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Grade
10

1. The three of us sat down on the old playscape. Well, it was old to us but to all the children it was new. We loved this park as little kids, even our first couple of teenage years. We were grasping onto our youth for as long as we could. It wasn’t easy, we stopped going our freshman year because we were adults. We were not adults, far from it.

Now, our junior year, we decided to go back. Our plan was to take cute, nostalgic pictures for Instagram and our photo album, as well as play on everything like old times.

The second one did not happen as much as I hoped it would. All we did at first was take pictures, then sit on the playscape and gossip. It wasn’t even about interesting gossip, either. It was just about some irrelevant freshman who was apparently dating a junior, who we know. Ugh, who cares?

Caroline asked us if we heard about the drama. She was leaning against the green metal. Green used to be her favorite color, just like the spot she was sitting in.

I answered with, “Hear about what?”

Anna also didn’t know what Caroline was talking about.

Caroline seemed offended for some reason. She said, “You guys seriously didn’t hear? What, are you guys deaf? It’s been going around school for the past few days. That freshman, Kaisey, she’s apparently dating Justin. Class of 2020 Justin. Ugh, that’s gross!”

Anna was disgusted, scrunching her nose as she said,“Ew, that is.. A freshman, ugh.. I could never..”

I faked the same reaction, “Yeah, that is..” It was definitely not interesting.

I guess nobody caught on because you guys just continued to talk. I even got up, saying we should go try the slide just one more time. Who cares if we couldn’t fit it? It would bring some laughs to the table.

Caroline wasn’t up for that. “No, Elaine, sit down, I still have more to talk about, it’s not over.”

I sighed, “We came here to use the playscape like in elementary, not sit? Come on, are you guys not really going to?”

“We can’t even fit in any of the things anymore, El. We already got the pictures, we’re good. Don’t you want to hear about this? Why are you so interested in playing? We have so much time to do that.”

I sat down, even though I really did not want to. I just wanted to have fun, not sit around and do nothing. I listened to the conversation, the extremely boring conversation, as I watched the innocent, drama free little kids run around. I wish we could be like that again.

 

2. We weren’t good at bowling, we could admit that. The only reason we went was because it was for my birthday. I wanted to do a nice little dinner with my mom and you all knew that. My father’s not in my life and I’m the only child. My mother worked a lot so we barely had any time together. So, she decided to take this day off to spend with me.

I was already in a bad mood because I really wanted to hang out with my mom but we also haven’t hung out together for a long time. My mother said she didn’t mind, to just go with you guys and have fun. She had the weekend off for once, so we could do something then. Thankfully, we did do something that weekend. We had a nice dinner at Texas Roadhouse. It was really needed, just the two of us talking, no extras added on.

You guys didn’t really help my mood out that day. Everything about it was horrible. Especially when you guys forced me to ask for this guy’s number because you guys thought he was cute.

Caroline caught Anna and I’s attention by whispering our names. We were in the middle of the game, but she didn’t care.

We both looked at her, “What?”

She pointed to him like she didn’t have any manners, saying, “Look at him!”

I pushed her hand down quickly, yelling at her, “Caroline! You don’t point at people, that’s rude.”

“Okay, okay, third lane, red jacket. El, you should totally ask him for his number. That would be the cutest birthday present, don’t you think?”

“That’s kind of awkward..” I said. I was clearly not into the idea.

“No! You have to, consider it an extra present from us.” She tempted even more.

“No, that’s embarras-”

She cut me off,  already pushing me to go do it. I gave up, walking with her to the boy.

“Hey..” I greeted him, sighing. “Can I have your number?” It wasn’t in a flirty type of way. It was in a ‘I am so done, I want to go home’ type of way.

He looked over, chuckling a bit as if he was also extremely uncomfortable. “Uhh.. I guess?”

It was probably the way I asked. He wrote down his number, giving it to me. I rolled my eyes as I walked away. When we left in Anna’s car, we called the number. It was fake, obviously. A waste of time, just like this amazing party.

 

3. I was always jealous of your guys confidence. You could talk to anyone without a second thought, wear any outfit because you know you’re going to look good in it, be the center of attention without hating it. I was the most nervous and insecure person in the group. All the things you could do, I had trouble with.

Since we were always so close, you understood this, or at least acted like you did along with the other things I go through in life. There were many occasions where I didn’t feel as perfect as you two. One that really hit where it hurts was this moment.

We were at the beach because it was one of the hottest days of the summer. In our groupchat, one of you asked if we wanted to tag along, of course we said yes. We enjoyed eachothers company.

For some reason, my self esteem was at the highest point it could get too. It was probably because of my new piercing. I got a belly button piercing, since my mom gave me the choice. It was cute, I liked it. See, for me, when I feel good about something, all of my insecurities go away. I feel.. Perfect because of that one thing. For a while, at least. But in that while, everything is at its peak. I could look at myself in the mirror without hating what I saw.

