Since I wrote a memoir in my senior year creative writing class that i am fairly proud of, I figure why not post it as some background story to this blog. Here it is:
My High School Experience
Chapter I: Preface
Throughout my high school career I have changed a lot as a person. Going into high school I had no intention of changing who I was, but you can’t always control it. People come into your life and they affect you in ways you could never expect for better and for worse. In my memoir I wanted to focus on the people that changed me over the past four years and how they did. I am thankful for every one of them because if not for them and their actions I would not be who I am today.
Chapter II - Part One: Orientation
On August 12th, 2009 I started my first day of high school. The beginning of the day was an orientation where I went around to all my new classes. I was excited for that part, but then came lunch, and then came bonding time with my new classmates. That I wasn’t so excited for. After my last class orientation we were shuffled under the freshman ramada to pick up an eegee’s lunch bag and a water bottle. Eegees is my favorite, so that calmed my nerves a little. I was so nervous because although I went to this school last year in eighth grade, I didn’t have any friends to sit with at lunch. Two tables of girls started to form. The girls who already knew each other from last year and the new girls. I quickly decided it would be less awkward to sit with the new girls and officially get a fresh start for high school.
I had always had a lot of trouble making friends. I was enrolled in public school for 6th grade, and despite the tons of kids, I ended up in a group of friends that I didn’t actually like. My tactic for this problem was to change schools halfway through eighth grade and just hope that my “friends” would quit talking to me. It wasn’t that easy. I ignored them though, with great stubbornness, until they decided I was not very nice and gave up on me. In my opinion, it was much easier to ignore them then to tell them how I really felt about them. I was happy that I could now start over in the friend area, but once again I failed to make friends with people I actually got along with. At this new school I had made two friends. Just two. They were very nice and welcomed me with open arms, but went to a different school for high school and I was left behind, again friendless.
Determined to have a better school social life now that I started high school, I took a seat and started to unwrap my sandwich. Some girls to my left chatted about the new school and where they used to live. Eventually we started to go around the table saying our old schools. When it was my turn to speak I quickly said “I went here last year” very quietly, hoping no one would connect the fact that I hadn’t made any friends. One girl seemed even quieter than I was, which intrigued me. She said she was from Texas. She seemed sad, and pretty bored, checking her phone quite often. She had on a flowery blouse that tied with a ribbon in the front. I really liked it.
We continued to talk, or listen in my case, when the boy’s table started to get a little rowdy. I looked over and watched a boy get up from the table to grab another cup of eegees from the middle of the ramada. On his way over he turned around, looking back at the boys to laugh, but on his way back to his destination he stumbled a little. He started to trip, tried to catch himself, but it was no use. He fell. Sitting on the ground he looked around, decided that no one saw, and got up to get his eegee. Quietly observing the scene, I was caught by surprise by the loudest, happiest cackle I had ever heard. It was the kind of cackle that didn’t make you cringe, but made you want to laugh along with it. I turned my head to see who the sound was coming from. It was the girl from Texas, staring at the boy on the ground, as she laughed uncontrollably at his expense. Her name was Marge.
After lunch we were reluctantly herded into the gym by the peer leaders. The boys quickly located the basketballs and started shooting around. Girls clumped up in groups to chitchat. Marge and I both sat on the bleachers, not together though. The peer leaders brought out a huge jump rope and explained that we were going to be jumping through one by one and wouldn’t stop until we all made it. A blonde girl in a pretty pink dress slowly started to back out from the middle of the gym, towards the sideline where Marge and I were. She reached us, looking us up and down, and leaning in towards me whispered,
“There’s no way I’m doing that in a dress!”
I looked down at my own dress and quietly agreed, “Definitely not.”
We giggled and sat down together. Marge sat down on the other side of the girl and asked if we were allowed to sit out of the activity. We both shrugged but explained that we couldn’t participate ‘cause of our dresses. She looked down at her own blouse and short shorts and shrugged as well.
“They can’t make me, I’ll think of something,” she told us with a confident voice.
A boy peer leader came over and asked our names.
“Marge” we each replied after the other.
“So why are you ladies sitting out of the activity?” he questioned. Alex and I explained that we were wearing dresses and clearly couldn’t participate. To that he nodded and turned his harsh gaze towards Marge. I knew she would have to go jump and I felt bad for her. She looked him right in the eye and with a passive expression said, “I’m on my period.” The peer leader, taken aback, made an awkward nod and mumbled, “Oh right well then” as he backed his way to the rest of the group.
