You Only Live Once

May 21, 2012
On a hot summer day, Emily realized how excited she was to go to Nadia High School. She moved from Santa Rosa to Riverside, California two weeks ago. She went to Santa Rosa High School for her freshman year and would attend NHS for the rest of her high school career. She knew she was meant to be in this city when she first arrived there. The restaurants, museums, zoos, teen centers, movie theatres, and other buildings caught her attention and made her look forward to the next couple years in Riverside. When she drove around town, all she wanted to do was explore all the enormous malls. The sight of all the attractive teenage boys along the beach made her anxious. The city of Riverside was 5 times larger than Santa Rosa, which was a huge change for Emily.


It would be a fresh new start now that she appeared 485 miles away from her hometown, and nobody knew about her past. Her reputation in Santa Rosa was bad because throughout her freshman year, she changed abundantly. She played soccer and volleyball in middle school, but didn't play in high school so she could have more time to party with upperclassman. She had the body of a model in middle school, but once she went to high school all you would pay attention to is her beer belly. At her middle school, she got a 4.0 GPA both years, but her freshman year she retrieved a 1.7 GPA. She stopped doing her homework and studying for tests because she lost interest in it all. She left her best friends behind that cared about her, and decided to hang out with senior boys instead. Madison and Isabella were her best friends since first grade and were always there for her. Unfortunately, Emily couldn't handle her father's and mother's divorce, and pushed her friends away as much as possible. Her father ended up moving to Riverside, California before she started high school, and Emily stayed in Santa Rosa with her mom. Emily's mom had a rough time raising her after her ex-husband left because he was the one who was stable and took care of almost everything. Emily's mom, Alice, began smoking cigarettes and drank alcohol non-stop to try and forget about her ex-husband, John, but unfortunately it didn't work.


It was a rough time for Emily as an eighth grader because she didn’t have enough experience to know what to do in this situation. She figured all of her friend’s parents got in fights constantly, and that those little fights wouldn’t lead to a divorce. Her parents told her not to pay any attention to what they were fighting about because it wasn’t important, and she needed to work on her homework and projects for school. Unfortunately, Emily always got distracted with them at night and never got any sleep because of their constant arguing. Emily began to believe that she was part of the reason for her parent’s divorce because they would always have to drive her around for sports, and would always pay for expensive fees. They eventually got tired of driving her around because they both had jobs, and got in arguments about whose job is more important. Sometimes, nobody was there to pick up Emily because Alice and John could not negotiate who was going to pick her up. Emily would just sit at the blue bench in front of Santa Rosa Middle School and wait. Eventually, people driving around would see her and give her a ride home. These people ended up being mostly high school boys because they caught onto how Emily’s parents were never there to pick her up.



Once her parents split up, her mom told her that everything would go back to normal eventually. Unfortunately, Alice quit her job thinking they already had enough money to live off of for a while. She began getting addicted to drugs and alcohol, which made Emily think that’s how she should solve her problems as well. Once school started, she always got together with the senior boys to get her hooked up, and get invitations to the parties every weekend. Emily never had any idea what was going on when she was intoxicated with drugs and alcohol, and would have sex with a couple guys every weekend. She retrieved Chlamydia, but luckily got medication for it before it did any damage. Most girls at her high school were mature and dedicated to get good grades, so once they heard about Emily’s habits they were sure to spread it around to everyone. Nobody talked to her once they found out unless it was to insult her and call her names. Even her best friends from middle school that knew about the bad situation she went through turned against her. By the end of Emily’s freshman year, she got tired of partying every weekend and tried to let her old friends know that. They no longer trusted her, and didn’t believe that she was done partying because once she got bored hanging out with them she would go back. They were right, Emily continued to party here and there, but only because she had nobody else. Her dad heard about the majority of this nonsense and demanded Emily to come live with him, so she can get her life together.


