In June of 2013, it will be twenty years since I graduated high school. Wow. Old. I wrote this book in my senior year for fun. It wasn’t really a prediction of what would happen to people in ten years, but a fun story of our reunion. (Even though we don’t do reunions.) Someone from my class recently reminded me of the book, as I had forgotten all about it. I found it in my garage and thought I’d post it here, one chapter per week, in celebration of our twenty year anniversary. (Seriously..so
By D.M. Wright
This was it. The reunion. Ten years later.
I took a deep breath and cleared my throat. I patted my short brown hair and checked my make-up in my compact mirror. Then, I entered the very same ballroom at Concorde Banquets where our Senior Banquet was held. Senior Banquet was our “prom” as our private high school did not promote or welcome the traditional proms that public high schools have.
I looked around and took in the sea of faces. Faces I had known for years. These people with whom I grew up and shared parts of my life. I smiled and remembered. Those times were good times. Well…mostly good.
“Belle, is that you?!” I heard a screech and turned to find Tiffany Adams hurrying towards me. I grinned and exclaimed,
“Look at you! What a cow!” She was way pregnant and her entire being filled my gaze. However, she was still the skinniest girl I have ever met, even with child.
“Shut-up!” She said and we hugged. “It’s great to see you again. How long has it been?” She put her fingers to her mouth and I saw her lower lip tremble. My eyes widened in surprise. I never took her for the sentimental type. It must be the pregnancy hormones.
“Too long.” I smiled gently and hugged her again. “When are you due?”
“Ugghhh, two weeks, can you believe it?! Although it feels like it will be any second.” She winced and put her hands on her back. “Why did our reunion have to be this year?” She rolled her eyes, “Figures!” She looked around at everyone and wiped her eyes. “Everyone has either changed so much, or not at all!” She waved to someone across the room. “Look, isn’t that Alicia Medina?”
I looked to where she pointed and nodded.
“Ugghh, she makes me sick. She hasn’t changed a bit and look at me,” Tiffany shook her head. “Oh, there’s Tom. Wait and I’ll introduce you.” She took off.
I wouldn’t have thought she’d be able to move that fast.I watched her walk up to a tall, dark-haired man. She put her hand on his arm and he smiled and kissed her forehead. He must be her husband, Tom. Tiffany really hasn’t changed either. She’s just pregnant, that’s all. She’s still the tall, skinny girl we knew and loved in high school. Light brown hair and blue eyes – she also suffered from an annoying nickname – Taffy. Tiffany and Tom walked over to me and I smiled.
“Belle, this is Tom, my husband. Tom, this is Belle. We were good friends senior year.” She smiled and wrinkled her nose.
“Hello, glad to meet you.” He smiled, too, and held out his hand.
I shook it, smiled and replied, “You, too!”
“Taffy, you chuckle-butt, I’ve been looking all over for you!”
We all turned and found Brenda Gonzales charging over. Brenda looked at me and gasped. “Hi, oh gosh, it’s good to see you!”
We hugged. “You, too, Bren!” I grinned, remembering the times when the three of us hung out at the mall.
“Bren, I left an hour ago, why did it take you that long to get out of the bathroom?” Tiffany exclaimed and hit her lightly on the arm.
“Shut-up, I wasn’t in there that long.” Brenda laughed and hit her back.
“Belle, remember whenever we went anywhere or did anything, Brenda always had to go to the bathroom? You never had to ask what time it was cause she went every five minutes!” Tiffany covered her mouth and started to laugh. We joined her.
We were going to see Encino Man and we had just sat down to eat at the Picnic in the mall. As we were silly girls, we made fun of everyone that walked by and each other.
“Tiffany, you have ketchup all over your nose!” Brenda exclaimed in a whisper.
I looked up and gasped. “Tiff, here, take my napkin!” I handed it to her and she wiped at her nose.
We started to laugh and she groaned, “Oh, I hate you guys!” She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You’re so immature.” Brenda and I just laughed at Tiffany’s gullibility.
“I’m going to go get some water.” She got up and headed down to McDonalds.
I looked at Brenda mischievously. “Let’s ditch her! We can watch her from the other side of the food court.” She agreed and we got our garbage and hurried down the stairs.
