Written by Isa Bedigian
This story takes place three years after the fourth season finale.
By Claudia Salinger
I want to let you know before I get into my essay that I do not intend to
win or even place in this contest. I'm simply entering to shut my guidance
counselor & sister & English teacher up.
And yes, I meant to leave that up there.
My name is Claudia Lauren Salinger, & I could write quite a few novels on
the seventeen years I've lived so far. My parents were killed by a drunk
driver when I was ten, my older brother Bailey is an alcoholic who lives with
his high school sweetheart Sarah in our attic & my oldest brother Charlie is a
Cancer survivor living with his ex-finacee & a toddler he had with a
girlFRIEND three years ago. And yes, the girlFRIEND still comes over to see
the baby. Sometimes they all have dinner together.
I also have a sister, Julia, who is married (she got married right out of
high school!) & she & her husband, Griffin, live in our house with their three
kids. I guess it's their house too. (When I say "our" I mean Owen, my
younger brother, & I. We're the only sibs who've yet to leave the nest.
Although they've returned, Bailey & Julia have both moved in the past.) Julia
& Griffin are my "parents", if you can call them that. I guess they're okay @
it. It's weird though, when your parents swear as much or more than you do, &
they don't even bat an eyelash when you rent an "R" rated movie. I've had my
problems though, & I can't say they're entirely to blame, but they aren't
exempt either. I hope Nicolas, Natalie & Diana turn out better than I have.
My whole life has been a roller coaster ride, but the last four years ~ my
high school years ~ take the cake. There was the day Bailey had to speak to
my class about alcohol addiction ~ that was rough. And when Charlie was sick,
he had pneumonia, & he could have died. Social Services took us away from
Charlie once, & I had my first of many heartbreaks. I often wonder where Reed
Eisley is. I heard he went to USC on a football scholarship. I wonder if he'd
recongnize me if we ran into each other on the street or something. If he'd
stop & say "Salinger? That you?" or something silly like that, or if he'd
just pass me like you do any other stranger.
And then there was Charlie's baby, Bailey (yes, he named her after our
brother. And after our sister, her name is Bailey Jewel ~ like Jule, our
nickname for Julia). When we found out his girlFRIEND Daphne was pregnant, we
were quite estatic. I didn't always enjoy changing her diapers, but now that
Charlie & the baby have moved out, I miss them.
When Julia announced that she too, was pregnant, it was....strange. Julia
had a miscarriage back in high school, & afterwards, I thought she'd never
have children! And she has three!!! Her twins, Nicolas & Natalie, were born
almost two years ago. Diana is three weeks old. I kind of hope Julia doesn't
have any more children. I mean, I've never had to take care of them ~ she
does that all on her own ~ and seems to love it ~ but it's a pain in the ass
when you're studdying for a final @ three am & babies are crying.
Griffin, Julia's husband, has some sort of bike thing going with his older
brother Mitch. I'm not sure what it is, exactly, but he seems to make good
money & he's home alot which is good for Julia, so I guess it's good.
And in the midst of all the business in my siblings lives, I've
had....nothing. Sure, I'm one of the best violinists in the Bay Area (not to
brag...), but other than that, I've had a failed relationship & a horrible
prom. It was the worst. My on-again, off-again boyFRIEND Jamie Burke refused
to ask me to my own senior prom on the grounds that I'd already gone to four
of his plus my junior one. He said he was sick & tired of putting on a tux &
smiling all night. So I said fine, I'll go with someone else. And I did. I
went with this kid, Roger someone. We barely knew each other. I'd had a
fight with Jamie over the phone during lunch the week before the prom, so I
just asked the next guy I saw who seemed lonely. Roger was sitting in the
corner having lunch alone, & he blushed four shades of red when I asked him.
The dance was awful. He stepped all over my dress & my shoes & wouldn't dance
to any fast songs because they were "too current". It was horrible. I hope I
can forget it someday, but I doubt I ever will. After that, I found out
through mutual FRIENDS that Jamie was going away to school back East in the
fall. I called him & we had a fight, & I haven't spoken to him since. I
don't believe I want to.
So, that's pretty much my life. My siblings, going here & there & messing
my life up in the process, & me, doing nothing. I know this entry is last-
minute, & probably the worst one you've ever read, so just toss it out &
pretend it was never there. I'll feel better.