It was Emily's first day of her sophomore year at Nadia High School. She went to her first couple classes and realized how much different this school was compared to her old one. Only a few girls would be friendly to a new kid at her old school, but at NHS all the kids were greeting her and helping her out. The teachers were much more relaxed about education, and took their time making sure everybody understands what they were teaching. The school was very clean compared to SRHS; no trash appeared along or in the corners of the hallway. At lunch, she appeared afraid because she wasn't sure that she would find anybody to sit with. She figured all the friendly people earlier in her classes forgot about her, but she was wrong. Once she walked into the lunch room, random clicks of girls yelled her name and begged her to come sit with them.
"Emily! Bring you're lunch and come sit over here!" said Brooke, a girl in her first hour Geography class.
"No! Emily, you'll have much more fun over here. Come sit by us!" yelled Alicia, who was an enemy of Brooke, and in Emily's third hour Foods class.
"Wow ladies, why would she want to sit with you guys when she could sit by me? Come here Emily." said Kendra in a rude tone.
"Umm, sorry Brooke, Alicia, and Kendra, but I already made arrangements to sit with someone else." explained Emily.


Emily got away as soon as possible, so they wouldn't realize she didn't have anyone to sit with in the first place. She didn't want to choose between them, and create enemies the first day of school. She couldn't believe what just happened, why would all of them insist on her sitting with them? Was she already becoming popular? Emily walked to the opposite side of the lunchroom and sat at a table with only one girl sitting on it. She had long brown hair, green eyes, and was tan.
"Hey, my name is Emily. May I sit with you?" asked Emily.
"Oh hi! My name is Jennifer. Of course you can sit with me. I haven't seen you before. What grade are you in?" asked Jennifer.
"Nice to meet you Jennifer! I just moved here from Santa Rosa and started my sophomore year today. What grade are you in?" asked Emily.
"Wow! That's a long way. I am a sophomore as well." said Jennifer.
Then the bell rang which meant it was time to go to 5th hour. Emily was disappointed because she wanted to continue to talk to Jennifer.
"Well, I will see you some other time. I got to go to class." said Emily.
"Yeah, same here! Nice meeting you Emily." said Jennifer.


They went out separate doors to their lockers, but it ended up that their lockers were just right across each other. Emily smiled at her then walked to her Algebra 2 class. She took a seat next to a boy with blue eyes, shaggy blonde hair, and a muscular body. It was love at first sight for her. He smiled at her and introduced himself. His name was Daniel, and he had a great personality. They talked all period, but the teacher didn't appreciate it. He talked to them after class not knowing Emily was a new student, and explained they should talk outside of class. Daniel explained how she just moved here from Santa Rosa, and he was just helping her out with the questions she had. The teacher realized he has lost the argument and walked to his desk and took a seat. Emily and Daniel walked out of the classroom, and laughed so hard once they were no longer in the teacher's sight. They talked for a couple minutes then went to class. She went to her Anatomy class where she ran into Jennifer. Jennifer was excited and told her to sit next to her. Emily became comfortable now that she found two great people at NHS, but also some great teachers and other students.


As the weeks and months passed by, Emily gained more and more friends. She became the most popular girl in her grade, and got along with almost everyone. Unfortunately no matter how hard she tried, she always had some people who held a grudge against her. A sophomore girl named Sydney with blonde hair, hazel eyes, and a great volleyball player could not stand Emily because she used to be the center of attention and Emily stole her spotlight. Another sophomore girl who appeared as a nerd, and never got attention from anymore except her little click of 2 girls and 2 boys always despised her. Her name was Jessica and she was jealous, and would love to be in Emily's position where she always gets attention from people she had never talked to before. Jessica did not think it was fair that Emily could just walk into this school, and become so popular with no problems. She decided that she was going to get people who felt the same way and show Emily that this school was not so perfect after all.


