How Did It End So Soon? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Don't go chasin' waterfalls ..." That song came on around the pool, and at once, all 16 of us looked at each other and said, "This summer is going to be sweet!" I never thought so much could happen in two months. That night my young, care-free, innocence crept out, and I think I left it on my neighbor's trampoline as we all jumped at 5 a.m. Summer wasn't all I thought it would, or should be. And now I sit and wonder, what ever happened to Mr. Frosty and yelling, "Ice cream!" at the top of your lungs, sitting on the front porch with your best friend drinking Juicy Juices, eating gummi bears, and sharing the secrets of the world. Playing catch with Dad on Sunday afternoons, Marco Polo, hide 'n' seek, freeze tag, bike riding, running races, and sand castles. Those were all games of our elementary summers that gave summer real meaning. Then, too soon, we move to junior high summers of too much make-up, first bikinis, first kisses, Youth Center dances, running after Mr. Frosty only when your friends aren't around, and being "too cool" to hang out with Dad. Those were the summers that we knew it all; yet were so naive.

Now we live the summers of now, the summers of today. They are precious memories we hold in our hearts, filled with laughter, joy, and happiness - or they're supposed to be, anyway. You're supposed to lay out all day, and then go out with your class, laughing at everything, creating too many inside jokes. You're supposed to go to the beach, have bonfires and meet a ton of people that you swear to keep in touch with. I thought summer was all about going out with the car and coming home way past curfew. Summer has only one rule - not to look at your English homework until September 5. And whatever happened to spending the day with your boyfriend, not wanting forever to end? Where did all of those bonding nights with the girls go? I thought you were supposed to speed down the thruway with the windows open and bass pumpin'. Isn't that what summer is all about?

Why, then, did I have to work 24/7? How come our class is split up into hundreds of separate groups? Why did my friends spend the day with boyfriends and not me? How did forever end so soon? Why did I always have the car back on time, and why doesn't my car radio work, let alone have bass? And why did I start my English homework in July?! How come I had to see a close friend get into a car accident, another close friend move, and my extremely close friends drift apart, all right before my eyes, leaving me to feel helpless?

It's not fair that it's my turn to grow up. I don't want to, and I didn't want to. But I have to, and unfortunately, growing up took away part of my summer

" ... please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to." I'm still getting used to mine. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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