The mall was set up so that you could walk around in a big, multi-level square of shops and restaurants with bridges and stairways connecting in the middle. We went to the other side of the restaurants and watched as Tiffany got her water and headed back to our table. When she found that we weren’t there, she looked around for us, but obviously didn’t see us. The more she looked around, the more we moved around, too, so she wouldn’t see us. We were laughing so hard that it was difficult to keep an eye on where she was going. Finally, she gave up and sat down so we headed back to her. As we walked up to the table, she glanced up and gave us the finger. She was so mad, but that made us laugh even harder.
“I hate you guys so much!” She got up and hit both of us. We were kind of mean, but it was fun to tease her. And she always forgave us.
“I have to go to the bathroom!” Brenda exclaimed. We made our way through the crowd to the nearest restroom.
“Watch where you’re going!” An old man yelled at Tiffany. She must have bumped into him.
“What?! What did I do?!” She yelled back and turned around to follow him, asking him what he thought she did to him. By this time, Brenda was bent over by the railing, trying not to pee her pants as she was laughing so hard. Tiffany rejoined us and we helped get Brenda off of the floor. The night was so fun and the movie was great. I will never forget the fun times the three of us had together.
“Belle, hey, Belle, come and meet my new boyfriend!” Brenda pulled my arm and I went with her, waving apologetically over my shoulder to Tiffany and Tom.
“OK, I’m coming, take it easy!” I laughed.
“He’s so sweet and cute. You’ll just die when you see him!” I rolled my eyes and laughed again. She pulled me over to a guy with a long pony tail and ripped jeans.
“Chett, this is Belle, I told you about her, remember?” She gazed up at him lovingly.
He smiled, “Sure. Hi, Belle, how are you?”
I shook his hand and nodded, “Pretty good, and yourself?” Brenda’s taste in boys hasn’t changed much either. She gave me a sock in the arm, as if she could read my thoughts.
“Chett works for an art gallery.” Bren put her arm through his and grinned smugly.
“Oh, really? How fun! What do you do there? Are you an artist?” I asked.
“I’m the head janitor,” he replied.
Brenda grinned even wider and I didn’t know if I should laugh or not. I just nodded my head with a smile. Now what am I supposed to say?
“That’s fantastic!” I smiled some more.
“Baby, I’m thirsty. You want something?” Chett gestured toward the refreshment table.
He left and I looked at Bren. She had her dark brown, almost black hair pulled back in a barrette. Her big, brown eyes stared at me inquisitively.
“Are you two serious?” I asked.
“Well, yeah. Why else would I be going with him?” She frowned.
“Just wondering,” I shrugged. We looked at each other and laughed.
“It probably won’t last anyways. He’s too much of a free spirit. I’m sure he wouldn’t want to be tied down.” She nodded.
“That’s good.” I nodded, too. She hit me. I looked at her, startled. “What I meant to say was, that it’s good that you two aren’t rushing into anything.” I explained.
She just socked me again in the arm and laughed, “I am going to get my man and my drink. You think they spiked the punch yet?” Then she winked and headed towards Chett.
Suddenly, I heard a low voice in my ear. “Nice, black nylons.”
I rolled my eyes and then I turned around. “Hi, Larry,” I grinned at him. Back in high school, skirts or dresses were mandatory for girls as it was a private school and they could not be more than two inches above the knee. Clearly a lot of nylons and tights were worn with them. But Larry only liked black nylons on certain people in high school. I was not one of them.
I looked down at my legs and back up at him. “Thanks.”
“No, I’m serious. They look good. You have finally grown into them.” He nodded and pushed his glasses up onto his nose.
“So, what’s your story? What has happened to you in the last ten years?” I asked and looked at his hand. Ahhh, a ring!
“Well, I tied the knot about three years ago. I met her at my job. She’s the bosses’ daughter.” He laughed.
“You swine!” I snarled. He just laughed some more. I don’t know where that term started, but it was a popular thing to say in high school.
“Wanna dance?” He asked and pointed toward the dance floor.
“As long as no one will mind? We don’t need any drama tonight.”
“My wife isn’t here,” he shrugged.
“OK.” We walked out onto the floor. Then I remembered the last time we had danced together. It was at Lori Wilson’s Valentine’s Day party. That was a real blast.
“So what are you up to?” He asked as we spun around.
“About 5′ 7″ in these heels, I think. Yeah, that’s about right.” I nodded.
“Ha-ha. Very funny. You always did have lame things to say.”
“Couldn’t help it. Seeing you again just brought all the lame memories flooding back.” I cracked.
“You know, you should write a book on how to make people feel lame.”
