When I was in high school, I never knew where I belonged. I wanted to be one of the cool kids and hang out back like my brother and his friends, but I didn’t fit in with that group. Even though I started smoking to impress my brother (what was I thinking?), I wasn’t that “bad.” I was artistic and got good grades, but I didn’t really fit in with the artsy types. I didn’t mind sports, but I wasn’t really a jock either. I was a little bit of everything. We had to go to a different school for grade eleven and twelve, and it was very hard for me. I still remember that awkward feeling of trying to find my place in the world, the hierarchy of the cool kids and the not-so cool kids, how it felt like my parents controlled everything.
Though Toni’s experience (the main character in THAT NIGHT) was much different than mine, that desire to graduate so you could get away from it all was very familiar. It brought back lots of memories of my high school years. These are some photos of the school I graduated from, which is in Duncan, BC. My husband and I both went to this school—we were even in the same home room—but we had different groups of friends and didn’t connect until we were in our mid-thirties when we started chatting on Facebook.
I also wanted to share these photos because in THAT NIGHT, Toni lives on a boat in a marina in Campbell River, which is on Vancouver Island. She finds solace in the ocean—something she missed greatly when she was in prison. She likes to sit on top of her boat with her dog, Captain, watching the sea gulls, the other boats coming and going, and savor her freedom. She works at a restaurant that overlooks the harbor, which is where she worked as a teenager the summer her life changed forever.