DISTRESS CALL STORY

MODERN MATERIAL MISSION

Annie Weihrauch {y•ROCK}
Founder + Creator of Modern Material

The DISTRESS CALL coMMunity is calling on everyone who understands what it is like to have friends and family members suffering from mental health challenges. All everyone really needs is a friend they can count on to be there without judging them. A friend who is always sticking up for them because they understand what it feels like to be bullied, teased and tormented. We each need to find that person who won't be burdened by the Distress Call because picking up the phone helps them feel better too. We all just need 1 reason to wake up excited about something, even if 10 other things suck.

Consider Modern Material the operator that will help connect people to those who truly understand the same challenges of making or picking up the Distress Call. Turn the burden of having a conversation into a bond between soul mates who don't want to hang up the phone. Look for Characters or lyrics you can relate to in our coMMunity while we begin building the Brand Story inspired by your own lives.

The Distress Call Brand will take you through TRUE STORIES as told by my MM Character, Aimee Skyler Whitman as she encounters a lifetime of suicides and struggles with depression and anxiety. Character names, dates, actual events, locations and storyline connections have been changed to protect identities and provide privacy from the social stigma of Suicide. Only one storyline has a slight variation to capture the most current rise of cyber bullying and social media. About 95%  of the storylines are true and based on journals and emails I kept with my friends.

As we encounter difficult challenges and decisions that can lead us down a path of depression and destruction, we will ask readers to give our Characters advice, encouragement by sharing their own stories, songs, artwork, and anything that resonates, ultimately bringing together a community of people who can relate to one another.

All we need is one friend who looks forward to picking up our Distress Calls to turn the burden into a bond.

- Annie Weihrauch

Los Angeles, CA / Columbus, Ohio



BRAND ADVOCATE

Help us spread the word around the world and build our Brand Story. 

Our logo created by Modern Material founder, Annie Weihrauch, is designed to shock people to open the narrative and stop being so cared to talk about suicide. Make a call or answer the call before it's too late.

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Aimee Skyler Whitman
Narrator of The Story of Modern Material

ANSWERING THE DISTRESS CALL

I believe my life was destined to build this community for people  who care about sharing something special together. We are seeking sanity not vanity, so we prefer readers to participate in our Brand Stories as a Character when sharing their material on Modern Material.

If you found your soulmate in the flesh and blood then you're fortunate. Most of us find at least one, but as our lives change with each new chapter we live, so does the food we need to feed our souls. I don't believe there is just one person out there for each of us to last forever and maybe that's why I felt I was losing my marriage. I made a mistake 22 years ago that I never regretted but the past has a way of catching back up to you. 

My life has had many twists and turns, wins and losses, but mostly I haven't been able to find my true identity because I was always working for someone else. My parents, employers, relationships, friendships and partnerships have always required me to think about someone else's needs.

It's time I think about what I want out of life. I've already been a Reason to Die, now it's time to bring everyone together to find a Reason to Live.


LOST IN LOS ANGELES

DECEMBER 2016

It’s Midnight in Los Angeles and I don’t know where my life went. I think it might be over. Lost at sea on a yacht full of booze, blow, and girls in bikinis with all my "fake" friends who don't know me. They don't know I've committed the 7 deadly sins because Pride was the only family value instilled inside a family of athletes destined to go pro. I was born to be better than everyone else and my life's achievements have come at the cost of anyone's life that is dependent on me. Maybe buzzed with my "fake" LA friends was just where I belonged because next in line is Greed and these people get it. Now I'm trapped in this Hollywood life where My Character is here for your entertainment and I can use your advice and emotional support. Will you love me or hate me when we get to the end of My Story that has never been told?


OUR CHARACTERS

Chat with each of our Distress Call Characters in our Modern Material Community Forum. When you find someone you can relate to, share your material such as your story, favorite songs, lyrics and memories that resonate with our storylines. Login and stay In Character so nobody can judge your book by it's cover.