About a month later, Sydney and Jessica got together seven other girls to join there posse to take down Emily. They discussed an abundant amount of ways to make her high school life miserable, but couldn't think of the perfect way to bring her down. They didn't have enough information on her to really make their plan work, so they used the Internet to get some good dirt on Emily. After two and a half weeks of researching and calling different people, they got an enormous amount of her past at Santa Rosa High School. They appeared amazed of how bad Emily was as a freshman, and were very satisfied with what they have found. They thought this information of her past reputation would kill her because now she is a perfect teenager. All the people who looked up to Emily would feel betrayed and no longer trust her.


Sydney, Jessica, and the rest of the girls created their master plan. At first, they just interrupted Emily’s conversations at lunch with all her friends to hint at all the things she has done.
“Wow Emily, did you here about that freshman girl who partied every weekend?” Sydney said.
“No?” Emily said very confused.
“Hmm, that’s weird. I mean she got around every where, how could you not hear about her… She had Chlamydia and everything!” Sydney stated.
“Yeah, but she smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol every weekend. I understand why you wouldn’t hear about her because you are the total opposite, and would never do something like that.” Jessica said.
“Of course not,” Emily stated with guilt, “I have great friends and care about my education too much to be messing up my life that way.” Emily began to get really red and sweaty. Her true friends around her had no idea what was going on, but Emily knew that Sydney and Jessica were onto something. After the bell rang, Emily told her friends she had to go to the bathroom, but went down the hallway to Sydney’s and Jessica’s locker.
“What was all that about ladies?” Emily said to Sydney and Jessica.
“What was what about?” Sydney questioned.
“What you said at lunch about the girl who partied every weekend, and had Chlamydia.” Emily said.
“Are you talking about yourself, Emily?” Jessica asked.
“No?” Emily stated, “I am not like that.”
“Well you were, and we know every thing about it!” Jessica stated.
“How could you guys possibly retrieve information like that?” Emily said guilty.
“Come on Emily, just because you think that it’s your past and you’re over it doesn’t mean that it vanishes. The internet is full of those things. You’re trying to come here and take over everything with this whole “new” you, but not at my school.” Sydney strongly stated.
“Come on, I know I had a horrible past but there are reasons. I don’t want my experience here to be a repeat of what occurred at Santa Rosa High School. What do you guys want from me?” Emily questioned.
“Wow Sydney, just think about how many people would turn against Emily after they heard about all of the things she has done…” Jessica said.


Emily slammed both their lockers shut and stormed off. She didn’t want her life to turn upside down again. All the significant people she met these past couple months at NHS are people she would like to keep around for the rest of her life. If Sydney and Jessica told her friends, she doesn’t know what exactly would happen. Since they’ve only known each other for a short amount of time, she isn’t completely confident about what choice they could choose. Her friends could either realize she does not appear like this anymore and forgive her, or can take it the wrong way and break their friendship.


Not even 12 hours later, Sydney and Jessica posted and sent the information of Emily’s past to three-fourths of the school of NHS. People couldn’t believe their eyes, and had a hard time accepting what she did as a freshman. An abundant amount of people looked up to Emily, but once they read about her bad reputation they decided to stay away from her. She retrieved over seventy five phone calls from people from Nadia High School, but also a few from her old school either wondering how she was doing or making fun her more because she tried running away from her past. The next couple weeks at school, reminded her of her old school constantly getting teased by. She had a hard time dealing with it every day and would cry herself to sleep every night. She wanted people to understand why she did what she did, and forget all about it like she once did. She lost every one she once had, but didn’t try to make an effort to explain why because if they were her true friends they would understand that it’s her past and can’t do anything about it.


