I guess some time ago I posted something here wondering what ever happened to a girl i went to elementary school and middle school with...long story short she ended up being killed in a car accident some years ago....pretty sad as she left a husband and kids behind... The thing about her was that she was always "that kid" in elementary school, you know that kid with the bad home life (really it was horrible I can't even begin to imagine) the kid with the mom who was most likely a drunk and certainly abused the hell out of her kids, the kid who was always a little bit dirty and smelly and shabby and got picked on by everyone...and the kid who pretty much disappeared from your consciousness after you left elementary school and jumped into the big pond of middle school.
But she is someone I, every now and again, kind of wondered...."what ever happened to_________." For a time I used to joke that when i wrote a novel I would call it "What the hell ever happened to Wayne Treep?" Now I can't use that title since I know that Wayne is a police officer and married to the across the street neighbor of my high school ex-boyfriend (which in and of itself is very strange/small world-y)
So here is the email I got.....absolutely heartbreaking:
You don't know me, but I knew Tezra Johnson. I dated her for three years and was her last boyfriend before the man she eventually married. I can't explain why I feel compelled to write you this letter. I took her death hard and have dreams about her to this day. They usually occur around this time every year (the time around her death). I dreamt about her last night, which usually prompts me to search her obituary and news pertaining to her. Your blog showed up in a google search. I guess reading that you knew her and the fact that my dream involved me meeting a person that knew her is why I am writing you.
In your blog you mentioned you wondered whatever happened to her. I can at least help you to know her in the years I did and a little leading up to her death. I knew a lot of her history through my relationship with her. The hard times in her younger years, social awkwardness, and low self esteem. She had some of those traits when I first met her. She lived and went to school in Tomahawk where she had "outcast" type of friends. But they were her dearest and best friends, and they really appreciated having her around. Despite living in the rural area of Tomahawk, she took a job at the Merrill McDonalds, which is where I worked at the time. We were 17.
She was quite shy at first with me, but we developed a friendship over time. After mishaps with relationships she set me up with one of her friends to go to a Homecoming dance. I took a friend and it was an unofficial double date. Through the night I found I prefered Tezra, not her friend. It took me another 6 months before I finally asked her out. She almost cried.
Our relationship lasted for three years, as I said. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be for 6 years after our relationship (2003) until I realized what I had let go. It was immaturity on my part that cost us our relationship. I was into hanging out with friends more than commiting time to her, which was all she ever really wanted from me. We went from a surefire "going to get married' couple down to split up in about a 6 month timeframe. It's a decision I regret to this day. She was one of the most sincere, dedicated, loving people a man could ever ask for. She did anything and everything she possibly could to make me the happiest person on the planet. All she asked for in return was love. I was stupid.
She went to Ogema to hang out with her friends, since I was doing the same. That was when she met her future husband Troy. She called me the next day to tell me she met someone. I was crushed, even though she had done nothing with him. Looking back now, it was probably a ploy to get me to realize what I stood to lose. Of course I didn't. She tried to call me once more and I hung up on her. She then tried to talk to my mom and sister who said they had talked with me and my mind was made up, which was no lie. I didn't find that part out until after her death.
She was in an apartment her in Merrill at that time. She moved away shortly after. My hanging up was the last conversation we would ever have. Every now and then I would see her in Merrill, usually at Wal Mart. She would avoid me. By then I was married and had moved on. This would have been around the 2001 area. I can't say I made any real effort to talk with her. That and one time she was there with her husband. That would be the last time I would see her alive.
I know this is sad, but it does get better I promise!
In September of 2003 I was on the brink of divorce with my wife. She had become overbearing and controlling to the point that I was a prisoner in my house and hated coming home. We had been in trouble for a while when I found out what had happened. My sister was good friends with a relative of Tezra's, and was told to be there to give me the news. My sister was out at my house anyway that night for a weekly get togther. My wife made it a point to be away on those nights, so with a good friend there my sister gave me the news. I was deeply saddened. I carried on with the night, but was clearly troubled. I told my wife when she got home. Her response was a half hearted "Sorry". I had to tell you this babble to appreciate the next.
I spent the following days deep in though about Tezra. It was the first time I revisited my relationship with her since the day we broke up. I had grown, matured, and became a responsible father by then. Everything she saw in me at the age of 18 I had become. In the following days I would come to understood everything that she was and stood for. It broke my heart, but opened my eyes.
My wife and I went to the wake. She had a very nice visitation with lots of people in the short time I was there. It was in Prentice, a one hour drive one way from here. It gave us plenty of time for what was about to come. My wife made a comment after we left that set me off. The previous days of remembering what Tezra was, stood for, and how she lived her life made me realize I was wasting my life staying in the marrage I was in. For the first time in my life I grew a spine and unloaded on my then wife. Everything came flying out. My ex later told me she knew she lost me that night.
2 weeks later I returned to Prentice. I didn't make the funeral, and wanted to see the grave. I stopped and asked a sweet elderly lady who was familiar with the accident. She told me the bridge that the crash happened on was notorious for accidents, some fatal. I drove across that bridge for my job many times. It still hasn't been changed. When I explained my situation and told her the cemetary name, she called her husband out of the house. He got out his plot book and showed me where it was. I found it and talked to "her" for 15 minutes. I repeatedly told her how sorry I was, how much she meant to me, still did, and how I would never forget her. To this day I swear the wind/she was answering me as I talked. I stood there crying in sorrow for what I had let slip away, thinking if I had kept her in Merrill this may have never happend. I lost something special.
In the years to follow I tried to visit as much as possible. I would make it for Sweetest Day (one of her favorites), around her birthday and around the time of her death. I carried everything I learned that week with me while going through the process of dating 15 women trying to find one to measure up. One that would make me feel the way she did. #15 turned out to be as close to a clone as you could ever find. Same height, build, hair, eyes, and personality. My mom, dad, sister, and friends have told me repeatedly how much she reminds even them of Tezra. She left a very good, strong, lasting impression on everyone that I know. It took an unfortunate circumstance, but her memory helped me to get my life in order and have an appreciation for what I have now. I only wish I would have appreciated her more when I had the chance.
She never really became successful, so to speak. But she had loyal friends, love, and appreciation to the end. At least to the people I know, they remember her as something special.
I hope this all might have helped you know what became of her in some way! Thank you for your time.
After reading this my mind went back to two scenes that always stuck with me...The first was from THE WONDER YEARS from back in the day... Kevin Arnold has to do square dance in gym and gets paired up with the weirdest girl in the class, Margaret Farquhar. She has glasses and 3 ponytails (cause you never know when you will need an extra rubberband) and likes bats and science. Kevin ends up liking her but since it would be social suicide to be her friend says they should be "secret friends..." Margaret puts him in his place and the voice over at the end of the show shows Margaret's 7th grade picture in the year book and the narrator says...."But you don't forget someone like Margaret Farquhar. Professor of biology. Mother of six. Friend to bats."
That sort of reminds me of Tezra...people treated her like dirt in school but she actually was a pretty nice girl....and you found out that when she "grew up" she got married, had 2 kids, and died at 26...which is way too young...
Then of course whenever I think about the friends and people I knew back when I was 12 I can't get Gordie out of my mind...
“Although I haven't seen him in more than ten years I know I'll miss him forever. I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anybody?”