My summer never started


A week before Friday the thirteenth, I was out of the country.

I was terrified it would be impossible to return to the U.S.

What if I get the virus?

What if they don’t let me in for an extra week?

What if I get some random sickness, but they keep me out thinking it is the coronavirus?

Fear upon fear consumed me. I almost refrained from the adventure, and who knows when another opportunity for one will resurface.

Thankfully, my family shook me to reality. We would all be together if any of my fears were to come true. It most likely wouldn’t be the end of the world if we were kept from reentering.

After I got out of the airport, the fears evaporated. Other than the reminder on the news to not use vodka as hand sanitizer, I mostly forgot about the virus that has so very much consumed our lives now. I went to museums and had fun with my family.

Since then, I returned when I was supposed to, and I went on with my daily life for another six days. Then I heard whisperings of other schools closing and my teachers told me to bring everything necessary home. And they were right.

The first few weeks felt weird, but I was convinced we would be back soon. I wouldn’t accept anything else.

Then my doubts just kept getting worse. Summer started, but I never really accepted it. It just felt like a nightmarish daydream.

Ballet started virtually, and it started to feel like a normal-ish summer. I went through seven weeks of dancing in my basement. It was nice to be back in a routine.

But that was it: a routine.

It never transformed to summer. It never became the relaxing time where I am in a different city for a while. Sure, I saw my friends from a distance a lot more than the past few years which was exciting, but I didn’t meet anyone new, and I didn’t get to dance in a big studio. It was just another routine.

The next two weeks without ballet felt like a Christmas break in the summer; an elongated, hotter spring break.

Sleeping in. Watching TV. Going on walks. Swimming. Hanging out with my siblings before they leave me to fend for myself again.

August 31st slams upon me and I walk into the familiar place of school. The same doors as last year. The same hallway. The same classrooms, just rearranged and less like a home. Most of the same teachers are instilling knowledge in me again. With the same classes, just one level above.

It just felt like a nightmarish daydream.”

Maybe all that’s happened during the year has led me to where I am now. Maybe it’s just that I am not ready to think about the future.

Maybe I think tomorrow I’ll wake up and it will be March 13th: the day of my first Aladdin performance and the day I finally catch up with all of my missing work from the previous week.

I just know that I am not a junior. At least, I am not ready to be one.