Her juniper footprints are fading


Sofia Hargis-Acevedo

This was taken in the summer, when her juniper footprints were vibrant.

Her head is pounding.

She is racing through the mental list she has made herself over and over again, hoping it won’t take hours to complete.

But that is never the case; she will always have something. She will always be chasing rest, and it will always slip away from her. Instead, she is left up late at night, working toward a goal that doesn’t even feel worth it anymore.

Lately, the soft hue of her juniper footprints has been fading, and all that’s left is a tired blue. All she does is reminisce—yearn for what she had before and scold herself for letting it slip away so easily.

She longs for the days when all she had to complete was twenty minutes of light reading and a few math problems. They were the days where she could do her work on the living room floor with her dad on the couch while they watched Chopped Junior together—the channel would only get changed if she got too distracted.

All she does is reminisce—yearn for what she had before and scold herself for letting it slip away so easily.”

She wishes to take back the nights when she could watch an episode or two of iCarly before bed, and it wasn’t even 9:00 p.m. yet. Even more so, she misses the nights when she would make her parents do the Hot Dog Dance with her after her nightly viewing of Mickey Mouse Club House, accompanied by a Trix Yogurt and a picture book.

Her head is still pounding.

She used to be passionate. She used to want to get her work done rather than have to get her work done. She used to run off a glass of chocolate milk rather than caffeine. She used to get excited to go to school, to the point where she couldn’t sleep, but now, she can’t sleep for other reasons.

She wishes she could go back.

She never realized how much she would miss those two thirty-minute breaks outside on the playground. She always thought that leaving the games of House and Spies and Tag and Sardines would be easy; and it was, until she never went outside again.

She misses when the last days of school before heading home for two weeks of playing in the snow were packed with activities and class parties rather than cramming for tests with information that will leave her mind as soon as she turns it in. She misses watching holiday movies while drinking hot chocolate, decorating cookies with an unhealthy amount of frosting, and admiring her feeble attempts at making a snowman.

Now, she forces herself to walk through the school doors every day. She tells herself that it is almost over—that soon, she will have two weeks to find the juniper footprints that got lost in the blue haze once again.

Her head is still pounding, but she will endure it.