It was finally the day of the winter formal, and Maddy was excited because she’d never had a date before. When she’d told Luke that a lot of guys had asked her out, she wasn’t lying. That dress she had worn the night of Luke’s party made a lot of guys want to take her out. She never let it phase her though because she’d always known that Luke was the person that she wanted to be with. In her mind, everything was perfect being that he was the one who was actually taking her to the dance.
She had gotten up early because Nana was taking her to the beauty shop and nail salon so that she could get the finishing touches for her outfit for the night.
“Nana! Hurry, my appointment is in 30 minutes,” Maddy yelled.
“Oh hush, child. I’m coming,” Nana yelled back as put on her earrings.
“Grandpa, we have to go over those dance moves one more time when I get back just to be sure I’ve got it down. I don’t want to embarrass myself,” Maddy said laughing.
Grandpa laughed and nodded his head, reassuring Maddy that they could practice again when she returned from being pampered.
“Lester, give me your bank card please,” said Nana who had her hand out in Grandpa’s face.
“Woman, didn’t I just transfer money into your account yesterday,” He asked with playful suspicion.
“Well, yes, but this is for Maddy. Not me,” Nana said as she looked back at Maddy with a grin.
Grandpa shook his head and handed Nana his bank card.
“Anything for my grandbaby,” he said.
Maddy gave him a hug and kissed his cheek, and then she and Nana were well on their way.
On the way to the hair salon, Luke had texted Maddy a picture of his haircut. He had cut off all of his hair.
“Oh my god,” said Maddy.
She dropped her phone and covered her mouth with both her hands.
“What child? What is it,” Nana asked?
Maddy picked up her phone and showed Nana the picture Luke had sent her.
“Finally he got rid of that mop that was growing on top of his head,” said Nana.
Maddy rolled her eyes and closed her phone.
Nana, who was dying of laughter, said, “I’m only joking child. He looks handsome as ever.”
They’d finally arrived at the hair salon just in time for Maddy’s appointment. You could smell the hot curling irons and oil sheen before you even entered through the door.
Maddy loved coming to this particular beauty shop. They were always playing good music because the beauticians were fairly young.
When they walked in, Rihanna was playing through the speakers.
“Oh, I just love this song,” Nana said. “This is her new song, right?”
“Nan, just because you’re just now hearing it, doesn’t mean that it’s new,” Maddy responded. “I don’t think she’s ever going to release new music. She’s busy doing other things.”
“Ahh, okay,” Nana said. “She’s work, work, work, work, working?”
Maddy shook her head in playful disgust and walked over to sign in for her appointment.
“Speaking of, I need to stop by the store for makeup,” Maddy said. “My face has got to be beat tonight. For this first time ever, I was nominated from Ice Queen this year.”
“Oh that’s nice, sweetheart,” Nana said. “Your grandfather gave us his card, so you can have whatever it is you want for tonight.”
Maddy and Nana sat together talking for about 15 minutes until it was Maddy’s turn to get her hair washed. All of the girls from her school were at the shop at the same time she was, so it had taken a little longer for her to be seen.
As she sat back in the sink, the wash tech began to wash her hair. She scratched Maddy’s scalp with her scalp scraper and massaged her scalp with her fingers. Maddy’s eyes began to roll into the back of her head, and then all of a sudden she was snapped back into reality by a familiar voice.
“Yes, I’m here to see Tina. She told me to just come into the back where she was,” said the voice.
Maddy, still laying back with her head in the sink, heard a pair of heels coming closer and closer then they stopped. The smell of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle began to invade her nose.
“Oh, Mrs. Fisher, I didn’t see you sitting there! It’s been so long since I last saw you! Maddy has become such a doll! So glad she’s finally taking your advice and acting like a young lady these days.”
Nana tried her best to smile.
“It’s good to see you as well Leslie,” she said.
Leslie then walked over to the washbowl that Maddy was occupying.
“Madeline, have you been enjoying winter break,” she asked? “Have you been keeping up with your reading? I know I have been.”
She smirked, but Maddy couldn’t see her.
“It’s the day of winter formal, Leslie. Let’s at least wait until after tonight to discuss what it is that we need to discuss,” Maddy said.
Leslie rolled her eyes and went to sit in her beautician’s chair.
While under the hairdryer, Maddy texted both Luke and Dillon to let them know what had happened. Dillon was ready to pull up to the beauty shop, but Luke told her to just play it cool and focus on the plans that they’d made for the night.
She took Luke’s advice of course.
“Did you see that girl, Maddy,” Nana asked?
Maddy nodded her head.
“We’re not going to let her ruin our day,” Nana said.
