You hold up the dress, the black dress with a white lace collar. You love this dress. You hugged a hero in this dress.
You hold up the shirt, the white band tee shirt that you had one of the best days of your life in. You adore this dress. You hung out with your very best friends in this dress, creating memories you will never forget.
You hold up the jeans, the black pair that now have a hole in the knee. You think these jeans are comical now, but you’re still going to wear them. You got in a fight defending your best friend after someone used a gay slur to describe them. You didn’t throw the first punch, or any punch at all, really. You just mouthed off after all was said, and the bully shoved you to the ground. Your best friend then picked you up off the ground and hugged you, muttering about how much he/she hates you. You know that’s your guys’ code for “I love you.”
You hold up the shoes, the ratty white Converse that have tears in the sides. You don’t know what you would do without these shoes. They’re the one pair that haven’t been stolen out of your gym locker, and have carried you through the high school halls. They were the things that kept your feet moving even though you couldn’t breathe, they were the ones that helped you escape to the bathroom when the classrooms grew to be too much and you just had to let a few tears fall before continuing on with your day.
You hold up the cardigan, the torn grey knit one that you’re pretty sure only has one button left. You obsess over this cardigan. It’s the one you were wearing when you ate out with your grandfather and were okay with it. When you went out to dinner, and you didn’t longingly eye the restroom sign while picking at the lettuce on your plate. When you ate french fries AND dipped them in ketchup.
You hold up the dress, the shirt, the jeans, the shoes, the cardigan. You love them all so much. You want to keep the memories perserved, keep the items just as they are in this moment. But they are dirty, and they need to be clean. You are somber over the bittersweet moment that is taking them into the laundry room to shove them in the washing machine. They will now be scrubbed of all those moments, the ones of hugging heros and being one to your best friend ad laughing and crying and eating.
But that’s okay. You’ll wear them all again. And new memories will be made.