Lately I've been trying to memorize my high school. That might sound strange, but since I'm going to leave soon, I want to start memorizing the things I know will slip my mind later on. There are little things- little details- that don't even cross my mind now, but they are so small I know I'll forget them later.
I don't want to forget.
The way the windows of the front office are blanketed in paintings from art class. You can always tell which students are artistically gifted from those paintings. There have been many groans of embarrassment, mine included, as we've walked through the lobby and caught a glimpse of a familiar- and ghastly- painting. The way the library is full of old and musty books with titles like And the Angels Were Silent and Surprised by the Power of the Spirit. The way the halls become almost painfully crowded when all of the classes are let out at once. A hundred and fifty people aren't meant to squeeze together in a hallway that's less than five feet wide.
I don't want to look back in a few years and not be able to remember where I spent four years of my life. My high school is where I've spent the vast majority of my time. Sure, bad memories have taken place within these walls, but they've mostly been happy. I've experienced joy here, amidst all of the typical high school boredom and stress.
I made some of my best friends in the entire world at my high school. My teachers have shown that they honestly care whether or not I'm having a difficult time at home or if I don't do my best on a paper. After Gatlin died, there were teachers who frequently checked up on me to make sure I was okay. When we watched "Romeo and Juliet," I was actually sent to another classroom so I wouldn't have to watch the suicides. My school has been great. I have seen Christ through my teachers, principals, and friends. I couldn't have asked for anything more out of my high school years.
You'd think some things I wouldn't mind forgetting, like the cheesy fake plants that decorate the shelves on the library walls (I'm looking at them right now) or the gaudy yellow tiles on the bathroom floor... or even the old locker room at the gym. Ancient lockers, creaky toilets, awkward memories. Yeah, those things don't always bring a grin to my face, but I don't want to forget them. I never want to forget.
I'm sitting in my high school library as I write this, realizing with a touch of horror that I can easily count the number of days I have left to spend in this room. At times, I feel like celebrating. "No more school! No more hours spent in this library, typing on these senile computers! No more boredom! No more waking up early! No more! No more!" But it's sad. A chapter of my life is closing forever.
So in a way, I will miss the fluorescent lights that are glaring down on me right now. I'll miss the saggy, half-empty beanbags that have served as a bed when I come to school and nap for an hour (I have a free period every day). I'll miss the old clock that has hung crooked on the wall for as long as I can remember. I'll miss the out of place 4th of July decorations and the pumpkin-shaped pots of peppermints and jolly ranchers. I'll miss the bright yellow trashcan. I'll miss the stacks of musty, aging books. I'll miss just being here.
On the last day of school, I'll probably feel sad. I'll know that there will be no more time spent bantering with teachers, whispering in the bathroom with Ali to avoid having to go back to class, trying to write under the curious stares of my classmates (I hate writing when people watch me), and opening my familiar old locker every day. Number 33, the one with the taped smiley face on the front. I'm not the one who put the face there, but I've never had the heart to remove it.
I haven't said goodbye yet. Not for good. But I know the goodbyes are coming. I can feel them already.
I know one day I'll miss these times, so I'm trying to memorize everything while I can. Every corner, every quirky wall decoration, every scuff on the walls, every near-forgotten memory sparked by a crooked poster or a dented locker. I want to remember every detail.
I will not forget.