get ready for the last dance of the year. It was the last dance of our middle school career and the excitement was building.
It all began with shopping. First with my girlfriends over the years, goofing off on trips to the mall trying on gorgeous flowing gowns for fun, and then it was finally time for me to buy one, finally a formal occasion where I got to dress up in a fancy gown with high heels, my Mom took me to the mall. Even though it wasn’t quite prom, it was still a formal dance, a celebration of completing middle school and entering into high school. While I shopped with my Mom I could sense her excitement for me. It was exciting and special for her to see her little girl growing up. We shopped and shopped, I must’ve tried on a hundred dresses until I found the perfect one. It was pink with tiny embroidered flowers all over. I completed my look with strappy silver heels, silver jewelry and a hand bag.
Four days before our big night, a tragedy had stunned the nation. Two senior boys at Columbine High School in Colorado had embarked on a shooting spree in their school. The boys had killed 13 students and a teacher, as well as injuring more than 20 of their school mates before turning the guns on themselves. There had been some talk about it at school during the days leading up to our dance, but it seemed worlds away at the time. The preparations for the dance continued as scheduled and classes went on as usual while the television and radio continuously covered the tragedy in Colorado.
At last, the day of our dance had arrived, April 24th, 1999. My best friend Jaimie had come over late in the afternoon so we could go to the salon together. While we sat next to each other getting our hair and nails done we giggled and cooed with excitement. And as other girl...
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