The Life and Times of Bailey

May 14, 2012
By bailey100593, Westmont, Illinois
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bailey100593, Westmont, Illinois
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Author's note: Well obviously I inspired myself to write this piece, but also my teacher Mrs. Mahmoud inspired me. I was in her creative writing class and we did really short stories about ourselves so I decided to do longer one.

The author's comments:
My life up to High School.

There are a lot of ways I could start this, but I better start off with my early years. I was born on October 5th 1993, and I was a very small baby. Growing up, my mother and father noticed I wasn’t getting any bigger (for a five year old I should have been what… 40 pounds maybe and let’s say two and a half feet tall. ) I was only around 28 pounds and only about two feet tall. Now that wasn’t far from average, but I didn’t really change from this weight. I had asthma and had to take a lot of treatments, one almost every day. I know my mom was a bit worried. I remember her taking me to the grocery store and telling me to pick out any cookie I wanted (but being me, I only picked out the Snackwells.) She really just wanted me to gain some weight because I was the smallest in my preschool class. I remember never really wanting to eat and always being really, REALLY hyper. When I got to third grade I think this is where I started gaining weight. Our doctor told us that I didn’t need to take treatments anymore and that I could just use an inhaler from time to time. Boy, did I wish I kept the treatments! They were apparently better than Jenny Craig, for an eight year old at least. In any case this is one way I felt different than my peers at school. One could say I was one of the bigger kids in class… how embarrassing. Speaking of school, I absolutely adored it. I mean who wouldn’t love getting told what not to do every day by a priest in church and that basically everyday of your life you are doing something wrong and being a SINNER! Yeah, I would definitely have to say I loved good ol’ Holy Trinity. Every day in that school they would beat in our heads what they thought was right, and not that I don’t believe in God, but I’m glad I am able to think for myself today. There is one thing they did accomplish though… they sure do know how to instill that catholic guilt! Going to Holy trinity made me feel better than people, that’s what catholic schools do to you. They say treat everyone as if they were your brother, unless they believe in abortion, or are gay, then make them feel worthless, and oh yeah since you go to a private school you’re the best. How long did I go to this school one might ask? Well, for nine whole years. Now, it wasn’t all bad. It really did teach me a lot about God and the way of the church, but I don’t go to church. I pray… isn’t that enough? I remember one time. It was the beginning of seventh grade, and the school got a new principal. The principal was so mean! Well he was making everyone, in every grade, in the whole school do Mass cards. I had a teacher, let’s call her Miss. B. Well, I told Miss. B that I did not attend church and that just because I go to school here doesn’t mean I can do these cards. Miss. B told me personally that it was ok and she would take care of it. What happened? I was getting zeros for all my Mass cards and I was starting to get a bad grade! I have never got a terrible grade… especially nothing less than a C and especially not in a religion class, but now I was getting a D in religion and it was all because I didn’t go to church? I told my mom what was going on and she called the school. She had a big fight with the principal and he was very rude to my mother. My sister then called the school back and started talking to my principal. She said this “what about the people who aren’t Catholic? They don’t go to Mass but they still go here. What do they get for a grade?” And all he said was they go to different things like synagogues and temples, they still fill out something. This was a lie, because they didn’t do it at all. I remember that was the day my principal made my whole family start going to church. I mean church isn’t the worst thing in the world but did we really belong there if he was making us go? Not that that wasn’t bad enough in school they started making every class participate once a week in church activities. I got through seventh grade, but now it was eighth grade. This year was so bad and confusing for me. Here’s a fun story… One day our eighth grade class was picked to do the reading and carrying of gifts for church. My Teacher Miss. S picked me to say the reading before communion. I wasn’t that nervous, but I really didn’t want to mess up. I mean I was going to be saying this in front of my entire school and our priests and everything! The day came where I had to read. It was my turn to walk on the altar, the reading was suppose to be up there for me already to read and go sit down when I was done. It sounded easy right? WRONG! I walked up there and I saw the book, but it wasn’t opened to my page I saw that it was opened to the halfway spot so I accidently started reading in the middle then I proceeded to realize this and apologize and turn the page and start from the beginning. I thought I had finished and I was happy and I sat down. That was the reading Miss. S gave me and everything seemed to be fine. WRONG AGAIN! The priest seemed to be angry and got up then he announced to the whole church “hold on stop the music I have to read the real reading of Mass”. I was completely mortified. My teacher gave me the wrong reading and I read it to everyone else. I just started to cry. I was so embarrassed. Everyone in my class was trying to make me feel better they were telling me it was ok and that I did a good job anyway, but I know I didn’t. To make matters even worse, the priest had to re-read the f*ing reading I just read because it turns out that was the GOSPEL reading for that day. I really hated my life in that moment. Yeah, Holy Trinity was a real blast. Speaking of school, I had some really cool friends… I remember my first day of kindergarten. I walked in the classroom and a really tall girl and an Asian girl were standing next to each other. They looked at me and the tall girl said something along the lines of “ok you can be our friend.” I never really thought about how she said this, but little did I know she would be the leader of our “pack”. Her name was Marina and she was horrible. This should be said with emphasis she was a life ruiner. She seemed to be in charge of me and the other girl Amy. It was better to be friends with her then to not be friends with her though. It was seriously insane how she bossed us around. One might think it was normal for a five year old to be pushy and rude, but it just got worse as we go older. One day, I want to say it was second grade; I was really pissed off at Marina for something. I don’t quite remember. We were on the bus- side note I took the bus, yeah that’s right. We were called busers and we were the coolest in the whole school, no not really. Anyway Marina and I were in a fight and she stole my seat on the bus! Everyone knew you didn’t do this! This was an unwritten rule. So I started yelling at her. Thinking back on it I can’t believe the bus driver didn’t stop us. Anyway, I started yelling at her and she got on top of me and was hitting me so I pulled her hair and wouldn’t let go. Needless to say, I won that fight. That was my first and only fight and I was a champ. Not that I condone fighting, but if you’re in one you better win. Marina and I weren’t friends for a while after that; that meant me and Amy weren’t either. Amy was a follower I hate to say it but she was. She did everything Marina told her to