I never would have thought that graduating would be such a bitter time. I never would have thought it would be so difficult to abandon the building where our brains were fried for seven hours a day. I never would have thought that departure would always smell like the rain.
The final p.m. homeroom bell rang with a force so powerful that my head began to spin. I could hardly muster up the strength to look at my best friend without having the salty drops of memories no more poking at my eyeballs. On the first day of sixth grade, when fear lurked in every intimidating corridor, she was just another classmate. But now, she was the girl I spilled my darkest secrets to, laughed about stupid inside jokes with, and lived my life to its fullest with. After that agonizing day, I would never see her innocent, blissful face again.
We reluctantly stood up, marking the beginning of our longest walk to the front door of our school ever. I was naïve to believe our friendship would last forever. All beautiful things must come to an end. Forever does not exist.
We reached the exit, and for a moment, just took in the landscape surrounding us. Raindrops shot down from the clouds hovering throughout the broken, gray sky, the pitter-patter of them splattering against the ground breaking the brutal silence. There were no words to describe that time. The earthy, fresh, and apathetic smell of the rain was the only thing that kept me going.
Our emotions could no longer be contained. Tears cascaded from our bloodshot eyes, forming streaks of rivers across our blotchy faces. We embraced with such energy, refusing to release the other. And then, it was over. The memories, which have now faded into nothingness, the belly-laughs, which have been replaced with an emptiness, the secrets, which didn’t even matter in the first place, and everything else that came with friendships. Friendships that will always leave one wondering why life can be so cruel. Friendships that will always come crashing down, falling apart, with nothing to tie them together. Painstaking, finite friendships. My best friend and I went our separate ways, she to Stuyvesant and I to Staten Island Tech. Schools divided by oceans, trees, clouds of darkness, and hopelessness. I barely managed to breath out the words, “I’ll never forget you.” I was unsure if I would be able to fulfill this promise. If I was not, it would just be one more reminder of the shattered pieces of my heart and the anguish burning through my bones, like a forest fire, forever spreading, devouring its victims.
Tears blocked my vision. I was guided home solely by the antagonizing, unforgettable smell of the rain.