It all starts with my friends…or, at least of how I think of them in my head. The thing is, they don’t know I exist. We’ve never truly spoken; if they’ve spoken to me, they don’t remember. I see them all the time, every day, and they see me too…but I don’t know if they really see me.
But it’s in these people where my story lies. If you were to focus on any of the 250 students, it would be them.
The first person I met at school three years ago was a younger student, a freshman. Her body language was striking: it was confident, headstrong, almost standoffish…but it was also elegant, poised and graceful. I could tell she wasn’t dependent on anyone or anything; she had grown into a willful young woman who didn’t need anyone but herself. Not to say she prefers to be on her own, but she would certainly survive if she was. Her beauty is mature and distinctive in our small institution. But the best part about her? Her personality. She’s coarse, yet playful; strong, yet supportive; and most of all, she’s apathetic, yet passionate when it comes to her family and friends. From that day forward, I never forgot Anne Carey.
A couple of weeks later, I noticed she had settled in with her friends. Among them was one of the most interesting cases I had ever seen. He was extremely tall, towering over everyone else, and quite wide, if you know what I mean. The guy was almost oppressive, until you really got close to him. The first thing I noticed when I saw him with Anne was what he was wearing, which was nothing alike to the other boys in his class. It was personal expression, an audible statement screaming ‘I don’t care about you or what you think of me.’ His demeanor was soft, yet extremely outspoken. If I could say one thing about Ian Davis’s personality, it would be over-the-top. Everything is intensified with him. Yet, he isn’t truly silly. Affectionate, loyal, and assertive, I could tell Ian felt good about his friends and his life, but I wasn’t so sure if he loved himself. Sure, the other boys judged him for his feminine outlandishness, but that’s not what troubled him. It was something deep inside, something I couldn’t figure out right away. But I could tell he would die for Annie, and that was enough for me.
How could I forget? By winter time, Ian had started bringing around another girl when he sat with Annie at lunch. I took notice immediately. From what I heard, the other girl was quite the socialite, but you wouldn’t guess at first glance. She is extremely shy and self-composed when others are around, but I know for a fact that there is much more to her. Like Annie, she’s headstrong in her own way, but, alike to Ian, I think she feels validated by her friends. It’s too bad, because over the years there was many times for her to shine in her own light, regardless of her friends. The greatest thing about her? Despite her wealthy background, Talia Herrera doesn’t look in the mirror and see perfection; she takes herself as she is, a good person, and nothing more. Which is ironic, for her olive skin and auburn tresses take your breath away. Despite everything that she has going for her, Talia doesn’t take anything for granted, especially her friends. Especially Annie and Ian.
To be honest, I’m captivated by the three of them. Not because they are the most popular, or because they throw the sickest parties, or they have loads of cash, no. I am in awe of their relationship. Through the years, they have stuck together despite the ever changing social climate of the small institution we call home.
If you’re looking for the kids who are the Kings and Queens of the social chain, then it would be more than just Annie, Ian and Talia. Don’t get me wrong, my friends are sociable, but I don’t think they control the social climate around here. And that’s why I love them, you see, because they are independent of what is going on around them.
If you don’t remember anything else, just remember these three. They are my first lesson – never try to control those around you. Because if you are powerful enough, things come naturally. As you’ll come to understand, sociality, like climate, can never be contained and manipulated.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. You’ll see soon enough.