do and it was kind of sad. There were days she would fight with Marina and then be friends with me again. Amy was really the only person in school I really liked though. I thought we would be best friends forever. I should have seen through her in grade school so I wouldn’t have been so hurt in high school, but that’s another story. Yeah, Amy and I were inseparable, when we weren’t fighting or mad at each other we were the best of friends. I knew I could trust her with anything… or I thought so at least. It was a very twisted cycle, but truthfully Marina was just a bad influence. Have you ever seen the movie Mean Girls? A lot of people think that’s how it’s like in high school. Well, they would be wrong. High school is so much better than how grade school was. My whole life throughout Holy Trinity reflected the movie Mean Girls. If you’ve seen it there is a three-way call scene where two girls are talking and then Regina doesn’t know Gretchen is on the phone. Well I’ll never remember how many times that happened to me, but it always got me in trouble. I remember one phone call vividly. It was in the summer and Amy called me and was talking like normal. She then started to talk about Marina. She goes “Bailey do you like Marina?” I replied with “Well, yeah I mean I guess she can be mean sometimes.” Wrong answer because then both Amy and Marina were angry with me. I was so angry. I couldn’t believe she three way called me! In third grade Amy and I decided it was best to stop talking to Marina because she made bad choices and we didn’t like what she was doing. I mean who has a “boyfriend” in the third grade and I’m not talking about “Aw look at those two little tykes they’re so cute they’re boyfriend and girlfriend.” She said she had a real boyfriend that was old and it was creepy… Normal people don’t have boyfriends, but Marina did. Well, Marina didn’t like this and she told our teacher that we wouldn’t talk to her. She turned everything around on us and we had to go to “counseling” with our teacher! She was now making us be friends with her. This happened a lot through junior high, I’m not going to lie; Holy Trinity was a sick place and if they didn’t like what you were doing they would bring in people to talk to you. I think even in seventh grade they brought in a therapist for our class and they didn’t even tell our parents… who does that? Speaking of seventh grade this was a sad point in my life. I had been bullied enough by Marina, but this meant I didn’t have any friends. She pretty much controlled the whole class by now and I was all alone. Amy was still friends with her and I lost my best friend. We got some new students a couple years earlier, and everyone thought they were twins. They were really smart and one skipped a grade so he could be in our class. Their names were Andy and Matt and of course Marina got to them. By seventh grade everyone was so mean I couldn’t take it. I was sad all the time and I wanted to switch schools so badly. The only reason I didn’t was because my mom and sisters had all graduated from Holy Trinity, so I had to too. One day I remember in seventh grade the eighth graders weren’t at school, so that meant the deserving seventh graders got the last seat on the bus. No one knew how badly I wanted that and I deserved it. I guess one could say I was a legacy; it was another unwritten rule. I got on the bus excited to get MY seat and who was sitting there? Marina in one and Matt and Andy in the other. They did this on purpose they were laughing at me. I asked politely for Matt and Andy to move, but they wouldn’t. They just laughed and said find another seat. I was being humiliated in front of everyone that took the bus and it was so embarrassing. I said something about how they didn’t have any friend anyway, but I remember I muttered it. What a mistake that was; because Marina heard me and yelled they have friends you don’t; look around no one’s your friend. A girl in our class also took the bus, her name was Mary and she was a loner. No one really talked to her, but she stood up and said I’m her friend! Then she proceeded to grab my hand and take me to sit with her. I don’t think Matt and Andy thought I was going to do what I did next, but I started to cry. It was getting far too real for them. I could tell that they felt bad. I heard them saying something about how they were just kidding and not to cry, but I said just stop talking to me, and I just kept crying. It was the longest bus ride of my life. Mary kept saying it was ok and not to cry, she said that I was her friend and not to worry about them they were just jerks. Finally the ride from hell was over and I ran inside on to my bed and just started bawling. My mom came in and asked me what was wrong. I told her everything that had been going on and she called the school. That was the day my mom also gave me my signed Daniel Radcliffe picture. She really knows how to make my day better, but I was really upset. The next day at school we all got called into the principal’s office and we had to talk about what was going on, but nothing changed. No, actually Marina got rewarded. Our Spanish teacher always gave her presents and singled her out from everyone in our class, and I noticed everyone in class was ignoring me. They weren’t being mean and they weren’t being nice, I was just being ignored. I hated this school. Finally! I was in eighth grade! All I had to endure was one more year of this crap. One more year and then I could go to high school. Eighth grade was interesting to say the least. I wasn’t an outcast anymore. I became friends with the sporty girls in school and I finally felt like I had people to talk to. Marina was the one who was the outcast. Everyone saw through her façade and no one liked her anymore. So what does Marina do? She tries and becomes friends with me again! Are you kidding me? I absolutely hated this girl, but me being the mature person I am wasn’t a b**** to her. I simply acted like her friend and talked about her behind her back like a normal person. Now I know that isn’t the most mature way to deal with someone like that, but what can I say? I was fourteen years old. I didn’t really care that much about being mature. Eighth grade was kind of fun. We finally got to go to work at the dances and decorate for them. Although typical for me another one of my embarrassing life moments happened in eighth grade. It was last period and the eighth graders (that being us) got out early to change and set up for the dance. We had to be in the church basement for the dances, and the basement was actually nice. The girls were in the bathroom and we were all changing and getting ready. I was sitting on the floor because I was putting my shoes on. Now I was tired from a long day at school and I decided I would just change on the floor too. I asked if there was anyone coming in. Alice, a girl in my class checked for me. She checked for me really quick and said no. So I had my shirt over my head when something flew in the door and I hear a gasp. I was mortified. Andy threw something in the girl’s bathroom just to be funny and he had caught a peek of me. I thought I looked disgusting, and I’m sure he did too. I couldn’t come out of the bathroom. I just had to sit there and sulk. Alice said no one saw anything, but I know he did. I came out and everyone acted like nothing had happened which I was grateful for, but then what did I see? I saw Marina talking with all the boys in our class, which there weren’t a lot so it really wasn’t a big deal, but it still hurt my feelings. I finally got over that, but I was so insecure. I was insecure all through my Holy Trinity years though. Have you ever looked back on your life and thought “What was I thinking?” Well, looking back on my life in Holy Trinity I think that so often. I