I loved Molly. She seemed so perfect to me. She was beautiful and good at EVERYTHING and yet managed to succeed and stay positive with her self esteem.
In 8th grade, Molly and i became closer friends. She loved me despite my flaws. She saw the hero in me and tried to resque me, but everything was going downhill for me other than that.
I had a small group of friends who were allowed to hang out with me... KT, Derek and Mike. Katie and Mike had orange hair and Derek and i were blonde. Derek's older sister bought alcohol for us and we often drank at school or at dances where we were able to be away from our parents. KT and i were alcoholics and we bragged about it. Molly said that was nothing to brag about, but she took care of me anyway. Amy as at the high school now, because as i mentioned, she was a year older than me. She didn't like to drink anymore and so i did all my drinking and partying with KT, mike and derek.
The Metco girls at school were torturing me every day. One day i wore my mother's diamond ring she got in South Dakota to school. I had gym class that day and my gym teacher, Mrs. Copeland told me i could not wear any jewlery to gym class. I told her i could not take off the ring because if i lost it, my mother would kill me. She said i had to or else i'd fail gym and she would suspend me from school. I told her i had period cramps (which i actually did) and that i'd rather just sit out. Mrs. Copeland promised my ring would be safe in her office, that she would lock the door and it would be there when gym was up. I listened to her because she acted like she really cared about me, but when gym class was over, i went to retrieve my ring and it was gone. I got very upset. "HOW COULD YOU LOSE MY RING?
"It's not my fault" she told me. "someone must have broken into her office. She said it was probably one of the Metco girls out to get me. I had to go home and tell my mother i lost her diamond ring. I told her it was stolen out of Mrs Copeland's office, but my mother did not believe me.
"HOW COULD SOMEONE STEAL A RING FROM A TEACHERS LOCKED DOOR?"
"i dont know" i said honestly, but that answer was not good enough. I got grounded and again i hated my mother for punishing me when i was already being punished enough.
Not too long after that, this artsy girl i knew from school as well as church, who only had a couple friends, lost her mother to cancer. It was devistating to me to think about losing a mother like that. The guilt i felt, thinking what if i lost my mother too? My mom and i attended M.E's mom's funeral. I thought that lots of kids from school would have shown up too, although that was not why i went... but no one showed up Just her 2 friends and i, but we made a connection after that.
I was in therapy at school for being a wild kid and wildly depressed. All my friends saw that i was suffering and they made me meet with the guidence counceler with them during lunch sometimes. They were trying to help me. I had addiction problems and i was a whore and i stole and my new friends (the ones who were not allowed to see me outside of school) did everything they could t help me while in school. I was cutting myself on a fairly regular basis and they were all so afraid i would kill myself.
The school psychologyst thought i needed to see an outside therapist, and while my family protested and begged me to just talk to them, i was afraid of them because they were so afraid for me.
I started seeing this therapist in Reading, and because my mother does not know how to drive and my father was busy working all the time, my grandfather took me to and from my appointments with my therapist.
In February, my grandfather picked me up one day and he was in a panick. i did not know why, but i could tell something was wrong. He kept trying to tell me that he knew what was going on and wanted to help me.
"its my mother" i said. "she's evil"
"I know it seems like your mother is evil Kri, but she's caught in a cycle. We are all caught in a cycle"
i was not willing to hear about this cycle, because i was so sure that my mother was the cause of everything.
"SHE IS JUST SCARED" he yelled at me, and then he went quiet. My papa never yelled at me or lied to me, and i was scared seeing him like this. I noticed that he had a cigarette in his hand as he drove (as he always did) but this time, it sat in his hand and it burned to the end without him ever taking a drag, He was having PTSD symptoms, but at the time i knew nothing about PTSD. I did not know that my grandfather had been a POW MIA, and even if i had known, i would not have understood the trauma he was in.
FORGIVE YOUR MOTHER. he kept telling me.
FORGIVE YOUR MOTHER. THERE ARE PEOPLE AFTER ME. PLEASE FORGIVE HER he begged me, but i resented him for his sudden "misunderstanding" of me. i had thought he was on my side and now he wanted me to forgive my mother.... i went up to my room and blasted my music while he sat in the kitchen and drank coffee with my mom. I said goodbye to him before he was out the door and he said "you kicking me out?" "No, i said, i'm sorry, i thought you were leaving" "I am" he said "i was just teasing"
That night, i got a phone call from Missi. She said she was having all these boy problems with the guys on "the line" and that she was going to kill herself. I said "Please don't kill yourself" but she hung up on me and i tried calling her back but the phone was off the hook.
The next day, i showed up for school and started telling everyone "my cousin is dead, i just know it"
"i'm sure she's fine" they all told me, but i was not sure. I was sure she was dead. I panicked all day, and when algebra class began, i was spaced out the window and looking at the clock as usual. Suddenly a loudspeaker announcement came to my classrom. "Keri Edwards, would you please report to the office?"
"OOOOOH What'd you do now???" everyone jeered at me. I was called to the office for one reason or another almost every day, but this day i knew it was not a discipline report. I knew that my cousin had killed herself.
I walked slowly down to the office, in a lot of fear. There in the office were both of my parents. They both had tears in their eyes. She died, i knew it, and it was my fault for not getting her some help.
My father turned to me "Papa's gone" he said
"he had a heart attack. nana found him dead beside his tool bench"
My parents both hugged me.
"Come on, we're gonna take you home now"
ok, i said, "let me just get my things" i walked in dissociation to my locker. i was so confused that i accidently went to my 6th and 7th grade lockers before remembering i had an 8th grade locker in the basement.
i threw as much as i could into my bag and went back to the office.
"we're gonna drop you off at Auntie Martha's right now" they told me. If you need anything, she will help you.
I got dropped off at Aunti Martha's. (my dad's youngest sister) She let me look at her record collection and she played me some funny songs from the 80's. There was one song called "get preppy" which i enjoyed because preppy was a word we used at school to describe the kids who wore gap and limited clothing. i was a preppy/headbanger/wigga/druggy/whore depending on who i needed to be.
Auntie Martha let me look at her CD collection. She had just joined the BMG(?) music club, but i did not recognize a lot of her CD's.
She handed me Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever and said to listen to that because she thought i would like it, and so i did and i loved it. I was in a better enough mood to ask if i could go back to school after it was over, because the 8th grade was going to take a trip to Washington DC as they did every year (the ones who could afford to go) and My music teacher/mentor was the head chaperone of these yearly trips and i really just wanted to see her.
I went back to school at about 2:30 when the Washington meeting in the music room was about to start, and i sat quietly through the meeting even though a few girls called me fat during the meeting. "I can see your celulite" they told me. i was 5 foot 2 (as i am to this day) and weighed only 115 pounds, but people were always calling me fat and ugly. I did my best to ignore the insults so that i would be able to talk to my music teacher when the meeting was up. I told her how my grandfather had just died and i asked her why i couldn't cry. What was wrong with me? She told me i would cry at some point, but i was still in shock. She sat with me until about 4:30, but as it started to get dark, she said i should probably go back to my aunt's before my parents started to worry about me.
"They wont worry" i said
she sighed and said at least go back so that my aunt didn't worry. So i did.
Later that night we went by my grandparents house, and me and my sisters and my cousins mike and mandy all stayed up in my uncle lenny's old bedroom watching mtv and not talking about our dead grandfather. We all knew there was something fishy about the situation, but none of us were able to articulate it.