I asked my guest today, Louise Lyndon, to share something about herself and I have to admit I totally relate to how she feels about the dreaded high school reunion.
I’VE BEEN INVITED TO MY 25 YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION! NOW WHAT?
High school reunions. We’ve all seen the movies. The unpopular girl works up the courage to attend the reunion, and to face the popular girls who made her life unpleasant. The popular guy she once had a crush on has turned out to be a jerk, or worse still, hasn’t changed since high school. And the guy who secretly had a crush on her declares his love and they live happily ever after.
The writer, and romantic in me, would love for this to happen.
But, then the realist in me pops up…
You see, I’ve just received an invite to my 25 year high school reunion. And you guessed it, I was the unpopular kid. I spent the majority of my lunchtimes in the library. Alone. I wasn’t invited to the parties and I wasn’t popular with the boys. And I should point out here that my high school was small. In my year level (or grade) there was only about 30 kids. For the entire level. So, there wasn’t enough kids to branch off into different groups. You were either in. Or you weren’t. And I wasn’t.
I’ve done a lot since I left high school. I’ve been in love a few times. But never married. And have no kids. I’ve become an aunt six times, and a great aunt once. I’ve had loads of jobs. Some great ones. Some I am trying to forget. I’ve lived interstate and I’ve lived overseas. I’ve seen the world. And I’m a multi published author. By rights, I should be walking in to that reunion, full of confidence.
Yet, the exact same insecurities I had at high school, insecurities I haven’t felt since leaving high school, have suddenly come flooding back.
It’s as if the invitation was a time machine and I have traveled back twenty-five years. My achievements and accomplishments have suddenly evaporated, in their place, the fear of being found out, and being left on the sidelines. But worst still, of no one remembering who I am!
I don’t have the need to ‘rub’ anyone’s noses in anything. I don’t want to go back there and stand in the middle of the room and yell, ‘see, look what I have become!’.
What I do want is to be able to stand tall and proud and say, ‘this is who I am - like me or hate me, no skin off my nose’. Words that I longed to have been able to say way back when.
I’m not one of these people who think their high school years were the best years of their life. Hand on my heart I say the years I’m living now are the best - and I know things are only going to get better. But I just find it interesting that eight small, seemingly inconspicuous words, ‘You’ve Been Invited To Your High School Reunion’ can suddenly revert you back to the person you once were.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to go to the reunion. I’m not sure if I want to go backward - I’m a going forward kind of gal. But I have to admit, there is a little part of me that wouldn’t mind seeing the old gang. But, shrug, I just don’t know if I truly want to go. Is that wrong of me to say? Out loud?
If you’ve been to your high school reunion, how was it for you? Were you the popular kid? Or not? Did all your insecurities suddenly come flooding back as soon as you opened the invitation? I would love to hear your experiences. Please leave a comment!
Aveline de Bondeville is on the run. Determined to keep out of the hands of the cruel Raimbaut de Blois she will do whatever it takes to stay alive. And so when she finds herself in the company of Troy de Gysborne she must quickly decide if she can trust him. But can she confess to murder knowing it would mean her certain death?
Troy de Gysborne did the unthinkable; he tore the bonds of brotherhood and left a path of destruction in his wake. And now Troy must face those he betrayed, including the father who long ago renounced him. But to confess to the crime he committed will cost him everything. Including Aveline. But can he remain silent if it means losing the woman he loves?
Aveline’s scream burned her throat; she tasted blood. Eudes staggered forward, his eyes wide. He looked at her as he fell to his knees and then slumped forward. Bright red blood rushed from his wound and pooled on the ground. She looked at Raimbaut.
“This time you shall not escape.”
She picked up her skirts and ran headlong into the forest and did not slow her speed as branches slapped her in the face and tore at her arms. The ground beneath her feet was icy and uneven. She risked a glance over her shoulder and did not stop even though Raimbaut was nowhere to be seen. He may not have been behind her, but it did not mean he was not stalking her.
Sweat trickled down her face and burned her eyes. Her heart pumped, her lungs gasped for air. She came to a skidding stop and looked wildly around. Should she keep running straight, go left or right, or make her way back to Gysborne? She turned in a circle and shoved her hair from her eyes.
A twig snapped behind her. She stilled and held her breath. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a blur rush by. Was it an animal? Was it Raimbaut?
She ignored the pain in her chest and her sudden need to loosen her bladder. But she could not ignore her trembling. She clutched her arms to her chest. A sour taste flooded her mouth as she did not see how she would be lucky enough a second time to escape from Raimbaut.
Louise grew up in country Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.
In 2013, Louise won first prize in the historical romance category of the Crested Butte Sandy Writing Contest for her story, The Promise, which has since been retitled and is now known as, Of Love & Vengeance.
When not writing, Louise can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!