High school fucks people up, and no one ever quite gets over it. The niche we occupied when we were dreading going to gym class determines what we are going to be forever after. The arrogant rich kids went off to the name brand schools, made the connections that would ensure their futures, debased themselves in frat houses, and grew up to become Republicans who played golf and sneered at people who they just flat knew hadn’t worked as hard as they had to earn what their own dedicated work ethic had earned them. They spent their lives looking down on people who were less wealthy and less connected, which is pretty much how they’d conducted themselves when they were stockpiling club memberships that would appear next to their pictures in the high school yearbook.
Meanwhile, the stoners who were smoking out on the periphery somewhere when they were supposed to be in Mrs. Miller’s history class are now operating marginally viable little head shops, or they finally got their liberal arts or social science degrees and may have found their way into a part-time teaching gig that makes it necessary for them to peddle a little pot on the side, just to keep their heads above water and make payments on those burdensome student loans. Or they’re working as assistant managers at fast food franchises or chain stores.
The jocks can be found cheering their own sons on playing fields across the country, rushing from the car dealership where they work to watch Jr. get the concussion that will echo the one the old man got back when glory was his, along with the cutest cheerleader on the squad. These guys, too, mostly grew up to vote Republican.
The hot chicks had a kid or two right quick, and then got their real estate licenses as soon as those kids were off to elementary school, by which time most of them were on their second marriages.
The luckier nerds got tech jobs, and have taken up the hobby of making creepy anonymous phone calls to the objects of their sexual fantasies. The more bookish kids found mates for themselves in bookstores, and spend time sharing space where they can read in peace without being entirely alone.
The dropouts returned to community colleges, and the luckier ones found jobs as fire fighters, service reps, respiratory therapists, or in-home care providers.
The toadies and teachers’ pets became middle managers and sycophants hoping their craven ass kissing would launch them into top management. Sometimes it did, but mostly not. Their teachers didn’t really like them, nor did the bosses who, nonetheless, reveled in their abject brown nosing.
The smart asses who gave the teachers attitude from the back row mostly grew up to commit various felonies and do time. The other back row bad boys became cops.
Everyone grew old and died, most of them still wishing prom night had worked out better than they remembered it.