We are lined up, dressed for prom and waiting for our names to be called. We are outside Windermere Union. It’s night time. My shoes are dusted from the walk.
I look around a recognize everyone, but not from high school. This is our 20th reunion for Windermere Union Pre-school class of 1990.
As our names are called, we walk in. It’s alphabetical, so I’m in the back of line. I’m nervous.
My name is called. I push the door open. All our parents are in the center of the room sitting on folding chairs.
We enter from the back, walk down the center aisle and take our seat on folding chairs on either side of a projection screen.
All the parents turn their heads to watch me walk in. I want to make a good impression.
I do a cartwheel.
I stick the landing, beam a toothy smile and wave with my whole arm. These people haven’t seen me in two decades. They need to be impressed with how far I’ve come.
I take my seat at the front of the room. Once everyone is seated, the room goes dark, and the projector clicks on to show homemade videos of us playing as preschoolers. The video pauses at a point where I’m in the corner of the image.
I’m standing next to a pale dude with a dangling gold-cross earring and a bright red mullet. He is wearing a Christmas sweater. We are both twice the size of the other kids. I have a mullet too.
An old woman walks in front of the screen. She introduces herself and explains the video was paused here to reveal the inner workings of drug deal. She circles me and the ginger in the corner of the screen.
“Drug dealers,” she says.
I’m flush with anger. The violence is pulsing through my veins and forcing sweat to bead across my brow. My neck is sticking to my collar.
I’ve been framed.