ask myself why you were so rude. Why were you so mean? Why didn’t you just try to open up and become friends with people? Then I answer these questions and many others with “Well, Bailey I know no one really deserved your friendship and you were just nervous and insecure. I know you just didn’t want anyone to hurt your feelings or make fun of you, and most people are stupid.” I feel like that whole school made me insecure, even the uniforms. What uniforms you say? Terribly ugly green yellow blue and red striped plaid uniforms. An ugly white polo with a little cross stitched in the upper right corner and the girls could wear skirts and the boys could wear blue pants. Don’t even get me started on the dress code. No crazy hairstyles, no makeup, no nail polish, no heels over two inches, boys have to wear a belt, black or brown knee highs, only one piercing in your ears, and probably others, but that’s all I have right now. For a girl with 9 piercings and who dyes her hair every other month this school really wasn’t for me. I remember one year I came to school with, my hair dyed. All I had were chunky blonde highlights. They cost about 60$ and I really loved them. My old principal saw me one day and called me down to the principal’s office. I hated the principal’s office. I was in there way too much. Half the time I didn’t even do anything wrong. Anyway my principal told me my hair was against school policy and that I had to change it. I was so upset. How was he going to make me change my hair when it was my body and it was only blonde? It was so ridiculous, but my mother had to spend another 30 dollars to get my hair toned and the color pretty much out of my hair. I cried so much. This was seriously so upsetting to me. How could someone tell you what your own body can look like? I remember one day like it was yesterday. It was eighth grade and before school started all the classes had to line up and just wait. Now when one is starting to grow up and trying to become a woman don’t you think they’ll want to try and look pretty and maybe wear some makeup? One day I tried just that. I wore a little bit of eye-liner. Not a lot just a little on my bottom lid and I even think it was brown so it didn’t stand out as much. Apparently I was wrong. I got yelled at by my teacher and she told me to go wash it off. I was astounded that they could even see it. I said I was sorry and that I tried to wash it off, but it was from the night before I swear! I felt so caged in at this place. Such a “Holy” school really felt like a hell-hole, and that’s not a dig against God by any means. It’s like the saying I love God, but I hate religion and everything that goes along with it, now I might be going off on a tangent here, but why won’t God love me if I want to dress and act like myself? I just have to be a clone of the next girl in my class? I couldn’t dress like myself or act like myself is really what I’m getting at because Holy Trinity pretty much didn’t let me have my own thoughts. I had to follow all the rules or I would just get in trouble, but God does love me just the way I am, in a way he’s like Bruno Mars. How did every other person feel about the dress code? They tried to defy it too. The boys would never wear belts which was dumb because that was the least of everyone’s worries. It was actually kind of funny I remember the teachers would say that they were going to staple the boys pants to their shirts if they didn’t wear the belts. However, some of them still didn’t want to listen and they got detentions. Let’s go back to our favorite person, Marina. It truly astounded me, and still does, how every teacher loved her even though she never wanted to follow the rules. Let’s go through her wardrobe shall we? Hair- dyed bottom of it was freaking red! Ears- double piercing and a cartilage. Nails-Painted. Skirt- way too short. Shoes- heels above two inches. Like, what the hell? Apparently she was just a rebel without a cause who didn’t care what anyone thought. Yes, she did get a lot of detentions, she did get suspended, but she never changed, and everyone still loved her and wanted to be her friend… until eighth grade that is. Like I said eighth grade was such a crazy year for me. It was also the year I got my first real boyfriend. Now, in junior high we all know we have boyfriends that don’t really count. My first one of those was Arthur S. Arthur and I were best friends in kindergarten and in third grade I liked him so much! We got along so well and I figured hey we should “date”. Now I’ve said before normal people don’t date for real in third grade, but little girls have cute little crushes. This story is a strange one. It was Halloween, and I remember it like no other. I invited Marina and Arthur over to go trick-or-treating. This is back when we were all friends and everyone liked me. Before Arthur came over I was talking to Marina and I remember telling her “Marina I really, REALLY, like Arthur… I hope he likes me too. I sure hoped he did, because we were still best friends and I hoped he wanted to be the first “couple” in school. What a joke…Marina told me I should tell him when he got there. I pondered on this thought for a very long time and decided I could tell him. Arthur got there and we all went trick-or-treating with my mom and two sisters. When we came back home we all stared in awe at our candy and since it was a nice night out we stayed outside and talked. I remember I had to go inside for a second and when I came back outside something was weird, but being me I ignored it. It was finally time. I pulled Arthur aside and I told him. I told him that I really liked him and I think we should date. That’s how it worked right? Apparently he agreed and now we were dating. This was so exciting. The first couple in our class and we were best friends. The key word here being WERE. Everything got very awkward. We kind of stopped talking so it wasn’t like we were in a relationship at all, except for the notes that I would send him… I was cute like that. One day I heard a rumor. Someone told me Marina forced Arthur to like me! I was crushed. I asked Arthur if this was true and he admitted it and I distinctly remember calling him a douche bag. Needless to say we were over. We practically didn’t even have a friendship now. I shouldn’t have gotten mad at him though, I should’ve gotten mad at Marina, it seemed like she was the cause o all my problems. She was a less pretty Regina George… referencing Mean Girls again. It’s funny how one remembers more of the bad in their life than the good, but to be honest my entire career at Holy Trinity wasn’t bad. I did have a lot of fun times there. One of the best times was in eighth grade. That year things really did turn around for me. I got my friends back and I had a lot of good times. At Holy Trinity we had this thing called “Grandparents Day”. I didn’t have any grandparents left… God rest their souls, so I felt pretty left out. I did however have a super cool science teacher. Mrs. Rossi was one of the coolest teachers I’ve ever had. I’m not going to lie, she was crazy and I’m pretty sure she was stuck in the 80’s, but she was so funny. Mrs. Rossi had medium length black hair and she wore a ton of makeup, but it looked good on her. She always reapplied her makeup in class, but didn’t think us kids would notice. She would take a stapler and a piece of paper and hold them up so it looked like she was just reading the paper, but we weren’t dumb… She was so funny, she would always wear shoulder pads and she always had lipstick on her teeth. Anyway, getting back to “Grandparents Day” I was talking to Marina… and I was saying how I was sad because I didn’t have a grandparent. We were in Mrs. Rossi’s science class and she overheard us. She said that she would be my “grandparent” and I thought