I was asked to prom last night.

I am a full-grown adult female who isn’t even a student anywhere and I was asked to prom last night. Apparently, law school has prom and Male is going. It struck me as odd that he would want to go since it doesn’t seem like anything he’d be interested in doing, but for whatever reason, he’s going to prom. He already has a tuxedo from his cousin’s wedding, so there’s that. The problem is that the prom is in another state, hundreds of miles away, and I don’t even have a dress. Unless he buys me a plane ticket, I’m not going to prom.

Last night was actually the first time I’ve been asked to go to prom, even though I went to my high school senior prom. That prom wasn’t all that. I went with Monster #2, the domestic abuser. It was the first time we met.

I had two close female friends in high school. We decided to go to prom together even though it wasn’t anything we’d be interested in doing. They both had dates and I didn’t. I asked a junior I knew and he said yes. The night before prom, he told me that his mom wouldn’t let him go because it would ruin his own prom the following year. I was suddenly dateless the night before prom. Thanks for all the notice, mom.

I decided not to go since I didn’t care about prom anyway, but my friends insisted. They told me they’d find a last-minute date. The night of prom, my friends and their dates picked me up, but I didn’t see a date for me. Where is he? You’ll see when we get there.

We walked up to the reception table and the woman asked, “Seating for two or four?” My friend and her date responded, “Three!” in unison. What the fuck?

My friend told me that they weren’t able to find me a date at such short notice, but she knew me well enough to know that if she told me that, I wouldn’t have gone. So, she asked her date, who was a blind date anyway, and he agreed to escort both of us.

That was the first time we met monster #2. He and his other date, my friend, ended up dating for a while after that until he ruined her. He left her a sobbing mess, but she was lucky to get away. I ended up stuck to him for another eight years, during which he lied, stole everything I had of value, killed my dogs and tried to kill me.

So, yeah, prom. I’m sure that Male forgot that story when he asked me to his prom. I’m sure he asked me because he already has a tux and a ticket, but not being a planner, forgot about actually having a date. I’m sure he asked me because he wanted an excuse for me to visit him.

If I were to go to Male’s prom, in my rational mind, I know it wouldn’t be the same. Male is not a monster. He is not Monster #2. I wouldn’t have to share him with a friend. I am not a dumb eighteen year old anymore who doesn’t really care whether she lives or dies. I am not that eighteen year old who would let a monster ruin her life. That will never happen again.

Still, some small part of me felt the panic. My mouth had a slight metallic taste of adrenalin. My heart beat a little faster and not in a good way.

I’m tired of the panic and every little thing reminding me of Monster #2. I am goddamn sick of him having that power over me to make me react to things that have nothing at all to do with him. I would like to go to prom with Male if for no other reason than to have a new memory about prom, but until I win the lottery, that’s not likely to happen. Still, it was nice to be asked.