For the moments the waves decide to release, and let you make eye contact with the stars.
The moments that youth turns eternal.
A Wave (Kings Of Leon)
This makes me feel the same way that that scene in The Perks of Being a Wallflower does.
You know the one.
They’re driving through the tunnel, and Sam is standing in the bed of the truck, feeling the rush of the wind past her arms like she’s got the wings of a bird.
But the way the song makes me feel doesn’t feel the exact same way as the scene does. Because, in the movie, we’re watching Charlie, watch Sam have this moment.
This song makes me feel like I am Sam.
I can almost see the lights coming from the streetlights, their hues so orange that my face turns the same color each time we pass them.
I’m in a car full of friends, but the song makes them feel like close strangers.
I lower the window, to let my hand ride through the waves the wind creates, like I did when I was little.
My strangers don’t watch me do it, either. They’re each in their own worlds.
One’s thinking about his dad.
Another about how bad she wants to see the world.
The next about the girl he should have told.
The last about the girl she can’t wait to tell.
And me? I’m thinking about them.
The thought doesn’t last long enough for us to dig too deep.
We’re on the beach before we’re fully out of the car. It seems one of my strangers thought that today, the parking lot was more of a suggestion.
Collectively, we run toward the water, dropping piece after piece of fabric that keeps us from the waves.
I’m the first to hit the water, and it’s freezing cold.
There’s no sun, and the water pulls so much stronger than when there is, but the stars give us enough light to guide us back to each other, and that’s enough for now.
Looking at them through the waves, my strangers and our stars, it’s an everlasting feeling.
An eternal one.
Charlie Boy (The Lumineers)
I sit back and watch my friends sometimes. Me, Kate, who writes to you.
I watch them, most of whom I’ve known for years now. In the little moments, when I’m happiest that I am alive and that they’re alive with me. Even in big moments, like prom or graduation, when I see how they’ve grown, how they’ve changed.
And it reminds me about the same things in me. How I’ve grown, how I’ve changed.
How, through all of it, somehow, we made it out together.
Out of middle school, out of high school, out of meaningless crap, and the most important moments of our lives.
Sometimes it makes me cry.
Okay, most times it makes me cry.
But it’s mostly out of how grateful I am. How absolutely blessed I feel to have had the chance to exist at the same time, in the same place, that they did. That they do.
How thankful I am that when choosing middle schools, I chose ours.
Em. She is the toughest person I know. She’d rain fire for me, for any of us, if she could. There are moments when we’ve shared our tears. Moments when we’ve hidden them from each other. We’ve had screams and laughs and fights. She’s my sister, and I’m hers, and we match each other’s energy like no other. On multiple occasions, she got me off the ledge. On multiple occasions, she tied a cord around our waists and jumped off with me. We are eternal.
Isaac. He is the oddest person in the world. And I say that, because he’s exactly like my dad, and my dad is also the oddest person in the world. He’s got strength that surely surpasses mine, and doesn’t much like to show us his smile, so you have to catch him when he thinks he’s hiding it. I tell him things I can’t tell anyone else, and sometimes he lets me listen to his. He tells horrible dad jokes, but he keeps me going when things get hard. We are eternal.
Naleiah. She is the coolest person in the world. (Seriously, I think she is the coolest person ever, I have no idea why she lets me be her best friend.) I only met her a couple years ago, and I only started talking to her a year after that, but we’ve been inseparable since. Without knowing it, she guides me. I watch what she does, like a little sister would. Besides my parents and my brother, she might be the person I’m most nervous to show my writing to. Like Cece and Jess, like Raven and Chelsea, like Dionne and Cher, like Leslie and Ann. She’s the person who makes me feel less alone. We are eternal.
Alex. He is the strongest person I know. The things me and him have seen each other through are ridiculous and monumental. I’ve only known him since sixth grade, but he’s my brother. I’ve edited his essays and he’s taught me how soccer works. He threw out my edits and I ask every now and again for a re-explanation of the game. He’s cried on my shoulder and I’ve sobbed on his. He’s my biggest protector, and I’m working up the courage to be his. We are eternal.
(He pisses off scary people. Alex, if you’re reading this, stop doing that, dude. I piss off theatre kids, man. Throw me a bone.)
On grad night, I made them all sit down and take this picture.
I wanted it to be a recreation of the one I took on Valentines Day, 2020.
I told them to act annoyed. In both pictures, Em and Isaac naturally were, so it was perfect. (Naleiah and Alex weren’t, so much, so Alex looks kinda like a golden retriever and Naleiah is putting on her best performance)
But I did it for the same reason that I take all the pictures I have of them, good and bad.
These four people have given me the best memories of my life, and I like to have pictures to remind me of them.
Besides my family, they’re the best people I know. Who they were and who they are now has changed me into me, and given that I’m becoming someone that I like, I have a lot that I owe them.
So, if you guys are reading this, I love you. Everyday, for the rest of my life. Whether we loose touch or stop talking or grow old together and have kids that marry each other and give us cute lil grandbabies, the effect you’ve had on my life, it’s eternal.
We are eternal.
(Also, stop being jerks and answer Em’s question about mini golf next week. I really wanna go because her and my parents said it’s cooler at night with all the glow-in the dark lights and stuff and you guys are lagging and being lame af.)
This song reminds me of the friends I used to have. The ones that sometimes, I still wish I did.
When I was a little kid, running around the grass playing fairies with girls I haven’t talked to since then, I told myself to remember them, and the moments we shared like it forever. So I did.
I remember the girls I spent time with, celebrating the 100th day of school and watching one of their moms paint a jungle on the walls of the school library together, pointing at which animal was ours and why. Having my first sleepovers at their house and saving quarters all year to get each other holiday grams. Who, when they lost their silly bandz on the playground or didn’t know how to harvest a zucchini from the school garden, asked me what they should do and how.
I remember the boys who taught me to play basketball and four square, and joined theatre just because the director and I asked them to. Sending themselves to the nurse’s office with me when a third grader poured chocolate milk all over my head because, in attempt to chase said kid, they a) tripped over themselves, b) threw a basketball at him and ran into it so hard that he knocked a tooth out of his own mouth, or c) trying to get me to the bathroom to clean myself up, tripped on the curb leading to it and nearly broke his elbow.
I remember when I left them and went to middle school alone, and met new friends.
I remember the girls that let me sleep over at their house every weekend, who took me to the movies with their families. Watching New Girl at 2am and eating more slices of the cookie pizza than we should, all night. Planning school events together, walking each other to classes and going to ASB camp to share cabins and count the stars. Girls who trusted me to track their laps at swim meets and tell their crushes that they liked them.
I remember the boys that I beat at pickle ball and traded half my lunches with. Who told me everything they knew about Clash of Clans and asked me what the word elegance meant. Yelling at me to run faster during the mile and asking me if they could copy my homework from Summer’s class because they forgot about it and lunch isn’t enough time for them to do it on their own. Boys who asked me about the books I was reading and told me what they wanted to go to college for, asking if I thought it was a good idea.
When we went to high school, we changed overnight. We weren’t kids who counted stars or played pickleball anymore. No more fairies and four square.
We became little adults that had jobs and cars and college offers.
And we’re still those little adults, now.
But like I said, this song makes me think of the times that we weren’t. When the things we stressed out about was stuff like not finishing the times table sheet in time or having to redo the mile because we weren’t 3 seconds faster than the last time that we ran it.
I miss them, and I’ve moved on. But I like to come back to them every now and again, when I feel like taking a break from being a little adult, even just for a second.
Because the way they made me feel is the same way that Naleiah, Em, Isaac, Alex and the stars do.