The night before Thanksgiving is the largest bar night of the year. It is the night when 20-somethings come back home to their parents house, their new fiancees and haircuts and jobs in tow, to meet with their old high school friends they have nothing in common with anymore and drink until they forget that defining fact.
And I was in it.
It was like a bad John Cusack movie. Four years of high school memories wedged into a dive bar on Main Street. There were only a few cars outside, so Mike and I were shocked to see the massive crowd of hundreds overflowing onto the back patio. He rested his hand on my shoulder, and like high school, we were back to the neighborhood best friendship.
A few years older, a few years younger, everyone from school looked the same. The pretty girls were still pretty, in a sad, sagging way. The ugly girls were still ugly. Or were they? Suddenly, it became impossible to judge people anew.
Mike bought me a bottle of beer and we crouched against the back wall pointing out people. Mike would high-five old friends, or kiss girls on the cheek. No one really acknowledged me. People had forgotten who I was, because I had never mattered, and I looked different anyway. I was wearing stockings and my favorite striped dress. I had forgotten the uniform I had known my whole life: jeans. I looked down while Mike talked to Brandon at the sea of blue legs and sipped my beer.
I couldn’t tell if I was being ignored or I was the one ignoring.
It didn’t matter. There were the cheerleaders, there were the thugs. There, the soccer team, and there was the singular nerds. It was high school all over again– I felt brushed to the side.
And then a guy grabbed my ass, and I dripped beer on my dress and laughed to myself. No one would have ever grabbed my ass in high school.