I couldn’t focus. My thoughts were zoned in on how much prettier she was than me. So much taller, more put together, her hair more perfect, her clothes more elegant, her manner reserved and poised. I momentarily took an inventory of myself. Bouncy, out-of-control curls, old comfy jeans, layered sweaters, and chunky handmade hemp jewelry.
The auditorium buzzed with noise and activity as people arrived and found their seats, waiting for the high school musical to begin. I had been invited to attend the event with two girls who were several years older than me, which, at fifteen, was a huge honor. As the three of us chatted together, a woman named Cindy* (the former youth leader of one of the girls I was with) came up to say hello.