“Works every time.” Marge said to us under her breath with a huge grin and a wink. That was the beginning of two friendships that I knew would never end.
Chapter II - Part Two: Learning To Be Wary
With two best friends at my side we felt like we could rule the world. We quickly became inseparable and would have sleepovers every weekend, something I had never done before. It was exhilarating and so awesome to have two best friends that I trusted with my life. We went everywhere together and only hung out with each other. We soon developed the nickname “Clique Three”. We were loving every minute of high school together.
Freshman year flew by and soon we were sophomores. We began to go to parties and hang out with upperclassmen. Most weekends the three of us went to the upperclassmen’s houses when their parents weren’t home. We would hang out and even sleep there it their parents weren’t coming home for a while. One boy a year older than us had parents that were practically never home. The three of us found ourselves there so often that I could probably draw the layout of his house pretty accurately even now. We would sit outside in a circle of comfy chairs and chat most nights.
This boy and I had always been friends, but he started to take an interest in me as more than that. Marge and Alex made sure I never forgot how single I was and this interest from a boy was appealing. He was very funny, but slightly off. He liked to do a lot of illegal things, but that didn’t stop me from developing a slight crush. Once we started to hangout more alone, I realized that my intrigue wasn’t actually a crush. As I got to know him more, I learned that he wasn’t just a little weird; he was beyond lost in his life. And that scared me a lot. I started to avoid him. I was a pro by now at avoiding those that I didn’t really enjoy being around.
He didn’t give up on me quite yet though. He would call me every night at absurdly late hours, leaving voicemails that barely made any sense. His texts were relentless and I had to start turning off my phone while I slept. Whenever we were at his house he would try to get me alone. I wasn’t good at telling people no, so I would play along and chat with him, but make sure to never say anything that actually was meaningful. He would act normal in person, but his calls and texts to me were sad, lonely, and often angry. I felt bad for him, but not enough to overcome my fear of him. He was extremely unpredictable and I learned to be careful around him at all times.
Soon Marge was moving away from me to Texas. I was going to have to start my junior year with no one but Alex and this boy who wouldn’t go away. Alex and I continued to go to his house every weekend, but with just the two of us I would find my self trapped alone with him more and more often. I decided that it was time for me to not just be careful around him, but to stop going to his house all together. Thankfully, Alex was okay with not going there anymore and my full-on-avoidance plan commenced.
Eventually, he realized that I was avoiding him and, being a very creative soul, wrote me a love letter and slipped it into my backpack during our study hall together. The letter was creepy to say the least and I showed it to a few people. I think a little part of me wanted everyone to know how creepy he was so I could feel better about ignoring him. His calls still hadn’t ceased and I was getting fed up with it all so I didn’t care who saw the letter anymore. I decided I wanted to show the letter to my friend Chuck. I gave him the letter so he could read it in Spanish class, little did I know that it was the boy’s Spanish class as well. He discovered his love letter had been shown to people and that got him pissed. I was more afraid of him than ever before, because when he got angry I didn’t know what he was capable of. I began to hang out with Chuck more and more often during our free block and he told me he would help me avoid the boy, and he did.
Chapter III: Marge’s Visit
During Thanksgiving break of junior year my best friend came back to Tucson. She was staying at Alex’s house and was supposed to come to school to see me. It was during my free block when I heard her talking and walking past the band room. I ran around the corner and we basically bounded into each other’s arms. Marge and I hung out for the rest of her visit, tied at the hip. Mags, Alex and I all three slept at my house in my big bed and being able to snuggle up all three of us felt like Marge had never left and everything was perfect again.
The next night we decided we should go out with Marge to see some of her old friends again. Alex wanted to go to the boy I was avoiding’s house because no one else we called was having people over and it would be just like old times. Of all the places in the world to go, that was the one I swore to myself I would never go to again. Marge knew this and decided if we were going to go there, her and I were going to invite a guest of our own to make it more bearable. Alex went home to shower and decided to meet us at the house around nine.
So naturally, I called up my friend Chuck. He and Marge had always been good friends from basketball and now that he and I were starting to hang out I figured it would be fun to invite him, especially since I knew he could take my mind off of the unfortunate place we would be going.
We drove to Chuck’ house and picked him up. We warned him that he might not exactly be welcomed over at this boy’s house, but he wasn’t the type of person to care about that what so ever. That’s one of the reasons I liked him so much. We started to drive over and called up Alex.
