Skipping Through Life
“I’ve never done this before,” I whispered to my boyfriend, our foreheads touching, sending sparks throughout my body.
“The first time can be scary but still exciting,” he whispered. I leaned against my metal high school locker. Heat rose to my face, and my heart raced.
“I don’t know. What if we get caught?” I asked. As Student Council President, I couldn’t be caught in a compromising position. I did not want to bring shame to the job.
But to be wanted! Nothing felt as intoxicating as being desired by Greg. I got tingly every time his green eyes held mine.
Could I do something so unlike the good girl, rule follower that I had been my whole life? Could I enter uncharted territory? But as the Youth Council Representative at the Lutheran Church, I had an image to uphold.
“Maybe this is not such a good idea,” I said as I looked around at the students passing by.
“I’ve done this before, lots of times, and it’s been fine,” said Greg, his voice rising above a whisper as he had his heart set on being the one to experience my first time with me. He pressed something crunchy into my hand. “You hold onto this.”
I shoved it in my pocket, my eyes darting around, making sure no one saw.
My dad was a Physical Science teacher at my high school. What if he found out? I scrunched my nose and looked away from Greg. I sighed. But perhaps I was growing up? Perhaps I should try wearing the clothes of a bad girl? What would it be like to break the rules? Would it be exhilarating? Would it be terrifying? Would I instantly become popular?
Or would this be a gateway bad experience, and I would start doing other bad things? What if my whole life changed because of this one wrong choice?
I gulped loudly.
But, look at Greg’s eyes! They stared at me, willing me to say yes. His lips curled up into a sexy smile. How can I disappoint that face?!
I inhaled deeply.
“Okay, I’ll meet you at the gym door at 12:00,” I said.
He squeezed my hands and winked at me as he turned and walked away.
As I headed to class, I felt different. But I also felt nauseous. What if I did it wrong? What if I said the wrong thing and ruined the whole experience? I shook the thoughts out of my head as a group of cheerleaders walked by, giggling and scanning the hallway to see how many people were looking at them. They giggled louder to draw more attention.
I frowned. I didn’t want to be like those bad girls. But I could do this.
I watched the clock all morning, and when lunch rolled around, I headed for the gym door.
I walked confidently with my head held high. My body vibrated.
I saw Greg waiting beside the door, and I walked faster, my blood rushing throughout my body. I thought about what I would say if someone stopped me, fingering the paper in my pocket, but no one did.
As I approached Greg, a huge smile filled his face, and I returned the look. I jumped into his arms.
“This will be so good for you, Amy,” said Greg. “Your first-time skipping school. You’re such a rule breaker!”
He slung his arm around my shoulders and walked us to his rusty Dodge Dart.
As I flung myself into his car, I yelled, “I did it! I’m leaving school and going to lunch! And I didn’t even need the fake hall pass you got for me. My god, this is so exciting!”
Greg looked at me with a twisted smile, “You need to get out more, Amy. It’s just a quick lunch. No risk at all.”
We ate lunch at a local restaurant, the Buckboard because it was divey enough to hide our evil rule-breaking ways. Just as we paid the bill, Mrs. Nelson walked in. I tried to hide from the Woodshop teacher’s wife, but no luck.
“Well, hello, Greg and Amy,” she said. “What brings you to the Buckboard on a school day?”
My whole body started to shake, and my eyes opened wide. Before I could say something stupid, Greg said, “We’re planning the senior banquet. On our way back now.”
“Okay, bye,” she said without believing a word we said.
I could barely breathe as I ran to the car. Greg sauntered over, “What are they going to do? What’s the worst thing, Amy?”
“I could get impeached as Student Council President.”
“That might be a plus.”
“Very funny! Drive faster.”
We snuck back into school just in time for the fifth period as if nothing was wrong.
After school, I took the bus home, surprised nothing had happened. No one said anything. I couldn’t believe it. But my relief was short-lived.
Around dinner time, the phone rang. I watched my dad’s face as he talked. His eyes darted to me, and he said, “Interesting. Thanks for letting me know, Mrs. Nelson.”
Rats! Living in a small town sucked. After a lecture from my dad and my mom, also a teacher, they wrote a note for me to give to my counselor.
Dear Mr. Gunderson,
We are so, so terribly sorry for the choice Amy made to skip school. She is also terribly sorry and will never, ever do something like that again. If you need her to stay in detention for a few days or a few weeks, that is just fine. Sorry that she did that, and it won’t happen again.
Mr. and Mrs. Strommer
The next day, I handed the note to my counselor. He smirked and then pinned the note to his bulletin board.
He swiveled in his chair and said, “That note should be punishment enough. I’ll keep that up for the rest of the year.”
I decided that breaking the rules was not for me, and I returned to my good girl, rule-following ways for the rest of high school. But in college? That’s another story for another day.
This story was originally published in The Memoirist.