THE ROCKSTARS

AUDIOSLAVE

Band fronted by Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and Rage Against the Machine


THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS

Band fronted by Actor Jared Leto


TWENTY ONE PILOTS

Columbus, Ohio band fronted by Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun



AUDIOSLAVE + THIRY SECONDS TO MARS

The Story of Modern Material begins in November 2005 at an Audioslave and Thirty Seconds to Mars concert in Columbus, Ohio when Aimee's co-worker Christine Durant heard she liked music. A diehard Chris Cornell fan, Christine couldn't miss the show so she bought Aimee a ticket. She heard Jared Leto had a band opening so she thought it would be a fun 90's night. Little did she know this night was going to start a Domino Effect for the rest of her life when Christine told her about her 17 year old son suffering from Depression. Aimee told her about Stephanie Kane, her step-cousin and college roommate who attempted suicide multiple times for 3 years. She could relate to the struggle.




TWENTY ONE PILOTS

In 2012 Aimee and Christine were working for a collegiate fashion called Campus Couture when her co-worker DJ was playing DJ in the office everyday. He said he had some friends who started a band and played at his church in New Albany, Ohio. While doing a photo shoot in the warehouse, he brought the guys in to hang out. Tyler and Josh who still thought they were nobody were sitting in the corner of a showroom full of collegiate t-shirts and a bunch of girls gossiping about fashion and the Kardashians. 

Aimee was working with dozens of bands in LA and NYC to promote their music with Modern Material and she wanted to have Twenty One Pilots join. They didn't have a manager or label and Aimee's friend at Promowest said they didn't even have enough fans to book the Basement for a show. She couldn't understand because she was so impressed by their music and she wanted the world to know. Aimee got  up the nerve and took her pizza over and sat down next to the boys. She had butterflies in her stomach like she did after meeting idols like Gavin Rossdale. Tyler and Josh were going to be somebody someday. She just had that gut feeling.

THE DOMINO EFFECT

Life has a way of catching back up to you. Reminding you of all the damage you did along the way, as if you spent your entire life setting up the dominos but you tripped and fell before you finished what you started. The Story of Modern Material will take you on all the twists and turns as we keep resetting the story every time one of our Characters make a mistake and needs your advice. Don't be afraid to knock everything down so you can start over, just don't give up and say game over.


THE RAINES FAMILY

APRIL 2017

The Raines family lives behind Aimee + Scott Whitman's Columbus, Ohio home where the couple were raising their two young daughters. After Scott and Aimee move to Los Angeles, Chad Raines died by suicide on April 20, 2017 after a long battle with drug addiction and fear of losing his family.

CHAD RAINES


SHELBY RAINES


             ALLIE RAINES


CHLOÉ RAINES


FRIEND + NEIGHBOR

When Chad Raines died on April 20, 2017 I sat at home in California stunned. My husband, Scott Whitman, called Shelby Raines to find out what happened. Chad and Shelby had been our best friends and backyard neighbors for a decade on the westside of Columbus, Ohio near Hilliard. We both built our houses and got married in 2002. It turned out Chad knew my best friend since the 4th grade, Molly Hollister, when they worked at Lazarus Department Store in Upper Arlington during college. 

Chad took his life after finding out Shelby was going to leave him with their two pre-teen daughters, Allie and Chloé. I noticed how hearing that Chad committed suicide was not any different to me than if he died in a car accident or had cancer. It didn't scare me but  when I told people about it they acted as if they saw a ghost.

CHAT WITH SHELBY RAINES 


THE DURANT + CHRISTIAN FAMILY

Christine Durant is raising her three kids in Columbus, Ohio when she becomes friends with Aimee Whitman at an Audioslave concert in November 2005. Aimee creates an unlikely bond between a Mother who is 17 years older and her 17 year old son who's father is a record producer in Hollywood, CA.

CHRISTINE DURANT


JACK CHRISTIAN


             MADISON DURANT


JAMES CHRISTIAN


AN ARTIST + MUSICIAN

Maybe that's because I used to talk to the spirit of Jack Christian when I'd lay in his bed at night after seeing a Chris Cornell concert in Cleveland. His mom, Christine, needed a reason to get out of bed every day so I'd go with her to see Chris Cornell or Soundgarden every time a tour came to Ohio. In November 2005 Christine was looking for someone to go to an Audioslave concert with her but she couldn't find many music fans in a city of football fans. We worked together and she heard I liked 90's music. When I heard Jared Leto had a band playing I said I'd go. He was still Jordan Catalano, lead signer of Frozen Embryos from my 14 year old So-Called Life. I was beyond impressed with Thirty Seconds to Mars. Their lyrics just resonated with me during my rage for corporate politics.

