Debts come in different shapes and forms
“For goodness sakes, Tina, you always liked parties, and this reunion is going to be the biggest party, at least here, since you graduated. Why, you haven’t seen but maybe two of your classmates since that night ten years ago.”
“There’s a reason. I … I need to look forward, not back. I want to make new memories, good ones. All I have of graduation are … are bad ones.”
“You surely have outgrown all that.”
“Don’t shake your head at me, Mom. That night is sheared into my brain. Don’t you care what happened?”
“Of course, I care, and I hurt for you. I also know you need to face those kids. Yes, face the kids when you face the adults they’ve become. Everyone knows the truth now, in fact did within weeks.”
“You aren’t going to let me not go, are you? You’ll nag me until I’ll wish I had.”
“If that’s what it takes. Please, honey, it’s for your sake, for your good. They all know the ‘you’ seen in public. They know you’re a success. Now face them down.”
“What choice do I have?”
At least the reunion is at the community center, not the gym. I can do this. Just one step in front of the other, just like doing down the runway, ignore the stares, go into my own world, be glamorous Trina.
“Trina Albright! Is it really you?”
“Uh, yes, I believe it’s really me.” Wish the names on the badges weren’t so small. “And you’re?”
“Carrie Austin. Come on, you remember me.”
No, no, no, not her, not the first person I see.
“Remember you? Yes, I guess I do, vaguely. How are you doing?” Tried to destroy anyone else lately?
“I’m doing all right. Of course everyone knows how well you’re doing, big name model and all. Are you sure you just ‘vaguely’ remember me?”
“Why? Why does it matter if I remember you or not?” Oh, my, she thinks she remained an important part of my life. Mom’s right. “I’m afraid I left high school behind me, and I’ve only kept up with a few close friends.”
“Trina, umm, I owe you an apology. I started that rumor. I, well, I hated you.”
“Hated me? Strange, you were the most popular girl in school. Why try to hurt me?”
“Yes, you were smart, gorgeous, and would leave here and become something. I was the one pregnant and stuck here forever. I … I wanted to see you again. I mean I’ve told other people what I did, but I needed to apologize to you. Please, forgive me.”
“Of course, Carrie, I was hurt, deeply hurt, but time soon revealed the truth. And, the people who mattered always believed in me.” And I was too dense to realize the truth myself. Thanks, Mom. “Consider your debt paid.”