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Aftermath: Once Again

I'm confused.

I don't even know where to stand anymore. I feel like the ground beneath my feet has crumbled. I feel like I'm walking down a gray, cracked sidewalk until I suddenly find myself tripping over a crevice that my Converses became wedged in. Falling with my arms outstretched – I feel like I managed to briefly save a part of my pride – something that seems worthless by this point. I'm discombobulated. I'm confused. I don't know where I'm walking, but my feet don't want to give into reason. I just carry on, with my knees feeling bruised and scratched, with a small smile on my face as I trudge on forward.

With several more steps, I begin to feel a sense of nostalgia overwhelm. The familiar street lights light up as I walk down this old pathway. What do you call this? – It was…childhood nostalgia. The streets I used to thrive and explore on. The street once named after an Eagle I suppose? I don't remember – so I keep on walking down memory lane. I see bits and fragments of some old homes and familiar friends that walk past me while waving goodbye. I smile and wave before moving on. When did they get here? I wasn't sure, but I just continued walking, feeling a summery breeze caress my cheeks.

The gray pavement soon gives away and smoothly transitions into a cleaner, lighter color with less cracks and blemishes. This walk way leads me to a city that resembles close to Arlington. It was a quaint neighborhood I was walking through – small houses with neatly trimmed lawns, tall lamp posts scattered about, and the welcoming cries of the crickets and cicadas. Robust cicadas, I should say. But that shouldn't be a detail I should worry about – it was small and insignificant. Yet it meant so much.

The seasons began to change as I continue my stride down this mysterious walk. I noticed that my clothes began to change as the weather and mood switched. A blue, silk scarf adorned my neck, and then a white summer dress fluttered as my hips moved as I continued walking. The dress was soon replaced by various objects of clothing until it settled to my worn, skinny jeans that were ripped on my right knee, a shirt graphic tee with a lesser known band, and my favorite old Converses that were oddly still in pristine condition. But where was I walking toward?

Then it hit me.

The familiar sound of students chattering, the cars honking and parents impatiently waiting to pick up their kids and friends, the teachers who were chatting amiably with students while on watch – this was a memory that took place back during my 8th grade year. I was roughly around thirteen or fourteen at the time, just figuring out my place while everybody else was still going through the phase of puberty and confusion. I couldn't tell if this was a dream or not, whether or not I was relapsing through this memory phase of the past. I felt confused to why I was subjected to seeing and reliving all of these memories. How was this exactly happening? But I didn't want to question it any further. There was a point to this. And I wanted it continue.

I glanced at myself, noticing that I had a blue-black-gray-white checkered backpack that I dearly loved. My hair wasn't layered yet and my side fringe was slightly covering one eye. Perhaps I would grow it out – perhaps I wouldn't.

With a smile, I left the shady courtyard with large oaks and benches behind. There was an important scene about to happen in this memory.

With eight steps forward, a turn to the left, another fifteen to twenty six steps later – I would arrive to the front of the school next to a tree with a large, rusted orange ramp that seemed to be stationary to the wall. In a matter of moments, the boy I knew would be here soon.

Taking a seat on the orange incline, I counted all the blue cars I saw and whistled a tuneless tune as I waited for his presence.

"Hey Emory, I haven't seen you in a while. Mind if I sit here?"

I glanced up and saw the boy's dark, brown hair with hunter green eyes that seem to captivate me. He was somebody I liked. I really liked. With a confidant smile, I nodded my head and scooted over a bit. We began to converse about our day and smiles and laughter was soon lost in the wind. I haven't felt like this in a while. Happiness – is that what you call it?

But everything changed. The scene changed. The boy with green eyes that I liked disappeared from my sight. He slowly began to fade as I blinked – one eye lash after the other – his smile was all that was left etched into my memory. Where did the time fly as I sat there listening to our mindless chatter? But I would never forget – he was always going to be my first friend who I actually began to care for.

Yet it was funny – he was somebody who left me. It wasn't his fault. But at the time – it seemed like he left me for no good reason. The boy with green eyes and dark brown hair had someone he cared for and stopped talking to me. Yet, he would always be someone who I would cherish and remember. I liked him. I liked him a lot. His name was…he was…someone. Someone who I could be normal with.