Maddy nodded again and went back to what she was doing on her phone.
Eventually, it was her turn to get her hair done. Her hair had grown back from the last time she’d cut it, and she didn’t plan on cutting it anymore today. Nana sat outside of the room waiting for her to finish because she wanted to be surprised by what Maddy was going to do. When she stepped out of the room, Nana’s jaw dropped to the floor. It had been such a long time since she’d seen Maddy’s hair done so nicely. Not a hair was out of place.
“Oh, Tina thank you so much,” Nana said with excitement. “You never let us down.”
“You know Maddy is my girl,” Tina said as she began to sweep her floor of all the hair that had been collecting. “I hope you have a beautiful night, and please keep an eye out for my son. You know how he gets.”
Maddy began to laugh.
Tina was Todd’s mom, and Todd had a history of getting too… “loose” during school functions.
Nana got her hair done after Maddy, and then the two were on their way to the nail salon. After the nail salon got Maddy’s makeup, stopped for food, and then headed back home because it was time for Maddy to get dressed.
As soon as she was home, Maddy jumped in the shower. She then did her makeup and after that practiced dancing with Grandpa one last time. It was almost 7, and Luke was going to be picking her up at 7:30. The dance started at 7, but they wanted to get there late so that they didn’t look too excited to be going out. They also wanted to pregame with their friends.
Around 7:26, there was a ring at the doorbell. Nana, who was sitting on the couch watching her show got up to answer it.
It was Luke.
Luke was dressed in a burgundy tuxedo with black lapels. The tuxedo was tailored with tapered pants that fit perfectly to his body.
“Oh my, you Luke so handsome,” Nana said as she gave him a hug. “Oh, and you smell so good!”
Luke laughed and began to blush.
“Thanks, Mrs. Fisher,” he said behind a big smile.
“Boy you know you’re looking real good,” Grandpa said. “I wouldn’t want my niece to be going to the winter formal dance with anyone else.”
“It’s not like she had a choice,” Luke said laughing.
Everyone began to laugh.
“Maddy! Lucas is her, and he’s looking good as ever,” Nana yelled up the stairs.
She turned to Luke with a smile. “She’ll be down in a minute.”
10 minutes later, Maddy came walking down the stairs. You could see tears beginning to well up in her grandparents’ eyes.
“You look amazing, darling,” they both said in unison.
Her hair was still pressed like silk, and it cascaded down her back like a waterfall over a cliff. She wore a black silk gown that dropped just enough in the back, and her accessories matched Luke’s tuxedo. She smelled of sweet perfume and flowers.
“Luke, what do you think,” she asked?
Luke was speechless. He had never seen Maddy look this good. She had topped the night of his party.
“You look — you look…”
He was stumbling over his words.
He finally caught his tongue and uttered, “You look amazing.”
He walked over to her and gave her a hug. He then placed her corsage around her wrist and kissed her forehead.
“You two best get going,” Grandpa said.
“Yeah we should,” Maddy said after him.
Her grandfather began to mimic the dance moves he’d shown her.
“Don’t hurt ’em too bad baby girl,” he said with laughter.
Maddy smiled, hugged her grandparents, and went on her way. She was prepared for tonight to be an amazing night.
“Maddy, bring home that crown,” Nana said with a smile.
Maddy nodded her head and smiled back at Nana.
“Did you get the stuff,” Maddy asked?”
“Yep, it’s in my trunk,” Luke responded.
“Great, we’re supposed to meet everyone in the back parking lot so that we can pregame,” Maddy said.
Luke laughed and said, “I remembered.”
As they pulled around into the parking lot, they saw all of their friends waiting for them. They parked, and as soon as they got out of the car everyone began to cheer for them.
Maddy shocked, began to laugh nervously.
“What’s going on,” she asked?
Dillon who was obviously on her level, walked over and hugged her.
“Girl, we’re just practicing for when you and Luke are crowned Ice King and Queen later,” she said. “After the semester you’ve had? Leslie isn’t going to win over you.”
“Thanks, friend,” she said.
They all sat outside for a few more minutes and then headed into the school for the dance.
The dance was being held in the school’s gymnasium, but of course, the winter formal committee decorated the entire school to fit the theme of a winter wonderland. There were snowflakes and fake snow everywhere. Icicles hung from the ceilings as well.
Maddy was in such awe at how the school had transformed. She was a part of the committee, so she’d helped put it all together. She didn’t think it would turn out so beautifully, though.
“Tickets, please,” said Mrs. Strauss, who was guarding the entrance.
Luke handed her both his and Maddy’s tickets and the two of them entered through the doors.
“I’m gonna get us some punch, and then we’ll make our rounds,” Luke said.
