This year marks fifteen years since I completed my first year of year twelve. When I think about it I can’t believe how old I am and how much has happened over the last fifteen years. Then again, I also feel exactly the same as I did when I finished year twelve. Happy but completely unsure as to who I was and what I was going to do with my life.
Over the last few years I am sure you can remember my recollections of school and how I couldn’t relate to my peers. It never felt like I was accepted by them and I always had to try to keep up with them.
Thinking about school has actually made me quite sad and while I try to keep a lot from you all I really feel like sharing one part with you today. Something that happened in my last year of school and I guess happened to everyone in my year.
My best friend passed away.
I’m not going to share with you how it happened but I will say that it was unexpected and a real shock to us all.
When I transferred to my new school in year nine I found it really hard to fit in even though I moved to school with a couple of people from my old school. You would think we would have stuck together, you know…strength in numbers and all. But that wasn’t the case. The other newbies seemed to fit in pretty quickly and I felt like I was on the outer.
Then I met Stephanie.
She had a dark complexion, wore glasses and had uncontrollable dark brown curly hair.
Around the age of fourteen I wore a back brace that was quite restrictive and I was very self-conscious about it. One day during lunch break I quickly walked down a set of stairs because I was avoiding a boy I had a crush on. Of course I tripped on something and the next thing I knew I was flying across the oval, right past that boy. I was mortified and I could have died then and there but there was Steph. And she didn’t laugh. She took me to a room where she looked after me and made me feel better.
On weekends I would spend the night at Steph’s. I cant recall the reason why I didn’t go to the parties. Yes, I had a social phobia and I was sure I was going to be ignored by everyone and so I would prevent this from happening. Then again, I could have been completely wrong and it was all in my head.
Anyway, instead of going to our peers’ parties we would lounge on her couches eating Chinese take away and watch blue’s brothers and Clue. She was like my safety blanket on the weekends and it was my escape from the real world. Looking back at it now, maybe I was hers too. She had drifted from her friends and she didn’t really have anyone else.
We were inseparable, so much so that we called each other hubby and wife and some of our classmates also called us that. She was there for me during those years when I was lost and insecure and I did try to be there during those days when she struggled or just needed a laugh.
It’s been nearly fifteen years since I last saw her and she is still a part of my life.