There’s a Swingset

There’s a swingset out back, next to the large jungle gym that has the rock-climbing wall. This swingset is not new. It has been behind this school for years and years, and it creaks if you lean on the poles. But it captures the kids’ hearts, more than anything else on the playground. The recess bell rings, and then you see them, the children running all at once, trying to be the person that gets to the swings first. Everyone wants the blue swing, you see, because it’s the highest one, the one that sways the farthest. I am one of those kids running, my hair in two braids and my socks pulled high. I don’t get the blue swing, but the yellow is just fine. I swing with the other kids, all of us laughing and trying to touch the pine tree branches. Only Elijah does, he’s the only one who ever can.

I’m still one of those kids, but now my hair is in a tight ponytail and my sleeves fall pass my fingertips. I don’t get the blue swing, but the red is alright. We all try to knock out the pine cones as we kick the branches. Only Elijah does, he’s the only one who ever can, and it makes Marc mad. I’m still laughing with the others, but now they leave the swing next to me empty, and I’m not sure why.

I’m still one of those kids, but now my long dark hair is let down and I don’t feel comfortable in my too-tight jeans (but I wear them, because all the other kids are). I don’t run towards the playground anymore, I just walk. None of the kids will let me have the blue swing, anyway, or any swing at all for that matter. I watch as the girls giggle to one another as they sway, talking about boys. I sit underneath the rock wall and watch as they all try to jump the highest. They try to hit the highest pine tree branch as the soar through the air, and I bet if Elijah was still here he would be the only one who could do it. Marc comes close, but he can’t quite reach.

I’m no longer one of those kids. I’m only here because I’m volunteering in the kitchen for one day. My hair is chopped short and I don’t wear any socks with my shoes. I sit at the blue swing, and I sway back and forth, watching the little kids scramble for a seat. The set creaks more than ever, so much I worry it might fall apart at any second. I swing with the little kids, and they don’t mind. We all are laughing and trying to touch the pine tree branches. Only I can do it, and for once I’m the only one who ever can.

So today…

I went to see what us children call my emo squad today. The emo squad is a group of five kids who I am very close friends with. After we had gone to get breakfast, I was driving everyone around. We didn’t have a specific destination in mind, we were just wasting gas (don’t tell my mom please) and listening to music as we enjoyed each others’ company.

Suddenly, I had an idea. “Who wants to see some horses?”

Like five-year-olds, the freaked. “YES!!!”

So I drove us out to my grandpa’s farm, thinking we could feed the few horses he had a couple carrots or something. As I was trying to drive back to the road, though, my tires got stuck in a huge pile of mud. The others had to get out and push the front of my minivan as I pushed the pedal in reverse as hard as I could. One of them got sprayed with mud from the tires. It was quite a mess, but I don’t think any of us will ever forget it.

How Were the ACTs, Lena????

So I totally meant to post about this yesterday, but I came home from testing and literally fell asleep until the next morning. I’ve been nursing one hell of a cold/flu sickness for the past few days, and the feeling of death was most certainly upon me. I apologize. I mean, I know you guys were totally sitting on the edge of your seats, wondering how I think I did, right?

I crack myself up. Let me have that one.

Okay, so the test wasn’t actually as bad as I had predicted it to be, overall. The day went as such:

Mother walked into my room, coffee cup already in hand. “Lena, wake up! It’s test day, you gotta get there early.”

I dressed in my laziest of clothes, the required “I CAN DEW” Mountain Dew-sponsored shirt that all the Juniors would be wearing today being tugged over my head without me even remembering to do it. I was in such a sleep, sick daze that I was stumbling through the motions, no thought process included.

I was dropped off at the doors of the auditorium at my school, where I awkwardly walk inside by myself, since my sole friend at the school cannot currently be found. For some reason, I distinctly remember mentally jotting down in my head the way my footsteps echoed as I made my way towards the noise of the crowd, staring at the quote from a philosopher that was engraved in stone on a wall. I wanted to keep that feeling in case I ever needed it for a book.

There was a line of people waiting for me, seniors who forced me to make eye contact as they said, “Good luck on your ACTs!” I tried smiling at them in reply, but I’m pretty sure it was warped and looked more like I was trying not to cry.

