The moments of high school I’ll take with me forever


I start my day thawing my fingertips out in my car. My hands float over the heat vents as I look out into the empty parking lot around me.

It’s still dark out at 6:34 AM, but the sky glows grey along the treetops at the far end of the pavement.

I wait.

I know that the rest of the hive will be buzzing in any minute now.

Sure enough, my best friend pulls up in her black Chevy and parks to the left of me– the same slot every time. We wave at each other through the windows, smiling with freshly ignited flames in our hearts.

With that, I’m confident that my day is off to a good start.

It’s these things- the seemingly meaningless details- that I’ll miss about high school. The minutiae that accumulate, day-by-day, into a solid rock onto which I lean for support and reassurance.

It’s hard to imagine a twilight morning without the easy pull-through spot, the arrival of headlights at my side, and the jolly grin on my friend’s face.

In a matter of months, I will no longer need to wake up at six in the morning– but those extra hours of sleep come at the cost of seeing the personification of joy from two car windows down.

I grip my mug with cold fingers, willing the coffee to transfer enough heat through the cup to my hands. My need for that enthalpy is cut short, however, when I pry open the doors and enter the band hallway.

I’m greeted by nothing but sleepy faces, but I wouldn’t trade this view for the world: these are my best friends. We talk about our yesterdays, stopping only to yawn, hoping to squeeze as much conversation in the seconds before the bell rings.

I’m only allotted a fraction of time every morning to spend with some of my favorite people, so I soak up every moment.

I have another infinity of minutes today to see the people I love.

I memorize the details of my best friends:

The pearly whites flashed by my parking buddy.

The girl who is short in stature but has a heart that reaches unprecedented heights.

The motivation and drive of a kindhearted soul who came straight from her morning workout, yet still has killer eyeliner and looks like a goddess.

The one who fills the rooms with puns and positivity.

And last but certainly not least, the bubbly giggle and twinkling eyes of the funniest and most deserving person I know.

These are the people I get to start my day with– the people who make crawling out of bed worth it. Even on mornings with only scarce, light conversation, my heart settles when I see these people.

I know that these days, as long as they seem now, are numbered. Soon, they will be all too short.

The minutes of class float by like the trills on my flute; the notes act as wake-up call after wake-up call, and my drowsy eyes slowly fade away as my mind hones in on the music I’m making.

The day will come- sooner than I know it- when I won’t have my zero hour gals, when my flute won’t be the sword I face the morning with.

As the hour draws to a close, I am left to gather my thoughts and my flute fragments. As always, the mug of coffee I brought in remains untouched by me.

It acts as a guide, leading me upstairs to my favorite classroom; in that way, it’s preparing me for the day without having to consume any caffeine.

It reminds me that today has only started; the hours are still young. I have another infinity of minutes today to see the people I love– one of whom the coffee is bringing me to.

I walk away from the band hallway, leaving behind the music and the memories until tomorrow morning.