While we were sitting in our seats Christine looked at my drivers license and started laughing. "You were born in 1979, the year I graduated from High School!" she exclaimed. "My oldest son is 17! I could be your mother!" 

She told me about Jack who was a musician and artist and he was suffering from depression. I told her about my best friend Stephanie and how she used to attempt suicide multiple times when we were in college. A bond started forming and Christine started inviting me over to the house during Ohio State games because Scott was always with Chad Raines and their friends. Christine, Jack and I were sitting around the table talking about Chris Cornell's lyrics. One of his favorite songs was Heaven's Dead.

After Jack graduated from High School he left for college at Michigan. He wasn't a sports fan but was a talented guitar player and artist. He had red hair, freckles and his slender body was always wearing a band t-shirt, never an Ohio State t-shirt. Jack had his group of High School friends but everyone split up. When he got to Michigan all of the jocks started bullying him for not getting into the team spirit. Not only was he from Ohio, but he wasn't a sports fan. Jack's dad, James Christian, was a record producer out in Hollywood but he didn't really speak to him very often. 


HEAVEN'S DEAD WHEN YOU GET SAD

Shipwreck the sun, well, I'm on your side

An army of one, onward we will ride

Whisper your songs, birds to the air

We'll bury all of our burdens there

Well, Heaven's dead when you get sad

I see wishes fly

Out of time

For the best time you've had

Heaven's dead when you get sad

I see wishes fly

Out of time

For the best time you've had

HEAVENS DEAD LYRICS by AUDIOSLAVE / CHRIS CORNELL


SOCIAL STIGMA+IGNORNACE=LIFELONG RERGRET

In January 2007 Christine called me crying hysterically, not knowing what to do. Jack had just been arrested after attempting suicide. She didn't know what to do but she knew Aimee had been there. He wanted to move home but she had already paid tuition and I promised her it was just a teenage phase. That he just needed attention and drugs would probably help him like they did for Stephanie.

"CHRISTINE, I promise Jack's suicide threat is just a teenage phase he will grow out of. Stephanie is fine now."

 I told her we should take him to see a concert when he came back for spring break so we bought tickets to see Pete Yorn at the Newport. 

Christine and I took Jack and his girlfriend to dinner at Eddie George's on the OSU Campus then walked over to the Newport. Jack was doing pretty well. Seemed fine to me. I made jokes like how I was going to beat up the people standing in front of us so I could get my favorite spot at the Newport, left of stage, along the railing of the lower level. 

A week later I was at a press check in Philadelphia when one of my co-workers called me with the news. Jack shot himself in the woods. I just shut down. Went numb. I couldn't cry, I just ran through everything in my head about what went wrong. I was wrong. I was so wrong to thing that suicide was just a cry for attention. That it was an excuse to get what someone wanted. What if Stephanie had been serious? What if she hadn't lived? Would it have been my fault?


THE STEP FAMILY SUICIDE SECRET

Aimee Skyler just turned 19 and was looking forward to a life of her own with boyfriend Scott Whitman. Her roommate and step-cousin Stephanie Kane was looking for a best friend but Aimee was never home. In March 1999 Aimee would discover police searching their room for Stephanie's suicide letter.


AIMEE SKYLER


STEPHANIE KANE


             ANNIE BRAYDEN


SCOTT WHITMAN


THE SUICIDE JOURNALS

It was March 1999 and there were police cars, ambulances and fire trucks surrounding my apartment off campus in Columbus, Ohio. I was a freshman at Ohio State planning on majoring in Psychology. I need to take two exams in the morning for Winter quarter if I want to still get an A in class.

I knew exactly what happened. 15 minutes earlier I got a phone call from my roommate Stephanie’s friend while I was working at the Toy Store. She said I needed to go home quickly.

I rushed home in my brand new red Ford Escort ZX2 and saw the flashing lights surrounding our apartment. I found a parking spot and ran up the steps. There were about 8 cops and 4 paramedics. Stephanie was nowhere to be seen. The apartment was darkly lit with a glow from the upstairs bathroom. An officer was looking through it and two were in our bedroom.

“Are you Aimee?” One of them said as I answered yes.

“Your roommate Stephanie has been taken to OSU hospital for attempting to commit suicide. We have a few questions for you. Do you know if she would have left a letter explaining why she wanted to do this to herself?”

