I found my best friend in the direst of circumstances. In a layer of hell that Dante couldnâ€™t even fathom. She was the light in the darkest of dark abysses an awkward freshman could ever imagine even existed.
. . .
PE was the killer of all coolness. No matter how hard I worked on my badass looks in the halls, PE was the daily reminder of that pathetic loser I was at Sparks Middle.
I wasnâ€™t good at group sports that involved balls â€“ with the exception of kickball, but I still had PTSD from the humping incident of 5th grade â€“ nor was I good at singular sports involving balls.
I hated running, jumping, sprinting, relaying, racing, speed walking and the like. The only thing I actually liked was stretching, but not in the standard issue too short blue polyester gym shorts with hairy white legs and the world seeing my underwear.
The stupid glory-day-holder-onner-to ex-jock who â€œtaughtâ€ PE would make us run laps until we sweat. Now this wouldnâ€™t have been an issue if PE â€œclassâ€ was always last period, but lucky me, I had PE second period, so all that hard work doing my hair and makeup every morning was a tragic mess after only one class.
The schoolâ€™s brilliant answer to this dilemma was having showers in the locker room.
Yeah, right. Like I was going to do the following in the whopping SEVEN minutes the school allotted for repairing the damage of Physical Education:
- Get naked in front of everyone. Sure. Sign me up.
- Shower. Naked. In an OPEN shower where everyone can see me.
- Shampoo and condition my golden locks and soap up my nubile flesh.
- Dry off.
- Get dressed.
- Blow dry my hair â€“ completely.
- Curl, tease and Aqua Net said hair.
- Apply makeup.
Now, I was pretty awesome, but youâ€™d have to be a goddamned superhero to pull that shit off inÂ seven minutes. And it would have to be on a planet where I was totally cool with showing the world my vagina.
If being locked in a closet with a boy wasÂ seven minutes of heaven then this would be its evil seven minute counterpart.
PE was invented by some asshole jock who wanted the 90 percent of the non-sporty-spices to suffer excruciating humiliation.
It was a Monday morning, the most depressing day of the week. I was in the locker room spending my allotted seven minutes attempting to change out of my gym clothes without showing the popular girls one inch of my white flesh and â€“ God forbid â€“ a nipple, when I heard perhaps the largest belch in the history of the universe.
â€œEwww, gross!â€ cried Katie Morgan, the most beautiful, popular, perfect girl at RHS.
I looked over to find the source of that glorious burp.
There she stood. Muddy colored boy hair. White skin. Tiny nose. Huge eyes. Even huger lips. Chubby. Standing there in her underwear, Denim jacket and tube socks.
Then she did the most amazing thing. Where I wouldâ€™ve apologized profusely and blushed, she put her ginormous lips together and blew her burp breath right in Katieâ€™s face.
I peeked my head around my locker.
â€œThat was awesome!â€
â€œReally? You think?â€ Her big blue eyes looked up at me.
â€œNo one else thinks so,â€ her eyes were sad. I felt her pain.
â€œWanna go to lunch?â€
Then she smiled the biggest, most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. Her whole face lit up when she smiled â€“ it still does.
â€œIâ€™m Carrie. Like the girl who got covered in pigâ€™s blood at prom, only I havenâ€™t been to a prom yet and hopefully that wonâ€™t happen to me if I ever go.â€
And that was the first day of the rest of our lives.