She's been everybody else's girl. Maybe one day she'll be her own.

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We sat on the floor of the common area of the Margaret Nance dorm, and I pretended to listen to the residence hall director talk about whatever she was talking about. I was intrigued by the pretty girls sitting next to me with the naturally curly hair. They seemed reserved. Artsy. I was wearing an oversized sweatshirt and my hair was pulled back in a headband. A cheerleader. I wondered if that's what they saw when they looked at me.

That night I broke the ice. I knocked on their door, which was right next to mine. "Do you have any sharp scissors? I need to cut my bangs." I'd been growing them out all summer and I'd had enough.

They had scissors. I found kindred spirits.

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Heather's in the middle, snapping the photo. Lisa's on the right. That's me on the left (with the bangs).

Recently, I opened an old trunk and released a wellspring of memories—chapters of my life story tucked away for safekeeping. And I found the collage Heather and Lisa made for me that year.

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Even now, I'm impressed with how well they knew me. How well they saw me.

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That year, they gave me a theme song. One by Tori Amos that goes:

She's been everybody else's girl. Maybe one day she'll be her own. 

It seems like they understood the journey I was on, better than I did. It seems like they—even then—knew what I'd become.

My own girl.

***

This is part two of a series inspired by mementos found inside an old trunk.  The parts stand alone but together, they tell a story. The story continues here.To start at the beginning, click here.

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