She will walk these halls forever


For years, I have watched as the seniors, my sister, the past editors, my old cheer captains, my friends, the goofy guys in the hallway who were for some reason always yelling, the girls who wore impeccable prom dresses, the queens and kings on court, left. 

I watched and stood idly by as they came and went. I cried tears from the stands as they threw their caps in celebration. I passed out Senior Editions in hopes they liked my page. I watched and waited for my time to come. 

After years of observing, I thought it would feel more momentous once I arrived. I assumed that because I felt such big emotions watching them pack up and leave that once it became my turn to strategically paint a brick, my turn to call the last cheer, my chance to pick out an impeccable prom dress, my turn to be on Homecoming court, I assumed that it would feel almost unbearable. A large sense of mourning to my teenage years or a metaphorical bang as the lights went out on my last dance. But no, it’s been very soft. 

The books are closing; the motivation is fading; summer is creeping in. I tiptoe around the friends I’ve had and the friends I’ve lost, one delicate tap away from deleting Power School, one summer until I pack up and leave. The circles are narrowing, and I stand at the center silent and ready. 

I cried so many tears while in the tight grasp of high school that I fear I might not have any left for the goodbye. 

I cried so many tears while in the tight grasp of high school that I fear I might not have any left for the goodbye. 

This is not to say that I haven’t appreciated the time I have been here. Not to say I haven’t loved the people I’ve meet, the teachers that gave me a place to feel safe within the scary walls, the room numbers that reassured freshman-year Allie she was in the right place, the cheer captains that lifted me in the air, and the dances that have arguably seen too many versions of me. 

But it is to say that high school Allie will remain within the two floors of FHC. She will walk around with all her titles and bounce off the corners of the box she was put in, forced to get comfortable being concealed from. She will shed her tears about the people who did and didn’t like her. She will be upset over boys and feel incredibly defeated about the tests that made her feel worthless. She will freak out over mis-colored prom dresses. She will be in classrooms with people who have probably all seen her cry at least once, and despite it all, she will probably be happy. 

At least, that’s how I chose to remember her: happy. Because that’s what high school is about: crying over incredibly shallow things one day and being undoubtedly happy the next. It’s being flooded by emotions large enough to drown you and being saved by the girl in your English class that chose to compliment your earrings that day. It’s staying up until 1 a.m., swearing tomorrow will be different and then sleeping through your alarm. It‘s reused nicknames and journal entries that will never see the light of day. It’s high school. All-consuming by nature, yet not that serious in the big picture. 

I will walk out of its tight hold with the same timid soft steps I took walking in. Except this time, I won’t look back.