Class of 2014,
I wrote you a lot of letters. (I wanted you to learn what my handwriting looks like so you wouldn’t forget it if you saw it again.) I wrote some of my thoughts down and put them on newsstands and hoped the ink would stain your fingers.
Next year, the halls will be emptier of friends. There will be unfamiliar faces in choir during fifth period and there will be unfamiliar people to watch me cry after school. There will be different people to dance to Taylor Swift with, and, certainly, there will be new friends. But with this knowledge comes the uneasiness that there will also be fewer people to meet at the water fountain during frees, fewer people to stand close to in the wings of the auditorium at one in the morning, fewer people in a conference room on a Tuesday night. Fewer of you to sift flour next to on Halloween. Fewer of you to make mix CDs for, to help me wash paint off of my hands in the bathroom, to walk me to my locker after eighth. Fewer of you to make fun of me for my run-on sentences with clauses that end in prepositions and for my fondness for commas and for my tendency to make lists of exactly three things.
I’ve been falling forward, moving towards something blurry on the horizon: is it finals, or the weird week after finals? Maybe it’s walking home alone on the last day of school with my shoes off and my locker shelf in my backpack, or the way the sky will look out my north-facing window when I put on a nice dress and go to graduation.
I’ve been moving towards things I don’t see yet but know are going to happen, too—inevitable things like you leaving and me staying. I love knowing, and I might not even notice when these shifts happen. I have trouble focusing at night and can’t fall asleep because of the empty pages in my planner.
The things I do know are simple. The air conditioning is going to turn on and I’m going to drink more iced coffees. I’m going to keep romanticizing night times long past the point when the fireflies are gone.
Next year is taunting me from a distance, calling from every direction. Fewer people to eat pasta with on a Saturday morning, to take midnight bike rides with. Fewer people to fall asleep next to.
Right now I know July will bring a rush of missing you so much, but the thing that worries me most of all is that maybe when you’re gone, after the photos on graduation day and the white dresses for the last time and the grass stains and the cherry vanilla ice cream, after the thunderstorms, after the summer gets hot and then cool, nothing will change.
What I mean is I love you. (They were love letters this whole time, weren’t they?)