The Miles of My Mind

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I make my way down the hall. There is a rush all around me, a constant flow of voices and bodies flowing like a stampede. I am nudged, maybe pushed. I am not rushed.

It’s a Friday, finally the week is over. I want to get home to sleep. The week has drained me. I pass the freshman lockers, barely smiling as I watch the skinny boy fumble with his binder. All of his books are on the floor.

I remember being a freshman. It was a difficult transition, high school was.
Honors classes. A.D.D. A broken heart.

A pretty girl with thin blonde hair, layered to her shoulders waves at me as she walks with a girly trot down the hall. I smile back at her and say “See ya.”

I’m a Junior now. Everything is getting serious. Teachers tell me solemnly of college. They lecture of the test I will take at the end of the year.

“The test colleges will judge you on.”

“The test you will prepare for all year.”

I’m scared, but none of it has really hit me yet.

I’m 17. I remember being a little girl and thinking 17 was so old, so cool. But as I walk now with my black binder pressed to my chest I don’t really feel cool, or old. I feel a little lost, and I think I’m one of the only ones to feel that way.

Sometimes I think of what I want to be. A writer? Maybe a nurse. What about a Zoologist? Then there is always my deepest dream, to be a singer. My mind fumbles over the options. My heart is burdened by the unknown.

I see a good friend with his slumped walk. I smile at him widely. “Text me,” he says, smiling back. “I will,” I promise him, as a strand of long dark hair falls in my face.

I hold on to my binder tightly with one hand to keep it steady and brush the hair behind my ear with the other. I keep walking as everyone else flies by, their weekend to get to.

I get to the doors and I see him. We make eye contact for a moment, but it stretches on for miles. His busy eyes and furrowed brows are all I can see. He is so close to me, and it’s all I can feel. My heart speeds up, my mind races. We have seen each other. Time to pretend.

He laughs loudly with the guys he walks with. I try not to pay attention, but at the same time it’s all I am aware of. “Hey,” I hear. A tall boy is beside me. He has ruffled dirty blonde hair. His shoulders are broad, his nose a little crooked, and his eyes a light blue. He smiles at me. “Hi,” I say, still completely aware of the old friend in front of me.

I walk faster to keep up with the old friend. I want to make sure he hears me. I laugh sweetly when the boy with light blue eyes tells me something only slightly funny. I can sense my old friend’s awareness. He laughs his hardy laugh. We both play along.

The whole walk to my car I can only feel the rush, the pain, the need to be recognized. I listen to the boy who does take the time to talk to me, but his words escape my mind soon after they are spoken. He doesn’t notice. To him I am all ears, a funny girl he can’t help but like. To me, he is my puppet. I ease him into flirty banter so that my old friend can see I am still wanted, even if it may not be by him. He can probably tell, but he does the same to me.

The flurry of the moment overpowers the truth.

The blonde boy walks me to my car. I get in and he pats the side of my car with happy eyes. I see my old friend glance back at me, so I smile at the boy with light blue eyes. “Bye,” I say, trying to ease my face into a pretty expression. The boy gets into his car and goes.

My car is hot inside, the familiar humid air of a car that has blazed in the sun all day seeps through my nostrils. I turn on the air. I see my old friend talk to his friends out by their cars, and I put my car in reverse. I back out slowly as a smooth song beats on my radio. I put the car into drive. I press the gas and I gradually drive away from my old friend. As I keep driving, I begin to loosen up. My mind settles down, and after a couple of minutes with my hands on the heated steering wheel, I become myself again. I think of the act I just put on, wondering if it was convincing. I feel the familiar tug of guilt I always feel when I am done with my charades. It’s been so long and I still feel this way. How do I even feel?

I press the gas a little harder and sing along to the pretty song on my radio. I pass my old friend at an intersection five minutes later. We make eye contact for a moment, but it stretches on for miles.





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ashley687 said...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 12:44 pm
this is an awesome memoir
 
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