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When did it all go Wrong?
“When did it all go wrong?” That’s the question that I’ve been trying to answer since I woke up this morning, or maybe it was when I fell asleep last night. Everything’s been such a blur ever since my world came crashing down.
If you asked me when the whole thing began I’d tell you that it was the night of homecoming. I had gone to Lizzie’s house to get ready and we were having a great time. There was music blasting out of her speakers and makeup scattered all over the floor. Liz’s parents were out to dinner and a movie so we had the house to ourselves. Once we were all dressed up and ready to go we hopped into her dad’s red Audi convertible and headed for school. Maybe it was all the sugar we had eaten before leaving combined with Lizzie’s not so smooth driving or maybe it was butterflies, but my stomach was feeling unsettled the whole way to there. I used to not believe in omens and all that nonsense but after that night I’ve realized that maybe I should. Whatever it was I was not going to let it stop me from having the best night of my life. It was the start of a new school year at a new school, and most importantly the start of a new me.
Up until 3 months ago I had been living in Milan with my aunt and uncle. Both my parents are research scientists and travel way too much for me to make it through the year without being uprooted at least 5 times. I had lived with Jenny and Daniel ever since I was 3 years old, they were the closest things to parental figures I’d ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love Dan and Jen and Italy is incredible but after a while I got tired of having to explain that they aren’t my parents and that I hadn’t seen my real parents since two Christmases ago. Lucky for me, at the end of last school year my parents decided they were tired of the life they were living and we moved to California. In Milan I was always self-conscious and embarrassed to be American. I mean who wouldn’t be a little intimidated by all the stick thin beautiful girls and practically model guys. When we arrived in San Francisco I realized that maybe being different isn’t such a bad thing. Everyone at my new school was super impressed with my Italian designer clothing and I was free to become who ever I wanted to be.
When we pulled into the driveway at school I was super pumped. Everybody looked amazing and I could hear the music through the closed doors. I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way. Liz and I walked inside and started looking for Kate and Tara. It wasn’t too hard to find them. As usual Tara looked like she had gone through the entire mall looking for the brightest colors she could find and then somehow made them brighter. Once the “Glam Clan” was reunited we headed for the dance floor. My favorite song was playing and as my dad would say,“I was ready to rock n’ roll”. For the first hour or so everything was fine, my stomach had settled and we were having a great time. What’s even better, Peter, the boy I had been crushing on since the moment I laid eyes on him kept looking my way and even came over and talked to me at one point.
When a slow song came on and Peter asked me to dance I could barely contain myself. It was everything I had dreamed of and more. His hands felt secure on my waist and when my head fell against his big, strong chest he kissed my forehead lightly and then took my chin and tilted my head back ever so gently so that I was looking into his deep blue eyes. Then he smiled that oh so sweet smile that made my heart melt and said, “I’ve wanted to tell you since the day you arrived, you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen”. I felt like I was dreaming, how could he be so perfect? We were inseparable the rest of the evening. I even told Liz that I didn’t need a ride home and that Peter would take me.
That was my first mistake. How could I be so stupid? I knew from past experience that it is never a good idea to trust someone after just one date, and this wasn’t even a date! I guess that’s what love (or what I thought was love) does to you. When we got into Peter’s Land Rover we were still holding hands. I had forgotten what it felt like to let go. I was so distanced from reality that it didn’t even strike me as odd when he didn’t ask where I lived. I just figured that he knew or that I had told him at some point and just forgotten. The weird thing is that I didn’t even say anything when we pulled out of the school parking lot and headed in the opposite direction from my house.
After about 20 minutes of driving around on empty streets we arrived at the park gates. By this point I was getting a bit concerned. Who goes to a park at 12 o’clock at night? But I was still too happy to care and told myself that Peter had something romantic planned. Boy was I wrong. He hopped out of the car and went to open the trunk. I had been hoping that he would be a gentleman and open my door, but he didn’t. Whatever, I didn’t mind. I’m a strong and independent woman who opens doors for herself. When I got out of the car I saw that we weren’t the only ones in the park. In the distance I saw two dark figures. By this time Peter had a paper bag in his hand and was walking over to the other two people. Not knowing what awaited me I decided to follow.
There was mistake number two. By this point I had begun to realize something was up. I mean DUH! How couldn’t there be something up given we were in a park in the middle of the night with two other people who I still hadn’t identified and a mysterious paper bag. But I chose to ignore the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach for the second time that night. I followed Peter over to the bench where the two people sat. When we got closer I realized that they were John and Eric, Peter’s best friends. I should have guessed, Peter never goes anywhere without them. At first we all just hung out and talked. It wasn’t the romantic moonlit stroll I had been imagined, but it wasn’t bad either. Later on, once the last of the lights in the apartment building across the street turned off I found out what was in the bag.
In the darkness of the night Peter began to unfold the top of the bag. To my surprise there were eight bottles of champagne and a pack of cigarettes in the bag. Not once had I suspected that my beloved Peter was the sort to break the law. Sure in Italy we drank every weekend, and I can’t say I’ve never smoked a cigarette before, but even I who has been in this country for less than 6 months know that things are different here. If the police catch you with a bottle in your hand while you’re underage you’re done for. What I didn’t notice was that Eric and John both had bags at their feet as well that had yet to be opened. I’m not sure Peter noticed either. Not wanting to be the joy killer I didn’t say anything and just smiled and drank along with everyone else.
There it was my third and final mistake. I gave into peer pressure and drank until I was drunk. I’m not proud of it, but I did. Sometime between the fifth and sixth bottle everything melted together and there is still a part of the night that I can’t remember. Next thing I knew there was a light being shone in my face and a police officer saying something about being under arrest for possession of illegal substances as well as underage drinking. The drinking made sense, I knew we had screwed up there, but drugs? I had no clue what he was talking about. I looked around and saw that Eric and John were nowhere to be found and Peter was a few meters away being handcuffed by another officer. I tried to tell the officer that I had no idea what he was talking about when he said that we were “under arrest for the possession of illegal substances” but my speech came out slurred which obviously didn’t do much for my credibility. We were shoved into the back of the police car and off we went down to the station.
So here I am sitting in in a concrete prison cell next to the person I despise in the entire world. It’s been explained to us that the bags by John and Eric’s feet were full of marijuana and cocaine and that because we were the only ones around when the police arrived we are being held responsible. I was right, homecoming was the start of a new me, just not the one I was expecting. Of all the records I’ve ever wanted to hold, police was never one of them. It all makes sense now; everything went wrong when I trusted a boy.