Yesterday I was cleaning up and suddenly had a memory. It's something I haven't thought of in years, maybe even since it happened. It happened when I was 16 years old. During the period of my school years when I frequently 'missed' a class, be it that I was really sick or just'sick'. I had good grades, was active in school sports, and also took part in the school newspaper and a couple of other clubs. I worked for my parents at their store, and didn't really get up to too much trouble. I was a pretty average high school kid, not anybody popular, not totally cliqued into the 'jock' group, not part of any clique really. I just was, attending classes and trying to do what I had to do to be done with it all. I never really found my place during highschool. In fact, I think that's something I have carried with me throughout my life. I always have plenty of acquaintances, but true friendships are harder for me to come by. And so the friends I do have, are people I truly treasure.
Anyway, back to my memory. I had a friend named Becky. She was having a hard time at home, and was also very involved with her boyfriend, someone a bit older, not attending high school, and not from our town. I don't remember exactly where he came from, but it seems as though he was working construction, kind of just paving his way from place to place, a bit of an orphan. Becky was head over heels in love with him, but her parents were not. They forbid her from seeing him, which of course she rebelled against. I had recently gotten my driver's licence and drove to school each day....and also drove Becky around to meet up with her boyfriend, whether during or after school hours.
At one point, her Beau was skipping town. I don't know the reason, but Becky planned to follow him. I remember there being talk of them getting married, and I also think that the possibility that she was pregnant was also a factor involved. In any case, she asked for me to assist her in running away.
At the time, I didn't consider what my actions would mean. I just agreed to help my friend. On the day of her departure, we met at school, loaded her bag into my car, and off we went to the local airport. At the time, I remember asking her if she was sure she wanted to take this step, if she was sure he was someone she could trust. But, I didn't try to stop her. In fact, I was an accomplice in every step of this journey.
When we got the airport, Becky checked in, and we sat and talked waiting for her plane to arrive. She made a phone call to her boyfriend so he'd know she was on her way. And then, when the flight began boarding, I hugged her goodbye and waved as she headed through security. As soon as she entered the security gates, police surrounded her.
The look on her face was of complete shock. Tears began streaming down her cheeks as she was taken into custody. She looked my way and yelled at me to call her boyfriend. I didn't know waht to do. I stood there, watching my friend being hauled away by the police, her bag still sitting where she dropped it. An officer finally came to me in the waiting area, suggesting I get myself back to school before I also found myself in loads of trouble. He mentioned they would be in contact; e already knew who I was from my parents business.
I was embarrassed, scared, and sad. Instead of returning to school, I drove straight to my mom's store, where I poured out the entire story. I was in tears, and felt so helpless. I wasn't sure what would happen, or where to go from here. I stayed home from school the rest of that day, just relishing in my time with my mom, glad that she was someone I could count on.
The story ends here. I know that Becky went to a counseling center for teens and that she kept in contact with the boyfriend. I know that she made further plans to leave home. What I don't know is if she succeeded. After all of this, our friendship evaporated once she changed her focus to running away from home. I have never seen her again.
I don't know from where this memory came, but it makes me wonder about teenagers. My son is a teen, but I can't imagine him being advanced enough to make plans such as these. I can't imagine him driving a friend to the airport, packing a bag to run away from home, handling being confronted by police officers. He is autistic. And as much as he creates plenty of other problems, these would not be something I would have to deal with as the mother of a teenager.
Interesting what little experiences we come across in our book of life, and how those little things may never be thought of, but always and forever remain a part of who we are.