Status: In Progress

The Summer I Turned 18

Graduation Part 1

Our graduation was held at the end June and when the principal called my name to cross the stage I was more nervous than I'd ever been in my life. My picture popped up on the screens and he read out my small blurb about my future goals and dreams. I was supposed to go to University and get my degree. I was determined to not end up like my sisters, no post secondary education, marrying early and struggling to find their place in life. I managed to reach the other side of the stage without falling on my face and I could hear the cheering of my friends and family from the crowd. I made my way back to my seat and managed to survive while the next two hundred names were called.

After commencement we celebrated at my parents house with my friends. My mom had given me a care package full of household items that I would need when I left for my new job. I had gotten a job at Hemlock for the summer working in their gift shop. They would provide accommodation for me and it was only three hours away, so far enough, but not too far. I had been offered a job in Banff but had to postpone it because I wasn't eighteen yet. You had to be eighteen to live in residence and I was more than a little bummed out when I realised I couldn't accept the job. The lady in HR was more than helpful and just said to call back after the summer and we would arrange a placement for the fall.

I hugged my mom, the gesture was thoughtful and I knew it was really hard for her to let me go. She tried and tried to talk me out of it, but I was determined to go. When the gift opening had finished and my friends had left Sean and I decided to take a drive to the beach. One of our cirlce of friends favourite hang outs, mostly because it was free. I put my graduation cap on my head and hollared out the window at my soon to be freedom. Sean laughed as he cranked the music and we sang along to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, a CD he had given me for Christmas that year.

"You and me going fishing in the dark." I sang

"Lying on the banks and counting the stars where the cool grass grows." He joined in. We laughed at each other at how terrible our singing was and when found a parking spot at the beach we got out, still singing.

"Do you think it's going to be hard?" He asked as we walked along the pier.


"You know, leaving us all behind and not knowing anyone when you get there."

"Sure it is. But I just gotta go. I have a problem with being shy so this might help with that. I'll be forced to come out of my shell."

"You? Shy? Never." He teased as he threw his arm around my neck and pulled me towards him. "It only took you like two months to talk to me and that was after I started bugging Jenn about you. Are you sure you don't want to date me and fall madly in love with me?"

I giggled. "Yeah, I'm sure. But thanks for always being there for me. Even when I wasn't the nicest person to be around."

"You couldn't make me not like you even if you tried. Too bad your'e gonna be stuck with me forever." He laughed. "You can run away now, but you'll come back."

We had reached the end of the pier and I looked out as the sun was setting. It was something I had made sure the forge into my memory. The beach, the sunset, the smell of the ocean. I didn't want to forget any of it.

"So, are you ready for tomorrow?" He asked, bringing me out of my thoughts.

"Yup, Jenn is going to do my hair in the morning and then my makeup appointment is at noon. I should be home in time for you to pick me up at two. Then we need to go and pick up Amanda and Kim."

"Awesome, I'm going to pick up the Navigator after lunch then. Come on, lets get some ice cream before we go home."

I smiled at him. "Sounds awesome. You're buying right? Cuz I'm broke." I laughed as we headed towards the boardwalk.


I woke up the next morning, excited and nervous. This was it, Grad night. After this, life was really starting for us. I paged Jenn and told her I would be there in an hour and got up to find my dad doing his morning crossword. "Good morning Dad."

"Hey." He looked up at me.

"Do you think you could drive me to Jenn's? She's doing my hair today."

"Sure, just let me know what time you want to go."

"Thanks!" I placed a kiss on his cheek and headed towards the shower.

The morning flew by and because my hair is so fine Jenn had to load it with hairspray and gel and everything imaginable to keep it in place. I'm pretty sure I was more flammable than the bottle of hairspray she used on my head. When she was finally done, my ringlets flowed down my back and my hair was stiffer than a pole. It wasn't going anywhere. I hugged her and told her I would see her in a few hours.

By the time I got home from getting my face painted (which is exactly how it felt afterwards, the lady used so much foundation that I think she added two pounds to me.) Sean was already waiting for me. "Crap! Sorry! Give me like five minutes to get ready." I yelled to him as I ran inside and grabbed my dress from the bag. I looked out my window and saw him and my dad talking. I smiled. My parents always thought Sean would be an ideal guy for me. I quickly zipped up my dress, grabbed my shoes and my purse and headed downstairs. I opened the front door and saw both my dad's and Sean's mouths drop.

"Wow Cheryl, how are you ever going to look hotter for our wedding?" He teased as he came and gave me hug. "I got you a coursage." He handed it to me and I smiled.


"Your sister and your mom will be here in a few minutes, so don't leave without letting them take some pictures or I'll never hear the end of it." My dad said as he walked back into the house.

"Nice ride." I walked towards the Navigator. "It's a good thing we weren't able to book a Limo, this is way cooler."

"Yeah, and it's totally nice of Sonya to let us borrow it. That's what I get for babysitting her hellion kids for the last five years." He laughed.

My mom and my sister arrived a few minutes later and fussed over me before taking pictures. "I love yoru dress Cher, suits you perfectly." My sister squealed as she hugged me. I think she was more excited that I was graduating than I was. My dress was light purple, with an empire waise and sequins on top with spaghetti straps. It would have been even better if my mom would have paid for alterations on it. It was about one inch too short, so it was a good thing I was wearing flats.

After what felt like an eternity we loaded into the SUV and took off towards Kim's house to pick her up. I looked over at Sean. "You look rather handsome in your tux." I giggled as I fixed his lapel.

"Well I should, you picked it out." He smirked as he cranked the music and opened the sunroof.
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Alrighty, well this chapter was getting a little out of So I've split it into two. I just want all of you to know that to this day Sean and I are still friends. He's a banker and still lives in my hometown. Everytime I go home we always try to get together. He has truly been one of my most constant friends.

And I also wanted to say that writing about this is almost like Therapy for me, so this could get interesting.