“We kept a journal. She’s told me several times before she wanted to kill herself.”

I retrieved the latest journal and gave it to the cop. He took a look at it. The last few entries were a simple goodbye and thank you to her friends and family. Everyone but me.

“Goodbye. I cannot do this anymore. Thank you for all you've done for me.” Love, Stephanie

The cop put the journal in an evidence bag and took a statement from me. I was in shock. Just a sick feeling but no real emotion. It didn't seem real and there was no way she was actually going to be gone just like that. I was in denial as I answered questions. When they were finished I was allowed to leave and go to the hospital where I walked the line in the fluorescent lit corridor to the ER shaken. Was this time real? It wasn’t the first attempt.

Weeks earlier I had received a voicemail from her saying she went down to the Olentangy River to drown herself. It was late at night went I went down to the banks alone to look for her. A 19 year old wondering around the park alone at midnight thanks to my best friend's suicide threat. 

By her third threat I just quit believing in her cry for help. It seemed like every time I left to see Scott she needed me to be there for her. I'd drive 30 minutes away and get a phone call that she needed  me to come home. Following her rules were worse than my parents. I had a curfew from my roommate to help her from feelings of loneliness and I was getting tired of listening to her.

The nurses in the ER led me into her hospital room. I was the first one there to visit. Her face was stained and covered with a black substance. It scared me because I thought it was what she did to herself. The nurses explained that they made her drink charcoal so they could pump her stomach. She was doing ok. She was going to live.

But that wasn't the end of our story, that was just the beginning of our life or death friendship for the next two years of college.

I wrote her a letter a week later accusing her of making me fail my college exams. Not only was she keeping me away from my boyfriend, she was keeping me from getting good grades. I was still a very strong Christian believer at this point in my life. I'd tell her how God was the only one who should have the ability to end her life and that she should not be having such thoughts and it wasn't normal. I probably said anything I could to help her based on MY OWN beliefs, not hers. What I said was NOT what she needed to hear. She didn't need me preaching to her or scolding her for feeling that way. She didn't need me comparing my problems to hers. Just because I managed to get through my problems without having serious depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts did not mean I was qualified to tell her how to feel.

Being her best friend was not something I was qualified to be. If she needed to have open heart surgery, I wouldn't have been qualified to operate. She needed help dealing with the thoughts in her brain but I couldn't relate. All I could do was compare my life to hers and think she had a big happy family that I was now a part of because my dad married her aunt. She had perfect friends and was THE PROM QUEEN. 

"STEPHANIE, My life sucks too but I'm still here."

AIMEE + STEPHANIE'S SECRET SUICIDE JOURNAL

THE SECRET SUICIDE JOURNAL

These are actual journal entries written by the real life  Aimee + Stephanie when they were attending Ohio State University in 1998 and 1999. Only names and some locations have been edited. The journal which included the acutal suicide letter was taken by Columbus City Police in 1999.

 JOIN THE DISCUSSION


THE STAR-CROSSED LOVERS

Aimee Skyler just turned 17 after her new boyfriend of three months, Chad Lyons, leaves for college in North Carolina. Within 6 months the entire town of Bluestone, Ohio is about to turn against Aimee and Scott Whitman when their secret romance is exposed. Scott's fiancé Shannon Sanderson falls victim as the life she's know for three years is about to come to an end. Aimee's friends disowned her for being with Scott behind Shannon's back and Chad's friends turn on Scott trying to warn Aimee to stay away from him.

AIMEE SKYLER


CHAD LYONS


             SCOTT WHITMAN


SHANNON SANDERSON


A CRY FOR ATTENTION

In June 1998 I had just moved in with Stephanie Kane and two other girls. Scott and I were so excited to start our own life, free from my own emotional demons which we left behind in Bluestone, Ohio. What happened in Bluestone, stayed in Bluestone. There was no social media to find people once you moved away. You'd have to find someone who knew where you moved and had your new phone number. I just wanted escape Bluestone and go to a place nobody knew me....Columbus, Ohio.

Scott and I finally got away from the shame of cheating on his fiancé and my boyfriend. We still went back to Bluestone to visit friends and family, occasionally crossing paths with ex-fiancé's family. Scott did his thing and repaired their relationships but me, I was still the girl who stole her man and everyone, especially my best friends, made me very aware of what I did wrong. But I had this new life where nobody knew about my mistakes. I wasn't making sports headlines and I wasn't making out with anyone I wasn't supposed to. I was free to start living my own life by my own rules until Stephanie started dictating who, what, when, where and why I needed to be her best friend.