that was so nice of her. The day came and she took me out to Uncle Bub’s for lunch and got me ice cream! It was one of the most fun days in eighth grade. Eight grades was also the year where I got a boyfriend… and he was a boyfriend that was actually meaningful. It was in February, the day after Valentine’s Day to be exact. He was my best friend and I had asked him if he wanted to go to the movies. I really wasn’t thinking about going out with him or anything. We went out to the movies to see “Juno”… how very appropriate…not really, but it was funny. He held my hand and we just continued watching the movie. After the movie was over we stayed and talked; I asked him what was up and we decided we wanted to be more than friends. Although we really didn’t want to tell anyone at school, because we didn’t want people to make fun of us. So we had a secret relationship. It was actually really dumb looking back on it. In school he acted like he didn’t know me at all and the only person I told was Amy my best friend (yes, she was my best friend again). It seemed that I was the only person working in this relationship and it felt like he didn’t like me at all. I kept trying with him though; in fact we went on a second date to the movies! We went to see “Jumper” and I think we both felt like this was the date to take a big step in our relationship. Again we stayed after the movie and waited until everyone left and we kissed. We had tried kissing in the movies, but it was just really awkward. Well, little did I know that this would be even more awkward. We both just were kind of smiling stupidly and didn’t know what to do. We felt dumb and so we just walked out of the theater and went home like nothing really happened. We had been dating for about a month now and he and I sat on opposite side of the room in our classroom. I used to leave him little notes and I would try and get his attention. He never really seemed to care though. I remember he wanted an email and I said I would make him one. The email is important because about a week later He sent me an email. Does anyone know what the email said? It said something along the lines of I’m breaking up with you sorry. What? Was he serious? he really broke up with me over an email… which I made for him! This was just the cherry on top of a perfect relationship. All I remember was calling Amy and crying over the phone. Well, then all hell broke loose in the eighth grade class. Andy and Matt found out and they told Marina, and her kind of being my friend and kind of not she came up to me and said, I can’t believe you didn’t tell me. I didn’t really know what she was talking about, but then again I did know. I was like what, and all she kept saying was it wasn’t her place to talk about it. What a b****… clearly you are talking about you’re just manipulating me in trying to beg you to tell me. Well, I didn’t I just said fine. And I walked away. The amazing thing is once everyone did find out about what happened and how he broke up with me they all hated him. It was so weird it was like this brought our class closer, and instead of me being the person they outcast he was. It was such a strange transition. In any case I was still so ready to get out of that school, but at least everyone was friends with me again. I just figured that junior high relationships were pointless too and then I became really dramatic and thought no one would ever like me. My years at Holy Trinity were finally coming to an end. Graduation was coming up, but more importantly the graduation dance was coming up. Every eighth grader looked forward to their eighth grade dance, yes I know I’ve spoken about dances before, but this one was the mother of all dances. It was only for eighth graders and the parents were allowed to come. I remember it being the one night we all actually got along and finally put everything aside. We were finally acting like adults; I found we were ready for high school. This being our last big blowout we all said something like oh we’ll keep in touch… but you know how that goes. The day had finally come we were all more than ready for it. It was graduation and we could not have been happier. Our class president gave the goodbye speech we walked outside threw our caps up in the air and just like that it was over. I thought I would be super happy because of everything that had happened, but even with the bad experiences I’d had, I was really going to miss Holy Trinity. I mean it had been my life for nine years and now I was going to go to high school? This idea was so scary to me. I was not even ready for this. I really didn’t know what to do, I was nervous about everything that comes along with high school. I guess I just had to take it one step at a time.

The author's comments:
My life up to sophomore year.

Now it was summer. It was my first summer leading into high school and no one had any idea just how scared I was. I mean most of my friends from HTS were going to Westmont, but it was a big school, to me at least. It was just such a transition that I didn’t know if I could take it. That summer was so nerve racking that I really didn’t think I could take it. I remember my sisters and I took a trip to Michigan with my sister’s fiancé and his family, and just being away from everything took some of the pressure off. That trip was so much fun. Being out of the state for the first time was a real adventure for me, yes that summer was the first time I had been out of state. I mean it’s not like I hadn’t been anywhere else in state, but my family and I didn’t really take trips anywhere, and the only time I did anything was with my sisters. Anyway getting back on track, that trip really made me get my mind off of everything. I didn’t think about school, or my friend situation, I just thought about having fun. When we came back home I started thinking about school more and more. The only thing I was excited about was now I could get a piercing, or dye my hair any color I wanted. You bet I did. I don’t remember how many colors I dyed my hair that year, but it was purple, it was red it was brown with red and blonde highlights, it was all red. When I wasn’t dying my hair I had to read. I had a summer reading book which I wasn’t used too, but I was in honors English now so I had to step up my game. Amy went to high school with me and we were still best friends, she and I and this girl from HTS Kristine were all best friends. We were going to be braving freshman year together, and I was just happy I had two people by my side. Even Andy, Matt, and I were closer friends now. We all wanted to stick together because we really didn’t know anyone. Finally it was the first day of school. My first day of school freshman year… what an incredibly crazy year that was, I was so unprepared. If anyone tries to say junior high prepares you for high school they are wrong! Coming from a Catholic school you really don’t know what to expect. You’re used to one classroom, one desk, you keep all your items in that one desk and you basically only keep your coat in your locker. In high school it was so different, not to mention bigger. In high school you had at least one book for every class and a binder to go along with that. You didn’t have a desk to put all of your things because you have about a million different classrooms to visit every day. You have to get used to seven teachers and then change things when a new semester comes along, and don’t even bother with putting things in your locker because you need them for your next class. I had a rude awakening coming into high school. Even though I found Westmont High School (that’s where I went) may not have been that big it was sure larger than anything I had encountered. I pretty much got used to the carrying my book bag around with me everywhere I went and the anxiety