“Now there’s an idea. I might just do that. Can I dedicate it to you?”
“Certainly. I wouldn’t have suggested it if it hadn’t been for that perk.”
“Excuse me. May I?” A tall, dark-haired man with rugged good looks and an English accent tapped Larry on the shoulder.
“Certainly. Catch you later, Belle.” He waved and walked off.
“Hello, my dear.” He put his arms around me.
I smiled gently up at him, “Eh-lo, dahling!” I mimicked his accent with a hint of cockney in my own. Then I lifted my face for a kiss.
He complied with a snort. “I hate it when you do that. Who was that fellow?” He glanced back towards Larry’s retreating figure.
“Larry Tanner. A guy from my class.” I shrugged.
“Oh, I see,” he nodded. “Have you seen a lot of people yet?”
“Only a few.” The music stopped, people applauded, and my dear husband, Charles, took me over to a table he had chosen. We sat down and he held my hands across the table.
“You are still the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Even after seeing some of the ladies from your class that you have raved about. None of them come close to your exquisite beauty.” He lifted my hands to his lips.
I snorted out a laugh. Charles winced. “It’s that right there, isn’t it? That’s the beauty there. I know it!” I puffed up with pride.
He just shook his head with a small smile. “Trust you to turn a romantic moment into a giggle fest.”
I met Charles in England and after a very, rough first impression, we fell in love. At first we hated each other but then we got acquainted and things sort of unraveled from there. I looked into his tender, brown eyes that no matter how hard he tries, could never be cold, and leaned over to kiss his cheek. Some women wouldn’t call him handsome or gorgeous, but women with sense and intelligence would see right away his noble features and rugged good looks. He has black hair and very tanned skin.
I met him while I was writing one of my murder mysteries. This one took place in an old English castle. So, of course, what better way to get the true experience than to go see one for myself. That is where I ran into this very rude and arrogant tyrant, Charles Hayward IV. His name sounds like he has loads of family money, but he actually came from a very poor family. It has been only out of hard work and smart business sense that Charles has come into his money. He is an architect and builds mansions all over the continent. That is how I ran into him; it was one of his English castles that I was visiting.
After I got to know him better, I found that behind his hard exterior was a very caring and romantic gentleman. When we were married, he took me to Crete for our honeymoon. We stayed in one of his mansions. It was the best time of my life.
I turned my hands over in his and squeezed his fingers.
“Would you like a glass of punch?” He smiled and kissed my hands again.
“All right,” he got up and went over to the refreshment table.
I was sitting there looking around at the decorations and finely dressed people, when I spotted someone I hadn’t seen in forever. (Well, at least in ten years!)
“Mary!” I cried and got up to greet her.
“Hi, Belle!” She smiled and I noticed that Kristy Kast was with her.
“Hi!” Kristy shrugged, waved and grinned all at the same time. We all hugged and started talking at once.
“How have you been?”
“Are you married?”
These were asked at the same time and then we all laughed.
“OK, you go first, Mary,” I grinned.
She sighed and smiled. “OK, how have you been?”
“Wonderful! I couldn’t be happier. And you? Are you married?” I raised my eyebrows and awaited her answer.
“Not yet, but I am engaged!” She said excitedly.
“To whom?! When’s the big day?” I grabbed her hands.
“Well, his name is Christopher and we’ll be getting married on the twentieth!” Her eyes sparkled with excitement.
“Two weeks! That’s when Tiffany said she was due! June is such a popular month. How exciting, Mary!” I smiled warmly.
“OK, Kristy, your turn.” Mary laughed.
“Where’s Charles? You’ve told me about him in your letters – I’m so curious!” She exclaimed.
“Well….” I looked around for him and back towards our table. Sure enough, he was there, looking around for me. “There he is.” I gestured towards him.
“Oh, he is very handsome. You said he is British, right?” She looked him over.
“Mmm-hmmmm. What do you think of him, Mary?” I murmured.
“Delicious.” She nodded.
I laughed out loud, “Thank you. I am sure he would be delighted to know that he has been described as delicious. Let me get him and I’ll introduce you. Just one minute.” I hurried over to him.
“Oh, there you are.” He handed me a glass of punch.
“Come meet some friends.” I grabbed his free hand and dragged him over to them and quickly made introductions.
“How do you do?” Charles nodded slightly.
I grinned and held on to his arm. “Mary is getting married in two weeks, darling,” I informed him.
