4 Years

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I will remember that night for as long as I live. The last night – that’s what I’ve come to call it. Or perhaps I should refer to it as “The Night of Wishes.” I guess it doesn’t really matter what you call it. What matters the most is that the events of that night will be set into my mind in a lock as unbreakable as the tightest chains.

The night – the last night, that is – was the eleventh of October. It was the night of my Freshman homecoming dance. The music was perfect, the food was great, the dresses were risqué, and the girls – they were unbearably alluring. However, I was only allowed to be affiliated with one woman that night, but man was she enough for me!
Brooklyn Marie Stallions had been my sweetheart for nearly five months, so of course I would be obligated to escort her to the dance, and perhaps stick around with her the entire time. Brooklyn must have been at least in the list of the top ten most beautiful girls in the world. She had radiant blonde hair that hung down just past her shoulders. There were a few freckles speckled across her face. It seemed like other people would never describe Brooklyn as being the most attractive girl in the world. They would only go as far as to say that she was very cute. It must have been because to others she seemed a tad bit plain or simple. What they didn’t understand is that is precisely how I like it. Brooklyn Marie was perfect, to say the least, in my eyes.
The night was almost as perfect as the girl. A full moon lit up the sky and the Earth. Stars sparkled here and there. As the dance came to a close, I decided to walk with Brook through the local park before I took her home. “How romantic!” she would undoubtedly think.
The moon shown above us as Brook and I strolled through the forested trails of Bradley Park. I could hear the whispering of the trees as the breeze flew through their limbs. The moon lit our path.
The girl did most of the talking. I only listened, nodded a few times, and occasionally offered a monotone, “Yep.” I had many other things leaded down on my mind. Brooklyn wrapped her arms around mine and went silent.
The forest opened up into a meadow with a large pond in the middle of it. There was a gazebo sitting out on the waters with a short, wooden bridge leading to it. Brook and I followed our path until we reached the bridge. We both leaned together on the oak-finished banister.
Then there was silence. Twenty minutes passed and still more silence. A question was burned into my mind that I wanted to ask. I just didn’t quite know how to put it.
Brooklyn was the first one to break to silence with the exact same question that I was going to ask her. “How long do you want to be with me?”
I gave her a look of extreme surprise which I believe she took the wrong way. Brook turned away and solemnly said, “I understand.”
Being the slick, cool, romantic guy that I was, I quickly jumped in to fix the problem. “Obviously you don’t understand or you would be smiling right now like a giddy little boy in a candy shop. Brooklyn, I want to be with you forever.”
“No you don’t,” Brook said. Of course it was a game she liked to play. She would always try to fish for more sweet words from me, and I would always give in.
“Yes. Yes I do.”
“Do you promise?”
“Yes I promise. I would never want to be with anyone else. Never in a million years. I love you.”
“You do?”
“Forever and ever,” I said. Brooklyn then cuddled herself up against me even tighter.
“I love you too,” Brooklyn whispered in my ear.
I took Brook back to her home whenever she could hardly keep herself from falling asleep on my shoulder. As for myself, I had a mind full of ideas. I was wondering how long Brook and I would really be together. We promised each other that we would be together forever, but would it really happen? Of course it would. The only thing now was that I couldn’t wait to make forever actually happen. I suddenly wished to myself that I could just get high school over with. I just wanted to day that it would all be over to finally get here. Whatever happened, I would go to bed that night as a boy full of dreams. But only dreams…


