A line from a television commercial triggered this small piece of what may or may not become something larger. Either way, I think I like it…

My life will never be like a Hallmark movie. It won’t feature that kind of love story where everything falls into place like a puzzle at just the right time.

Why?

Because that kind of life is reserved for the girliest of well-off white girls, and while I’m definitely a white girl, I’m neither girly nor well-off.

I grew up — and still live — in a conservative, backwater Midwestern town of 1,300 whole people, approximately 70% of whom have been around since…the beginning of time, probably. Everyone knows everyone else and, by default, everyone else’s business, too. Secrets are easy to come by but hard to keep around here.

I started holding onto my own secrets when I was five. I’m sixteen now and am holding onto a doozy, let me tell you. It’d be a real hurricane if it ever got out.

But I won’t tell you about it. Not right now. We have to go back to the beginning first.