So, I put on a bikini that showed it off, walking out of the house and into Anna’s car with confidence. Until, we actually got to the beach. It was all fun and games, swimming and eating. I actually wanted to be the center of attention, for once.

I guess Caroline noticed that I was genuinely happy so she wanted to tear me down. She did once she said “your piercing makes you look fatter than usual”. I laughed it off, hoping that it was just a joke but I knew it wasn’t. I didn’t deserve happiness in her eyes.

Later, Anna asked me why I was even wearing a bikini because I usually never do.

“Didn’t want my piercing to be irritated. I’m new to it, so I wanted to keep it safe, you know?” is what I replied with.

I lied. I didn’t want her to think I wore it because I wanted to. She would’ve torn me down as well.

 

 

4. In middle school, we had to watch those dumb videos with the horrible acting about bullying, peer pressure, etc. I would just be doodling in my notebook while the two of you played tic tac toe in yours. We didn’t need those videos, we knew we were never going to do drugs. People who did drugs didn’t have a great turnout for the future. We knew that. We even promised each other that we wouldn’t touch a drug or try to get others to do it.

How come that all changed one night at a sleepover at Caroline’s house? Caroline pulled it out like it was nothing. Weed. It smelled disgusting but I was familiar with the smell from people at our school who we promised we weren’t going to be like.

That promise was broken the moment Caroline asked us if we wanted to try.

“Where did you even get that from?” I asked, in shock.

Anna was in shock too, but she was up to try it. She was up for anything you had to offer, Caroline.

“My friend.. Does that even matter? I have it, let’s try it. He told me to also buy Febreeze or just some good smelling fragrance and open the windows after. Look, I know what I’m doing. We’re fine. Don’t be a scaredy cat, here, try.”

“Can I give it a go?” Anna asked. I looked at her like she was crazy.

“Are you guys serious?”

Then, I looked like I was the crazy one for not wanting to do something.. Illegal.

I couldn’t hold back my anger because at this point it was just the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.

I started, trying my hardest not to yell, “I wouldn’t be as mad if it was like a vape pen or something, but it’s weed! Which is a lot more.. I don’t know, illegal?! Do you guys not understand that? I know there’s not a high chance we’ll get caught, but there’s still a chance! What happened to us not wanting to do drugs.. Ever? In our lives!”

Caroline rolled her eyes, “El, seriously, it’s fine. I get it, it’s new to you but we are fine. You don’t have to do a lot, but at least one time? It’ll take like five seconds and then you can stop, please?”

I scoffed. Nothing would ever have an impact on you guys anymore. I understood that the videos didn’t make a difference but not even your friend who was obviously uncomfortable with what you guys had planned? That’s just a whole other level of ‘your life is screwed’.

I knew for a fact you guys didn’t care about my opinion when I watched your stories on Snapchat later that night after telling my mom I wanted to go home. It was videos of you guys smoking, like I didn’t even ask you guys to reconsider your choice.

 

5. The annual summer fair. Something we all went to. It started off as something our parents had to bring us to but as we got older, we could all go without any problems. It was a lot more fun without our parents watching our every move, anyways. We weren’t going to do anything crazy, but it just made us look “cooler” to be alone.

Every year we went was always something to remember. For example, when we would search for tickets on the ground because of that one night we found a whole roll of them near the ticket booth. We stayed for about an extra hour because of that.

The picture was the only fun part we had that day. It all went downhill from here.

I hate heights so the only rides we ever went on was the low ones. I didn’t mind fast rides, just ones like the Ferris Wheel that made me sick to my stomach. There was a variety of rides and games we could have so much fun with.

But, you guys love being so adventurous and decided to urge me to take risks. I didn’t like the idea of it, but I didn’t really have a say at that point.

You guys covered my eyes, saying it would be a surprise. I didn’t care because I thought that you guys would think of my fears while you thought this whole thing through.

“We’re going to have so much fun! We’ll let you see when we are on the ride!” One of you said.

I remember nodding and laughing, trying to get a peek. Then, we got onto the ride, which was a rollercoaster that almost had the same height of the Ferris Wheel. I got in, without knowing and when the person who controlled the thing asked if everyone was good, you guys removed your hands. I saw what we were on and my heart stopped. I went to go tell him to wait and to let me off but it had already started. The whole time I was shaking and screaming with fear, not the feeling of thrill.

I closed my eyes like I did getting on. When I got off, I could feel tears running down my eyes, hardly being able to breathe. It was the worst experience of my life that thankfully didn’t feel too long.

You guys said you felt bad, bringing me to get ice cream after but I didn’t really hear sympathy in your voice, but do I really ever?

State
Connecticut
Zip Code
06066