Emma’s Sunset 8/9/16
I re-watched Pretty in Pink and was confused over the part of me that still longed for everything about it. I said one last goodbye to my high school, resting my head on the bike locks. I packed up two suitcases with as many memories as I could. The first thing I taped up in my new room was a photo of my sister as a kid, long braids sitting on a white wicker chair.
Everyone always told me that junior year would be the hardest, but a little voice in the back of my head kept whispering this would be the time of my life.
Nick in the Dressing Room 9/16/16
After the first day of school, I wondered if I had made the biggest mistake ever. We found our way onto a parking garage roof, the sun made everything peach-colored, the city looked so delicate. I got really obsessed with dead malls. The first of my friends turned 17.
Mekhi on Homecoming Night 10/8/16
The way the sunlight pooled made the tennis courts we played on look like a movie set. The homecoming theme was Olympics. I danced until my heart was good and syrupy. Halloween was a half day. I fell asleep as soon as I got home and didn’t wake up until 8 PM. Every diary entry from this month either started or ended with “I don’t know.”
Mekhi on His Phone 11/13/16
I realized being at the Asian supermarket would always be my favorite way to spend Saturday. I sifted through thrift-store bedding, my fingers dancing with little floral patterns, ruffles, and beiges. The day after the election everything was bleached and leaden. I just wanted to hide. Although I still can’t fully visualize it, a life after high school started to emerge as something more tangible than ever.
Bri in Her Room 12/27/16
I spent winter break back in Colorado, hoping to come back a new person. We tightroped our way over a fallen log and spent an hour talking on a swing set. I felt so specifically like I was a sophomore again. We ventured into an empty high school and pretended we went there. On the plane ride back, I thought a lot about searching for clarity and realized that maybe I didn’t know what that meant anymore.
Michael and Barrett on the Football Field 1/26/17
I spent a lot of time in the archive of my tumblr, so many subtle variations of myself that I had forgotten about. I found out I would’ve failed my chem midterm if not for the curve. We walked through the woods and promised we’d come back. The night I turned 17, I felt more alone than ever before. We went on a field trip to the art museum. It was rainy and I didn’t feel like a real person; instead, a little character from something I would’ve read in middle school.
Nick at the Mall 2/16/17
We bought supermarket flowers and visited a graveyard. On a drowsy Tuesday night, I wandered the mall alone and took pictures of all the heart-shaped things I could find. I cried while my hair was cut, feeling like nothing about me would ever be truly comprehensible. Listening to “All Night” while driving through the city was glistening and healing. Everything felt fleeting.
Michael in the Car 3/25/17
New Lorde music made us euphoric, wistful, and lose our minds. I played tourist in D.C and let the spirits of the landmarks and the vigor of the wanderers wash over me. The last song we heard at the spring dance was Mr. Brightside. I wished I could’ve bottled the collective freak out. We drove home with the most saccharine sunset in the rearview mirror.
Mekhi and Michael Afterschool 4/12/17
After the winter specters finally passed for good the trees began to blossom. Petals made the ground look like it was always blushing. I felt like everything was coming together, and then the week after like it was all falling apart again. We ordered corsages and boutonnieres for the first time. Watching the cars sparkle as they passed under the bridge, I was reminded about how much was left, how much was waiting for me.