UGHHH!!! I am so. so. so. not looking forward to posting this. Like, I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop specifically because I didn’t want the energy lingering in the house from this post. Well, that, and our internet is down. But I totes could have written it on a text doc and just posted elsewhere, but again, I didn’t want that energy lingering.
This story is old for me, but something that very literally gave me my balls to the wall mentality. I have very literally seen it. been there. and done that. in regards to a lot of things in life. Albeit, I am humbled and grateful for what the future holds, the past was definiteeelllyyy interesting.
All that being said – here is part one, and part two. Part three though, is where shit gets real.
K … so Amber was totally my sister from a different mister. She broke me out of my shell, and she gave me this identity that I had searched for my entire scholastic career. However, our obsession with each other hit a tipping point my junior year of high school and I knew knew knew I needed to break away, but I had no idea where to even begin.
Enter summer school … and enter Sarah. Sarah and I didn’t have an obsession with each other … at all … she was just cool. Really liked the chick. She was a lot like Amber, but different at the same time. She equally had an interesting family life to say the least, but I viewed Sarah as my ticket to sort of wean off of Amber.
The only problem with this scenario is that Amber was like a part of my family. My parents called her their adopted daughter, and coming from someone who’s own parents were going through a VERY nasty divorce, it presented variables that I did not anticipate.
I’m very much like a mother hen. I’ve always been a bit of a caretaker, and even in high school I just made sure they were okay, doing their homework – whatevs. They didn’t have the home life that I did – they didn’t have the parents that I had, or even someone who cared. These girls would stay out so late and I ALWAYS had a strict curfew. I don’t want to say that their parents didn’t care, but were pre-occupied with their own issues if you will.
That being said, that summer in summer school was GREAT. Not only did I have a bitchiiinnnn average, but I got to be friends with Sarah and some of her crew and break away from Amber.
There was this other girl in school with us named Valerie – and Valerie and Sarah went way back to, well – I don’t know what to – but they knew each other for a while. We were kinda like the three musketeers in that class. I pretty much had all of the answers to whatever question or test we had to take, and they introduced me to their friends and their social circle (which was surprisingly huge for being in summer school).
Tangent: AHHHHHHHH OMG you guys, my body is like RESISTING telling this story hardcore. I very literally want to JUMP OUT OF MY SKIN right now!!! UGH!!!! Fuck man, it’s not even like this is painful for me anymore, but it’s just something I laid to rest almost a decade ago. It’s so hard to revisit because it’s just so draining. But I can’t not talk about it since this is my reality right now with going back to Connecticut in just a couple weeks. FMLLLLLL!!! I love you all, but fuck, this isn’t easy. Alrite – gimme a song. That’ll make it better.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
There we go. I feel so over my head right now writing this story it’s not even funny. No like literally – it’s not funny at all. This isn’t an attempt to be witty. Tangent over.
That summer was great. Very literally I felt like the queen of summer school, and coming from someone who wasn’t even the queen of the uncool in school – was pretty effing rad. Nice icing on the cake before the end of my scholastic career.
Summer turned to fall, and it was time for everyone to go back to school … except of course me, because I finished early. Again though, because I didn’t walk with 2001, I was still technically enrolled with my class of 2002, and could attend all senior activities and my own graduation the following June.
I busied myself that fall working full time saving money to move to NYC. Well, not full time exactly – two part time jobs … one was working as a barista at Starbucks in Bishops Corner in the morning, and at night teaching classes and working reception at the local modeling agency – which btw, Amber introduced me to.
Low and behold, sometime during their senior year – Amber and Sarah became friends. My definition of my worst nightmare. Sarah was supposed to be my ticket to be able to escape Amber’s hold, the fact that these two were becoming friends was just … devastating.
See, Sarah became a cheerleader either that year, or the year before, ANNDD one of Amber’s friends, let’s call her, Mandy, was a cheerleader as well (captain I believe). So, not only did Amber and Sarah have me as a mutual friend, they also had Mandy. I knew Mandy as well having been a cheerleader myself for .25 seconds.
Tangent: Yeah that was a nightmare. I’m not a team player in that regard; I can’t be on a team with people that suck – I’m sorry. Our cheerleaders sucked, man – and I just wasn’t feeling a minute of it. I just wanted to wear the skirt and sincerely fulfill my dream of being Kelly Kapowski.
Prior to Sarah and Mandy hanging out, Amber, Mandy and I used to kick it. We never really got along though, and never ever hung out just the two of us. Our personalities were just very different. Not mad at the girl, but whatever.
Either way, that year Amber, Mandy, and Sarah totes became besties. FMMMLLLLLL I thought. Damnit, now I’m screwed.
