|17 & in the sun|
Well, it was the first year of sixth form (like junior and senior year of high school, for those of you who don't know). Two years away from being done with school, the first year of being The Old Kids. The ones who didn't have to be at school, but chose to be, because we were serious students (ha!). The ones who could come in late or leave early, and had free periods in which to do our serious work (or paint our nails and talk about boys and drink diet Dr. Pepper).
But I was also still coming off the two years before that. They were bad, bad years--my worst depression times. Times of staying in bed because I could not, and did not see a reason to, gather the energy to get up. Times of telling my mother I hated her, and spending my Friday nights playing video games by myself while my former friends were hanging out together. Times spent giving up on the things I loved because...who cared anymore?
But 17--it was good. I had friends, and I had people who waved at me in the hallways, who took blurry pictures with me at parties. I was still writing, albeit slowly.
So what haunted me through 17, that year of parties and older boys and getting far too drunk in the warm safety of my friends' homes?
|17 & hanging out on a cold winter night.|
That these friends I had now (some old, some new) would leave me the way those other girls I had called friends did just a couple of years before. It might again happen that I would be sat down and told that they'd prefer it was just the four (five, six, seven, whatever--as long as I wasn't included) of them.
That the Friday nights we spent trying (failing) to get served at the Chinese restaurant and subsequently walking home stone-cold sober in the bitter cold (still happy because, well, the whole situation was funny in the most stupid way) would turn back into being just me: alone, headphones plugged in, in a room lit only by the television screen.
That the people I'd been going to school with for five years but was only just starting to get to know would realise that actually, I wasn't at all interesting. They'd realise my skinny jeans and leather jacket were way too try-hard, my attempts at flirting were just embarrassing, my jokes were not amusing in the slightest.
That all the good and fun and life I had now would just...poof. Disappear.
But you know the funny thing?
|17 & smiling.|
None of those hauntings ever became reality for me.
* * * * *
Nova Ren Suma's 17 & GONE is out today! Go get it, because her writing is beautiful and I'm super excited about this book.
Also, go here to see more (and way better) posts about being haunted at 17.