I was in the middle of dream land when I heard a small voice, almost at a whisper. It echoed throughout my head saying, “Let’s bring up Michael Jay Boatlick.”
Then came another, more familiar voice, louder than the first, “You’re up Mike.” Though it seemed way deeper and a lot more mature, I could have picked that tone out of the largest crowd. It was my all-time best friend, Joey McDaniel! “Let’s here that speech of yours!”
“Speech?” I asked myself. I didn’t have any idea what he was talking about. Nevertheless, I popped open my eyes and a flood of light poured into my retinas. My surroundings were equally as confusing. Almost right in front of me was a giant stage, set right in the middle of our home football field. At the front of the stage sat a podium that was currently occupied by our school principal, who was looking a lot grayer than normal and was considerably balder than normal. It was a cool and sunny evening. I then noticed that I and everybody else around me were wearing black gowns. But they weren’t just any black gowns. They were graduation gowns!
“Cummon,” said Joey, and he nudged my arm, “Let’s go, Mr. President.”
My head was spinning. It had to be a dream. There was no way that I could be graduating! I’m only a Freshman! And even if by some miraculous occurrence I was graduating as a Freshman, how could Joey be here too? That couldn’t be it unless somehow four years just passed right by without me even knowing it. But that’s preposterous! Isn’t it?
Though I was very frustrated and confused at the same time, there was no escaping the reality of what I had to do now. I stood up, straightened myself out, and started to walk toward the stage.
“You may possibly need this,” I heard Joey whisper from behind me. I glanced back at him. He held out a folded up piece of paper. “You asked me to hold it for you. Remember?”
“Uhhh, Oh yeah!” I snatched the paper out of his hand and got onto the stage.
I stood behind the microphone and looked out at the huge crowd of people. It left me speechless. What was going on? That was the question that kept running through my mind.
I probably stood up there for a full five minutes before reality finally hit me. “H-Hello everybody,” I finally said. There were a few girlish giggles from the crowd. Then a thought occurred to me. I unfolded the piece of paper Joey had given me, and I began to read it. “Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen,” it started out and then I realized that it was my own speech that I was reading.
I read the whole thing in probably a total of thirty minutes or so. It spoke about events and memories that occurred throughout our high school years. Football games, dances, parties – you name it. It al sounded so exciting. But… I didn’t remember any of it. To this very day, I still don’t.
I retook my seat next to Joey and endured the rest of graduation. There was a short reception after the ceremony, held in the school gym, where I was able to meet some of my closest friends. They all looked so much older.
As I was eating a cupcake, I caught a glimpse of a pleasantly familiar face across the room. There she was – Brooklyn – as beautiful as I could ever imagine. I then thought back to that night when we talked about “forever.” I smiled at that thought, thinking to myself, “There’s something that couldn’t have changed.”
I strolled over to where Brook and a couple of her friends were sitting. I pulled out a chair and sat beside of her. “Hey there,” I calmly said, trying to act as cool as possible.
Brook’s friends stopped talking and dropped their jaws, gaping at me. Brooklyn, my Brooklyn, did the same. “What are you doing?” she finally said, coldly.
My grin faded. Something was amiss. I could feel it. “Talking to you.”
“You haven’t talked to me in two years,” she said “Why now?”
“What are you talking about?”
Then it seemed as if a fire ignited inside of Brook, causing a rage to burn deep inside of her. “Why don’t you ask Kassandra?! You know, that little tramp that you dumped me for during Sophomore Year! But I suppose that you don’t know what I’m talking about there either! I’ll bet that you don’t even remember ignoring me for two whole years just because she said so!” Brooklyn was practically screaming now.
“What?” was the only thing I could say.
Brook calmed a little, “just leave me alone, Michael, before you completely ruin my evening.”
I was confused, heartbroken, and embarrassed. Nevertheless, I left Brook alone, but the surrounding scenes were just too much for me. I stepped outside of the gym into the parking lot and leaned against a wall. The night air was just starting to feel a little bit chilly.
I was so lost in my own thoughts that I didn’t even realize that someone was talking to me. “You’re really lucky, you know,” someone said to me. I looked around to see a boy, not too much younger than myself, standing just a few feet away.
“How so?” I asked.
“Because you’re graduating!” the boy said, “I sure wish that I was graduating.”
“What’s your name?” I then asked.
“Eric,” said the boy.
“How old are you?”
“Fourteen. I’m in the eighth grade right now, but I’m going to be a freshman in a few months. I’m really ready to be done, though,” said Eric.
I thought for a moment on how much I’d love to switch places with him. “You shouldn’t be.”
“Huh?”
“Time is a monster, Eric,” I began, “It is a great snake that slithers right on past you and then waits to strike you at the finish. But of course it wins in the end because you hadn’t even noticed that it passed you so fast. Cherish time. Pay mind to the things around you. Don’t let the snake get ahead of you, and you will be prepared for its attack.”
“What do you mean?” Eric asked.
“Cherish time,” I said again, “and you will not be harmed.”





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