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My Precious Secret

It’s 1991. The high school halls are filled with familiar faces. The smell of paper, bad personal hygiene, and bubble gum fills the air. “Tonia!! Hey! Want to go over to Fort Missoula and have a smoke?” How can I turn down this exciting offer? Class starts in 15 minutes, we gotta make this quick. We sit, smoke and talk about how big of rebels we are by getting away with it. We head back and she asks if she can come over tomorrow. I’d have to ask my mom.

The next day the same conversation only this time she asks if it’s OK to come over after school. “I asked last night. She said that it would be fine just as long as we worked on some homework before doing anything else.” After the last bell rings for the day we giggle with excitement, grab our stuff and hitch a ride on the bus to my house. Mom comes home later. Finally! I’m starving! We excitedly rush down the stairs together laughing all the way. Mom opens the door before we reach the bottom she looks at my friend, then looks at me with fury. Laughter ceases. What is it this time? “I told you NO ONE was allowed in the house while I was gone,” she yells while pointing her finger in my face. “Mom, we talked about..” “DON’T tell me! I make the fucking rules. Your friend, GONE! NOW!” Could she really say the word “friend” any more sarcastic? I’m mortified that she would not only embarrass me but make my friend feel awkward and uncomfortable as well. God knows what she is going to tell her mom about my dysfunction.

I say goodbye to my friend and start to head back upstairs to sulk and be pissed at the world. Mom yells before I reach the top, “You better get your chores done, NOW!” “Mom, I did them.” “Really? Let’s take another look! I see this…and this..” I think sometimes she forgets I’m 15…..or human.

The house is quiet and dark. Finally everyone is in bed. A big bowl of ice cream sounds so…comforting right now. Just me and that ice cream. I go downstairs quickly and quietly. I open the freezer and staring back at me is this beautiful generic brand strawberry ice cream. “Forget the bowl, Tonia,” it whispers seductively. I grab it and rush to the spoon drawer snatching the biggest spoon I could find. I head upstairs to my room. Peace and excitement surrounds me. My secret. No one will need to know….

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