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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The words that compose my vocabulary: simplicity

Me, at age seven.

Thirty pairs of scattered shoes, only a few matched up with their corresponding pair, litter the spacious entryway. 

I add my obnoxiously neon slides to the group, but make sure mine are positioned one next to the other, out of the walkway to avoid creating an added tripping hazard. 

The four of us—sometimes three, occasionally five—scamper into the house, but the door to the outside remains open. At our elementary age, nobody pays too much attention when we’re preoccupied with simply being kids. 

Heat and roaring sounds of lawnmowers leak in through the swung-open doors and wide-open bedroom windows, but it doesn’t matter much because it’s summer, and that is just the way summer is. 

When the group is larger, the usual activities take place in the basement. Some video games on an outdated Xbox or a movie that will take 30 minutes to choose because of our many conflicting interests. Though we can find a way to make almost anything fun, my favorite is when we hold fervent contests in the form of hand-me-down games we’ve learned over the years. When the home’s domain is controlled by a babysitter, the opportunity to run rampant and use unrestrained volume presents itself. 

The best game, I cannot remember clearly. What it was composed of has vacated my mind, but it wasn’t necessarily what we played that mattered, more so how it makes the other trials of games pale in comparison. With an unusual cast of characters, a few away and one added, the basement turned into disarray and a new hole appeared in the storage room’s wall. 

The same space we use as a jungle gym for our games doubles as a house where we play with dolls and Amish dresses. Remnants from church plays—they have been there for as long as I can remember—the dresses are the touch that transforms us from feeling eight years old to 24. 

Perhaps it is just that the area, in my mind, is guarded by an air of simplicity.

The princess costumes have long disappeared because of their rips and tears and the point where we all grew too tall to fit them, but the Little House on the Prarie-esque dresses stay. The old-fashioned outfits are a constant fixture; they always find their way back into the faded, cobalt dress-up tub. 

I’m pretty sure they’re there still, now, but they just as well could’ve found a new home. Maybe they’ve moved on to new owners, but, no matter who has them now, I doubt they’ll ever be as loved as they once were. 

When we put on the dresses, House becomes the next pursuit. House is open-ended and entails a rotating series of plotlines that allow us the creativity to be the people we aren’t yet. If being inside bores us after too many hours, parading outside on field trips or expensive vacations makes for exciting excursions to break up the scenery. Though, for the most part, our makeshift, ramshackle dwellings—created by pillows, blankets, and books—suffice. 

It wasn’t that I spent every waking moment of my youth in this specific house, though I spent considerable time there all the same, that makes it so memorable. The time was just as much spent in wooded forts, yards, and snowbanks as it was anywhere else. 

Perhaps it is just that the area, in my mind, is guarded by an air of simplicity. It clouds the open doorway preventing me from coming inside. The house and its immediate surroundings haven’t been infiltrated with maturity and the baggage time lugs along with it. 

My shoes will not know the mess of theirs that congest the hallway.

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About the Contributor
Elle Manning
Elle Manning, Staff Writer
Elle is a sophomore beginning her first year on The Central Trend. She loves to read novels, create extravagant Pinterest boards, and journal in her seemingly scarce free time. Her biggest passions include writing and fashion, and she hopes to one day be able to combine the two into a future career. She has been a cheerleader since fourth grade and continues to spend her time on the sidelines every football season. In the spring, she enjoys playing tennis, even though she is still learning. She is often found with Spotify open; she loves to listen to music from a variety of different genres and decades. Most recent musical fixation: Weyes Blood Dream school: Columbia University Favorite book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Favorite comfort films: All of The Twilight Saga (primarily the first two movies)

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