Being Erica: The Josh Chronicles

Note: The song is "Graduation" sung by Vitamin C. Come to think of it, this song is pretty cheesy, but for all intents and purposes I guess it does justice to what high school graduates are feeling.

Chapter Two: Graduation (The Time of Your Life) or The-Day-I-Wished-the-Earth-Would-Swallow-Me-Whole

One year and three days after the fateful night of prom

I had tears streaming down my face as I sat cross-legged on my bed, while my cheap hair-straightener held a piece of my hair, which was now beginning to burn.

"Erica!" shouted my distraught mother. "We're going to be late! And to your graduation!"

"I'm coming," I shouted back at her. But I still continued to burn my hair as I blasted Vitamin C's "Graduation".

The music was so loud that I didn't hear Sam enter the room. She had to yell, "Nostalgic much?" three times before I heard her.

"Can't you just leave me alone?" I begged of her.

Sam sat down on the bed next to me. "I know that you're upset that John dumped you, but God, can't you suck it up for one night and not make everyone sorry for you? You'll realize that John wasn't right for you in time, you know?"

I laughed through my tears. "When did you become so wise?"

Sam started to laugh as well. "I think its because I have such a brilliant older sister."

"Good answer," I told her.

I turned off my hair straightener and told her to tell our parents that I'd be down in a minute. I half joke that I'd be right down after I down a bottle of pain-killers and half a bottle of Vodka. She nodded, probably realizing it was a joke, and then went downstairs.

Five minutes later I heard a car pull up in our driveway.

"Sam, you have a visitor."

So, we talked all night about the rest of our lives/where we're gonna be when we turn twenty-five/I keep thinking times will never change/I keep on thinking times will always be the same/when we leave this year we will never be coming back/no more hanging out cause we're on a different track/so, if you've got something that you need to say/you better say it right now cause you don't have another day

I ran down the stairs of my high school towards the classroom that my group was supposed to be gathered in. Everyone were in their robes and chatting about what was going to happen next, when I entered, out of breath and unkempt.

"Thank you for joining us, Erica," said Mr. Brown.

"Those are for you," he told me, pointing at a very embarrassing display of red roses.

"Really?" I asked as I wiped my red eyes. I read the card, but realizing who it was from I crumpled it up and dumped everything into the nearest garbage can. Everyone was staring at me like I was an idiot.

"What?!?" I snapped. They got into a straight line and we were off to the auditorium.

We're moving on a we can't slow down/these memories are playing like a film without sound and I keep thinking another night in June/I didn't know what you love but it came too soon

"Erica!" I heard someone shouting my name. "Erica!"

As I turned to see who it was I tripped (on my right leg) and fell, face down, on the ground floor as everyone watched. I picked myself up, but by then, my nose had started to bleed, hard, and I rushed to the washroom.

Two hours later, when I decided that the proceedings would be over and they would be holding the reception in the gym, I ventured to come out. I came out, but only to be greeted by the person that I really didn't want to see.

"I found these in the garbage," he said as he held up wilted red roses.

"You should have left them there," I told him sagely.

"I left them for you because I still like you."

"You like me John, but not enough to tell your parents, friends, or even your brother," I told him angrily.

"The relationship between Josh and I have been strained lately," he told me.

"Why?"

"There are some issues that we have to work out."

"But will you tell him?" I pressured.

He looked down guiltily and said, "Not yet."

"Then, we have nothing to talk about."

I began to walk away, but only got so far as the water fountain before my ankle gave out and I fell.

"Erica! Erica, are you alright?" he asked me as he gave me his hand to stand up.

"I'm fine," I waved him off. This was giving me flashbacks to prom night.

He ignored me, and pulled me up by my under arms, when everyone came storming out of the auditorium.

They stopped dead when they saw us. Especially since Josh and Sam were the first ones to come out.

And there was me and you and then we got real blue/stay at home, talking on the telephone and we would get so excited and we would get so scared, laughing at ourselves thinking 'life's not fair'/And this is how we feel

A year later

"I think we should see other people," I told John over the phone.

"Why? Did you meet someone at school?" he asked, concerned.

"No. I just…" I trailed off as Ethan entered the room.

"Come on, Strange. Let's go! We're going to be late!" He yelled as he pulled Claire close to him.

"We'll meet you in the car," she mouthed.

"I have to go," I told him and then hung up.

As we go on we remember all the times we had together/As our lives change, come whatever/We will still be friends forever

A day later

"Hello?" I asked cheerfully into the phone.

"Erica?"

"Yep. Whose this?" I chirped.

"John," he said weirdly.

"What's up?"

"Remember what you said yesterday?"

"Of course," I giggled.

"Did you mean it?"

"Yeah. I think that this long distance thing is hard."

I heard him let out a sigh of relief. "Good. Cause I met someone yesterday."

"Really?" I asked curiously. "Since the time we hung up and the time I'm talking to you right now, you've met somebody new?"

"Well…" he hesitated. "I may have been seeing her longer than that."

So if we get the big jobs and we make the big money will we look back now and will our jokes still be funny? Will we still remember everything we learned in school? Still be trying to break every single rule?

Two weeks later

I went home for reading week when I got the shock of my life. The first night back we had a celebratory dinner. I thought it was for me so I wore a beautiful purple toga-like dress and spent an hour and a half curling my hair so it was perfect.

When the guests arrived I was surprised to see that it was just Josh, his family and John's new girlfriend, Mandy.

"Erica," said John's mother, Isabella, "have you met John's fiancée, Mandy?"

"Fiancee?" I chocked.

"Didn't he tell you, dear?" she asked me with sympathy. "They got engaged two weeks ago."

"Excuse me," I smiled tightly and left the room.

Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now? Can we survive it out there? Can we make it somehow? I guess I thought that this would never end and suddenly its like we're women and men/Will the past be a shadow that will follow us 'round? Will these memories fade when I leave this town? I keep thinking that its not goodbye/I keep thinking that its our time to fly

Two days after "the announcement"

My new best friends were cranberry juice and vodka.

"I can't believe he did this to me! To me! I'm an awesome girlfriend," I whined to myself.

Suddenly, in my alcohol-induced haze, I got a brilliant idea.

It was four in the morning and my head was pounding so I decided that a walk would be just the thing to clear the bombarding thoughts pounding in my head.

I found myself in front of John's new house and saw his brand new car. It was black and perfect for what I was planning to do next. I took out my sister's car keys.

"U BASERD," I scratched into the side of his car. But right as I finished I leaned a little bit too forward and set off the alarm. The shrieking prevented me from making a run for it. I was too busy covering my ears to notice that John, Mandy, Mandy's family, and his next door neighbors had all turned on their lights and opened their front doors.

"Erica?"

I must have passed out because the next thing I remember is being slapped awake by my mother and Sam.

"What the hell is wrong with you?"