Prom is a major milestone in the lives of most teens. Typically, it is a time to celebrate with friends and reminisce about the past. One high school senior’s night wasn’t stacking up so well once he was ditched by people who claimed to be his friends. However, he ultimately walked away a winner.
A letter, written by Sheila Loop, the mother of Jackson Loop, a high school senior, was read on air by a Seattle DJ, according to a report by Yahoo.
Jackson was looking forward to handing out with his friends but, on the day of the prom, the group sent out a text stating they weren’t doing any pre-prom pictures as originally planned. Still, Jackson got ready for the main event, donning a new, custom-tailored suit.
“And then he waited, and he waited, and he waited,” said Sheila, in the letter. “No one responded to his texts or picked up his calls.”
“His younger brother and sister and I watch him as he started to realize he was being ditched and I have to tell you that in my 18 yrs of parenting I have never felt so much pain. It was mixed with an indescribable amount of rage. This was… painful.”
“Then, after he changed out of his suit, he saw all of their pre-prom pictures on Facebook,” she continued,” and he all but collapsed in the kitchen.”
Jackson stated that he wasn’t necessarily surprised, adding that he always felt like an “invisible, throwaway loser.” His mother said that she watched him struggle to fit in over the course of his life.
“He’s always been on the fringe and really wanted to be part of a group,” said Sheila. “It wasn’t until high school band where we thought, ‘Oh, great! There’s going to be band kids!’”
Jackson has also been left out of other events with his so-called friends, including a trip to Disney World.
“I’ve been kind of blind about it,” Jackson stated. He also took on part of the blame, saying, “I kind of showed them how to treat me. Like, ‘They can do whatever they want, I’m all right. I can be in the back.’ But I never really liked it. … It really hurts me when it’s almost every time that I’m just in the back, tagging along, and barely anyone is talking to me.”
However, Jackson’s story did have a happy ending, thanks to a group of high school juniors who worked to right the wrong.
Sophie, one of Jackson’s junior friends, coordinated with Sheila, having her sneak Jackson’s suit into the car. Then, on Monday, at a gathering at Sophie’s house that Jackson thought was a “regular hangout,” he was surprised by people shouting, “Happy fake prom!”
“I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know how to respond. I’m in the bathroom changing [into my suit] and I kind of shed a tear a little bit, because no one has ever done this for me, really ever,” said Jackson. “This is what it means to receive a gift from friends who are doing something, particularly for me.”
The group spent time posing for pictures and even had a cake to celebrate the event.
Jackson says he learned a powerful lesson about friendship.
“You may feel like you belong in a place and you’re in a great group of friends, but make sure that they’re taking care of you as well,” said Jackson. “Listen to your gut. If you feel pissed off about something and feel like they’re not treating you well, then you’re probably right. It took me a long time to figure that out.”
“You’re going to find plenty of people that will find you interesting and will actually care about you in the end,” he added. “There are 7 or 8 billion people; at the same time, we feel like we’re isolated with these few groups of people, and if they’re gone or you decide not to be friends, then you’re alone. But there are plenty of people out there. Even outside of our country.”