I'll miss lunches in the hallways. The hallway itself has changed every year, but it's always the same. Our backs against the lockers, our feet tangled together, we sit and talk as long as we can, until the bell rings and signals the end of our socializing, and the beginning of a class. We stand up, dust off our legs, go to our lockers, grab our things, and head to class. But those lunches in the hallways? They were full of laughter. Always. And those forty odd minutes of socializing between classes? They were good.
I'll miss the way the students flood into the halls like a dam that's just been broken. The second the bell rings, doors are opened and kids flood the halls within seconds.
I'll miss the way the windows howled in the fall, the cool air that seeped through them in the winter, the pitter-patter of rain a constant background noise in the spring, and the warm, muggy air in the summer.
I'll miss the social events every weekend, the group messages full of invites in my inbox. A barbecue at Julia's, a movie night or bonfire at Kelsie's, dinner at our favourite restaurants, trips to the mountain, trips to the beach, coffee dates, ice cream dates, parties, camping trips, I'll miss all of it.
I'll remember that one Friday night, just after the first semester had finished. A good amount of my favourite people were all in one place, huddling around the fire that took us over an hour to start. The wood was wet, and the ground had a layer of frost over it, but we threw more and more of our old homework onto the flames until the wood finally gave in and slowly turned to embers. An hour in, Marshal brought out the guitar. He sang and played some of his original music, then each of us started to make requests -- Skinny Love, The A Team, Down in the Valley, Rivers and Roads -- and all sang along as we looked between the crackling fire, each other, and the stars. After a couple more hours, it started to get cold and Kelsie disappeared for a couple of minutes and returned with a pile of blankets. It was probably somewhere around four hours in when people started to leave and we put the fire out to go inside. I remember spending a good part of that night thinking, "this is what I want to remember, this is what grad year is all about".
I'll remember the mini-party at my house the weekend my parents were in Hawaii. The jello shots I arranged into patterns and the snow on the ground outside. I'll remember gathering everyone and posing for pictures on the couch and using the last four polaroid pictures in the pack within the span of two minutes because that night seemed worthy of it. I'll remember Tatum making Mr. Noodles for everyone and the moment the toque fell in the toilet, and the mess I had to clean up the next day.
I'll remember prom night. The dancing, the socializing, the smiling, all of the compliments and complimenting and the abundance of pictures. I'll remember the after party and that kiss and partying until the sun came up. I'll remember the feeling I had the next day, a feeling of, "that couldn't have gone better".
So here's to the nights we won't remember, and the nights we'd rather forget. To the nights we drank a little too much, or put our hearts into the wrong hands. Here's to the nights we kissed the wrong boys then worried about it for days later. Here's to the nights we loved and were loved, the nights when our hearts were full of trust. Here's to the nights of walking and talking, the nights of crying and screaming, the nights of laughter. Here's to the nights we made mistakes, and to the nights we didn't. Here's to the nights we messed up in the most perfect and horrible ways.
Here's to the nights of high school, to the nights that have done so much to define us. Here's to them, because we wouldn't change them if we could.