PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN ON HIGH SCHOOL NORMALITY
"He was all packed and out of the house when I got home from the gorcery store."
"So he's just--gone?"
"We just need to find Jamie a date."
"You set up Jamie with Leslie?"
"I didn't think it would matter that much."
"It doesn't. I was just--confused, that's all."
"What if we were just afraid of something happening that was bigger than ourselves? What if we were just afraid of loving each other?"
"I'm not afraid anymore, Leslie. I love you."
"Remember the first day that Jamie was in town?"
"Well, that night, he kissed me. And I kissed him back."
"What am I supposed to say? That it's okay? That I'm totally fine? That nothing will change?"
"So what? You're gonna walk away because I made one mistake?"
"Why are there cop cars at your house?"
"Lucy Greer apparently had Mom's name on the lawsuit, and since Dad is nowhere to be found, Mom was who they arrested."
"I'm going to go find him."
"I have to do this. I'll be back in a couple hours."
"Oh my God, he's waking up!"
As I heard Libby's exclamation, I tried to remember what had happened. I remembered lights and music, and I remembered people dancing and screaming out of excitement. I remembered my girlfriend, Joy, whispering to me that she wanted to get a room, and I remembered being in the room with her. But I couldn't remember if I'd had sex with her, or when it was that we finally left the room. I couldn't remember if we walked out hand-in-hand or if we had walked out separately.
As I began to gain consciousness, I looked at Libby and asked the question that I hoped would bring light to my current situation.
"You were in a car accident. Remember?"
And suddenly I did. I remembered Joy telling me that she had kissed her best friend, Jamie, a guy with which she also lost her virginity. I remembered telling her about my dad leaving and I remembered storming out the door of the hotel room. I remembered punching Jamie in the face and finding my mom being arrested when I arrived at my house. It was all coming back to me. Getting in the car to try to find my bastard of a father, and making a left turn on a green arrow, and being smacked on the passenger side of Rebllion, my charcoal Pontiac.
My name is David, and I'm a normal high school student.
And at that very moment, everything that happened the night of Summit Peak High School's prom reached the surface of my memory and came crashing down on me like an anvil.
Libby proceeded to tell me that I was found lying unconscious in my car, which had been turned on its side due to the intense impact. I was taken to Mayo Hospital, where they examined my injuries. I had received a bruised rib and a concussion, but other than that I was healthy as a horse. I did strain my neck and my back, though, and was on heavy painkillers, which would explain the grogginess.
"How long have I been here?"
"I've been unconscious for three days?"
"Yeah. But you're conscious now."
I couldn't believe that three days had passed. I should have been in school that day. AP tests started the following week.
"When can I go home?"
"They want to keep you here for a couple more days to make sure that everything is alright."
"Awesome. A week of school gone."
I know what you are thinking, but I'm going to tell you that I am NOT one of those kids who loves school and has never missed a day in his life. But I AM one of those kids who's in AP classes and I was missing final preparation for the tests.
"Don't worry about it. I'm sure everything will be fine."
I decided to sleep for a while. I was completely drained of energy. While I slept, I relived through a dream the enitre prom. The potluck dinner we had beforehand, the limousine ride to the Scottsdale Hilton, anxiously waiting to lose my virginity, and breaking up with her upon finding out that she cheated on me. It was all so vivid, so upsetting, so--
"Why can't I tell him about the escapade?"
"Because he probably doesn't have the energy to process the images of the different positions you described."
"And he'd probably rather here you say how glad you are to see him doing better than to hear about your latest whore."
My three best friends in the entire world, Mark Adams, Michael Florence, and Aaron Stanwick were all standing in my hospital room. I opened my eyes weakly.
"David! Oh my gosh, I'm so happy you're okay!"
Mark was obviously sticking to the script that Aaron had given him and elaborated on it by giving me a hug.
"I'm glad to see you too, but I'd really like to hear about that escapade."
"Aaron, he has a right to listen to it if he wants. I'm going to go get some water. Do you want anything David?"
"No thanks, I'm good."
Aaron sat on my bed as Mark relayed to us the story of Hallie, his latest hook-up. He met Hallie in the kids section of Barnes & Noble, where she was babysitting. According to Mark, she looked like she was having a lot of trouble controlling the kids, so he offered to help her with the kids in return for a date. They went to the Drive-In Movie Theatre the next night and fucked in her car to the sounds of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
"It was magical."
When Michael got back, I told them of the experience I'd had in my own car, as well as what had happened before I left my house.
"But wait, she couldn't have been arrested simply for being attached to the lawsuit. There's gotta be more to it."
"I don't doubt that, but that's all I know. Shit, I forgot to ask Libby if my mom was bailed out. She could still be sitting in jail for that asshole."
"David, your dad may have made a mistake--"
"Or two, or three, or five hundred."
"But he's still your dad, and you have to forgive him."
"Well, I forgave him when he cheated on my mom, and when he lied about our finances, and when he said that he wished I was never born. But this time, not only did we get saddled with his problems, but he left us--LEFT US--in shambles."
It was the first time I had ever actually spoken about things that my dad had done. It had never occurred to me how upset he always made me, and how awful it was that I couldn't trust him. But he was out of my life, now, and hopefully gone forever. But he needed to come back. He needed to face the music and not let his family take the fall for the Lucy Greer lawsuit.
I became tired all of a sudden and my friends left. As I lay in my hospital bed, I thought about how I had become so frustrated with my family that I had withdrawn myself from them. I would come home and dodge the screaming by going up to my room. I would barely speak to them and when my room wasn't enough I would go to the Coffee Plantation or see a movie with Joy or the guys. And right as I was about to drift to sleep--
"Your dad's been found."
Hearing my mom's voice temprarily cheered me up temporarily, but what she said brought me back to a state of melancholy.
"So what happens now?"
"I guess we'll see. Right now, you need to get some rest."
And so I rested, trying not to think about everything that led to that very moment. Jamie moving to Arizona, prom, the break-up, Mom's arrest. Everything that had happened lately seemed to have led me to that hospital bed, but I realized that the only thing that really led me there was my own stupidity.
If I hadn't gone looking for trouble, trouble wouldn't have found me.
Normal High School Student