One of my best memories was on a day most would forget. We were walking the slippery slope of icy gravel that connected the school with the forest below. It was mid-January and the heavy rain of the other day had turned to ice. I remember the sound of snow boots sliding and the screams and laughter of my fellow classmates as we tried not to fall. When we reached the uneven wooden steps almost no one was up to the challenge of walking down them. But I thought I was hot shit so I went on to carefully, step by step, climb down while the peers behind me slid down on their butts. By the time I reached the bottom I was so confident in my half-walking half-ice skating abilities that I could walk, more like strut, along the ice-slicked pathway no problem. But before I knew it I was on my ass in front of the entire class. Everyone burst out laughing (including myself) and it wasn’t our pretty laugh, the one people want strangers to think is theirs. It was our ugly, shorty, loud laughs. And for the rest of the period our teacher totally forgot what we were supposed to be doing and let us slide around with our giant coats and red noses, smiles on our faces. At the time I was dreading next period math class but what I know now is that it would become one of my most cherished memories and that I should have paid more attention to the people around me. But what I will never know is how much more it would hurt to let it go if I did. This moment in time and these people, regardless of whether or not we have always agreed or even noticed each other, each one of you have shaped my life from when I could barely remember my name until now. So I would like to take the opportunity while writing this to say thank you, all of you, for letting me stand by your side. While It hurts my heart to be letting you go, I know you will always be in it.
You’re scared someone will hear the clicking sound of your shoes as you walk down a dark street at night. You tug on the length of your skirt terrified someone you pass will have something to say about it. You find the pepper spray in your bag and pray you won’t have to use it. All the while having 911 dialed into your phone. You hear the smash of a broken bottle and a group of men laughing. Your chest drops down to your stomach as you realize you’ll have to pass them. When you finally get up the courage to do so you almost immediately hear their taunts. You walk faster hoping they won’t follow you as well. When they do you break into a run, they laugh as you try and escape. When you finally do your house feels like a safe haven. You then allow yourself three deep breaths while your heart pounds against your ribcage. You then go on to pretend like it never happened.