The ongoing, everlasting concept of time: part 2


Natalie Mix

Sydney, Jessie, Meggie, Allie, and I all hugging one another, sobbing about the time that got away from us.

The windows were down, the air was cool.

Six of us were packed into Nat’s red minivan. As the two youngest in the group, Syd and I were stuck in the third row.

As we flew down the highway, Olivia Rodrigo’s new album was ringing in our ears as the wind weaved through our mangled hair. The volume was lowered, as we searched the busy streets of downtown Grand Rapids for a space to park.

We had boba tea. I tried it for the first time and came to the unpopular consensus among the group that I was in, that I was not a fan of the drink. I gave my brown sugar milk tea with coconut jelly cubes to Syd. She drank every last drop, except for the disgustful jelly.

We drove back and avoided the highway this time. I called “shotgun” in a timely manner and was given the responsibilities of both aux and navigator—not the best combination for someone with no sense of direction.

We went back to Jessie’s house and played card games. We laughed at stupid things and told stupid stories while we ate pizza and the cheeseiest bread sticks. We saw a baby deer, resting peacefully in Jessie’s backyard; Nat drove me home that evening.

That day was blissful bursts of yellows, pinks, and purples. That day was standing on the very edge of summer. That day was happy. 

But time got the best of me yet again.

That day felt like yesterday, but it has been almost a year. So much has happened since then—so much has changed.

The red minivan is gone and since then, we saw a red Cadillac and now, a blue Chevy. Rides home from school are now accompanied by two more, who are constantly shouting nonsense in the back seats. It’s chaotic, but we’ve adapted. 

We stay after school almost every day, whether it is to finish a pertinent task or to wait out the terrifying after-school traffic. We may sit in silence, or we may fill the room with our daily stories and laughter and rants and tears. That, at least, will always stay the same.

Time has never made much sense to me. It constantly moves at the same pace, yet some moments feel much faster than others. This time, the year has felt like a blur of yellows, pinks, and purples. It felt as if everything disappeared right in front of my eyes—like I tried to do everything I could to slow down time, but that is impossible.

I suppose it is time to say goodbye; and I suppose it is time to say ‘thank you.’

Time moved by too quickly this year. I remember thinking to myself, in August, that I have all the time in the world to spend with my favorite people, but it’s slipping through my fingers like sand in an hourglass.

I’m not good at goodbyes.

I never have been. Perhaps, it is because I am too emotional, or perhaps, it is because I get too attached. Or, perhaps, it is because I know that room 139 will never have the same feeling without the people I adore with my whole heart to fill it.

I’m not ready to say goodbye to you all. My day shines one hundred times brighter each time I see you, whether it be in the hall or during class. You make me happy—so incredibly happy. It’s a simple word, but that is the perfect way to combine how you all truly make me feel.

You guys always tell me that this doesn’t mean goodbye forever, and some of you aren’t even leaving my neighborhood, but it isn’t the same. It’s not the same as being greeted by your presence each time I walk into the room. Now, it will just feel vacant. It’s not the same as asking you to edit my stories or telling you what I am going to review next.

If only I could have a few more weeks. All I need is a few more weeks with you so that it doesn’t hit me as hard as a rock when you’re gone.

But my time is up.

I suppose it is time to say goodbye, and I suppose it is time to say “thank you.” I thank you all for the most memorable year of my life. I thank you for giving me rides to and from school every day. I thank you for being a shoulder to cry on, for giving me incredible hugs, and for making me laugh. I thank you for making me happy.

I love you all, and I’m sure I will see you tomorrow.