Formerly A Rebel
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
I'm over the moon that people have actually been reading Rebel and have asked me quite a few questions about it. To put it simply, the story and Sydney represent my own personal transition from being rebellious to having my head on straight (sometimes). When I picked up a pencil and started writing Rebel, I was designing Sydney (I didn't realize until this past year that Sydney and Gail were both characters from the Scream franchise. Her name and the names of those characters are completely coincidental, which is also why the spelling is different. I didn't get into the Scream movies until last year. Rebel is 10 years old) to be that rebellious, hardcore teenager that did what ever she wanted and I wanted that to be me.
Like I've mentioned before, there are times where I can be a slave to my own extreme impulses but between the ages of 13 to 17, they were much worse. My relationship with my parents and families on both sides often made me feel like I was always being pulled in two different directions. But I was constantly trying to get a rise out of everyone. It was nothing to find me laughing hysterically when someone was giving me an angry or tearful lecture about my behavior. I was wild.
13, not even a month into my 8th grade year, a friend and I thought it would be cool to pierce our lips (if you were to see me at 22 going on 23 without my lip ring, it would probably be the oddest thing you've ever seen). For 2 weeks, I kept a diamond earring stud in my bottom lip, flashing it proudly at school and then covering it with a bandage when I was at home (obviously trying to play it off like it was an ungodly pimple). And of course when my mom found out, that was a wrap. I experienced a lot of pain from my parents and I envied most of my friends because of the relationships they had with their moms. They were treated as equals and my mom still treated me like a child when I was growing up and feeling things that young girls and women were meant to feel. Her image of me was far from what I was becoming. But she was always taught that you were a child and would be treated like a child until you graduated high school and got out on your own. That mentality was what created the monster that I became.
By the end of my 8th grade year (to say this in the most censored way possible), I risked it all just because I woke up one day and craved the adrenaline rush I would get from being up to no good (seriously, my motto should have been "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good"). The rush was like a high that I was constantly chas
14, that was when I did unspeakable things that I'd like to go back and punch myself in the face for. I should have been expelled from school or arrested more times that I can count on one hand. I basically got away with murder and divine intervention was the only thing that saved my ass. I spent a lot of my nights perched on the concrete steps of 588 Court Street, sneaking cigarettes and the shitty beer that my dad always kept in the refrigerator and letting the cool air of the night take me away. If I wasn't doing that, I was sneaking away with someone's son and covering my tracks once I got back home. I remained as inconspicuous as possible. My friends and I spent our Fridays at football games, Saturdays at Raymond's, and Sundays at church when our parents would pull us out of bed with hangovers, forcing us to stay awake and suffer. I was boy crazy and treated them like they would have treated me. I always told them everything they wanted to hear. That bridge between 14 and 15 is all a blur because I was trashed most of the time. When I got my first tattoo a few days after my 15th birthday, August 5, 2011, I blacked out later that night and freaked out when I woke up the next morning. I didn't remember getting it. All I remembered was downing a 2 liter of Mountain Dew and killing off an entire family sized bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos and throwing it all back up.
For 4 years, I did whatever I wanted behind my mom's back and she never knew any of the moves that I made unless I told her. My lying skills were on point. I was a wild child. A true cherry bomb.
15, I vanished without a trace to hang out with a boy that I was dating and it ended the entire county went on a manhunt looking for me (I had gotten bad about sneaking out even before this incident).I was in Oceana which is 45 minutes away from Welch. I had just gotten my wisdom teeth removed and when I made it to the guys house, I took a pain pill after smoking, and passed out on the couch. The next day, I was riding in a cop car on my way back to my parents. That day was the first time I saw pain in my mother's eyes since the day her father died and I knew that that was going to scar me for the rest of my life. To make things very clear for other stories I have, I was never raped or sexually assaulted when all of that happened. My family had some speculations and thought I wasn't telling the truth, but he never touched me.
I wanted to die because I couldn't stand the constant lectures I was getting. Everyone, including my friends were mad at me and some even stopped speaking to me. It scared me straight though. When it was all done and over with, I quit drinking and smoking and I lost the desire to go to parties every weekend. I just wanted to be isolated. I did find it funny and a bit ridiculous that it took that long for anyone to pay attention to the things that I was doing. I blew my mom away when I sat down and came out with the truth about everything I did right under her nose. After about 2 hours, she was horrified.
After that, Momma and I got a little closer. I was in pretty rough shape. At one point I was too depressed to get out of bed and then it felt like a switch flipped and I was exercising all the time and I wasn't eating as much as I should have been.
16, I was the tiny (vegan) cheerleader with the blonde streaked hair that was always neatly decorated with curls and a tiny gold bow that everyone knew and loved. I felt like my personality and mannerisms were totally established. Everyone knew how I worked and I wasn't ashamed of it in the least bit. But I grew tired of being alone. I didn't crave the rush from late night hookups like I did the year before. I didn't want to be defenseless to manipulate someone into a few minutes of pleasure only to bring the walls back up and treat them like they never even existed. I wanted to love and be loved by someone. That was when I met my sperm donor, in the most unexpected way possible (I've avoided any and all references to him in Rebel. The "villain" in Rebel is just a combination of all of the bullshit that guys have put me through over the years).
17, is when I woke up on the first day of my senior year and asked myself what the hell I was going to do in 180 days, and 11 days later, I got pregnant and told myself that I had to get my ass in gear and figure it out. 11 days before my graduation from high school, I met the love of my life. Along the way, I learned enough to last a lifetime. I became a mom and another switch flipped and I became someone I never would have expected to become.
Rebel is based in Welch and all of the characters are fictional. A lot of the experiences are some of my own. If you haven't caught on yet, the chapters are named after song titles (if you know how big of a role music and some of the songs have played in my life, then you'll understand). I started writing Rebel long before I got to experience the road to being 17. The very first draft was completed a month before I went into high school (sometime in May). I always thought it would be pretty boring or I would have been trapped in a perpetual state of darkness and depression. Now that I really took the time to look at it, it was really one hell of a ride.
(I honestly don't know how I'm still alive because my mom should have murdered my ass at least a million times).