Maddy nodded. She then began to search the crowd for Dillon and all of her other friends. She found them all standing together in a corner across the room, so she made her way over to them.
“May I have this dance,” Maddy asked as she approached Dillon?
It was their tradition to share their first dance together. They never had dates, so they always decided to just dance with one another.
“I’m sure Josiah won’t mind,” Dillon said looking back at him.
Josiah motioned her away with permission. Dillon gave him a kiss and went to dance with her best friend.
Frank Ocean’s, “Self Control,” was playing as they swayed from side to side.
“Ooo girl, your dancing has gotten much better,” Dillon said. “You’d been had stepped on my feet so many times this time last year.
“Shut up,” Maddy said laughing. “My grandpa taught me some moves. I couldn’t be out here stepping on Luke’s feet.”
Dillon rolled her eyes and laughed again.
The song ended, and the two girls went back to find their friends again. Luke had made it to where they were as well with Maddy’s punch in his hand.
“Now that you’re warmed up, let’s get the party started,” Luke said.
“Yeah,” Josiah yelled after him.
They all went onto the dance floor and danced their lives away. Maddy was having that feeling again where everything just felt so normal. She had not one care in the world. She was enjoying herself with her friends, and she felt as though she were on top of the world. She and her friends danced and socialized all night until it was time for Logan to announce who had won Ice King and Queen.
“Alright everybody, as we all know, this is the biggest moment of any boy and girl’s high school career here at Mt. Canal High,” Logan said. “The two people that win this award are the two most beloved students here at our wonderful school being that not only did the students vote, but so did the faculty and staff.”
By this time, everyone had crowded around the stage to see who was about to be crowned.
“This year’s Ice King is…”
There was a drumroll playing over the gymnasium speakers.
“Well, we already knew this,” she said with a big smile. “Lucas Grey!”
The crowd went wild, and everyone cheered Luke on as he walked onto the stage to claim his crown. Luke wasn’t shocked that he’d won. He looked at Maddy and winked. She was screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Okay, quiet down. Now, we will give out the most important crown of the night,” she said. “No offense, Luke.”
“This year’s Ice Queen crown goes to…”
Another drumroll played over the gymnasium speakers.
“Oh wow,” she said. “This year’s Ice Queen crown goes to — Madeline Fisher!”
Snow mixed with party confetti and balloons began to fall from the ceiling. Maddy shocked that she’d won stood in a daze. She couldn’t have imagined that she’d win the title of Ice Queen. She knew Leslie had it in the bag, but here it was; she was being crowned. She made her way up to the stage and stood next to Luke who was cheering her on. All of her friends were screaming her name as well. Leslie stood in the midst of the crowd with a smug look on her face. She wasn’t upset about losing, which kinda made Maddy a bit suspicious, but she was let it go to focus on the moment.
Once she was on the stage, Logan gave her a hug and whispered I her ear, “I’m so glad you beat that bitch.” She quickly turned back to the crowd and smiled.
Maddy laughed and waved to everyone as Logan then placed her crown onto her head. As she soaked in all the love she was receiving, familiar words began to play over the gymnasium speakers.
June 7th, 1999
Maddy is starting to talk more and more every day. It’s crazy that she’ll be four-years-old soon. She loves her pendant now. We couldn’t get her to stop pulling it off her neck at first, but now all she wants to do is chew on it. That works, I guess. As long as my baby girl is protected, that’s all that matters. We’ve been in Toronto for 3 months now and things are starting to get easier. We haven’t had to look over our backs as much here. Christia, the witch who made our jewelry pieces, told us to come here because Toronto has a very small hunter presence. She was right. There’s also another family here just like us. They have a little boy about Maddy’s age. We were supposed to meet with them a few times, but unlike us, they’re way too paranoid. We just want to live as best we can right now. We’ve been enjoying more time watching Maddy grow up. Her mom has been resting a lot more as well. We took Maddy on her first trip to a theme park and she really enjoyed herself. She started her swimming lessons a few months ago as well. Toronto seems like a great place. Maybe this will be the last place we have to move to? We have our eyes set on this house out in the suburbs. My father gave us money to get settled, as he always does. This time we had money left from the last move to put toward an actual home and not just an apartment. I’m happy. We’re all happy.
“Dad,” Maddy mumbled. Her voice quivered. Someone was reading her father’s journals aloud.
Tears began to well up in her eyes, and she ran out of the gymnasium leaving her crown behind. Mrs. Strauss cut the cord to the speakers and assured everyone that whoever had played the prank, would be dealt with accordingly.
Luke found Leslie in the crowd still standing with the same smug look on her face. He knew that it was her who had done it.