Scott and I kept our friendship a secret after we hooked up at a party one night in September 1996 after my new boyfriend, Chad Lyons, went back to school in North Carolina. We had only been dating 3 months and made no promises to remain exclusive. There was no way he wasn't going to find someone else at school so I did not have my hopes up. Meanwhile very girl in Bluestone had a crush on Scott Whitman. I chalked that night up as a mistake because he said Shannon cheated on him with several of his friends so it almost seemed like payback before the wedding. Then Scott proposed to her and the idea of us having a relationship turned into a scandalous affair when I was just a 17 year old Junior in High School.

I could not understand what Stephanie was complaining about. She went to Catholic School and had a big happy family who was now a part of mine too. They had a party for everybody's birthday, which was every weekend. I had taken my friend, Tim Becker to Stephanie's High School graduation party. My dad and stepmom were drunk and got into a massive argument. Tim dropped me off after Steph's graduation party and I walked into the house at 1am with every single appliance or electronic device on at top volume while my dad was passed out on the sofa and my stepmom Kelly was screaming at him. Tim already left so I was screwed. My family was the crazy one, not Stephanie's!

My mom and stepdad kept me grounded most of High School. Every time I snuck out of the house to see Chad or Scott, I usually got caught sneaking back in. In the Fall of 1997 while I was seeing Scott, I snuck out of the house and stuffed my bed with the giant teddy bear Chad brought me when he came back for Spring Break. 

When I came back into my room from seeing Scott, the covers had been pulled off the bed and a note from my mom was laying on Chad's teddy bear that said, "I thought you said I could trust you??!!"


Maybe I wasn't to be trusted when it came to falling in love or making out in my boyfriend's car or bedroom. Scott still loved Shannon and didn't want to leave her. My friends began bullying me for going behind Shannon's back. The more I tried to push Scott away, the more he wanted to be with me. I never dreamed Chad would still be interested after our argument over Thanksgiving but he seemed to be making things up to me by Valentine's Day when he sent a dozen roses to my High School and came back to surprise me a few weeks later with the giant teddy bear. Scott was starting to get very jealous but was so worried about calling off the engagement.

I told him "Hey, I just have a boyfriend who isn't fully committed since he doesn't live in Bluestone. I haven't even met his family, he was just spending the summer with a family I was very close to. You're fiancé lives 3 blocks away from me. She drives by my house every day and I can see if you are over at her house."


When Chad came back for the Summer of 1997 things were getting complicated. I had just left for Italy and Greece with my friends Molly and Andrea who had spent all spring bullying me. Molly told me that I was a follower. That I copied everything that Andrea did. Her taste in clothing, music and boys. She said I had no self esteem and just did what Andrea did. I didn't deny it. I told her that was because Andrea was the leader of our group. The popular crowd. So what if I wanted to be popular too? Why were they hating on me so much? I was their friend, not Shannon Sanderson.

I wanted to call off my trip to Europe but I was going to lose $1,000. I told my art teacher, Mrs. Garrison, about Molly and Andrea and I fighting. She told me there was going to be another group of students going so I wouldn't need to be with them. I agreed to go. At the time I had NO IDEA that Mrs. Garrison was Scott's cousin! Before we left on the trip Molly and Andrea and I made up. Nobody wanted to get in a fight. Chad was back in town and Scott had just graduated from Bluestone College. I had no idea what my future held. 

We had the best trip ever. It started out a little strained but Andrea, Molly and I were having fun having the Italian boys hitting on us in Sorrento and asking us to the Discotheque or stalking us on the cruise ship. There was a group of students from Wisconsin on the same tour with us. Andrea was crushing on some guy named Alexander but apparently I was the only one who scored that trip when a cute blonde guy named Mike brought his friend to Molly and my hotel room the night before we had to return to the US. When in Rome you have to kiss someone right? Well it was pretty innocent when he kissed me goodnight in the hallway around 4am. The next day we had our 12 hour flight home and he asked my friend if she would trade seats so he could watch movies with me and hold my hand on the way home. I never saw that guy again after we got on different flights in NYC.

