I know I may not have it as rough as some other members, but since a year ago today, my life has changed quite a few times and I thought I knew who I was.. but now I have no idea. February 22, 2005 (a year ago today) I was at my aunt's house with my girlfriend and my next-door neighbor when my aunt answered the phone and got this horrified look on her face. My stepfather came home and told my mom he wasn't happy and he was leaving. Keep in mind, they had just had a baby the previous May, so my baby sister wasn't even a year old. We didn't know why he left, but he quickly moved to Wisconsin to another woman. We assumed it was her causing him to leave, but we recently found out that he left because he was afraid of failing because he hated his job, etc.. things I still haven't come to fully understand. Anyway.. he left and my mom went to Florida to be with my grandparents.. she ended up staying there for 6 weeks because she couldn't bear to be home.. and I was at my aunt's house. At my aunt's I had more fun than I had in a looong time and I often wish I could spend some time there. She lived right down the street from my girlfriend so I saw Kelly every day (this was before I had my license so back then distance mattered) We used to watch movies all the time and I just loved being there. I spent a lot of time playing Need For Speed Underground 2, and it really helped me cope with everything. I'm quite nostalgic for it nowadays. So while I'm at my aunt's lacrosse season started and I had so much fun with that and then April 1 my mom came home and I finally got to go home to my new bedroom that I had just finished building a few weeks before I went to my aunt's. Now I had this crew of best friends.. Tony, Charlie, Cory, and Dave all along. They were there for me at my aunt's, and for the last few weeks I was at my aunt's Cory, Charlie, another kid Eric, and this kid Rea, started a band. (This wasn't our first attempt at it.. but this time we started with an intention to keep it going) We had our first practice in my aunt's basement and then when my mom came home moved into my ex-stepfather's library room. The room has 3 windows so it was always so bright and I remember walking in with amps and drums in the room and I loved the feeling I got when I came in it. It wasn't so much the band, it was the best friend's that I had. By this time, I had coped with my stepfather leaving and was pretty much over it because I was happier with him gone anyway. My mom had become much more independant and a more pleasant person believe it or not. Summer started to roll around and I loved being with my friends all the time and thinking it would never end. Our band was getting quite good and we played quite a few shows. This leads to another day that will haunt me... August 24. We were invited to play at a outdoor event in Meriden, CT. We went and played and came home. Tony wasn't in the band but he's been my next-door neighbor my whole life so he always came with us. He and this other kid Mike (who will show up again later in my story) decided to bring over some alchohol. I didn't think too much of it because we drank a little bit every now and then.. but they brought more than I thought. With my mom downstairs sleeping Charlie got really really drunk. He's a big kid, but can't hold alchohol I guess. I had one drink because I was actually working on a client's website (I don't design drunk ) and Charlie then started crying for his girlfriend.. so in the mean time we called her to have her calm him down. She couldn't calm him down, and she decided to come and get him. When she got here, he started throwing up and couldn't even stand. (Mind you, he did this all on his own with rum) They took him to the hospital, and my mom woke up in the middle of it, and you can imagine how much trouble we got in. Charlie's parents wouldn't let him see me again.. even though it really wasn't my fault. This is where my major dilemma happened. The friends I had when I was going through such a rough time were gone. I began being best friends with the kid Mike who was there and Tony. The whole time I was friends with Mike I felt like he wasn't my type of friend. He was an ex-Nazi racist who changed, but something just wasn't right. After a huge thing that happened with him and Tony which I don't feel like talking about here went down, I stopped talking to them in October. I realized that Cory was my true friend and we picked up where we left off after that incident in August. All the while, this other kid Dana watched everything unfold. I was best friends with Dana in 7th grade, but really didn't talk to him much after that. (We got split up in 8th grade.) I wish I had included him into more of my life before that because I didn't realize how much of a great friend he was, just like Cory. Somewhere awhile ago me, him, and cory became best friends. We do everything together now, like friday nights at IHOP. We all share the same interests in computers and so that's what we spend a lot of time doing. Cory and Dana are much better friends to me than anyone else was. Charlie, although he was my best friend since freshman year, had some very bad personality traits.. but I'm not gonna go into that. So now, I have these 2 best friends, and I think my life is getting back into order. I feel like I've found myself and who I really am. I became a Mac geek Christmas 2004 with a 1.2GHz iBook. That's another thing.. I've found myself becoming extremely nostalgic. For example, I miss my 1.2GHz iBook because I had it through everything.. up until August 1 when I sold it. I really grew a lot over the summer.. driving school, watching my sister and becoming more responsible, and maybe growing up too fast. Anyway, so my life is straightening out.. I got my license in November, I'm independant, I make money doing webdesign, I have 2 best friends I cherish and I for once started to feel happy again. Then, a week ago we got an email from my ex-stepfather where he was apologizing for everything that he did... and right there I knew he was going to want to come back.. Nevertheless, a few days ago my mom told me she's talking to him again, and while she's not going to get back with him and pick up where they left off, he will be coming around a bit more to see Gina (the baby) and she will talk to him. Things might happen between them in the future, but for now it will be semi the same as just me, my mom, and Gina. I don't even really understand the most of what's happening right now with them.. so that leaves me extra confused. I talked to him a bit and he keeps apologizing to me for what he did. I hated him for the longest time for doing that to my mom, but I never hated him for doing it to me. It led me to grow in many ways and find myself back then (I've lost myself again, in the mean time.) He says he was afraid failing, that's why he left. But in him leaving, he failed all of us. So, I'm going to just take my two best friends and try and work through this. I think as the summer comes I'll feel better.. because hey when you're 16 (i'll be 17 in the summer) the summer is a time for friends. I just don't want my stepfather moving back in. I'm sick of my life changing, but I guess I'm just going to have to figure it out one step at a time. Thanks for reading that.. sorry it's so amazingly long. This is the closest thing to therapy as I'm going to get, and reflecting on my life over the past year has really made me feel better. Edit: A few things I left out.. I moved out of my upstairs bedroom into the room the band used to practice in, and I often want to go back to my old room.. but am torn. And just to let you know what's happened with my friends: Tony - Spends every waking minute with his girlfriend and they fight all the time. He's miserable. Charlie - Same as tony, but not quite as bad.. but she forbids him from talking to me. Dave - Went after this girl who cheated on him a trillion times and he kept going back.. finally she left him and he's stalked her and gotten beaten up and arrested. I hadn't talked to him since the summer either. Eric - He's a weird emokid, who bitches and moans about everything.. so haven't talked to him. Rea - Still talk to him sometimes.. I met him the summer between freshman and sophomore year and we became instant best friends that day at the beach.. but he lives in a differen't town so I don't see or hear from him much nowadays. Cory - Doing just fine, my best friend. Dana - Doing just fine, my best friend. I never drank again since August 24.