STARS ALIGNED OR STAR-CROSSED LOVERS TALE%3F
23 YEARS AGO
AIMIEE SKYLER WHITMAN
1996 - 1998
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.
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.