Go figure, but Andrea had a photo of us holding hands and me asleep on Mike's shoulder. I just hoped she wasn't going to use it as blackmail to show Chad or Scott. It was now Summer of 1997 and neither of them were ready to have a committed relationship with me, so why was I waiting around for them to tell me they loved me and only me?

When I got home Chad was there. It was starting to get harder being with him after everything that had been going on. Was Scott ever going to love me? Was Chad ever going to make any promises to me? Nope, neither of them came through. My cousin Nicole was about to arrive for our summer trip to Michigan and I knew I had another boy waiting for me up there. Parker Dawson would be at his family's lakeside cabin just like the two years prior. Parker was a jock from Miami Florida who thought he ran the little seaside vacation town of Cedarwoods, MI. He did and I knew I was probably his flavor or the week but it was a confidence boost. As expected he pressured me to have sex with him but I pushed him off me and said I wanted to leave the cabin. He respected that and walked me to my truck. I was still 17 and saving myself for "The One", whoever that might be. It was pretty damn difficult in July 1997. Scott, Chad, Mike, Parker... when was I going to find my Price Charming? Oh wait, I don't believe in fairytales so they might as well all be frogs.

As soon as I got home I had some news waiting for me. Scott and Cassie both told me that Andrea made out with him at a party when I was not there. Are you kidding me? A mix of emotions ran through me. What was I supposed to think? Was I supposed to be mad at Scott? He wasn't my boyfriend, he was still with Shannon and I was still with Chad, sorta. I was mad at Andrea for being a hypocrite. She tried to turn all of my friends against me for going behind Shannon's back. Now she was?  Did she just want to have him for herself? Right....I was supposed to be copying everything Andrea did. She didn't have my Leonardo DiCaprio lookalike, Chad, or that hot Wisconsin guy who kissed me in Rome or the Miami football player I made out with in Michigan but Scott held the popularity title in Bluestone. Maybe I wasn't a follower anymore. 

By the end of the summer I told Chad about Scott before he left Bluestone for North Carolina. When Scott called off the engagement with Shannon rumors in started spreading like wild fire. I wanted to die. Suddenly everyone labeled me a liar and a cheater and I couldn't deny it. All I could do is start counting down the clock to the day I could move away from Bluestone and start a new life.

What happened in Bluestone would say in Bluestone...in the 1990's.

In October 1997 everyone knew about Scott and I but I still couldn't call him my boyfriend. Chad was gone but his best friend, Brad Hansen called me at my best friend's Cassie Mathis's house to tell me that Scott was a cheater and I should not get involved with him. Brad didn't have that much room to speak because he asked out Cassie and I at the same time in 1995 because he wasn't sure of his feelings for us. We weren't sure about ours for him so we just took it one day at a time. But when Brad introduced me to Chad at the State Track meet, it was love at first sight and I had a mad crush on him for the next year until Chad swam back into my life in the Summer of 1996. 

It's now 2019 and I can sit here in my ocean view apartment with a swimming pool on the 17th floor overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Queen Mary and wonder how Scott and I ever got to this point in life when 20 years earlier we were two star-crossed lovers trying to leave behind all of our mistakes and loses so we had the chance to win love over. Heartbreak, tragedy and betrayal has not strayed from us. All we wanted was the chance to leave our pasts behind and become people we could love and trust.


IT'S TIME TO GROW UP

In June 1998 I was just so happy to be free from my past when Stephanie started making all of the rules for me to live by. Her depression was starting to kick in because she was expecting me to be her best friend. The Monica and Rachel Friendship with our purple walls and cappuccino cups. I just wanted to be with Scott without someone coming between us. No more parents grounding me for sneaking out of the house. I could spend the night and wake up in the morning instead of trying to sneak in to find a note on my teddy bear.

I hadn't seen or spoken to Chad for a year when Stephanie told me he stopped in the Toy Store looking for me in Columbus, Ohio one afternoon in September 1998. Tom Becker, my ex "boyfriend" Tim's older brother, knew where I worked when I left for college at Ohio State. I'm not sure he even knew how close Tim and I were but I used to go over to Tim's bedroom to watch movies. I had a major crush on him but so did my best friend Erica Hendrix, so I was never really able to admit it. Tim told me in my 1995 yearbook that he had a crush on me but I was dating Jason Kenny. Tim and I never really had a chance because by the time he finally asked me out, Chad came along and I broke Tim's heart. Then Scott came along and I broke Chad's. 

