A/n Oh my God, this is really it! I'm gonna cry, It's so strange to think that the being of my existence for the past 3 months is finally over. Well, I really hope you enjoy the finale. I think this is the perfect way to end it, and I wouldn't change a thing. So read thoroughly, and enjoy the end of a saga.
The Many Faces of Kelly Almond
Chapter 11: Stepping Back Into The Light
On a hot day in mid-June 2008, 200 students dressed in white and dark red robes walked onto the Boon High football field to the sound of "Pomp and Circumstance" from the school band. As the last student sat down, the principal stood up and the band stopped playing. After Principal Warren had made the very boring, long-winded speech he used every year, he finally finished with an introduction. "And, now, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present to you the President of the Class of 2008, Kelly Almond." The crowd cheered enthusiastically as a very different-looking Kelly Almond stood at the podium. She had gained back some of the weight she had lost from bulimia, but it was more than that: She had a confident air about her, and her face had a wiser, more mature look to it. Finally the cheers died down, and Kelly, looking around at the faces of everyone she knew: Ryan, who was rubbing a fresh bruise on his cheek; her little sister in the bleachers; Mindy, sitting near her and looking very plain with her dramatic makeup; and last of all, her true friends, Derrick and Lindsey, and began her speech:
"Friends, family, I am very proud to be here today. In fact, I almost didn't make it. As many of you probably know, high school can be both the best and the worst years of you life.
"These past four years are ones I will never forget. I made many mistakes, but I know that I have learned from them and matured because of it.
"Teenagers often make the mistake of thinking they have to change to fit in, that their true self is a freak. From the moment I entered ninth grade as a freshman in this high school till the last day of my junior year, I pretended to be someone I wasn't. I went from clique to clique every year, falling deeper and deeper into depression. Instead of feeling like I belonged like I had wanted to, I became more and more insecure than I ever was. By the time I realized what a huge mistake I'd made, I was too far gone to fix it. In the process of trying to be perfect, I lost my best friends, I hurt others, and—" she faltered for the first time in her whole speech, glancing at Ryan, who was staring at her with a steely glint in his dark eyes. Taking a deep breath, she went on. "And I was hurt very deeply, both emotionally and physically, by someone I both loved and trusted. That is one mistake I will never forgive myself, or that person, for making.
"So, though it may seem clichéd, please listen to me when I say this: Be yourself, and never, ever make the mistakes I did. We of the graduating class of 2008 have witnessed the destructive consequences of trying to be perfect. We have seen depression; we have seen students disappear, rumored to have starved themselves; we have even watched as a seemingly happy eighteen-year-old boy shot himself in front of a cafeteria full of people. So don't try to fit in; the only weird people are the ones who call you weird. Accept your faults, celebrate your accomplishments, and remember the memories you have made at this school, even the painful ones.
"Now, in conclusion, I ask you all to join me in the switching of the tassels." Every student, some of them crying, moved the tassels on their caps to the opposite side of their head. Kelly, beaming, spoke into the microphone once more. "Congratulations, Class of 2008, for we have finally passed from the halls of this school into the wide world. Now go and enjoy your new lives!" A cheer rose up, echoing around the field, as 200 graduation caps flew high into the air, marking the beginning of a bright future for the one, the only, the true Kelly Almond.
Boon High Class of 2008 Graduation Song
I kept the right ones out
And let the wrong ones in
Had an angel of mercy to see me through all my sins
There were times in my life
When I was goin' insane
Tryin' to walk through
When I lost my grip
And I hit the floor
Yeah, I thought I could leave but couldn't get out the door
I was so sick and tired
Of a livin' a lie
I was wishin' that I
With the blink of an eye you finally see the light
When the moment arrives that you know you'll be alright
And I'm sayin' a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight
That one last shot's a Permanent Vacation
And how high can you fly with broken wings?
Life's a journey not a destination
And I just can't tell just what tomorrow brings
You have to learn to crawl
Before you learn to walk
But I just couldn't listen to all that righteous talk
I was out on the street,
Just a tryin' to survive
A/n So how'd you like it? I really am gonna cry now. Please review, even if you haven't for the whole story, and tell me what you think of the ending. And thanks to everyone who reviewed, you guys rock my socks!
To Remain Unknown
Oh yeah, and two more dedications: ALEXANDREA ROMANZESCO AND TINYDANCERMJM, you guys rock SO MUCH!!! Alex, if it weren't for you there would be no Kelly Almond, no reviewers, even no El Corazon Sangriento! I wouldn't even know Fiction Press existed! And Moose, you're great, listening to all my ranting all summer long about this story and giving me advice, and letting me pick on you openly in the form of Emmy about your bathroom habits (and mine, too, really). You practically cowrote this with me at times.
Well, people, I guess that's it. I promise there will be more fics to come, during the school year I get a lot of inspiration. I actually have a couple in the works right now. Until then, read "Chelsea's Puddle", or, if you want, you can read this all over again! :)
So, GoodBye, Best Wishes, yadda yadda and tell me what you think! (And BTW, if a Magic 8 Ball shows up on your doorstep, don't trust it!!)