“That is wonderful! Marriage is quite uplifting and gratifying.” He smiled, “At least it is for me.” He kissed my head.
I leaned back against him and smiled indulgently, “Doesn’t he say the most wonderful things?!” I teased.
Charles laughed and I turned toward Kristy. “Is that a ring on your finger?” I wiggled my eyebrows. Ever since I got married, I have been completely obsessed with marriage and asking everyone I know about theirs.
“Yeah,” she shrugged and grinned again.
“Who’s the lucky fellow?”
“It’s Brian. He’s running around here somewhere.” She glanced around for him. “Probably flirting with all the girls and fooling around with Larry.”
“Wow, did you guys last that long or find each other again?”
“We lasted this long,” she smiled. “We got married last year.”
I whistled, “Wow.”
Mary exclaimed, “Here comes Christopher. Now you can meet him.” She waved and a very tall man with blonde hair joined us.
“Hello, everyone!” He grinned. He had a nice smile with dimples and laugh lines around his eyes.
Mary linked arms with him. “This is Christopher. Chris, this is Belle and her husband Charles. And this is Kristy.” Greetings went all around and then Kristy asked where they had met.
“Well, it’s quite something, actually. I was in a car accident and was on one of my last legs. I was taken to the hospital Mary works at.” He grinned at Mary and put his arms around her. “She was one of the nurses who assisted in my operation and when I woke up, there she was with a nice, big needle to stick in my -”
Mary interrupted him, “I took care of him those days he was laid up and he just grew an attachment for me. A lot of patients do to special nurses.” She smiled.
“Yes, but mine went beyond the attachment and straight into love.” He kissed her on the cheek and we all “awed”.
“So did you get to see his insides, Mary?” I asked with interest.
Charles cleared his throat, “Really, darling.” He looked away in embarrassment but I just grinned.
“Hey, not many people can say that they’ve seen their spouse’s insides.” I laughed.
“Well, not really, sorry, Belle,” Mary laughed, too.
“That would have been a memory,” Charles murmured.
“Hi, guys! How’s it going?”
We all turned and found Brian, Kristy’s husband, in a nice suit and his size 16 shoes. I laughed out loud and Kristy rolled her eyes.
“I couldn’t believe it when he came down the stairs.” She shook her head and covered her face with her hand.
“You know I had to wear ‘em.” Brian held out his arms and took a little hop forward. “Ta-da!”
I looked at Charles as he watched Brian with wonder.
“Still the same, huh, Brian?” Mary asked with a laugh.
“Yep. Haven’t changed, and I won’t.” He glanced at Charles and then looked at him fully. “Hello, the name’s Brian Kanton.” He held out his hand.
Charles shook it. “Charles Hayward.” He nodded, “Belle’s husband.”
“Nice to meet you!” He looked at Christopher, “Hey, Mary, this your young fella, here?” He held out his hand to Chris.
“Yep, Brian, this is Chris Kringle.” Mary blushed as she aroused some laughter.
“No way!” Brian exclaimed.
“Afraid so. My mother had quite the sense of humor.” Chris said with a chuckle.
“Cool!” He looked at Kristy. “Come on, babe, I want to try their dip.” Brian waved and headed for the food.
“Brian is a cook,” Kristy explained, walking away. “Always after new recipes.”
I laughed in surprise. A cook? That took me back. It seems like it was just yesterday…..
We all had speech class senior year, except for the fortunate people who had unique schedules. We had to do a demonstration speech. Brian did his on how to make cupcakes. He got up to the teacher’s desk and set out all his ingredients and a sign that said, “Baking With – the Man in the Apron”.
He explained how to mix everything together in a bowl, although he didn’t have real eggs. He had poked a hole in one end of them and blew out the yoke so as not to break them on the way to school. Then he poured the substance into cupcake wrappers in a tin, and stuck them into the desk which had a sign that said, “this is the oven”. He pulled out already made cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles and let everyone have some. He had everyone laughing hysterically, even our teacher, Mrs. Swanson, especially at the beginning when he put on a feminine apron.
Brian always had good speeches. I was always jealous that I couldn’t do mine like his.
I shook my head back to the present in time to hear:
“Come on, Mary, let’s dance.” Chris grabbed her hand and yanked gently.
“OK, I guess we could do that.” Mary smiled at us and followed her fiance onto the dance floor.
“Interesting friends you have there,” Charles smiled and took my hand.
“They’re hilarious!” I shook my head. I wonder who I will run into next.