n a bleak night in May 2006, I opened my eyes to a pitch-black bed-room lled with silence. I strained to ocus on the numbers glow-ing rom my alarm clock: 10 p.m. Something elt wrong. I wasn’tsupposed to be here.
Why am I in bed this early? onight was prom night.
My stomach sank. As I clutched my pillow or support, the ashbacks crept up,each one worse than the last.In the dramatic ways that teenagers sometimes do, I realized that my lie wasover. At least the lie I’d built so careully beore. I had almost made it throughmy junior year o high school, but aer this, things would never be the same.As I played the coming day in my head, I ell into despair. Haunted already, Icried mysel to sleep.* * *Four months earlier, I’d been lying on my best riend Anna’s bed lookingthrough an old box o photographs. I giggled at the pictures o us rom just aew years back. She was 50 pounds overweight, and I was resh out o a back brace. As I ipped through the pictures, Anna was at her desk, working herphone like a stockbroker, throwing glances my way between conversations toll me in on party plans that really didn’t concern me at all.My stomach tightened when the doorbell rang. She ran downstairs to answerit with excited eyes, ying out o the room in a ash o shiny black hair. I heardher ootsteps returning and shoved the box o photographs in a drawer, earulthat one o the guests might ask to browse through them. Since then, Anna hadlost the weight and blossomed into a 17-year-old socialite. I’d lost the brace buthadn’t ound similar condence.