“Blaire if you sleep any longer you will be late for your first day of school!” hollered my mother waking me from my deep sleep.
I was in the midst of a chimerical dream filled with a multiplicity of different scenarios that could potentially take place at school. I envisioned myself having the lead role in the school play, or scoring an insane goal in a soccer game. In the fourteen years of my existence I had never walked the halls of a real school before. However, I have seen a plethora of movies and am not so naive to believe that I will ever experience these things.
Whenever I encounter people my age they often assume that I am either uneducated or some antisocial introvert who is too awkward to walk the same halls as them. There are many reasons that I don’t attend public school, but the most prominent one being, my older sister. Though I highly doubt that I will be exposed to the same traumatizing experiences that my sister underwent, my mom is petrified of including me in that environment.
My sister, Logan, had been bullied so severely that she had attempted to take her own life on more than one occasion and was admitted into two different mental hospitals. After Logan’s first attempt she was placed into Waldorf’s Mental Wellness Center in Gilbert, Arizona where she was treated. Unfortunately, the doctors were lacking the practices necessary for putting my sister back in the right state of mind. When she was released she was better, but still not the same Logan she had always been. Three months after returning to public school, she attempted again. Finally, my mom decided she had enough and placed her into the Tri-State Psychiatric Facility of New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado where she resides today and is slowly returning back to her normal self.
You’re probably wondering where my dad fits into the equation, honestly, he doesn’t. When I was just nine years old he moved out of the house to live with his new girlfriend in New York City leaving my mom to take care of Logan and I. Despite what you probably think, he was a fairly normal father. He had never mistreated us and would support my sister and I in most of the activities that we partook in.
My mother has always been the type to share everything with Logan and me but sparing what she thought could hurt us or taint our opinions on the important people in our life. Though the both of us knew that it was always a rocky relationship we wanted our mother to believe otherwise.
After years of me begging my mom to let me go to a public school she finally gave in. It was the first day of school and I had on my nicest outfit, a floral skirt with a white v-neck and converse. My first day went as expected, it was a small school so I met almost everyone and was interrogated by all of my classmates. I had basically figured out who was part of each friend group after just one day there.
A week filled with the same kids and routines had gone by until that next Tuesday. The bell rang for me to go to my second period Algebra class and when I arrived I spotted a face that I hadn’t seen yet. He looked tan, as if he had been on a tropical island - turns out he had been on vacation in Hawaii for the past month and today was his first day. After explaining this to our teacher, he told Mr. Brown his name was James.
I had found a nice group of friends who weren’t quite considered the “popular” girls but also weren’t the weird, nerdy ones. The popular girls were all calling James over to their group of tables but for some reason he was ignoring them. A girl at my table, Chase, called him over as well and gave him the empty seat between her and I. James and I spent the class quietly conversing and completely disregarded the teacher’s lesson. We spent two months getting close and I was beginning to like him.
There were two weeks until our Homecoming dance and I hadn’t planned on attending but after days of begging from my now closest friend Chase and from James, I agreed to go. Three days later, I was surprised by James at my locker with a poster asking me to be his homecoming date. While excitedly answering with a yes, I spotted a trio of girls, Rachel, Brynn, and Kylie angrily watching the scene.
I spent the next week and a half stressing about what dress to wear and where I was going to take pictures. It was finally the day of the dance and everyone at school was talking about it. After school that day I rushed to do my homework because my mom said I couldn’t go to the dance without all my homework completed. I began to get ready and do my makeup wishing my sister was there to help me get ready for my first dance ever. I really missed Logan a lot but I knew it was better for her to be there getting the help she needed, than to be here and miserable.
An hour later all my friends arrived to take pictures and we left in two different cars, girls in one and boys in the other. When we got to the dance it was uncomfortable at first but once everyone became less embarrassed it was a lot of fun. A little while into the dance I started noticing Brynn and the other three girls staring at me. In an attempt to make them all jealous I leaned in for what may have been the most awkward first kiss you could ever imagine. Sure, first kisses are always awkward, but when I leaned in James quickly jolted away resulting in him have slobber all over his cheek. He looked disgusted and wiped his cheek
“Blaire what are you doing?” he shouted “We came to this dance just as friends!”
I looked over to see Brynn, Kylie, and Rachel laughing their heads off and soon enough almost the whole room had turned around to see what was going on!
I ran out of the building and called my mom, trying to hold back tears, and asked her to pick me up. I sat hysterical in the front seat of her car explaining the whole situation. Normally, she would be giving me advice and trying to make me feel better but the entire time she sat there and didn’t say a word. She had a concerned look on her face, but it seemed like she was lost in her thoughts and more anxious about something else.I got home and opened my bedroom door, still crying, only to see a smiling Logan sitting on my bed. I had figured out why my mom was acting so strange in the car. She began comforting me by telling me an embarrassing story about when she was in school. I asked her what she was doing here and she explained that the nurses and doctors were seeing progress so she was now able to come home on the weekends! Despite what had happened to me that night I was so excited knowing that my sister was doing better.
When I got back to school on Monday, James and I didn’t speak. I was still embarrassed but my friends made me feel much better about the situation. I wasn’t going to let everyone else get what they wanted so I acted like nothing had even happened and made sure Brynn and the others knew I didn’t care. My friends knew what was going on and that’s all that mattered.
I felt the pressure and the emptiness that my sister must have felt when she was in high school. The alienation that I was getting from everyone after the incident at Homecoming. It wasn’t a good feeling, not one that I want to ever feel again. I started to realize the dangers of going to a public school. How ruthless kids are without caring at all. I didn’t stop going through, attending public school was something that I had wanted my whole life. I wasn’t going to let a slip up at the dance ruin my school experience. I’m still in school, and I love every minute of it.