What ever happened to you, Sherri Holmes?
I haven’t seen you since…what…the 7th grade? About 1984 maybe?
As if I could forget.
I’m sure you remember me, right? I was that one girl who sorta hung around with everyone. I had friends who hung with the stoners and the metal heads and friends that hung with the preps.
And, apparently, you hated me for that.
It always confused me that the “variety” in my circle of friends rendered me a possible “narc”. For the longest time, I never even knew what that meant.
I dressed in a manner that I thought was pretty cool, though looking back, I can’t believe my mother let me leave the house with that bad perm and fishing lure-esque earrings.
And that make up…god that make up.
I remember you, though. Tiny, tough and angry as hell, from what I could tell. The layered spiked hair and the smears of blush that looked like racing stripes. You were a hard little person.
But what were you so pissed about?
To this day I’m still a little confused as to why you were angry at ME – again, the narc thing baffled me.
I mean, really, I don’t think about you more than once a year these days, but you really were a big part of my life when I was 13.
You are the reason I was terrified of going to school for the better part of a year.
The 7th grade was a little stressful to me having lost my father a couple years prior and dealing with that, and now knowing that if I walked down the hall during the wrong moment of the day, I would have an angry little pitbull in my face. I did everything I could to avoid you. But you seemed to always be everywhere I was trying to hide from you.
That one time in the soccer field…you remember, that day you, in your little fake black leather jacket and skin tight jeans, got all your scary 8th grade friends to gather around me, in my dorky little painter’s cap and my “Sarah Jeans” knock offs, so that I couldn’t leave the confrontation I so THOROUGHLY wanted to avoid. Remember when you hauled off and punched me square in the face and then wondered why I didn’t punch back, chalking it up to the fact that I was too scared of you, laughing as you and your gang of courage walked away?
You were absolutely right. I was terrified.
And the time you waited for me outside the locker room when it was just you and I in the hall – when your right hook landed squarely on my cheekbone. Why were you so angry with me? And why did you seem to get so pissed off that I wouldn’t fight back? That seemed to REALLY flabbergast you, all 5 foot nothing of your slight but wiry frame shaking with fury.
I still remember the look in your heavily lined eyes when you yelled, “What is WRONG with you???” just before you spun around and stomped away.
I didn’t see you much after that. From what I understand, even though I was rendered mute by the stress of losing a father, a home life that was ‘interesting’ to put it mildly, and of being hassled by a little ball of aquanet and babyskank at every turn when all I wanted in the world was be left alone…apparently, people at the school caught wind of what was going on and, with the accumulation of all the other trouble you had gotten yourself into over the years, your fascination with punching my face landed you in a state funded “girl’s home”, as they called it, for a short while.
I didn’t miss you.
I do recall seeing you about four years later when you and some older man walked into the fast food restaurant I worked at afterschool.
I remember that even though I had actually come out of my shell quite a bit by then, I was once again rendered silent and paralyzed just by your presence that day. A friend and coworker of mine, who had also been a friend to me back when you and I spent our quality time together, saw who we were serving and took great pride in ‘doctoring your meal’. I’m sure you didn’t notice. Anymore than you recognized me when you seemingly stared right through me standing there as someone else took your order.
I remembered you. How could you have not remembered me?
That’s when I wondered if I was just one of many weak little girls that you fancied as your punching bag.
If I was just one in a long line of people whose lives you made such a huge impact on.
You realize that, right? You know how important you became to me?
Maybe that was part of your problem. You weren’t important to anyone back then.
Maybe you had lost a father. Or had a home life that was ‘interesting’ to say the least.
And instead of turning inside yourself like I had, your only way to cope was to lash out
Is that what it was? You were just as scared and stressed out as me, but we just had different methods of coping? Maybe we were just two sides of the same coin.
Like I said, over the years, you have become less important to me.
But I haven’t forgotten you, Sherri Holmes. I’m sure I never will.
I hope you’ve become important to someone else, but if you haven’t, just know that someone’s thinking about you, if only on occasion.