15 was a pretty ho-hum year for me. I was very active in church and had cut my long, long hair shorter. I actually cried when the hair dresser cut my hair off. I had a friend from school named Nadia with me that day. She followed me in the bathroom when the hair dresser was done and assured me that my hair looked great. I thought it was super cute and it looked exactly how I wanted but for some reason it was really hard to say good bye to those 7-8 inches of hair that had been cut off.
I didn’t make it a point to buy “hippy” clothes but the thrift store was my favorite place to shop. Anything that looked like it was “old” I fell in love with and had to buy. When I got older, I learned the word for my taste was vintage.
A new boy came to church and he made me feel funny in my stomach. His name was Chris and he was from Florida. His sister was married to the youth pastor. When I cut my hair, he gave me a compliment and told me he liked it. A few weeks later we were going to a movie together after church. We saw “Almost Famous” which was and still is a great movie. I had never been on a date before and even though we were there as friends, I hoped it would develop into something more. Chris was different. Really different. I had been questioning God my whole life but he was a flat out atheist. He listened to a lot of good music and was very witty. It only took about a month before I was right there with him in the pew rolling my eyes and waiting for it to be over. He went to a charter school which was right down the street from my school in downtown Dallas and sometimes we would meet up after school to wander around downtown. I had fallen pretty hard for Chris but he didn’t want anything to easy so we always remained friends. When school was released he went back to Florida to visit family for a week and never came back.
My dad had begun working again as a maintenance tech at a healthclub in town and was making pretty good money. My mom had returned back to the bank when she had returned to my father several years prior and when I was 15 she was laid off. She began substitute teaching. I had never forgiven my dad for all the hurt he had caused my family and now that he was sick my plan was just to wait till he passed away and I thought all my problems would be solved. I thought about smoking pot a lot but Chris didn’t smoke pot and I didn’t want him to think I was a loser.
Jennifer, my friend from childhood went to the same church as me. She went to summer camp that year for a week and came back boy crazy. I had a crush on Chris, this is true but he wasn’t my boyfriend and I had never been kissed before. Jennifer came back from church camp with a boyfriend and told me that he had told her he loved her. When I questioned the guy about it, he told me Jennifer was crazy and she wouldn’t leave him alone. I never told her what he had told me and she would lie to me all the time. I never knew what to believe and eventually I began to see less and less of her. She moved farther away so I only saw her at church.