When I applied to work at my old high school, I never thought I would be picked. I knew my credentials were more than perfect for the job I was applying for but in a way I thought that maybe if I didn't get it, it would be a sign that I shouldn't go back and open wounds that I had worked so hard on closing.

But here I am, standing in my tiny crappy apartment, reading the letter that will change my life.

Dear Miss Fay Chambers:

It is my pleasure to extend the following offer of employment to you on behalf of Marion High. This offer is contingent upon your passing our mandatory drug screen, our receipt of your college transcripts, and any other contingencies you may wish to state.

Sign: Principal John J. Preston

Back Home

Two words I never thought I would say or even think. Since I was 16, I set my mind on leaving my hometown. My father was cruel and disrespectful to me and I wasn't appreciated completely by my so-called friend. Whenever I said I wanted to leave; they would laugh at me. They would tell me I was too shy to speak for myself.

I endured it for as long as I could. I thought if I was a good friend or a good daughter; someday they would notice I didn't deserve it.

I surrounded myself with people who needed attention but wouldn't give it back. There were so many times I wanted to leave but convinced myself that it was better to stay and have a friend than to be completely alone.

Even when other people offered me their friendship, I would still pick her over them. I convinced myself that she needed a friend more than the other. It wasn't until I met him that I realized that maybe I deserve something different. That maybe I could be different.

I was naïve back then; I thought the person I loved back then could love me back. I thought he felt the same way. I made myself believe he saw me when no one else did but I was wrong. He loved someone else. I was just a classmate. Another face to look at when he was away from her.

Still I admired him. He was brave enough to let the person he loved how he felt. He was admired by everyone, and loved by many.

I felt like he was my stone when things were bad. He would make me smile and forget my trouble whenever he was around. Although he would never feel that way for me, he is the inspiration for the person I am today. He inspired me to be open and change, and now I am.

When Senior year started, I started looking and applying for every university far away from everything and before I knew it, I graduated. I still remember standing in my living room, my father on one side and my best friend on the other. Everyone celebrating the end of an era. I wondered if I left right now without saying goodbye, if they would notice. I wondered if it was even worth telling them that I was leaving.

I was scared of what they were going to say. Afraid they would tell me I was dumb to leave and that I should stay and take care of them instead. I wrestled with myself all night, that night.

To leave and never say goodbye or give them one last chance to prove me wrong.

Once I mustered up the courage to tell everyone; my words along with my whole life were laughed at. I never looked back after that. I left and never regretted it. I knew they were wrong. I knew what I could accomplish if I put my mind to it. Was it going to be easy? No. I knew I was shy. I knew I would have to get over my shyness to make it in the real world and I wouldn't let it stop me or slow me down. Not anymore.

It's been 6 years and now I'm back. I'm not the same person that walked through this wall but things about me back then, are still a part of me. I'm not as quiet but I'm not loud. I speak my mind but I'm aware of my words. It's still hard to meet new people but I make myself do it. I am aware of my flaws but I work with them.

That's just who I am.

Now I'm here, in a town where I swore to never come back; unpacking my bags in my new apartment.

I heard my family moved away a couple of years ago but I'm still expecting to see them around every corner. I didn't tell anyone I was coming back. I didn't know who I could run into or if anyone would even recognize me if they would.

These are things I don't have control over and I would just have to deal with if the situation would present itself. Whatever came my way, I will be ready.

The last mover has placed my last box in my living room, as I stand outside feeling slightly nervous. Not only was I back to my hometown, but I was going back to hell itself, Marion High.

I've come to conclude that my coming back is foreclosure on my old self. Something I need to do and close that chapter of my life for good. Like a way to redeem my past and tell that girl that everything did get better.

"Thank You" I said to the last mover as he walked away. I watch as the white moving truck drives away. I breathe in the cold air of Marion, Oregon. I forgot how cold this place was. I hugged my lilac coat to warm myself more.

"Hello again Marion" I whispered softly. A smile crept on my lips as my chest filled with pride. I was ready to take the reins on my past and my future.

And this time no one would tell me what I could or couldn't do.