Now he's gone. And the scene changed.

I'm walking again. I'm no longer sitting on the rusted orange ramp with my middle school backpack. This time, my hair has grown longer, with the tips reaching down halfway my back. My bangs are long and are swept toward the left – I'm trying to keep them out of my eyes. It's not working – but it gives me an edge that makes me look badass.

While trying to figure out where my feet take me – I see the seasons change again. Autumn leaves fall down and a white scarf appears around my neck. Winter approaches and I see new and old friends walking down the sidewalk I'm walking on. Except this time – they're walking past me with simple goodbyes and quaint smiles as I past them. I stop momentarily and look back. There are a lot of familiar faces and friends who I'm not in contact anymore. I still remember them, but I hardly ever talk to them. I wonder how they are doing. But I can't stop to ask. My feet continue to force me forward, and I glance back over my shoulder one last time – only to see my friends disappear right before my eyes again. Wait, one of them is looking back at me. He's my friend who I still see today…dark hair, amiable smile, flirtatious eyes – he's saying goodbye to me. I wave back with a sad smile on my face – why was I feeling this way? But it was okay – I would see him soon enough.

Several memories slip through my fingers and I can barely catch a grasp on any of them. I feel like I've been falling through crevices and cracks – trying to catch myself before I fall. But my free style fall has got me parachuting through the clouds. I can't really stop, can I? Once I go in, there's no going out. But there are memories that seem to hold me back. To hold onto the old me. Maybe it's because I can't let go of the past fast enough. Maybe it's because I can't seem to understand the concept of moving on. I just feel like relapsing through all of these notions and relive the dreams of yesterday's glory. I just miss everyone and everybody.

I just miss you the most.

Not the boy with dark brown hair and green eyes, but the guy with mousy brown hair and chocolate colored irises. He's a memory I haven't got to go through yet, but he's someone I wish I could be with.

The scene changes.

The guy with brown and hair eyes was someone I shared most of my fond memories with. We were friends during freshman year – bonding quickly like no one else.

We held hands.

We spoke about the future.

I leaned on your shoulder.

You smiled on mines.

You shared an ear bud with me.

I smiled and listened to your songs.

We went outside.

We daydreamed.

We saw clouds and pictured them as dreams.

I gave you a white dandelion; you asked me what I would wish for.

You blew the dandelion. It got everywhere in my hair.

You picked dandelion seeds from my hair and we both laughed, knowing that it was cute and funny.

But then our time became short.

The days got shorter and summer was coming. I wasn't sure if we were still going to see each other again so I prayed to a god I didn't believe in and you reassured me it would be alright.

"Don't worry about it," you would always say. I believed you then and now – still holding onto the words you preach and say with a smile.

But it was inevitable. Time would eventually draw us apart and I could see that our lives would diverge into different path ways.

We would eventually deviate.

In our last moments before the summer, I held onto you tight, saying that I loved you…as a friend. And you replied with something I didn't know you would say. "I love you too." And we parted.

And I wish I said "I love you."

More than a friend.

You said…you said…

You have a girlfriend.

I'm happy for you and her. But I always thought –

I've always thought

Maybe for just a moment, I could have held you closer

Maybe just for a moment, I would have had you standing by my side –

That you wouldn't be with anyone else –

That you would be with me

I thought –

I just thought

It's o-k-a-y.

Eventually we all drift apart and this is what happens.

But I just wish I could have said something sooner, while we saw each other faintly in the hallways, even if we only had five minutes to see each other, I wish I could have said something to still be with you.

I miss you.

I love you.

I'm sorry.

I wasn't fast enough.

I wasn't…able to tell you how I feel.

I'm sorry.

I just…I wish I could have told you sooner.

But maybe one day – we could be.

Maybe not now, not tomorrow, or even next year

But maybe, just maybe

If I could find you again

And if my feelings don't drift and wander astray,

Maybe I will tell you how I truly feel

And if I ever do leave and my feelings for you empty

Maybe...just maybe...I would try to move on and forget

But not you and these memories

Just everything else before and after

I can wake up now.


I don't want to dream anymore.

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