I have moved from place to place my entire life; I have never been able to call one place “home”. When people ask me the question ‘where are you from’? I typically don’t have an answer for them; I have to go into a big explanation of the millions of towns and states we have lived in. So far, our final destination has been a small town in a small state (I won’t give up that location because I have yet to decide whether to publish this anonymously and I would rather not hurt people).

I will however, give you a basic description of my current residence. Wide stretches of beautiful mountains, lush forests in every direction you look. The streets are clean; the air is pollutant free and fresh. Everyone knows everyone! You may not know everyone, but everyone else knows you, especially me. I am pretty well known around here, I guess you could call me “infamous”.

I was born in Washington D.C. and my father has always resided there so I have always considered myself a city girl. I walk into traffic, I am stubborn and selfish and I always know where I am and at least three ways to find my way home. I am well rounded culturally and enjoy the luxuries a big city has to offer. The smell of sweaty people, subway steam, and car exhaust may be nauseating to most but it sets my mind at ease and grounds me.

We moved to a small town before we moved to the even smaller town I now reside in. I was in first grade when we moved to that first small town and made a bunch of great friends. I finally felt I had a place in the world; we stayed there until I was in 6th grade. When my mother informed me we were moving I was devastated! When you’re in middle school your entire life revolves around friends, boyfriends, and social life! I was also raised in the era before texting and I had formed a great group of friends and we had three way calls every night! I couldn’t move now! I was at the top of my popularity game. Men wanted me and bitches feared me! I was the middle school Regina George.

I was determined to find my way back to that small town. I told all of my friends I would never associate with the smaller town kids! I refused to do homework or participate in class. And I had a perpetual stomach ache and spent quite a lot of time in the nurse’s office. I figured if I failed out and made zero friends my mother would realize this new school was obviously full of inadequate teachers and moron children!

Every day after school I would devise my runaway plan. The class trip to Cape Cod at my old school was coming up; this trip was what you look forward to the entire time you were in school there! It was like once you were a 6th grader you were a god and Cape Cod was Mount Olympus. Well they were refusing to let me attend said Cape Cod Trip because I no longer attended that school. That’s where my runaway plan came in handy. Basically it went something like this. I would take a train or taxi to Cape Cod and just join the group, no one would notice I had joined obviously and then after I had my beach fun I would head back to one of my friend’s house and secretly live there until I was 18 and could make own decisions. If all else failed I would take a train or plane to DC and live with papa polo until then! Foolproof!

Unfortunately, my mother intercepted one of my notes to my friends describing my plan and grounded me until I turned 18 and put me into counseling at school. Seriously though I make this sound like all fun and tomfoolery but I was sinking into a deep depression and was beginning to develop a very serious panic disorder which would change my life drastically.

I never had any problems in my old school paying attention or sitting through class. Okay, well I had problems paying attention; my friends and I used sign language to talk to each other during class. Again, this was before texting when people actually had face to face, or hand to hand conversations. When I got to my new school I noticed I began to have problems sitting through class, I was sweating and panicking and finding myself short of breath. I wouldn’t figure out until I was 20 years old that I had developed a severe panic disorder. This panic disorder would strike during every class I sat through. It was awful, I avoided going to class and tried to stay home quite often.

Being the popular friend making machine I was I made friends quickly. Little did I know, they were the “weird” kids. I have found in every school I have been to that the “weird” kids are often the easiest people to make friends with and no not because they are desperate for friends but because they are the most genuine. All of those “popular” kids in your school that everyone is so keen to get in with are typically very shallow and are the first to sell you out or back stab you. I made friends with some of the “cool” kids though and had found myself drifting between many groups of people.

I was pretty shy through middle school because I was extremely unhappy there. My mother had moved me to a new strange place filled with small headed country people. It was a very unwelcoming environment and caused me to have many psychological issues. I didn’t find myself breaking out of my shell and leaving my other school behind until the end of 7th grade and the beginning of 8th.

In 7th grade English class there was a boy who sat behind me, his name was SP. SP was a “cool” guy and he had a lot of girlfriends. He was tall, blonde and had a chin the size of a large cardboard box, he was pretty well known for his square chin. A lot of girls found him to be good looking, I never saw that. I thought he was tall and goofy and he kicked his legs out in front of him when he walked, like a horse. He lived down the road from me and we took the same bus. We never talked but every day I sat down I often found me glaring at him as I turned to face the board.

One day we finally spoke. I had terrible acne on my back and I was extremely self-conscience about it, I never wore shirts that would reveal any of it. I made sure to cover it constantly. Well I must have uncovered some while removing my sweatshirt in class because he tapped me on the shoulder and said “What is that on your back?” I said, “Acne” in the nastiest voice I could muster while meanwhile I was dying inside and wanted to crawl into a corner and die. He ended our only conversation with an “ew” and I turned around and refused to look at him ever again.

A year later, in eighth grade, on our bus ride home, I sat with my friend Rachel in the front and discussed the day’s activities and what we would do when we got home. Her mom was the bus driver so even though she lived two towns away she was allowed to ride home with me whenever she wanted. SP and his crew of “cool” kids sat in the back laughing and picking on all of the kids up front. I despised everything about him, his laugh, his voice, his stupid giant chin. A few days before on the bus ride home, he was listening to his cd player and a few kids asked him what he was listening to and he replied “oh just some ‘TWO PACK’” in his cockiest voice. Everyone cracked up! “What! What?” he said confused. “You mean ‘Tupac’”? His friend replied. God what an idiot he was!

Rachel and I descended the bus steps and started heading towards my house. SP got off with his friends last and headed in the opposite direction whispering and laughing to each other. “Sarah stop!” I turned to see him calling to me. It took every fiber of my being not to scream in his face in front of everyone. “What?” I said as calmly as I could. “Um, could we talk over here alone?” I followed him over to a tree off to the side. He had his hands in his pockets and looked a little nervous. “Will, you uh um, will you go out with me?” he stammered. “What?! Are you kidding?” I laughed back and walked away. I didn’t turn back and I held my breath until I reached Rachel again.

When I told her what he had said she looked incredulous. I felt the same way inside. I had never felt so confused in my life, I thought he hated me or was at least disgusted by my awful back acne! I just decided to brush it off and not discuss or think about it ever again.

Not thinking about it didn’t last very long because a few hours later he called me and asked me if I had an answer for him. I immediately asked Rachel what to do! He had a lot of girlfriends and was always in relationship. He was a serial dater, but perhaps this was my way into getting a real boyfriend in this new town! I told him yes, and I decided I would break up with him in a week after I got the school and him talking about how great I was!

As a middle school girl this is about the most exciting thing to happen to you! A brand new boyfriend who was in the eyes of everyone at school “cool”! We would hold hands and maybe kiss! I should probably tell you now that I had only ever kissed a boy before. My first boyfriend had taken my first kiss on our old school playground because my “best friend” at the time said we had to! Little did I know she was kissing him the whole time behind my back and was really just trying to ruin my relationship.

I didn’t really know how to do this whole boyfriend thing and I was definitely nervous, especially since SP and I had hated each other up until this point. I wasn’t sure how we were going to get past that?


Our hatred for each other quickly went away and we found ourselves smitten with each other. The very next day after he asked me out we sat on the bus together on our way to school and talked and got to know each other. At our school each grade was separated into two separate “teams” that just determined which side of the hallway you were on. We were on separate teams in eighth grade so when we got to school that day we had our very first awkward kiss in front of the entire eighth grade and went our separate ways.

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