When I was 14 we lived in Dayton, Ohio. Harrison Township to be specific. After passing the eight grade my parents gave me two options for high school: DECA or CJ. Which one did I want to go to ? Neither. I wanted to go to Meadowdale with my friends and my brother but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. So since CJ, Chaminade Julienne, was a catholic school it was easy for me to settle on DECA or the Dayton Early College Academy.
DECA was was located on the third floor of a University of Dayton building and was considered an experimental school. There were 121 students total and no grades such as freshman, sophomore etc. You were expected to pass 6 gateways instead anywhere between 1 and 5 years. Academically, I loved it. By the end of my first year there I had already completed 3 gateways and was on track to graduate in just two years…
When my parents moved us to Huber Heights. The two cities are only maybe 20 minutes a part but they can feel like a world away. Huber Heights in 2005 was still “one of the nicer parts of Dayton” whatever the fuck that really means and was predominantly white. I remember my first day there I could hardly even tell the students apart. I went from a school of 117 (4 students left that year) to a school of 2500 like, man what ?!
Fast forward now to my 16th birthday. Sophomore year as a student at Wayne High School. I landed my first job at Burger King and had finally made a few new friends. That’s where I met Miriam. I had (still have) trash eyesight (wild because I ate hella carrots) and we hadn’t initially spoken I found out later because she misunderstood my squints of desperation for mean mugs.
One day I was…borrowing… a butterfinger pie and Miriam was in my normal hiding spot, where I eat real quick on the clock. Instead of putting the much coveted pie back, I offered her a bite and we’ve been best friends ever since.