of finding my next class… science classes were always upstairs! Don’t even get me started on my teachers. I had seven teachers a day and they were all different. My English teacher was definitely the craziest. I swear all my years throughout high school, I had curse of the English teacher. They were either crazy, or didn’t like me, or they just seemed not to know what they were doing… Now my first English teacher was actually pretty cool, but she treated you like you were her friend. Don’t let her fool you though, she was not your friend! Whenever someone acted like her friend that’s when her crazy side came out she would be like, “Umm, there needs to be a bit more respect here…” Our whole class was seriously confused by her, but she didn’t come back after the first year and we did miss her. I really enjoyed all my classes, except for geography. That class was one big mess. I really can’t even tell you the names of all the states with the exception of Illinois… I think I might be a failure to our country, but at least I found out I know everything about Asia. One big transition for me was lunch. Who was I suppose to sit with at lunch? How was I supposed to know we had two lunch periods and that my friends were possibly not in my lunch? Thank God Amy was in my lunch period and I wasn’t all alone but I seriously had to start talking to people. I swear some people in this school were freaks… I remember there was this one junior who kept saying I killed his cat…Now lunch was insane it was like animals coming to a feeding. I was not used to it. Heck, I only got hot lunch once a week at my old school. This was so different. All these kids from different grades all came together in one big spot and had to get in a lunch line, and, yes, there would be fights if people cut, but that didn’t stop people from cutting each other. Amy and I did end up sitting together and we also sat with these other girls we met from some different classes. I wasn’t really sure about some of them, but most of them seemed nice. This school was literally just a different experience for me. I was so shy I didn’t really know how to meet anyone. One day I remember I was standing at Kristine’s locker and I was wearing a My Chemical Romance t-shirt, little did I know that story would be the beginning to basically half of my high school career. Anyway, I was standing at her locker and all of a sudden this guy came up to me shoved his iPod in my face and said “My Chemical Romance Badass!” It was literally the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. Hey I don’t get out much… I remember she kept questioning me and wondering if I knew the guy because he was clearly acting like he knew me, but no I did not know him. At least people were starting to talk to me. I had a metals class that I really hated. Why did I take this class? Well, no one could answer me that because I have no clue to this day. I’m not going to lie though, I met some pretty cool people in that class one in particular was my soon to be best friend Ally. I started talking to her because she was the only other girl in the class and I desperately needed someone to talk to in that class. She seemed really cool at first. She liked a lot of the same music as me and we really seemed to have a lot of the same interests. We started to get to know each other a lot better and we were becoming friends fast! Ally also introduced me to some of her friends which I found out were in some of my other classes. Karly was in my gym class, or physical education which the teacher forced us to say… it was no longer gym. We became friends quickly too and gym class was always really fun with her. Freshmen year was most definitely the year where we all liked too many boys… I remember Karly liked this boy in our gym class and he was like really weird, but he was kind of funny. He was also friends with the boy that used to follow me around and yell things at me. Karly started saying that I liked that boy, but honestly I wasn’t sure. I always said I didn’t, but I remember telling Ally I thought he was cute. I took a big leap freshman year and stated joining clubs. This was a great idea, because then I started becoming friends with upper classmen and everyone knows that’s a good idea. I actually had a decent amount of friends actually. I was talking to people instead of being shy. This was also kind of sad because my old friends and I didn’t talk as much. Andy and Matt joined football and became friends with all of those guys and Amy started talking to girls who were really rude, and I don’t think they liked me very much. I still tried though. I tried to become friends with those girls, although they would barely talk to me. I felt so left out all the time. We were still friends though we had to make it work. One of my clubs was holding a party/poetry reading/ some other type of thing. Since I wanted to look good I got all this pizza donated and I bought a ton of pop, everyone was really proud of me. I felt like I was on cloud nine because all of the juniors and seniors thought I was cool. Before the music and the poetry readings started our club had to get everything set up. Guess who was in the club? Don’t bother guessing I’ll just say it, it was the guy who kept yelling things at me and saying I killed his cat… did he think this was flirting? He came over and started to talk to me and said that his name was Tommy and he just kind of started talking to me. I remember he took my phone and I got really scared because I didn’t want him to see that there were text messages about him on there. (I’m a girl I was texting my friends that a guy was actually talking to me) my phone buzzed and the song was My Chemical Romance’s Helena he said something like wow you really like MCR don’t you? All I could reply with was a chuckle and a stupid yes. I felt really dumb around him. All of a sudden his friends started coming by us and they were like hey what’s up ohh who’s this? (Meaning me…) Literally all I can remember is him hugging me and saying ohh it’s just my wife and laughing. Really? Why do these things to unsuspecting freshmen? They take things way to seriously. Especially if they are girls. What I mean by this is obviously us girls read way too much into things. What did he mean by this? Why did he move his hair like that? Was he looking at me? Were we in an arranged marriage that I didn’t know about? I mean boys have you learned nothing? Of course girls take things way too seriously and I definitely thought he was in love with me! Now I really felt like I was on cloud nine. The next day he kept talking to me in gym, and he said he wanted to play me in badminton because he thought he could beat me. I was up for the challenge because I am boss at badminton and will always win. We played and at game point he hit the birdie a really weird way, and sadly I lost… it wasn’t a fair match. It was lunch now and I went to the media center… I found out you could actually go to the Media Center if you had too! That was probably one of the coolest things I had ever heard. I went to the media center and who was there, but Tommy; it turns out he had the same lunch as I did. I didn’t want him to think I was like following him so I just sat at a table instead of a computer and I started doing some homework. He came and sat by me and was just being distracting, not that I really cared. Finally, I don’t know if I should have done this, but I did. I asked Tommy if he had a phone and he being kind of dumb was like ohh yeah and just pulled it out and was like showing me… I was like umm ok but do you have a phone number? He started laughing and said ohh yeah, sorry I didn’t get it. I did it. I got a number from a boy and he got my number. Not that I was brave enough to use it, but at least I got it. Now, my friends really