Boston Public
Chapter Forty-Two

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Dark Side of the Prom

Harvey appears next to Lawrence. "I'm very fond of black people, you know. I have a Negro black son. I never knew. He just showed up a few weeks ago. Black as night."

Ronnie finds Harry again over by the buffet, and he protests her attempts to make him dance. He probably just doesn't want to step on her bare feet with his heels. Just then, Ronnie spots Natalie on her way in, alone. "Oh my god!" Ronnie goes over to greet her. "You came! Natalie, you look beautiful!" She does, man. I'm starting to forget Cheryl Holt. Natalie makes Ronnie promise not to recruit anyone to ask her to dance, and Ronnie agrees. Just then, screams and crashes get their attention, and it appears that Robin is in a fight with some guy. Harry gets between them, and then so does Steven. No adequate explanation for the fight is forthcoming, since this other kid, Wayne, is someone we've never seen before, and all he says is that he told Robin how pretty he looks. Whatever.

Elsewhere, Lawrence and Marla are chatting, and charmingly misinterpret the scuffle. "I wonder if he caught her flirting with somebody else." "No, she isn't his date." Lawrence compliments Marla on her stage presence, and makes another reference to how similar things feel after twenty-five years. "If you're looking to reunite with the girl you knew in high school…I have some problems. I suffer from manic depression, medication keeps me together, even my best friends describe me as a train wreck waiting to happen…" She says she's just serving notice, and he asks if she ever thinks of him. A lot, she says. "I've loved other men, Lawrence, since you. But not as much."

Just then, Steven appears onstage to announce the prom king and queen. Then, something that makes no sense happens. "Before I begin, I'd like to take a moment to reflect…on our Superbowl Champion New England patriots!" Everyone cheers. Three guys fall on the ground and make snow angels, with no snow. I have no idea what is going on. Is this a reference to something? The Superbowl was months ago, so this is obviously a joke of some kind, but I don't get it. Somebody please explain. Anyway, he announces the winner. Popular Guy #2 wins prom king. Transgendered Robin wins prom queen. No one claps for a while…but why? Doesn't his winning mean that the majority of the people there voted for him? Whatever. Anyway, Steven crowns him and says, "Son, I certainly hope this is what you wanted." Robin tries to get offstage, but the prom king reminds him that the king and queen are supposed to dance. He has to ask three times before Robin realizes he's not joking, and so they begin to dance. It's very sweet. Marilyn sings "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." Ronnie begins to choke up, and then loses it completely, when Harry points out that some guy has asked Natalie to dance. Scott and Lauren are dancing, and she observes that his hands are cold, and he says, "Well, truth be told, I've…I've never danced with such a beautiful woman. I know that embarrasses you, but please accept a cold hand, as a compliment." She kisses him on the cheek. Harvey dances with Louisa for some reason. Lawrence dances with Marla. Natalie and her random boy dance. Nerd dances with his Hot Date. Marilyn sings. The ball glitters above the proceedings. Awww.

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Boston Public

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