Looking back, April realized that it wasn’t the event her family calls ‘The Great Shuffle’ that was the low point of her high school career. It also wasn’t the lead-up to Elizabeth’s wedding that was the darkest period of that part of her life. Oh, sure, it hurt to be either ignored, trivialized or thought of as an object of fear. It hurt that her reaction to Liz’s embracing her own personal Kortney Krelbutz was whining about the horrible picky-face that wanted to make the poor deluded sap feel bad about a very stupid act of self-gratification. By any rational standard, the worst period of her life was the stupid battle of the bands contest she’d talked herself into during her senior year of high school. Instead of getting herself ready for the career she’d set her mind to, she’d let her vanity and insecurity talk her into a battle she didn’t need against a rival that wasn’t fighting her in the first place. The only real good accomplished was that she’d finally seen her former social circle for the limiting creatures they are. Gerald would always sort of see her as being someone he could get around by flattering her and Eva would always hide her utter lack of concern for April’s feelings with an appeal to worse problems. She’d remembered exactly when she finally clued in that Eva thought she was slumming. While it might have been rather cynical of April to assume that the downstairs apartment was only ever going to be the sort of rental property that would be inhabited by someone else’s lease-averse college-aged daughter, she was right, Eva was wrong and there’s an end of it. Since Becky saw that coming, she was clearly better than her alleged friends.
Sadly, that and making her peace with Becky couldn’t make up for the fact that she’d let her grades tank. She had thought that her having to scramble to make up for it so she could get on track to the veterinary program at Guelph might be a concern but, well, she should have known better. No one seemed to see the problem because of a very stupid reason: her mother Elly could not see herself as a large animal veterinarian. For some odd reason, everyone had to have a career based on something that her mother would have liked to have done. Mike became an author because Elly daydreamed of being a writer. Liz became a teacher because Elly always wanted to teach. This meant that April should want to become a famous ad executive because once upon a time, Elly confused being given a sinecure making posters for the library by women who pitied her with being an adperson. This, sadly, occasions the event Elly and John called ‘the time April ran away from home’ and the time Mike and Liz eventually called ‘the time April clued in, buckled down and got the Heck outta Dodge’. Simply put, she spent the first year out of high school working on her aunt’s farm to get real world experience and sufficient time away from home to make up for the time lost chasing a distracting star.
While it’s to her credit that she made up for the missing year and got into the veterinary program at Guelph when she hoped, it should be noted that it came at something of a cost; while she, her brother and sister have never been closer, the sad fact is that looking out for her own best interests instead of meekly allowing someone who didn’t have the intellect, patience and stamina to live out her big dreams guide her destiny for her resulted in her being alienated from her parents. Elly wanted motherhood to pay and John was too stupid and aloof to question what was going on around him to be bothered with any sort of fact that might make him see himself as the cowardly, entitled fool he’d been all of his life. We thus find her in the present day about to celebrate her twenty-fifth birthday. Her classes are going well and she’s got the respect of most people who know her. While it’s entirely too bad for the parents that Mike has seen through himself and started to wise up and that Liz realized that marrying a man like John meant marrying a man like John, she feels confident that the ‘humiliation’ of being told that they’d behaved horribly will finally make them wake up and see themselves as not the centre of the universe. It’s just too bad for her that just as she was about to head off to her birthday party, Liz and Warren showed up at her place to tell her that the two of them had been found dead. Given the timing of events, it seemed to Michael that the two of them reacted to public censure for their part in torpedoing a marriage they did not like by keeling over and dying so as to avoid having to learn from their mistakes. While it broke her heart, part of her wanted to complain about how typical it was Mom and Dad would find a way of blowing off her happy-ever-after. Granted, she never said it was classic them to never be there for her but that’s because Jim raised her well. She just wishes that he hadn’t left her with a very troubling birthday present. Granted, it explained her mom but it is not something she wanted to know.