thought I liked him, but I still just denied it. I was so excited! It was almost homecoming and not to mention my birthday! This year was really turning out great. I was going to be 15 that year. I remember being really scared that my life was going to be like a John Hughes movie. I figured since my sister was getting married that everyone would forget about my birthday and I’d be like the girl in “Sixteen Candles”. Thank goodness that didn’t happen, but that year I let everyone in school know it was my birthday. I even told this one really mean kid who replied with “Who cares?” He must have had an emotional disturbance. I invited some people over to my house for a party. It was pretty fun we all watched Prom Night and my friend Brittany kept screaming. She was so funny. Since my sister’s wedding was quickly approaching I got a really beautiful bridesmaid dress at David’s Bridal. The cool thing about this was since we were spending so much money on the wedding I got to get another dress for about half off. The wedding was so amazing, and my sister let me invite my friends so I wasn’t all alone. We all had a really great time actually. I got the most beautiful blue homecoming dress ever! My dress was short with blue lace and sequins on top and on the bottom it came out and flowed with a blue silk over it. I was going to look so hot. Too bad I sprained my arm doing god knows what and had to wear a sling. I literally looked so dumb. My mom told me that I didn’t have to wear it for the dance, but that’s not what my doctor said and I didn’t want to risk it. I now looked like a complete nerd, and being a freshman I thought to myself you are such a loser… My friends obviously didn’t care. They thought it was funny and said I looked cute. Time for the dance

The dance was so different from anything I had ever experienced. We actually had a good DJ and there were so many people! Literally there were so many people in school on a Saturday at night that I thought we were at a club or something. I went with a pretty big group of friends and we all had a good time together. Not one of us had a date, but that wasn’t really that big of a deal, there were some guys in our group it wasn’t like we didn’t have anyone to dance with. It’s not like we were complete loser freshmen or anything. I remember it was really hard to dance with my sling on and I’m sure I looked like a complete dork. That was literally one of the dumbest homecomings ever. The only cool thing about it was the theme. It was masquerade ball, which I thought was a really good idea. I thought it was so cool how people got to plan the dances and everything I wished I could do that. For this dance though I thought you had to buy a mask, luckily I wasn’t dumb enough to bring a mask of my own because student council made really pretty masks for us. I remember all the tables being filled with glitter and the walls were covered with masks too it was really cool. I’m not going to lie though, the DJ sucked. Since I knew I looked dumb, I barely danced and I pretty much just stood around. While my friend Monica and I were standing around Tommy came up and started talking to me he said I looked really cute in the sling and then walked away. I was astounded. I had never gotten so much attention from boy before. This was pretty cool to me and my friend Monica said he was “totally flirting.” After the dance we all went to a bonfire, I can’t quite remember whose house it was at, but I remember I felt so cool; this was my first high school party and my mom was actually letting me stay out a little bit later. It’s not like there was drinking or anything it was just a regular bonfire, but it was really fun, and I met a lot of cool people. I also found that it was better to be friends with everyone than to pick and choose your friends which is what Amy and Kristine were doing. The next week was very weird apparently homecoming week was a time for new relationships. My friend Karly started dating this guy and she knew that I sort of had a crush on him. I just let it go though, it wasn’t like it would have worked out he was a complete band geek and I was moving up in the world. They would always come to me with relationship advice he would text me asking stuff about her and she would text me seeing if I could find stuff out about him. It was really weird. They lasted for about a month… ahh, young love. I wasn’t doing that well in the boy area. I hadn’t talked to Tommy for a while and Christmas break was coming closer and closer. I decided if I should get my friends presents or not and since I didn’t have any job, the decision was a no. I did however get my family presents. It isn’t the same when you had no money of your own, but I still liked buying everyone presents for Christmas. I was thinking about buying Tommy a present, but I didn’t know if that would be weird or not. My mom said I should, it would be fine. So I did and right before break I gave it to him. He really liked it, I even forgot what I gave him, but he liked it and that was alright with me. My friends and I hung out a lot during Christmas break, we went sledding (this was my first time sledding by the way) and I remember my friend Ally and I making chocolate chip cookies. Ally was really cool and we got along great together. It was finally Christmas and my family was at my aunts. I saw my phone had a missed call and I went outside. I checked my phone and it had one new voice-mail. I was freaking out it was from Tommy! He called to say have a Merry Christmas and thanks for picking up your phone. I knew he wasn’t being serious because he was laughing but I called him back immediately! Of course it would be my luck that he didn’t answer his phone. I just left him a message that said thank you and Merry Christmas back. I was about to go back inside when my phone rang. I nearly died; dying on Christmas would not be good. I was pretty much shaking and I answered my phone. It was Tommy and we talked for like thirty minutes. We talked about so much random stuff, but I was so excited that he called me. I had to go though because we were all about to eat dinner. He said it was ok and he would call me later. I was so excited I had never got a call from a guy. Not even when I was dating what’s his face… I know that’s sad right? I went the rest of Christmas break without talking to him, I didn’t call him and he never called me back, but I figured it was ok that didn’t mean anything. The rest of the year played out pretty normal. The play was right around my birthday and a lot of people I know were in it. My friend Kristine actually got a part in it and I was really surprised because I never even knew she wanted to be an actress. The play was really good and I bought Ally and Kristine flowers. Karly and I went to Jewel and it was probably the most fun trip to Jewel ever. Karly really liked this guy who worked there and he was a cashier. We bought flowers and gum and we went in his line. She was so nervous she couldn’t even talk to him. I can still hear him saying, “Did you want the gum in a bag?” And her just looking dumbfounded, then me yelling at her, “Karly, did you want the gum in a bag?” She replied with a slow no and looked really embarrassed and it was really funny. I hate to say that embarrassing moments of my friends are funny, but they are way better than my embarrassing moments. Karly and I went to the play and it was my first since I was about 8 years old with my sisters. The auditorium was bigger than anything I ever saw at Holy Trinity and I was very impressed. The lighting set the stage and the acting wasn’t too horrible, I was especially shocked when actors had to kiss each other. It was funny, but I never really expected this for a school production. My friends really did a great job too. Who knew they had it in them.