“Oh hey dude, so funny story!” Marge explained into the phone. “We were headed over and we found Chuck chillin’ on the side of the road! So weird, right?” Of course Alex was mad, but she was already at the house with all the upperclassmen so she couldn’t get mad over the phone and risk embarrassing herself. So we pulled up and parked my car out front. I hadn’t been to the house in a long while and the boy glared hard at me as we walked up. Everyone was huddled in the front yard covered in blankets galore. Apparently we couldn’t go inside because the boy’s sister was in town and her baby was asleep.
I was freezing. So freezing that I considered getting pajama pants I had laying around in the trunk of my car and wearing them under my dress. But I didn’t have to because a boy in my grade that I was friends with had a blanket from inside and offered to let me sit under it with him. Normally I would have declined his offer, but I was so so so cold. So I sat under the blanket while Marge scootered around the front yard and the boys stood around talking. It started to get weird under the blanket because the boy I was sharing with was getting a little touchy. He wasn’t exactly in the right state for me to blame him so I decided to get up and commit to the pajama pants in my car. I got up and to my surprise Chuck followed me over.
“You look really cold, do you want to go inside?”
“Oh my god yes.” I immediately responded. We went inside and sat on the couch talking. People kept walking in and out making faces and whistling noises. Yeah it was dark, but nothing was happening except talking. The boys were immature and obnoxious.
“They suck.” I said to Chuck and he agreed so we went and sat in my car instead. I blasted the heat and it was even warmer than the house. I was finally not shivering. We chatted and laughed at how the windows were fogging up from my heat blast. It looked pretty suspicious from outside the car. But then Chuck stopped talking and looked at me.
“Sarah?” he asked.
“Can I kiss you?”
And he did.
Chapter IV: Re-evaluation
It was winter break and I was skiing with my family in Colorado. I was having fun but missing my boyfriend Chuck. I wouldn’t tell him that though because we had only been dating a month and I didn’t want him to think I was too attached or anything girly like that. My cousin Laura was housesitting our house for us while we were away. My parents let her and a few of her sorority sisters sleep there and keep her company since my house is so big and scary at night when you’re alone. One of my friends had asked me if she could sleep at my house while I was away if her parents were being unreasonable or wouldn’t let her sleep at home. I felt bad for her so I said she could borrow my room but that she should probably ask my cousin about it first. I wasn’t worried though because I knew she would be fine at her own house.
A couple nights into our trip I got a text. My friend was asking for Laura’s number so she could sleep at my house. It was late and skiing all day made me too tired to answer her. I figured she would just stay at home or sleep at another friend’s house that was actually in town.
I was awoken that same night by my parents at 3 am because not only did my friend go to my room without asking my cousin, she decided it would be alright to invite 6 other kids over too. They trashed my room, rearranging my furniture for reasons unknown to me and they pulled the futon out from my bed so they would have a comfier place to sit.
My cousin was upstairs and saw a man smoking a cigarette in my backyard. She flipped out and called the police. When the police arrived they discovered the party in my room. I hope it was fun for those kids while it lasted. The kids that were still there by the time the police arrived were all arrested for breaking into my house, having drugs, and for alcohol consumption as minors.
When I got home from the trip I went straight to my room to assess the damages. My bed skirt was ripped in half. My floor length mirror was cracked. There were cigarette buds, dirt, and leaves all over my floor, even in the bathroom. Thankfully my parents bought me all new things and helped me put my room back together.
As for my friend I was pretty done with her. She wasn’t allowed at my house and I wasn’t allowed at hers. I befriended a new group of friends and pushed her out of my life completely. It wasn’t a quick detachment, but rather a slow and gradual separation from her. It was for the better though.
When she was arrested she told my cousin that I told her she could have people over. And when we first talked after the break-in she tried to justify her actions by telling me that she and the other kids had “absolutely nowhere else to go”. They didn’t really get punished at all for what they did. None of their parents cared. My friend got her car taken away for a few months and had to apologize to my parents. None of the kids were allowed to go to prom, but by the time prom came around they all were told they could go anyway for having ‘good behavior’. All I know is if that were me I would be in boarding school right now, and those kids are the luckiest kids I’ve ever known.
My high school taught me to be studious and how to manage my time efficiently. The people who attended my high school taught me much different things. They taught me that you can’t always trust people and sometimes being guarded is the safest thing to do. But they also taught me how to fall in love, and how to stand up for myself. Without the friends and even the enemies that I have had in the past four years I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I like that person and, surprisingly to some, I wouldn’t want to change anything about my high school experience.