HIGH SCHOOL NORMALITY contains strong language and some themes not suitable for audiences under 17. Viewer discretion is advised.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


"So we're friends?"
"Yeah, you could call us that."

"How can you have a fuck buddy that you don't fuck?"
"Because we're not fuck buddies! We're not anything! We're just--"
"Friends who enjoy what they do and don't want to complicate anything by putting a label on it?"
"That's a fuck buddy!"

"I'm not going to play this guessing game with you, Jake. You have to tell me what's going--"
"It's Mom and Dad."
"What's going on with them? They've been fine."
"That's the problem. Things have been too calm."

"Mark, I want to be with you."
"Faye, 6 months ago I would have jumped at the chance to be with you, but when we had sex last week it was just sex. Nothing more."

"No, Linda, LUCY GREER got you arrested!"

"Your father owes Lucy Greer a lot of money."
"He has a three year-old daughter with her, and now has four thousand dollars in child support that he has to pay."
"He what?"

Breaking the news of my father's lovechild to my brother Jake was surprisingly easy.

"How did this happen? How long ago? Why would he do such a thing?"

Explaining the situation was the hard part, especially at 6:45 in the morning.

"Well, Cal met Lucy Greer, he fucked her, and conceived a baby girl. Nine months later--"
"I understand that part, but why?"
"Why did she have a baby, or why is Cal the shit of the Earth?"
"I'm guessing because she's against abortion. And for the second question, some are born assholes, and some have assholeness thrust upon them."

I wish I could have been more helpful, but the truth is that I didn't know why my father was a scumbag or why Lucy Greer had a child with him. All I knew was that of all the times that man has betrayed me and my family, this was the worst of them all.

My name is David, and I'm a normal high school student.
And finding out about three year-old half-sisters is just not a normal occurrance.

We didn't speak for the rest of the ride to school. After "Cal has a three year-old daughter," there's really not much to say. After we pulled into the parking lot, we got out of the car and went our separate ways. At school, Jake and I were basically strangers. We never talked, or waved, or even saw each other. We really weren't that close anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.

"David, wait up!"

Callie Anderson caught up with me and we entered the school together hand-in-hand. It was the perfect situation: all of the benefits of having a girlfriend without the label or the committment.

We stopped in the middle of the breezeway and held each other's hands as we looked into each other's eyes.

"So I was thinking, friends go out to dinner, right?"
"And friends go to movies together, right?"
"Do you really not know where I'm going with this?"
"I do. Sure, let's go to dinner and a movie. We're friends, we can do that."
"Okay, great. How about tonight?"
"Sure. Sounds good."
"Great. Anyway, I've gotta go talk to my math teacher, but I'll see you later, sexy."

We made out and then she seductively walked to her math class.

"You're telling us that's NOT dating?"

Michael Florence and his girlfriend, Leslie Lawrence, had sneaked up behind me.

"Where did you guys come from?"
"Well, I came from my mom's uterus, and he probably came from his mom's uterus."
"We've been standing here since 'How about tonight.'"
"Oh. And no, we're not dating. Why does everyone find that so hard to believe?"
"Because of all the PDA."
"Aaron, where did you come from?"
"I've been standing here since 'We've been standing here since "How about tonight."'"
"Oh. And so what if we show PDA? I hug you guys. That's PDA."
"But that doesn't involve tongue."
"What the hell? Let me guess, you've been standing there since 'We've been standing there since "We've been standing there since 'We've been--'"'"
"If you knew I was there, then why were you so surprised?"

Wow. Just--wow.
"So, you guys are going to a movie tonight?"
"Yeah. Why?"
"Nothing, it's just, you know, a really big step."
"Okay, for the last time! Callie and I are NOT dating! We're friends!"
"We're friends and you never kiss me."
"You're dating my best friend."
"And she may be dating someone too. You never know."

I had never thought about that before. I mean, Callie had the freedom to be with whomever she wanted, as did I. But we never talked about the subject.

After the movie, I approached the subject.

"So, are you seeing anyone?"
"No, not besides you. Why?"
"No reason. I just wanted to let you know that if you wanted to see other people, you totally could."
"Okay, but I'm fine just seeing you right now. More than one fuck buddy at a time is too complicated."
"But we're not having sex."
"That could change."

And just my luck, we arrived at her house right when she said that.

"I would invite you in, but my parents are home. Some other time, though."

It occurred to me as I drove home that I didn't want to see anyone else either. But did I want to have a relationship with her? Things were so good the way they were.

While I continued driving, after missing the opportunity to have sex, Michael and Leslie were lying in his bed after just having sex.

"I love you so much."
"I love you too, Michael. And we are getting really good at that."