One thing I will never forget from high school is the football games. In the fall football was our biggest sport, but it was kind of sad that our marching band was better than our football team. Still all of us Sentinels always came to cheer each other on even if we lost. Most of the time there was no storming the field for us, but we still had fun, and our super fan section was always the best! At first I didn’t really like football or “school spirit” I was still really shy. Whenever I didn’t go to a football game I regretted it, and if I did go I felt kind of awkward. I wanted to have fun like everyone else, but I wasn’t close enough to everyone yet. My new friend John was on the football team and Karly, Ally, and me always went to cheer him on (sometimes I just wasn’t there). Even though our football team mostly lost we all had fun and that’s all that mattered. I really wanted to try out for a sport but it just wasn’t happening. I used to play volleyball and softball, but I was just too busy with other things, like trying to balance high school. I was really attached to my sisters. It was really hard to transition from Holy Trinity to Westmont and then try and make a ton of friends so I became even closer with my sisters. Even when people would invite me out to hang out with them I didn’t really want to go. I felt like I would be missing something at home. I figured I needed to be with my family at all times. It’s not a bad thing to hang out with your family, but it’s also good to make friends. It got really bad sometimes where even when I had plans I would break them to go do whatever my sisters were doing. I finally started letting go little by little and would go see movies with my friends or go to half of a football game and then hangout with my sisters.

The semester was almost over and it was time to take finals. This is the time I started to get panic attacks. I knew High School was serious and I knew I had to get good grades so I would freak out about tests. Each night before a test I would start to hyperventilate and I didn’t know what was happening because this had never happened to me before. So one can imagine before my finals I was freaking out. I just had to learn how to deal with my panic attacks and since I was using coping techniques like counting I got them less frequently. So many things happened to me my freshman year. I was diagnosed with Occipital Neuralgia… this mean I have an exposed nerve by the back of my occipital lobe. Yeah that’s pretty cool right? Well I got headaches a lot so bad to the point I would throw up. I went to get an MRI and a CAT scan and that’s how the doctor found it, they sent me to a neurologist. I’ve been doing pretty good with the medicine I was on, but that was a lot for a freshman to take. I was also introduced to many “interesting” things to say the least. I met a girl named Alicia and she was so nice. We hung out a lot, but it’s not like I couldn’t see she was a stoner. I have to say I was proud of myself, and of her. She never pressured me to smoke, and she knew I didn’t like it so she never smoked around me. It was crazy I had never been introduced to things like this before; I just had to figure out how to deal with it. I mean that’s what life is all about right? It’s about dealing with things that come your way. I’m pretty sure everyone thought I was doing drugs, but I wasn’t and when people asked if they could have a cigarette I would just look at them like “are you serious right now?”I didn’t see how I fit the stereotype of someone who could do drugs either. I mean I wore band t-shirts and jeans a lot. I guess that was what druggies wore. I really got offended when people thought I did drugs. I wanted to change my image the only problem was I had to have money to buy new cloths and new accessories to make me seem less like a “druggie”. This meant I needed a job, but a person really can’t get a job when they’re only 15. I was so ready for freshman year to be over. I was tired of being an underclassman, but I still had almost a whole other semester to go. I started hearing about this thing called Snowball and I thought it sounded really dumb. There was no way I was going to go to that. There were plenty of people telling me how everyone who went there was a hypocrite and I certainly was not a hypocrite. Ally was going apparently she was a “leader” or something like that; I thought it was dumb and I was totally turned off to the idea. Everyone wanted to go even Tommy said Ally wanted him to go and I wasn’t really excited for that. I kind of thought Ally liked Tommy, but I just brushed it off. I was like well that’s cool but I heard it was dumb. I think he ended up not going, but we hadn’t talked as much as I would have liked… I needed things to progress way more if I was going to hang out with him or something. It seemed like high school was already way too complicated for me and I just was not very excited about it.

Finally after months which seemed like years of waiting spring break showed up! It was pretty fun, but of course I had homework. I hung out a lot with my friends Karly John and Ally. I met this really cool kid. His Name was Granite Von-Zastow. Yes Granite like the rock. Ally and I were making things to have for a picnic with her and John and Karly and of course Karly brought her boyfriend. Ally asked if she could bring her friend Granite which turned out to be a mutual friend of everyone else too. Of course no one cared. That when I was in my red pants wearing phase. Yeah, it was weird I think I looked weird but it’s ok. He showed up and he looked straight out of a punk band. He complimented my red pants and aviators and I said I’m going to call you Granite. To have this make a bit more sense I actually gave him the nick-name Granite Von-Zastrow, because I misheard my friend say his actual name and everyone’s been calling him Granite ever since. We have also been friends ever since that fateful day in spring. It was really amazing how I could meet so many new people so quickly in high school yet in HTS I had barely any friends, and it was also cool how I started meeting people from different schools. The school year was really flying by. We got back in school and there were only about two months left. I thought it was crazy. I was almost done being a freshman! How could this be? I was actually growing up. I had basically survived my first year of high school! I was so excited for summer to be here. I was going to chill out max relax all cool and shoot some b-ball outside of school. Actually I was not going to do any of that, but I was however going to sleep chill out and watch “Melrose Place” a plenty with my sister. I was also stoked to hang out with my friends and possibly go to Chicago or something. This summer was going to be my summer I thought. I wanted to do so many things. Unfortunately all I heard from my mom was “you’re not going to Chicago by yourself. I don’t care what your friends do.” I didn’t even have a car yet. All I had was a permit that was worthless. Summer didn’t really start out with a bang. I really just stayed at home, and even though I didn’t do much it seemed like the summer was flying by. Also concerts started to seem like a really big thing. I was getting invited, but I was never allowed to go. I was starting to get sick of these restrictions. Now summer was almost over and I hadn’t done anything. I felt like a loser; all my friends were having fun without me. My mom just didn’t get I was in high school now; I should have been allowed to have a little fun. My sisters always yelled at me. They said that I should be happy with the freedom I had, that they didn’t get to do half of the things I did. I thought, well you never wanted to do half the things I did. My summer was not great but hopefully sophomore year would be.