I had opened up to Sarah as well about my hesitations about my relationship with Amber. I explained to her that I thought it was borderline an obsession and that I played a major role in it as well – but we had take a break if you will. I HAD to develop my own identity, I just didn’t know what to do.
She said she had no idea as well, but was a welcomed shoulder to all of my frustration.
How can you love someone but recognize at the same time that the friendship has grown in an unhealthy manner?
What do you do?
I felt so lost. My parents didn’t know what to do – Sarah was literally the only person in the world that I thought could understand. She knew that Amber was a great person too, but offered as much guidance as she could to my problem.
I thanked her profusely, and we continued to bond more over the coming months.
Flash forward to October of 2001 – aka one of the worst months of my life.
I got a call that first weekend of the month from Sarah asking for a ride from this party. See, even if I didn’t go to a party I always offered for my friends to call me at any hour for a ride just so they wouldn’t have to drive drunk. I had the car, and the understanding parents who offered to do the same for me, it was the least I could do. They had never offered to take me up on it, until that night.
Sarah and Mandy had been at a cheerleading party, and I guess they started drinking or whatever – but either way, Sarah called me on someone’s house phone, and then oddly enough started grilling me about Amber. I very honestly don’t remember how it started to play out – but she said, something along the lines of, so have you managed the Amber situation any better?
I told her that I hadn’t, but was looking forward to just working and keeping my distance from her as much as possible.
Oh really, Sarah replies.
Is it really that bad?
You have no idea, I lamented.
I hung up the phone, prepared to get in my car to pick up Sarah – and two seconds later the phone rang back (these are all land lines mind you) – it was Mandy.
Hey, we don’t need the ride, we’re cool, just gonna crash here.
Okay, I thought. Whatevs. I’m super tired so I’m grateful … just promise me you’re not going to drive?
I hung up the phone and went to sleep. Little did I know that that night was going to be the last night I would have a good night sleep for a few years.
October 8, 2001. I was off that day from both jobs, for whatever reason – and my mom just happened to be working from home that day as well.
Sometime in the afternoon (presumably after school), the house phone rang.
I look down at caller ID, it’s Amber.
AHHHH fml. I’m too tired – I’ll talk to her later. I let it go to the answering machine.
My pager starts beeping. 911. 911. 911.
911? Ah fuck, alrite.
I pick up the house phone and call Amber back.
Sorry, I was in the bathroom, what’s up?
How dare you.
How dare me?
I heard what you said, you fucking bitch.
I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID TO SARAH!! I WAS LISTENING ON THE PHONE!! She screamed into my ear.
My heart starts pounding.
I sit up from the couch a bit shocked, and feeling so unbelievably betrayed.
My heart sinks.
Amber, it’s not what you think.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S NOT WHAT I THINK? WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? I CREATED YOU! YOU ARE SUCH A FUCKING BITCH AND I AM GOING TO FUCK YOUR SHIT UP!
I slammed down the cordless phone fearing that somehow her anger could reach through it.
Dudes, in my 26 years on this Earth, I have never heard someone so angry.
She calls back.
I race out of the library and RUNNNNN down the bedroom wing screaming into my mom’s office – DO NOT ANSWER THE PHONE!! DO NOT ANSWER THE PHONE!!
The machine picks up.
Hi, you have reached the Friel residence …
She calls back.
Mom, whatever you do, do NOT answer the phone.
My mom starts to panic, what is going on Jennifer? What did you do?
I told my mom not to worry, that Amber and I were finally having it out, but I had to let her calm down.
The machine picks up.
Hi, you have reached the Friel residence …
She calls back.
This went on for about 15 minutes.
Jennifer, you have got to stop this – I have to get back to work. I apologize and offer to unplug the office phone.
I go back into the library attempting to calm down as I was literally shaking. I turn back on the TV and start sobbing, how could Sarah do something like that to me? I don’t understand how she could betray my trust! Amber was listening the ENTIRE time?!?! What?!?!!?
A couple of minutes go by, the phone stops ringing.
… too much silence.
I start to hear the bass from a car. I LEAP up, oh no … oh no …
The bass gets closer and closer – I look up out the window just above the couch.
Alrite, I gotta take a break, my OWN heart is currently pounding. Things get obviously more intense from here. Exactly 27 days later Amber, Valerie, and Sarah were all arrested.
YUPPPP!!! This is happening.
Thanks again everyone for reading these series of posts, btw. I greatly appreciate it. Again though, because I am posting this on Facebook – if we did go to high school together, please do not comment including anyones real name. Obviously I have changed them in this story – I am not looking to air out their dirty laundry, just be very frank with an experience that shaped my life.
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