A few weeks ago I attended my 35th High School Reunion from Pius X, a coed catholic high school in Downey. I spent an evening celebrating in a room where only a sprinkling of the faces were familiar. As I sat in the room smiling and exchanging small talk, I wondered why don’t I remember many of these people who I spent four years with? I watched as they laughed, embraced one another, and squealed with delight as they shared familiar stories.
I had a few close friends, none that attended the reunion. At one point in the program they called up various clubs, teams, cheerleaders, etc. for photos, I realized that I was in nothing. I did go up when they called for those who were not nominated for anything, no prom queen or homecoming court. I do recall trying out for the cheerleading squad, but I didn’t make the cut. My class had a little over 200 students, there was plenty opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. I was a member of the Umoja club, Pius’s Black Student Union, but I only recognized a few faces in that group.
What I do remember is that I was in an abusive relationship with a psychopath that no one knew about. I was a withdrawn frightened 16 year-old that was fearful of everything. A walking zombie that did just enough work to stay afloat and keep my parents happy. Fast forward 35 years, I am so different from that terrorized girl. I felt the need to return to a part of my life that should have been special, to see those classmates who had no clue who this scared girl was. I realized by going to my reunion that I went to school with some awesome people, I reget that I did not create any fond memories.
Well I’m sure my class will most likely have a 40th reunion and now that I have “met” some of my classmates, I will put on a cute dress and go again. I have to think that our earlier experiences were for a reason they created the person we are today.