Closing of Childhood Memories

June 15, 2011
By JustKeepRowin SILVER, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JustKeepRowin SILVER, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
5 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Peace begins with a smile."-Mother Teresa


My mom‘s eyes were shiny with new tears. Under her eyes, her skin was puffy and red. My sister and I anxiously waited for her to tell us what happened. My dad entered the kitchen and sat down. My mom struggled to make her voice sound strong and reassuring when she said, “They’re closing St. A’s.” My heart broke into pieces that sank into my stomach. “What?” I asked completely dumbfounded. An involuntary lump formed in my throat. My eyes stung and unshed tears blurred my vision. “Saint A’s will be closed next year,” said my mom. There was nothing that could be done. My school, my second home, was going to be abandoned. My friends, my teachers, would be scattered and orphaned. I would be a member of the last graduating class of a hundred year old school…

My alarm clock broke into my dream filled sleep. Leaning over, I hit the snooze button. Not wasting any time, I jumped out of bed and crossed the hallway. As I was brushing my teeth, my sister joined me. Being her fabulously bossy self, she pushed me out of the bathroom. With toothbrush in hand, I bounded down the stairs and finished brushing my teeth at the kitchen sink. Back up the stairs, I leapt. I dug in my drawers to find my old soccer jersey and a pair of jean shorts. When my irritating sister was done pampering herself into perfection, we walked down to our alma mater.

I had been preparing myself for this day for a good five months, ever since that day in the kitchen, really. The stone church emerged from behind the trees. The sun shone brightly from behind its tall roof. Its blissful light seemed to mock my sorrow. Luckily, my dark sunglasses shaded my eyes from its harmful rays. I saw my old classmates standing outside the front door of the church. I was obviously running late, because the kids were already walking down the aisle. My friends greeted me with nervous jokes about how sad this was all going to be. I laughed along, keeping a false smile plastered to my face, masking the hurt I was really feeling.

As the mass was ending, Miss Yingling, my former principal, motioned for the kids to start forming a line. As we exited our pews, my friend, Joscie, grabbed my arm. We crossed the parking lot to the school. Bracing myself for what was about to happened; I took a deep breath and crossed over the threshold.
Our principal led my class, my school, my friends, and my teachers on our last tour into Saint A’s. As we explored the first floor, memories of Kindergarten, first, second and third grade swam through my head. I felt my eyes start to sting again. I threw my glasses over my eyes to hide my tears. I heard Joscie choke on a sob next to me. We watched the younger kids pass by us on our way back down the hallway. Some not understanding what exactly what was going on and some very well knowing what was going to happen.
We began climbing the stairs to the second floor. I cringed as memories from fourth and sixth grade came flooding into my mind. We circled the hallway. Children’s sobs echoed off the empty skeleton of the building. Kids as young as six crying, sobbing. My heart broke at the sound. I ran my hand against the wall as I had always done walking through the halls. The grooves were familiar and strangely comforting.
Our journey took us up to the third floor. We passed the seventh, fifth and eighth grade homerooms. My class said good bye to our homeroom for the last time. The library was across from our homeroom. Its previously stocked bookshelves were bare and hollow. Its books tore apart, in boxes, waiting to be recycled. The once colorful hallway was naked and drained of its vibrancy.
Miss Yingling brought our depressed group of grieving kids down stairs and took us outside. We turned to face the school. Teachers passed out bubbles. My previous principal shouted over the crowd of parents, alumni, and ex-students and said, “These bubbles are meant to help us say good bye to Saint A’s.” Then she said with a smirk, “It’s also pretty hard to cry when blowing bubbles.”
With that, we began to blow bubbles. We watched as the shiny globes floated to the school. The younger kids’ tears were drying. Smiles began to return to their faces. All around me, friends were hugging and saying farewell for the last time. I joined them and said good bye to my teachers, promising to see them again.
After the crowd thinned and people began to leave, I walked to the church steps and sat down. I stared at the school thinking of some of the crazy stories that happened and the amazing people I met here. Joscie and Liz came over to sit with me. We sat in introspective silence. Joscie broke the silence with “I can’t believe it’s closed.” We nodded and absorbed that. Sarah, a younger friend, came and sat with us. Her face was speckled from tears. She sniffled beside me. I turned to her and hugged her. I mumbled reassurances to her. I uncoiled my arms from around her, and wrapped them around my knees. We started to share our favorite stories from the past. Grinning and smiling, we began to heal.
Across the parking lot, loud and strong, Saint Athanasius rang the final bell. As it sang its swan song, the small group on the stairs said simultaneously, “The bell!” With that our sadness deepened, our shoulders dropped and we stood and went home, finally ending this day full of emptiness.


The author's comments:
My grade school was a huge part of me and when it closed I was just torn apart. It felt like I lost a family member. It was where I realized I wanted to write. It was were i grew up. Please enjoy.

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This article has 8 comments.


on Jul. 8 2011 at 5:24 pm
JustKeepRowin SILVER, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
5 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Peace begins with a smile."-Mother Teresa

Thank you so much! I'm glad people can relate to this story at least on some level.

on Jul. 7 2011 at 9:23 pm
Garnet77 PLATINUM, Sinagpore, Other
31 articles 6 photos 578 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Everything's a triangle." ~ My mother

"Write what you love, write what you care about, because sometimes, it's the easiest way to be heard."

I went to a local school in Singapore for grade school (well, we call it primary school), but I can really feel what you're going through! I love the way you wrote this, and I can't say I found a mistake :)

on Jun. 21 2011 at 3:12 pm
JustKeepRowin SILVER, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
5 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Peace begins with a smile."-Mother Teresa

Well thanks! And i'm glad you liked it!

on Jun. 21 2011 at 3:12 pm
JustKeepRowin SILVER, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
5 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Peace begins with a smile."-Mother Teresa

Thanks so much and I can only imagine it was difficult to start over time and time again!

on Jun. 21 2011 at 3:11 pm
JustKeepRowin SILVER, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
5 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Peace begins with a smile."-Mother Teresa

We had been dreading the closing for years and when it finally happened...it just sucked! I'm glad you got out without having to go through this! Good Luck! Thanks for encouragment.

on Jun. 21 2011 at 2:38 pm
WritingSpasms, Los Angeles, California
0 articles 0 photos 121 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Devils run when a good man goes to war."
- River Song from Doctor Who (Ep. A Good Man Goes to War)

Hi, like you I just graduated from a private school that is currently in the danger of being closed down. All of my classmates have gone through a hate-love relationship with my school, and while we would never imagine ourselves rejoicing with joy if our school closed, we cannot help but see the inevitable. Your article was wonderfully written, and I felt your emotions speaking loudly. A very sad article but really good :)

on Jun. 21 2011 at 11:21 am
MollyDoubleU BRONZE, Minooka, Illinois
3 articles 5 photos 45 comments

Favorite Quote:
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." - The Great Gatsby

I am so sorry for your school being closed. As a kid, I attended three different elementary schools, so I can't even imagine how painful this must have been for you. Your story was very good, very full of emotions and great descriptions. I really liked it. Nice job :)

on Jun. 20 2011 at 8:30 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1648 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

Aw, this is a sad story.  I feel sorry for you that your school closed, DemonXxXchild903.  Your story had good description and it was nice and short.  Good job!


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