I avoid most of my high school classmates. There are only a few that I both like & think are interesting enough to talk to. But recently a classmate – I’ll call her Molly – has been popping into the bar to visit me. She was one of the popular crowd in high school – prom court, cheerleading – & although we were always nice to each other, I didn’t really hang with her crowd.
So apparently she’s been through a lot & her brain is pretty destroyed. She was pretty, but I guess not that smart, & right out of high school, her rich boyfriend dumped her (probably for college). I think she simply didn’t know what else to do with herself, so she got into an escort service because it was easy with her looks.
From there she ended up in hostess bars, & I ran into her once during that phase. She was obviously living pretty high, still all smiles & happy to see me, covered with bruises. Scuttlebutt was that she’d been caught stealing money from another hostess.
A few years later I ran into her again, & didn’t recognize her because she was about 300 lbs. She’d run up to me outside a store, &, completely unfazed that I had no idea who she was, explained to me that she was on medication that caused her to gain weight. She was back at home with her parents. I remembered her mom from my junior year, lecturing me sternly about being careful around boys.
Some time after that I saw her in a Japanese hostess bar, only slightly overweight but looking very confused. I think she might have made a living off of pity drinks.
And then she walked into the place where I work last month. We chatted; she said she’d had to claim bankruptcy. She could only order water since she didn’t even have $1 to tip me; she tried to tip me a bunch of slugs, which I refused. She said she had some friends she might try to meet up with, but they always stole money from her. She looked confused & apologetic most of the time while we talked. I was determined to just treat her like an old friend.
Last week she bounced in, fresh from an alumni get together (I never go to those things), insisting that Rob & Shane & Eric & Kathy & Blaine were coming to join her, to visit me. This made no sense since I knew that Rob hates me, & Shane & Eric will just follow Rob, while Kathy & Blaine only hang out in the same places, which do not include my bar. But Molly was insistent. So I got her a table, brought her a glass of water, & sat with her when I could, but I had a handful of other customers to care for, so most of the time she sat there, looking uncomfortable.
And of course, no one showed up. A lot of our classmates are assholes (Rob… there’s a reason why he hates me lol). They may have reassured her they would show up just to get her to leave & then laughed about it afterward. She looked a bit stricken, but still managed to smile when she told me she was going to go home.
Haven’t seen her since then.
But I still have the earrings she gave me in 9th grade. I didn’t have pierced ears then so I couldn’t wear them, but I did keep them.