Most of my stories build on real experiences and real people. In the Le Marquis stories, Carol is a major character, and, yes, was someone I knew in high school.
There's a bit of do-over, but that's not my overall theme. The real Carol was, indeed, a cheerleader captain, but also a genuinely nice, warm person who was one of the few that was pleasant to everyone, not just the cool kids.
I'm 65. Even though I haven't gotten to a physical reunion, I do find the reporting useful. A recent set of pictures showed today's Carol as amazingly good-looking and athletic. No, she didn't look 16, but like a quite hot woman in her late thirties or early forties.