Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ellie: What I know

Now that the school year is winding down, I can finally de-stress and pay a little attention to this blog. It's always in the back of my head, because from a certain angle thinking about the Inn and my life (and Ellie's and Emily's and everybody else) is way more important than whether I got my homework done. But in the moment, it's easy to get caught up in the day to day facts of being this girl at this point in her life (and mine.)

I never went to high school. I graduated finished the eighth grade, took a vacation with my dad, and woke up one morning in a "real world" where I was a grown woman. It was a mixed blessing because every teenager craves freedom, but hates responsibility. And I didn't have the proper amount of time to grow into myself. Sometimes I hear about people "my age" (whatever age that is) who lost their parents or have had to be self-sufficient for any reason, and I want to tell them I know exactly how they feel, but as Ellie, I'm not supposed to. In my life, this high school chunk was the missing piece of my life experience. It may seem like hell to a lot of the people here, but it works, when you're 16 or 17 to ease you into life on your own. Knowing the alternative, which I lived, I would have gladly gone through this from the beginning.

Which is why I kind of gravitated toward Callahan, when I started learning more about him. It started out as a curiosity, when Iris first mentioned it. A sort of reminder that I'm still a girl in a school half-full of boys, who may want to look t me or get to know me. And even though I didn't consider myself available, that didn't mean I couldn't get lonely. I've spent the bulk of my "adult" life with members of the opposite sex, whichever sex that happened to be. As Ellie I've been both "alone at last" and lonely.

I got myself into situations where I could talk to him. Saying "Hi" in the hallway, later asking about his life. It helped to mend fences between me and Emily. I think she always thought I was bitter because she started flirting and dating almost from the get-go, and maybe I had lingering feelings. I don't know what to say about any of that, but suddenly we related a lot better. If there's anything that brings teenage girls together, it's a crush.

This wasn't a crush, but I maybe tried to make it one. I thought if I was going to like any of the guys at school it would probably be him, and the more I got to know him, the more I liked him. But there's a limit on that. There's nothing special about him. He's not overly funny or smart, but he's not a bad guy. I just find him less annoying than the other boys around here.

And I thought for a little while that was good enough. It was a high school relationship, not some deep romance. If I wanted to hang around with a guy, I could text him and see if he wanted to watch a movie or something. He got the message pretty quickly and we're set to go to Prom together this weekend.

Except I can't help but feel wrong about this. This is my first prom ever, I've got this nice dress, and my date is just some guy "I can put up with." I don't know what he's expecting afterward but even though I've done plenty with worse guys, I can't help but feel like going through with "prom night stuff" would be too wrong, but leading him on, more than I already have, would feel even worse. This situation is very new to me.

My best friend, Iris, is going to be there too, without a date. I kind of goaded her into it because I agreed to go and didn't want to "just" be with him and Emily, I wanted someone I really like there. I also wanted her to have fun, because, aside from going to the Inn you're only young once and I don't like seeing her waste it.

What I've learned is that I'm still going to be here next year. My "father" made the decision that since we don't know what happened to the real Ellie, Emily and Mr. McClay, it would be a bad idea to return to the inn especially since we don't have "real" bodies to return to. This is something that still keeps me up nights sometimes. I'm not much of an investigator. I had some leads back in the fall but the trail went cold and... well, I got distracted. It's not easy leading a double life. I'll talk more about it, hopefully, when I get some time this summer.

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