Nemesis, in Greek mythology, is the personification of divine justice, sometimes called the daughter of Night. She represented the righteous anger against the proud and haughty and against breakers of the law; she distributed good or bad fortune to all mortals. No one could escape her power.
True, true, Denise was very popular. She had a lot of friends, and did great in school. She went out with the most popular guys in the grade. She really did have it all. And she was willing to throw it all away to get even with what had happened to a small group of us.
In our class of 400, and if the ratio is right, there should have been about 40 gay/lesbian youth in the 10th grade. More like 15, as far as I knew. She was a very caring person, Denise that is. She was always open-minded, and always made a ruckus out of every injustice in the grade. And so when one gay guy, who was one of my best friends, came out, she immediately came to his support. She had a huge fight about it with her boyfriend.
"Who the fuck do you think you are, saying I can't have anything to do with Chris?" she screamed at him, "Chris is a totally cool person. So what if he is gay?"
"Listen, you," Don, her boyfriend said, "you are not going to have anything to do with him. It is either him or me. Not that he would want you anyway."
"Bastard," she yelled, "I never want to see your butt-ugly face again. Fuck you!!"
To get even with her, Don told all her friends that she left him for a gay guy. And of course, her friends confronted her about it. And she read them the same lines.
"So fucking what?!??!? It is NOT as though he is an ax murderer. He deserves some respect. And it seems as though I am the only one who will give it to him."
However, Chris' family didn't give him that respect she gave him. They didn't want anything to do with their child.
He took a massive overdose of sleeping pills, and died quietly in his sleep. Denise was beside herself. When one of her friend said it was his own fault, she went off her rocker.
"What do you mean it was his fault?!" she yelled at Lina.
"Well, if he could only change the way he was..." she started to say.
"You can't change something like that. It is like being someone from a different country or a different religion. You can't change that kind of thing and be able to live with it. And if you can, well then you have a heart of stone. You may not like being different, but there is absolutely nothing you can do about it."
She didn't lose many friends, but she made some more, most the gay and lesbian ones. They knew that she would be there for them, which she was. She started a small club for them, a gay/straight alliance. And a few of the members were straight, people a lot like Denise, but never quite the exact same. It as though Heaven sent her down to us.
A few months ago, I was with my boyfriend, and we were just outside on my porch, taking in some sun, and the subject of Denise came up.
"Let me tell you, Jeff," he said to me, "Denise has really changed the whole grade. Just think. If she never made that little group, we may never have even met each other."
"True, Steve, true. But did you see that when we were studying Greek mythology, and we were discussing the goddesses: well, you remember the goddess Nemesis, right?"
"Yeah. She was divine anger, and avenged all injustices."
"Don't you think that Denise was like her in a way? I mean, she was there and she did a lot for us."
"You know, you're right. She is kinda like Nemesis. And she took a big chance doing what she did. She lost her boyfriend, and some close friends because of us."
"I guess she knew what she was doing."
"I guess she did. Come on, let's go inside. It's to hot out here."
We walked inside, turned on the air conditioner and lay down together, both thanking Denise for what she did.
Jay is a sophomore in High School. He likes to read, write, and surf the net. He can be reached at Polaris242@aol.com.