A lot went down between my parents after my mom came home from the hospital. In 25 words or less, my dad assumed responsibility for Paul and me, moved back home, and my mom moved in with my grandmother.
In the fall of 1993 I began my sophomore year at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, the high school from whence I would graduate. It was a fresh start for me, a do-over. With a class size of 75, it would be hard to get lost in the shuffle.
My first friend at St. Mary’s was a girl named Katey. She was the most extroverted person I had ever met, chatting up and hugging everyone in her path that first day of school. With peasant skirt and Birkenstocks, she was the quintessential flower child of the 90s, if there was such a thing. Katey was on every committee and in every club the school had to offer, including drama club, into which she quickly recruited me (I also tried out for cheering, thinking it would be a simple crossover from dance, but I was disastrously wrong). Although joining drama club was an automatic forfeit of any remote chance I had at popularity, I figured I had already sealed my fate with my display at cheering tryouts.
As it turned out, drama worked for me. Performing in front of a large group every week helped get me over some of my social anxiety. I made some good friends. By the end of the year, I even had a boyfriend. Katey and I were best friends. And I didn’t make the same mistake with Katey as I had with Kelly. We told each other everything. We had sleepovers and crushes and breakups and went out on the weekends. I finally had something like a normal life.