Novel in Progress 2

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The high school experience can make or break a person. While many people go through the four years developing their personality and maturing their character, many people leave high school with fond memories or debilitating depression over who they were, what they did, the things they accomplished or didn’t accomplish. High School can be the defining thing in a person’s life – they can move onward and try to overcome who they were, or they can hang on for dear life, trying to recapture the person they were for the rest of their lives.

When I was a teen, I attended a church that ran a very small private school. There were a group of about 20 teenagers, some members of the church and some not. Some of the most dramatic events I’ve seen in my life unfolded in that small group of teens, and some are still left reeling, 13 years later.

Although I did not attend the school, I was involved with the students either through church or through family members that dated students. I ended up dating one of the students myself, although he had already graduated – like many, he stayed close and was very involved with the students of the school and young members of the church. He became the father of my child. This, and other relationships within my family, has kept me involved in this group of teens up until today. One of those girls has become one of my friends now, although she was too young then to get to know.

A small school is bound to have drama. But this school, and this group of teens, was a different story. In my life, I have never known a group so malicious, so hypocritical, so depressing, so incestuous. It was mostly girls, and they all took turns fighting over the same boy, going to amazing lengths to outwit each other, to guarantee a relationship with the boy. Even if it meant that they had to date his friends, they somehow wormed their way into his life. They betrayed each other, they spread vicious rumors about each other, they used extreme measures to destroy their friendships over this boy. This boy was a catch, definitely – he’s a member of my family, so I may be a bit impartial.

What I found fascinating is not that the girls were so desperate to be with him, but what they did to each other because of their desire to be with him.

I’ve decided to write a book about it. I will still be working on my memoirs, but this new concept is going to be my focus. As one of the girls is a friend of mine now, she is going to co-write the book with me. I don’t know how much I can count on her to write, as she is just starting a new career and planning a wedding…but she’s already given me a lot of insight into things that happened that I didn’t see during my time at that church – namely, how close these girls were before they all set their sights on this boy. As she is the one who ultimately ended up with the “catch” and has since ended the relationship, she deserves credit for knowing the full story – things I didn’t see.

It will be fiction, and I will have so much fun creating new story lines within this larger picture. I’m excited.

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