I took one last look out at the crowd after the principal had called my name. Despite everything I had managed to graduate. I made it even though every part of me wanted to die. People who have never spoken a single word to me and believed all the nasty rumors were cheering and praising me as if we had always been the best of friends.
It disgusted me.
My dad sat there, alone, with a smile on his face and tear stained cheeks. He was beaming with pride as I forced a small smile and waved at him. I was doing this for him and only him. If it had been up to me, I’d be somewhere else and they could just mail me my diploma. This didn’t feel like a celebration to me. It felt exactly like what it was. My last time seeing the people who made my life hell and Dave.
He stood there cheering for me, but even I could see the sadness in his eyes. I hadn’t spoken to him since what happened at his house. I left him a note saying that I thought the friendship was over and if the feelings ever changed, he’d be the first to know. I doubt that they will though. He hurt me deep and a part of me still wanted to make him feel as lifeless and disappointed as I felt.
I was sick to my stomach with grief and wanting my vengeance, but I knew that it would do no good. It would only hurt me further, because I just wasn’t that girl.
My mother wasn’t here, but that wasn’t a surprise. She too believed Clarissa and her lies and when the truth came out she packed a bag and disappeared. We didn’t make up. She didn’t come to apologize. Everything was out in the open now and she never once came to see if I were okay. She just left. I know that she checks in with my dad here and there, but that’s about it. I know we are better off without her, at least for now. She’ll come back to him when I’m off for college.
I wasn’t going too far away, but it was still a couple of hours. My dad made me promise I’d spend at least a month with him and I caved. He knew I’d do anything for him, but once this once was over, I was leaving this place and everything that reminded me of it. I’m not even sure I want to come back for the holidays.
As I walked back down the aisle I could feel everyone’s eyes on me. I could hear the whispers and the accusations that I was the one who turned them in. The students were torned. Some felt like Clarissa and John got a slap on the wrist after all they had done. They believed they deserved more than five years in a correctional facility. I agreed. They could have at least gone to prison, but then again I was biased. Others felt like the judge was too harsh on them. Again I was biased, drugging and blackmail just seemed like something that shouldn’t be taken lightly at all.
As I had been doing for the rest of the year, I tried to ignore the looks and whispers. I held in my whimpers and tears until I was sure I couldn’t be seen. Before I knew it, I was running down the aisle and out the building. My chest was tightly constricting, cutting off my airway. I could hear both Dave and my father calling after me. I had to get away. I needed to be alone. I was barely in my car before the tears started running down my cheeks. I didn’t want to drive in the midst of a panic attack, but I had no choice.
I had to run.
Like mother , like daughter.
I’m sorry dad.