But boys will be boys. They never told me they loved me so I never really worried about their hearts. They will move on so why should I care? I'm just a number to them anyways, right? A few days in their monthly calendars that can be filled with a make out session so why put so much energy in me?

Tom Becker was good friends with my best friend Molly Hollister and they were both going to Ohio State. Tom was also good friends with Scott but Scott never understood why Tom wouldn't hang out with him anymore. I assumed it was because he was Tim's brother and Tim was mad I broke up with him for Chad. I had no idea that Chad was friends with Tom until they walked into the Toy Store that day.

I just wanted Chad to go away so I told Steph gave me the heads up if they came back while I was on my shift. My back was turned when Stephanie muttered he was there. It was just like a movie scene where I got caught trying to hide as I crouched down behind the glass case filled with collectible Star Wars toys. It was too late, he saw me.

I didn't want anything to ruin my relationship with Scott. I was done playing games and denying my attraction to Chad would have been impossible if we got together to catch up. I told Steph she needed to make sure Chad stayed away from me but Stephanie was the person who was trying to keep me away from Scott.

Scott was finally free from his ex-fiancé who he was so worried would commit suicide when he called off the engagement. He could never break it off with her but he was so concerned that I'd never leave Chad. Being friends was not an option, being apart was excruciating, and being together was incredibly shameful.

I was just 17 and we have now been married for 17 years when our past came back to haunt us in Los Angeles.


THE MODERN MATERIAL MELTDOWN

Aimee + Scott Whitman move to Los Angeles, CA in 2014 after Aimee's fashion career is in full gear. She hears a song on the radio by Twenty One Pilots and a memory about a fashion line for music fans begins to consume her. She contacts James Christian to tell him what she and his ex-wife Christine used to do back in Columbus, Ohio. She wasn't ready to tell him WHY she created Modern Material but she had fun telling him HOW. The emotional attachment of giving Christine and James something to look forward to began to make Aimee feel trapped with their dependency when all she wanted was to start a business.

AIMEE WHITMAN


SCOTT WHITMAN


             JAMES CHRISTIAN


MADISON DURANT


I AM NOT YOUR ROLLING WEELS, I AM THE HIGHWAY

- AUDIOSLAVE

It was May 2014 when I went to dinner with Christine Durant the night before moving trucks left our home in Columbus for Los Angeles. She was incredibly upset knowing I would no longer be able to go to concerts with her. She was begging me to stay, telling me we'd get there and I'd find my dream but it wouldn't be where Scott belonged. That we'd learn we weren't right for each other. Her friend told me that her friend had a crush on Scott and I always suspected something. I didn't like to hang out at OSU tailgate parties. I let him live his life and I lived mine with Christine going to concerts and creating Modern Material. 

I was so mad at Christine for sending me off to Los Angeles with my head full of doubts about my husband as we got ready to start a new journey together, completely alone. I couldn't speak to her anymore. We hit the highway and I wouldn't speak to her again. Not for two years.


We'd spent the last 8 years making jewelry and t-shirts and selling them at festivals in Columbus, Ohio. We worked for Limited Brands and a China based manufacturing company designing t-shirts for a brand called Campus Couture. All Christine and I did was have fun. We weren't trying to build a business and profit from our creations. We loved trying to get backstage to see a band and give them a t-shirt.

One night in Cleveland I had passes to an after party with Pat Monahan of Train. His bass player started flirting with me at the bar and Christine was having so much fun hanging with the band. I gave the guy a t-shirt since Pat was too busy. He put it on and said we should go back to the bus. I said no but he wanted us to go to the next show in Washington D.C. Christine was so excited and thought it was so cool to be hanging out with Pat's band. I liked the attention. It had been a long time since I'd kissed another guy...Chad...but I turned and walked away. Nothing happened, but Christine and I spent the night in Cleveland.

Scott found out we were hanging out with the band. He read an email I sent to a friend and knew Christine and I were considering going to the next show. He assumed I cheated on him and was incredibly upset. I had never seen him like that. I didn't know what to do. It was the first time Christine has been happy since Jack took his life 6 months earlier. I wasn't going to cheat on him but the idea of hanging out with bands was too much for him to trust so I started an online store for Modern Material to sell our t-shirts and jewelry. 


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