I Won't

June 4, 2008
By Maghan Smith, Pauline, SC

The ground is shaking beneath my feet. My birthday hasn’t even come yet, but already I feel myself growing older. I’m morphing into an adult, something I have hated all my life. I despise growing up. I fight and scream and kick and curse at it with all my might, but still it pushes forward, trapping me in its vicious arms. I cannot escape it. No matter how fast I run, its always approaching, always gaining speed. I dread the encounter, for I know that I cannot hide forever. I know that it will one day capture me and drag me unwillingly under. Into the black depths of adulthood I will plunge. Lost. Gone. I will emerge, but it will not be me. It won’t be the person I have tried so hard to make.
It took me fifteen years to understand myself, fifteen years to figure it all out, and they want me to change. Finally, just when it all makes sense and I’m safe, they shake things up. They rock the ground and won’t break my fall.
I can’t do it all over again. I can’t waste another fifteen years wandering around looking for something that I can’t name. It’s impossible. I don’t have that much time. Why can’t I just stay like this forever? Damn Mother Nature, my biological clock, and all the others who will force me into a life I don’t want.
Fifteen is the best age to be. Fifteen is my identity. Everything makes sense right now. I would trade anything to stay this young, this beautiful, this free for eternity.
I want to have kids, I want to get married, I want to do all the grown-up things, but I don’t’ want to actually grow up. Is that possible? I don’t have any one to give me the answers I search for. Why can’t life come with a manual?
What I’m really afraid of is growing old, not growing up. I don’t want to be helpless, I don’t want my hair to turn white, I don’t want to be tossed away. I won’t. I won’t leave this mentality.

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