Hillary Goes To High School

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I look at some of the stories I’ve told about my life on this blog – and there are times I think I tell a good “beginning” and a good “ending” of stories, but I don’t tell you all the “middle” of a story for one reason or another.

So let me get back to “Hillary” who I recently discovered had passed away somewhere around 2000 or the early 2000’s. I’m unsure of how she passed exactly.

August 26, 1985 was the day my graduating class began high school – with Hillary and I both in the same Phys Ed/Health class. On the surface, that seemed to be good news – we were already good friends though we generally weren’t social past going to school, and I’d probably get to talk to her more.

As often happens as a young person gets older, the total makeup of who is a friend to you and who isn’t changes with time. Some stay with you, but others drift apart, one way or another. For some reason as 9th grade starts up, Hillary starts goofing on me and treats me like I’m some sort of joke to her. A few weeks later, she asks why I never asked her out.

Hillary was notorious in school for – ummm – short-term relationships with some boys by that point, even though she’s 14 (and could pass for 18 easy). That got me thinking I had a chance with her throughout most of late ’85 and early ’86 – and that was exactly what she wanted me to think. I even gave her flowers one day – oddly enough the day was January 28, 1986.

Kind of like how a certain structure went up in flames that day, so did my relationship with her in the time that followed. Her boyfriends were basically cover for the “side action” she was getting by cheating on them with other boys (by today’s terms, she was probably a sex addict of some sort), and by the end of that year, I wanted nothing to do with her. At best, I would have been a pawn in her game of life, as Alex Karras said as Mongo in Blazing Saddles.

Fast forward to August 25, 1986 – the start of my sophomore year. I’m begging “the school schedule gods” not to stick me in a class with her. Five classes come and go, no Hillary – so I have my hopes up like watching a pitcher throwing a no-hitter that this can be done. The bell for the sixth period Science class to start sounds, no Hillary. A few moments later, the door opens, there she is – a line drive up the middle for a base hit. No-hitter gone. She’s waving at me – I totally ignore her, probably wishing I had gone to Seminole High, which was actually closer to home than Largo was.

Our friendship deteriorates further – but you knew that already. One day, I’m on the bus heading home – and she’s on the back of a truck with about six other high school guys that I guess you could say were part of our “redneck” clique of the school. They’re more or less surrounding her in the back of the truck – and I don’t know where they are taking her. Somehow, I don’t think hog prices or Hank Williams Jr. are going to be discussed knowing Hillary’s penchant for short-term relationships – but I never ask her or them about what I suspect might have been some sort of gang-bang. It’s none of my business, and I’m trying to keep her in my rear-view mirror, if you get me.

The last time I see her in school was late 1988 – I’m a senior by now, and she would wind up dropping out of school around that time, possibly as part of a narcotics bust that hit our high school in early ’89. Oddly enough, it’s another situation that could have been sexual or might not have been – she’s in the back seat of a car with another woman, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Godspeed, Hillary. You were a character and a half.

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