I went to school with both of them. She was the cousin of an elementary school friend. He was just a kid from Hebron that lived close enough he walked to school. I met them in grade 7 when our elementary schools combined in junior high.
She was awkward and religious and didn't celebrate birthdays or Christmas or anything else. I understand more now, but at the time, that's all I knew. She played the flute in band. I forget what year it happened but she was in a bike accident and knocked out all her front teeth and had to get an insert of fake teeth. She wasn't pretty, her long brown hair was drab and often greasy. She dressed like an old lady in clothes that looked like they were going to be thrown away. The difference between her and most was she didn't seem to care. She was the opposite of cool.
He was the definition of cool. With good looks and nice clothes, he was popular. He pretended to be a bad ass but it was clear to see he was a softy at heart. He hung out with the cool boys, all of which I think I had a crush on at one time or another. The popular girls hung at his side and held his attention, but I don't recall him with a girl friend. With a word, be it a compliment or insult, he could sway the school population and change your position in the social ranks. He was funny. We shared a home room in highschool and sat next to each other in typing class. He called me Mistybush Rouge Cheveux, of course curious if I was a true redhead. In his group of friends he was apparently the last to get laid and the most curious about it. On his own, without peer pressure, he was a really nice guy.
In the six years they shared a school and likely classrooms, they must have known the other existed. Our school was small. But I don't think I ever saw them speak to each other, or even acknowledge the other. They were after all, pretty much complete opposites. Their circles did not over lap.
A few years after graduation I heard that they married and lived in the same neighbourhood he was born.
And that he killed himself.
Our graduating class has never had a reunion. If we did, I wonder if she'd come. I wonder if people, who never cared about her one way or another back in school, would suddenly see her. I wonder how loud the whispers would be.
Highschool is a strange place. I'm left wondering about a lot of things that happened back then. How the paths of people cross, intertwine and veer away again. I've always wondered about theirs. How their paths came to cross. How it started, how it ended. If anyone else wonders too.