The school provided us with breakfast, and since I find it impossible to talk to people (especially kids from school), I kind of just stood in front of the tables, waiting as the students stared at me. Finally, one of them said, “Would you like a sandwich?” I nodded in relief and took it, along with the bag of apples, which were sour, and a bottle of water. I wish they had provided coffee instead. I was already feeling the effects of my morning caffeine wearing off. I sat on a part of the bleachers, trying not to look like I was the tragically alone girl that no one likes and who can’t get along with most of the student body. It was like I could feel their eyes making a physical burn on my neck and shoulders. I tried to eat my sandwich (which I had to take the meat off of) as casually as possible. I’m pretty sure I failed.

When the bell rang and they dismissed us to evacuate and head for the busses, it seemed like a terrifying new young adult novel. Here were all of these children, young teenagers herding on to metal buses like brainless cattle. I started thinking up conspiracy theories, of course. What if this was all a lie? We weren’t really being sent to take a test, they were shipping us off to be killed!

I’m rather ridiculous, I’m aware.

So we finally all got to the hall, where tables were lined up in some twisted version of an alphabetical order. Before I knew it, the test were being handed out. First was the English test, which I wasn’t worried about (I took a practice test in class a couple weeks ago that I got like ninety-nine percent on). The math started out okay, but like the last fifteen questions were all WHAT IS THIS LANGUAGE I DO NOT SPEAK MARTIAN JUST A LITTLE GALLIFREYAN. The reading portion was easy, the science part I bombed (though that may have to do with the fact that I was having a tough time staying awake; by this point one of the monitors had set a tissue box on the edge of my table because they were tired of walking back and forth). It was like a back and forth thing,  apparently. The essay was alright, but it was a question I don’t really know much about so I had to fool my way through it while still sounding well-educated, which actually wasn’t too hard since that’s basically how I get through my everyday life.

Well, it’s over now, and I’m still sick. I guess we’ll find out how I did in a few weeks, and if I have to take it again it won’t be the end of the world. I’ll just be a little more broke.

Thank You for Goodbye

A lot of people in my life have left me, in one way or another. Don’t worry, this isn’t a post all about my complaints. I’m not here to depress you.

Most of the time, the person just cuts off all communication with me, without saying why. Other times, they’ll drag me out, occasionally replying to my texts, but with no meaning behind their words. I thought these were the only two ways.

I’m not stupid. I realize I’m a very difficult person to be friends with. When people want out, I usually let them (yes, I am aware this sort of make me a coward; I wish it wasn’t that way), and even though I’m sad, I don’t hold it against them (unless they do it in a mean way and suddenly become this person who makes fun of me like our friendship didn’t exist and they never talked to me before). It’s not a big deal. It hurts, but I understand (sometimes).

However, I had a friend who recently did something different. We talked everyday, and he seemed to genuinely enjoy our conversations as well. Anyway, recently things have come up and changed, and he doesn’t talk to me anymore. I thought I never would again, but then one Friday afternoon he proved me wrong.

To put things simply, he told me goodbye without actually saying it. I didn’t realize this fact until later, about an hour after I got home. It was a nice change.

Basically this whole post was to say I appreciated that he told me goodbye. I hope I didn’t confuse anybody too much… Can anybody relate to my situation?

The Art of Letting Go

You send out a “hey” but don’t get a response.

Someone texts you a “hey” but you have to fight and keep from replying to them.

The world seems to expect every person to be able to cope with letting go of someone. It happens to everyone at least once in their lives. Whether it be because of death or because you had to cut ties with another for your better being, it’s bound to be part of your life. And it hurts. It can hurt a lot.

Sometimes you don’t want it to happen. That usually involves a lot of tears, and confusion. Maybe your friend has dropped you without any explanation and now just avoids you, despite your many attempts to keep in touch. Or maybe they slowly drifted away, and you knew it had been coming for a while, but still couldn’t understand exactly why when it did.

Or maybe it was at your fault. That usually involves a lot of guilt and stress. It may be better for you in the long run, because this person was dragging you down, but with their constant texts or phone calls it’s so hard to say no, because of things that have happened between the two of you in the past or you’re just a genuinely good person and hate to say goodbye in such a cruel way. Sometimes, though, it has to be done.

You may not get over this for a while. Maybe not ever, even. You may still carry around a piece of that person for years and years. Others it may be easier and you’ll have them off of your mind in a few months. While you may never forget them, sometimes it’s best to let them go.