About two months and a half months past by that consisted of constant bullying towards Emily. Nobody attempted to help her out in her situation, so she figured why should she live a life that is full of negative people who aren’t willing to support her? She couldn’t find any happiness in her life, and thought her life was pointless and no reason to continue. She started thinking of ways to get out of this situation, but was too depressed to think positively. She came to conclusion that committing suicide would be the most simple, and people wouldn’t care if she was gone anyways. She researched different ways to kill herself, and decided she wanted to die with a huge rush of adrenaline. Jumping off the tallest building in Riverside called Mount Rubidoux Manor thrilled her, and she decided that would be the way she wanted to die. She planned to jump off in two days, but decided it was best to apologize to her good friends so they didn’t remember her in a bad way. She spent as much time as possible with her family, but they were curious to why she was acting weird. Emily talked to her friends for about fifteen minutes at school, but she had a difficult time explaining what had happened. Jennifer tried as hard as she could to put herself in Emily’s shoes, and easily forgave Emily in her head. Unfortunately, everyone else was ignoring Emily and Jennifer didn’t want to embarrass herself if nobody else forgave her.


It was the final day Emily was going to kill herself, but nobody knew. She left her house at 11:30 and planned to jump off at noon. She told her dad that she was going on a walk to get some exercise, but before that she ran to him and gave him a long hug and huge smooch on the cheek. She didn’t want to leave him alone, but she couldn’t handle her life anymore. She arrived at Mount Rubidoux Manor which had 16 floors and was an affordable community for seniors. She greeted a few elders, but it took her eighteen minutes to get there and she wanted to make sure she got to the top of the building before 12 P.M. Emily got into the elevator and pushed the button to close the doors, so nobody could get in on her way up. When the elevator doors were almost closed, a hand slid through the opening which re-opened the doors. Emily was upset, but the person appeared to be Jennifer from school.
“Whew! That was close… Oh my goodness Emily, what are you doing here?” Jennifer said excitingly.
“Hey Jennifer, it’s nice to see you here! I’m just hanging out. What are you doing here?” Emily asked.
“I’m just here to visit my grandpa, but I am really happy you’re here because I need to talk to you…” Jennifer stated. Emily nodded, and Jennifer continued, “Well, first of all I’d like to apologize for being a horrible friend, and I’d really like to change our friendship around. You are a great girl, and just because you screwed up your freshman year doesn’t mean that your life is over. Everybody makes mistakes, but we learn from them and move on. I bet it was rough for you these past couple months with nobody to support you, but the truth is everyone misses you and we don’t care what you did last year… You only live once, and you should be living your life to the fullest instead of listening to people making fun of your past. I’m so proud of you though because this has been a huge dilemma, but you’ve stayed strong this whole time. It’s really inspiring Emily, and from here on out I will always be here for you.” Jennifer explained.


It was now 12:02 P.M. and Emily has begun to re-think about what she was going to go do. Emily was speechless after Jennifer was done talking and all she could do was give her a huge hug and cry on her shoulder. Emily was relieved now that she did have someone there for her, and suicide was no longer a choice. Jennifer asked Emily if she’d like to visit with her grandpa, and they did. They needed to catch up a lot so they walked to the park, where they also ran into Daniel. After talking for about two hours, Emily decided to confess that she was at the Mount Rubidoux Manor because her plan was jumping of the 16th floor and committing suicide. Jennifer and Daniel were shocked, and got up and hugged her.
“I can’t believe Jennifer saved your life. We love you too much Emily and I honestly couldn’t live without you. The hardest thing in my life I’ve went through so far was trying to ignore for the past couple months. I will be here for you now, and never leave you like that again. I love you Emily.” Daniel stated.
Emily smiled, and said, “Daniel, I love you too, and I’m incredibly happy that Jennifer and you are here with me now. Jennifer, if it wasn’t for you I would have been dead a couple hours ago, but now I’m going to cherish every moment of my life.” Emily stated.


Emily didn’t know the next step in her life, but she knew that God would lead her the right way. Everything happens for a reason and even though the reason may not make sense right away, just be patient and everything will come together. Emily knew her life wasn’t back to normal, but she honestly didn’t care. She’ll start looking at the positive things of every situation and live her life to the fullest without looking back. Just like Jennifer said, you only live once.





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