They lay without speaking for a little while, embracing each other in their silence. Finally, Michael spoke.

"So what do you think of the whole David thing?"
"I don't know. He seems like he really likes her, and honestly, he's the one complicating things by not being in a relationship with her. I mean, look at us, we're in a relationship and nothing's really complicated with us."
"But think of how long it took us to get to a no-complications point in our relationship. If you ask me, he's still licking his wounds from Joy. If he was really completely over her, then he wouldn't be making things so complicated with Callie. And she's a really nice girl. I have a feeling he's going to hurt her and hurt himself in the process."
"Maybe. I guess we'll see what happens."

Over the next couple months, Callie and I continued to see each other outside of school. We went to dinners and movies and we even painted pottery a couple of times. And we weren't seeing anyone else, so we were like a real couple. But our Facebook pages still said single, and we were okay with that.

Callie was not the only exciting thing in my life. My journalism advisor, Mrs. Beasely, had named me editor-in-chief of The Summit Sentinal, and in choir we were busy preparing for our fall concert.

"You need better vowels! How many times do I have to tell you? I'm not telling you this to hear myself talk."

We all loved Miss Connolly, but she was a little neurotic when it came to be crunch time for the concerts. Our concert was on Friday, and it was Wednesday, and our music was still sub par.

"That piece has so much potential and you guys are just not giving it all you have. I need all that you have to make this piece good."

After choir, Mal Wales, who had never spoken to us before, approached us.

"So rehearsal kinda blew, didn't it?"
"It wasn't the greatest rehearsal we've ever had."
"Yeah, well, I was wondering if you guys would want to have a rehearsal after school. I just need someone to drive me."
"That sounds good. We can do it at my house. But we should probably get a soprano--"

Lupe Gonzales turned around.

"You're a soprano, right?"
"We're having a rehearsal at Michael's house after school. You in?"
"Oh shoot. I would, but I'm working at the soup kitchen today. Maybe next time though."

Mark stared as she walked away.

"She's perfect. Why won't she fuck me?"
"I dunno. Must be your charm."

Mal walked away, still carrying her sarcastic exterior. Mark was astounded.

"Who does she think she is?"
"Mal Wales."
"But what would she know about my charm? We've never even spoken!"
"Maybe your eagerness to ride Lupe off into the sunset gave it away."

We high-fived Aaron and went to lunch.

After school, we met in the parking lot. Jake rode the bus home, Michael picked up Mark, and I drove Mal after Callie and I made out.

"So, is she your girlfriend?"
"No, we're just friends."
"Then why are you guys always sucking face in the hallways?"
"It's complicated."

Oh my God! I just said the words that I thought I would never say during our friendship!

"Well, do you like her?"
"Yeah. I do."
"Then what's so complicated about it?"
"It's not really. I'm just not looking for anything serious right now."
"It sounds like you're really messed up."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"I mean, it sounds like you're afraid of getting into something serious because of something else that may have happened before."
"I'm not afraid of anything."
"Then why not just call a spade a spade and ask the girl to homecoming?"
"You ask a lot of questions."

The rehearsal was a lot of fun. Mal was a really deep alto. After the rehearsal, I drove Mal home. After a while, she spoke.

"You know, I can walk from here."
"What? That's silly. Why don't I just take you all the way to your house if it's not that much farther?"
"I like the exercise. Really."
"David, just let me out of the car."

She got out of the car and motioned for me to roll down the window.

"Tell your girlfriend I said hi."

I rolled my eyes and thought about what Mal had said. I really liked Callie, but things were so complicated in my life. I didn't know if a girlfriend was the best idea. She was a nice distraction, but I wasn't sure if she was really anything else.

At school the next day, Callie met me like she usually did.

"Hey beautiful."
"What's up?"
"Not much. Um, I'm coming to your concert on Friday."
"That's great. Hopefully the music will be good."
"I'm gonna take a date with me."

I was temporarily speechless.

"Yeah. His name is Scott, and he's really nice."
"Look, David, we never said we were exclusive. We're--"
"--just friends. I know."
"Anyway, I'm about to go meet him in the library to do some studying, so I'll see you later."

I almost couldn't believe what had just happened. She didn't break up with me because we were never dating, and she didn't end our friendship, but something ended.

Maybe Mal was right. Maybe I was just complicating things more by not making things official. Maybe I was afraid. Joy and I had broken up months ago, and I never thought that the repurcussions from the break-up would still be affecting my life this way.

I didn't want Callie to see this guy on Friday night, but what could I do? I gave her the freedom to see other people.

I just never knew freedom could be so restricting.

David Adler
Normal High School Student