August 5

I’ve been running 5 miles a day ever since the party. I run down to Follette Park, circuit around the paths, and come back home. All of this is for one reason: Back to School Shopping!!

I want to look A-MAZING my senior year. My mother promised we’d go as soon as she got off work from her day job. She has the night off from her second job and she promised we are going to max out her credit card! She said this was a special occasion, her daughter’s last year of living at home and being a mother’s girl. She got a little teary and hugged me real tight. If we’d been out in public, I’d have been mortified! She is so proud of me for getting myself in shape. She bought me mace for my keychain for when I go out jogging. I know she loves me, letting me run alone scares her, but she has to let me go.
I think I hear her car. Later!

August 7

Shopping for new clothes was actually fun! We had smoothies and carried huge bags and tried on piles of clothes. She splurged on a sexy outfit, getting caught up in the excitement of reinventing me. I have a sneaking suspicion that she is going to wear it, however. It rattles me.
I mean, Mom and I have been fending for ourselves for 5 years. When Dad left us, she got two jobs, we moved around a few times, and finally got settled in here, a rental house a few blocks from a gated community, a park, and a golf course. It was the high life. Sure, we had nights where all we had to eat was potato soup and pretzels, but we never went hungry. Mom worked so much I had to learn to do my own laundry, cook my own dinner, and do my homework in a timely fashion or those things would never get done. She praised my independence and those rare times she had a day off, we celebrated with movies, ice cream, or a mother-daughter date out on the town. I loved and respected her, but didn’t see much of her.
Lately, she’s been coming home very late, crashing for 4 hours, getting up, showering, going to her morning job, coming home for a 2 hour nap, and leaving again. Her hair is always immaculate, her nails were filed, painted, and her makeup fancier at night. I don’t know when she ate, or why she was out so late. However, it must pay really well, because we did max out her credit card. She said not to worry about it. The overtime was worth it. But I saw wrinkles, stress lines, in her forehead and I saw a washed out look behind her eyes. I know she can’t keep his up for too much longer.

August 14

Tomorrow is the first day of school! I can’t wait! It is 11:30 and I can’t sleep. So I am writing. It may not even make sense.
Last year I dreaded the first day of school. I mean, there was a spark of hope that I would find a great guy; that he would just appear and be perfect and sweep me off my feet and love me completely. But it was just a dream.
This year, I have it going ON! I bet I have a boyfriend in like, 2 weeks. Tops. I have the best plan, too. I’m going to not even try. Yeah, I’m going to act like I’m cool all by myself. Guys love it when a girl has some confidence. Self-assured, that’s me! I’m going to walk down the hall like a sexy super spy and not even look in a guy’s direction.
I have my outfit all planned out. I’m wearing a button down blouse, top 2 buttons undone, a school length skirt, and tall leather boots. It should accentuate all my curves and drive the boys batty. I’m debating on wearing a necklace to toy with as I do my in-class work. I want them to imagine me taking it off, which will lead them to imagining me taking all my clothes off.
As long as no one says anything about that party, I’ll be great. In fact, I’ll blow it all off as no big deal. I was drinking? Who cares! I made out with Chase? So? I was one of the last to leave? It was a rockin’ party!
Confidence. That’s me.

August 15

Ha, Confidence, I spit in your face!
I arrive at school. I am doing my confident walk in my big leather kick-ass boots all down that hall. Heads are turning. I am doing my best not to smile, but to be cool. I do what every cool girl does and duck into the ladies room to check my make-up and hair.
Only, I realize I have to pee.
As I am doing my business, I hear this:
“So she, like, took off her shirt?”
“Yeah and starts all rubbing on his chest, kissing him and saying out loud how she’s never done it before.”
“Then what happened?”
“She pauses suddenly, turns her head, and pukes all over the floor!” Belly laughs. I smile, that sounds so embarrassing!
“Gross! What did Chase do?” Alarm bells in my head! They are talking about me?!?!
“He, like, was so nice. He took her upstairs and cleaned her up and stuff.”
“Oh, I wish I had a boyfriend like that!”
“Oh, they’re not hooking up.”
This dissolved into a fit of girly giggles as they plotted behind their mascara.
I had barfed on Chase. And everyone knew. And I was TOPLESS! I felt like barfing, now!
I had two choices. Leave school, humiliated, or act like I was cool with it. ‘Who cares if I drank too much and humped the chest of the number two man in school? Isn’t that what parties are for? I shall show no shame!’
Option 2 fit my new persona. I played it cool. I heard the whispers behind my back, saw the fist bumps between jocks out of the corner of my eye.. and broke down in the restroom during 3rd period.
Chemistry 2. My lab partner was Zach Briar. Someone named Zach Briar should be a hot blonde guy with a compassion for nature. But he is a dark haired, zitty guy, whose lines are as greasy as his face. He leaned over and whispered, “You can crash my party anytime.” *shudders* I ignored him. Mr. Paul went over lab safety rules. I doodled on my syllabus.
He tried again when we were passing back the first assignment, a pre-test to see what we remember from last year. “So, do you like to study topless?” I felt my anger boiling over. I really wanted to hurt him. But I wasn’t going for bad-ass, I was going for can-handle-anything. I looked him in the eye and said, “You’re not my type.” Then I requested to go see the counselor, which in my school is code for ‘I-need-a-feminine-hygiene-product-or-I-will-go-all-PMS-on-you’. I ducked into the bathroom with my generic hall pass. Mr. Paul is great with the hall passes for seniors, not even writing a date or time or reason, just signing it. He knows we are under so much pressure, we need a break sometimes. Even on the first day of school.
Once I calmed down and realized I held a golden ticket, I knew I would be okay. I could stay in bathrooms all day for as long as I have to. Except I need to graduate.

Plan B. Trade lab partners, or transfer from 3rd period science. Just before the bell, my eyes were dry, my face was not splotchy, so I braved going back to class. I asked Mr. Paul for a new partner due to harassment, and he said he’d think about it, but he was pretty certain of the pairings. I threatened a transfer. He gave me a serious look, which I returned in an almost menacing way, but the bell rang dismissing us from the moment.
I haven’t time to actually go to the counselors’ office for a transfer. I really hope Mr. Paul gives me a new lab partner, because the counselor’s office is scary. They almost always mess up your schedule while trying to analyze your body language. They should never give scheduling jobs to counselors. The last thing I need is to not graduate due to scheduling error.

August 26

Who said senior year was going to be easy? I do have study hall this year, which means one fewer class than last year, but I have had HOURS of homework!
But I still run. Priorities.
BTW, Mr. Paul did switch my lab partner. Whew! No trips to the counselor’s office for me.
Rumor has it, I’m going to be on the ballot for Fall Homecoming court. I am elated.
Sorry so short, but I gotta study for a stupid Government test and write a paper for Advanced Composition.

The End

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