(To start with Kindergarten, go here)
On the first day of school, Scott walks me to Chemistry class and kisses me in the hallway in front of everyone. I beam.
In September, we go to the Homecoming Dance together and it’s clear that no two people have ever been so in love.
In November, Scott breaks up with me. I’m shattered. My mom sleeps in my bed with me that night and rubs my back as I sob.
I’m very, very sad for a very, very long time. I start to fill my school planner with dark poems instead of school assignments. I will never heal.
I join Interact. My friend Emily and I go to local Rotary meetings to raise money for the fairs we host in elementary schools on the west side of Chicago. We do face painting and musical chairs. My dad carves a clown face into a piece of plywood and we give kids bean bags to throw through the eyes and mouth. We hand out donated prizes – often school supplies – and everyone has fun.
I start to spend a lot of time in people’s basements.
In Jess’s basement, we invite boys over and play the “In the Dark” game where we turn off the lights and kiss each other. We think we are very clever.
In Jamie’s basement, we play Mario Kart. I’m terrible.
That Spring, the band, choir, and orchestra travel to Washington, D.C. to perform and see concerts. As we drive around the District, I alternate between crying over Scott and joining in the mass Rent sing-along taking place in the back of the bus. We always turn to Danny to belt out the line “Mucho Masturbation!” from the middle of “La Vie Boheme.” It’s America at the end of the Millenium.
God, Jonathan Larson just gets us.