The author's comments:
Ending Chapter.

OK, so my summer was officially over. I was now in my second year of high school and I found that in one’s second year of high school upperclassmen don’t really bug you like they would if you were a freshman, they mostly just ignored you. Sophomore year was the year where things really didn’t happen. Our football team didn’t get any better, but they didn’t get any worse. Time just stood still. Tommy was still there. He was a senior now and he wasn’t even really going to school. He was going to TCD. I didn’t really get to see him that much but we still talked. One day I was just like, do you want to come over after school? I was so nervous my palms were sweating. He was just so calm about it and was like “yeah sure that’s fine.” He came over after school, and let me just say all day I was freaking out. I felt like I was going to barf. I know a girl barfing sounds really attractive, but trust me it was not. I was all shaky and nervous and just all around clumsy. During the day things had happened to make me stop thinking about it. Like the huge fight in the commons. It was between you guessed it! MARINA!!!!!! Yes, infamous Marina and Amanda, this random girl, fought in the commons. Do I know why they were fighting? No. However, I do know they wanted everyone to stay quiet and not tell anyone because they wanted it to last. What crazy people. I wasn’t there to see it, but I heard it was terrible. The whole commons was silent and everyone was just watching as Marina was literally beating this girl. She broke all of her fake nails off on her face, and I’m pretty sure she broke her nose. This was seriously the worst fight I had ever heard about. When I wasn’t hearing about that I was thinking about Tommy. None of my friends knew he was coming over except for Ally. I trusted her to keep it a secret, but she was acting really weird about it. I just stopped thinking about it and finally got on the bus to go home. On the way home my stomach was in knots. I went home and got my family room a little bit cleaner. I saw Tommy walking down my street and I was really starting to get nervous. I let him inside and he didn’t seem awkward at all. I was so awkward though. I was just like ohh here would you like a drink, or can I take your jacket? He brought this movie called Wicker Park and he said it was one of his favorite movies. I said I would watch it as long as it wasn’t scary. It wasn’t so we put it on. At least for an hour of sitting there and me not getting the movie we really didn’t talk. Then he was just kind of like, “ohh what’s on your mind?” I really didn’t know what to say except for nothing. Then all of a sudden he goes, “so do you like me?” I was just so out of my comfort zone I was like, “uhh yeah…” He basically said he knew but it was hard for him because he liked Ally and me. I was seriously crushed. I was just like, “oh ok.” I tried to just focus on the movie. I didn’t want to talk because I knew if I talked I would start to cry. What he did next I will never ever forget. It actually made me kind of mad. He held my hand and lay down on my lap. I didn’t know what to do. Obviously he was manipulating me to make me feel vulnerable, but I didn’t know that at all. I was just so shocked someone was holding my hand. This really had never happened to me before I was so surprised. He then proceeded to say something along the lines of, “why are you upset I like you too.” I really didn’t know what to do I was just really uncomfortable, and happy and sad all at the same time. The out of nowhere he kissed me. I didn’t know if this was the worst day ever or the best day ever.

So, did I have a boyfriend? Well, I guess I did. How did the whole school react? Well, pretty much everyone knew and I felt kind of awkward. I really wasn’t use to this kind of attention. I just went with it, and I had random people coming up to my saying, “hey are you dating Tommy?” and I would just reply with a yes and then walk away smiling awkwardly because I was a stupid sophomore who was naïve and didn’t know how to act. The fun part was telling my friends. Ally was definitely the most fun to tell. I don’t know if you can sense my sarcasm, but I am clearly being sarcastic here. I hated how my friends kept saying they didn’t like Tommy. They didn’t like how he looked or his sense of humor. I mean sometimes I thought he acted weird, but I thought he was nice enough. Ally just started acting really weird. I thought nothing of it though, I just thought I should trust her because she was one of my best friends and that she would never do anything to screw me over. Now, there was one day that stands above the rest. I invited my friends to come hang out with me and Tommy. I wanted them to get to know him and vice versa. It was a bit awkward in the beginning, but it turned out to be pretty fun. I remember my friend Karly throwing a piece of pizza at Tommy though… that was really annoying and Tommy got really mad. Right then I knew they really weren’t going to be friends. What was weird though is that Tommy and Ally really seemed to be hitting it off. This really wasn’t a good sign to me. They were joking and laughing around so much one would have thought they were dating, and not him and me. Ally and I were slowly slipping away from each other, and I should have seen it. I can’t believe I didn’t see it. It was horrible we barley talked and Tommy started becoming my best friend. Ally and I started pushing each other out of our lives. Soon we didn’t talk at all. We didn’t talk, but that sure didn’t stop Tommy from going to a concert with her.

It was a concert from a band that I don’t really like; I could understand Tommy going with a couple friends, but it really pissed me off that he went with Ally. What in your right mind would tell you “go to a concert with a girl that your girlfriend hates?” It literally made me so angry. This is when the fighting started. It seemed as if Tommy and I fought all of the time and most of our arguments stemmed from Ally. I felt that this wasn’t how a real relationship was supposed to be, but I wanted to have a boyfriend. To make this story short my whole life sophomore to junior year was basically hell... It was due to the boyfriend/the losing my best friend. I just realized I got very bitter and my whole self changed too much. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t something that I wanted to control me, but sophomore year it really did. I started to become really depressed and angry but then everything turned out ok! By junior year I went to snowball and broke up with Timmy and painted my room and everything was all better! I started talking to my friends and family again and I just really created a whole new me. I wasn’t the same as before, and I don’t know if I was the greatest person in the world, but I was better and that’s all that mattered!

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