In the morning, when they had left for work, we would all go back to our normal suburban life, and sleep until the next party. All of us, except Taylor. She lived in that crash spot. No parenting, no rules, no curfew; we all told her she had the perfect situation. Little did we know, it was all vacant. Freedom always comes with a price, and no one understood that better than her. But now, that crash spot was being taken away, her whole life ripped out from under her because of a stupid financial mistake. And her home on Anderson Street was moving all the way to Fort Worth, then later Michigan.
However, she wasn’t invited to the final crash spot with her former family in Michigan, and all of a sudden, I gained a new roommate, a sister, and a best friend. It was really hard trying to understand why Taylor was the way she was. We were polar opposites. Me, the average middle class white kid that lived with overbearing parents and a spoiled rotten younger sibling; and Taylor, the tossed around lower class black girl with a rotten attitude and a tendency to show up to class stoned. I don’t know how we managed to come together, but something connected us in a way no one will ever understand.
We formed a group, her and I. We were full of rebellious teenagers trying to fill a void with drugs and alcohol. What that void was from, I still don’t know. But we bonded, nonetheless. And who I thought I was would change the day she moved in with me. I was excited; I had always wanted a sister. My brother never wanted to talk to me, and I never got to have that kind of a bond with anyone. Sure, it was a little cramped sharing an eight foot by ten foot room with someone, but I wanted to make it work. And hell, she was my best friend right?
It would be like a slumber party every night of the week, we would be able to do homework together, nothing would slow us down. We had all the same friends, it would be fun right? We’ve never fought before, so what could go wrong? Slowly, but surely, our differences decided to catch up with us. Our daily routines, the way we do laundry, what time we go to bed and what time we wake up, all decided to rub together and cause a big irritation that spread around the house. I’m a sensitive soul, everything I do I try to do to make people happy.
Taylor, on the other hand, could not care less about what anyone thought or thinks about her. She does things to make herself and the people she cares about happy, and anyone that tries to get in her way, she takes down as quickly as they tried to stand up. One thing that tended to make Taylor happy, or at least dilute her feelings temporarily was alcohol. She had a strong aching for it all throughout high school, and quite a few times, brought me down that road with her, and put us both in a good amount of danger.
I liked to drink, because it drowned out the pressure I felt every day from my mother as she was vicariously living through me. Medical school, scholarships, perfection, were all topics I had to be lectured about daily so I wouldn’t turn out like her; the school teacher married to a redneck with a drinking problem in the same boring job he would have for the rest of his life. That was her opinion she portrayed about herself unfortunately. I thought that we had it pretty good.
We loved each other, we took care of each other, and we didn’t have to worry much about whether we were going to make it or not. But that never seemed to be enough. A lot of pressure has been dumped on me. Everyone seems to think that they need something better than they already have. They don’t appreciate what they have while they have it. Taylor needed to drink. She needed to escape from herself, and I was beginning to see that. She had a dark past, but a really bright future she was creating aside from the incessant drinking and smoking she was doing.
As soon as I realized what was really happening, and what we were doing to our chances at a better future, I tried to be the influence that would bring her to see that she is so much better than her past, and she didn’t need those things to be a successful person. For a while, and the year and a half that she was living with us, it worked. We went to school, the occasional party, but mostly we did what we needed to do to get ourselves through school, and be successful.
In the end, Taylor’s darkness dominated the positive influence I had put upon her. My functional yet dysfunctional family life was too “boring” for her, and this summer she distanced herself from us, and left the life we had tried to give her for something that she thought better suited her. Sometimes I blame myself for not telling her how much we truly loved her, and how much she meant to us. But truly, the miscommunication was in our personalities, and in our souls. We are two different people, with two different goals for ourselves.