Sixteen year old Chelsea Winters is an attractive, dark haired girl with fashion sense and a dazzling smile. She is smart, ambitious and well liked by most of her peers at school. She has plans to attend a four year college after graduation and has dated the same boy, on and off, since her junior high school days.
She also, in the minds of many of her schoolmates, so thinks she is a character in one of those WB shows about teenagers.
“Oh my God! It’s like, she thinks she’s the star of a show like Felicity, only instead of Felicity, it’s called Chelsea,” or Morrow Bay,” or something like that,” says former long time friend Jennifer Wright.
“Every single day, she has two or three of these moments that turn into these big dramatic scenes even though they so aren’t really very dramatic,” claims one-time friend Jared Billings, who sat by the cafeteria vending machines with Ms. Wright and other Morrow Bay students to talk about their estranged friend.
“Like— most kids, when they talk to their parents they just kind of say something as they’re going by. But Chelsea always stations herself behind one of the dining room chairs and lowers her head to gather her thoughts and takes a big pause and a deep breath and then she lifts her head up and moves her hair out of her eyes and then she’ll just say, ‘Mom—I—need to know that you trust me. Just give me that one thing.,’ And she’ll say it very simply but she’ll have really good eye contact with her mom. You just want to applaud, or go “cut!,” or something like that.”
“Or, you know–kick her in the head,” added Ms. Wright.
Chelsea’s WB moments are not confined to her behavior at home, according to other Morrow Bay students.
“She does the same thing with cafeteria food and late slips,” says Ms. Wright. “I saw her do the long, pausey, dead panned thing when Mr. Lindon gave her a tardy slip. Most kids would just smile at Mr. Lindon and then whisper about what an a-hole he is as they walked back to their desk. But Chelsea just, like–lowered her head and then took her finger and pulled her bangs away from her forehead and then she just put her hand on her hip and stared at Mr. Lindon for about twenty seconds. Then she let out this big sigh and folded the slip and said, really softly—‘This doesn’t define me.’
it was weird.”
“Oh, she is so completely WB,” says another former friend Dawna Simms. We used to do a lot of vandalizing and graffiti-ing stuff, but Chelsea was always having changes of heart and marching down to the Principals office to admit her wrongdoing and face the music. It got so–she like, enjoyed the facing the music more than the vandalizing itself. It got annoying.”
“She also is way more involved in her little brother’s life than she should be,” added another former friend, Gail Barnett. She stood up to this guy who was going to kick her little brother’s ass one time and she just paused and flipped her hair out of her eyes and stared at him with her hands on her hips. Then she said something to the bully in this really flat tone of voice, like–‘You don’t have to prove anything. We accept you.’ ”
“It was maybe the gayest thing I’ve ever seen,” added Ms. Simms.
“Word,” added Ms. Barnett. “You can do that on the WB, but it so does not work in real life.”