we all used to be able to talk.  We could smile and laugh.  we would kiss each other when we were happy.  We would cry on each other’s shoulders when we were sad.  We would laugh and skip and wander away from where we were supposed to be. We would get mad at each other.  Yell, scream, and then we would laugh again.  we would brush each other’s hair.  We would laugh as the huge waves came rolling onto the beach.  We would rise and fall with every wave, fighting to stay on top.

Now we smile and laugh.  We compliment each other’s hair.  We hug each other, it easy to smile, to cover each other with another laugh.  But we are growing apart.  We all have our own separate grudges, out times.  We cry by ourselves, then we come up with a story to tell out friends.  it is something to talk about, to get of of your shoulder’s, but it isn’t real.  It covers up our cowardice.  We spend so much time layering ourselves with make-up and lies.  Instead of playing in the waves, we hang out, laugh at other people, secretly hoping we will always be the one laughing, never the one who is being talked about.

We can’t talk to each other.  We can’t tell each other things anymore.  Everything becomes our own issue.  We pack away our lies, our worries, our emotions into an over flowing shoe box, just like we did our birthday cards.  Trying to hold onto those younger years.  I was sorting through my shoe box, looking at the cards.  Maria’s perfect ones, Anna’s sloppy ones.  They all smelled like the chlorine at the pool, birthdays without worries.  There won’t be any cards this year.  I will be gone for the summer.  And anyways, how could I possibly handle a party.  I can’t invite all of my friends, because they can’t all laugh together.  They will talk and smile fake smiles.  I don’t want to be a part of that.  I don’t want to be a part of the long night that follows, the laughs, the dares, and then the fights.  The endless fights, and then the crying and whining.  And then it is a laughable memory.  A memory that leaves a scar.

So I won’t have a party.  I will keep those cards.  And I will add another shoe box to my closet, full of these words.

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  1. They all smell like chlorine at the pool. I have a shoebox full of them too. Many shoeboxes actually, hidden at the back of first grade Kate’s closet, for me to find when I clean out my room to leave for college, or once a year when my dad makes me. You’re right, Ali. There will never be another shoebox full of birthday cards. It makes me sad, nostalgic even. Sigh.

  2. At the same time, I wonder if they seem much more perfect than they are. I remember recieving birthday cards that left a bitter taste in my mouth just as much as I remember the happy ones. It’s so alienating, growing up. It kind of feels like I didn’t live my memories, and it makes stuff so hard to figure out.

    • I know. I felt like a lot of the cards were as fake as they are now. I wonder if things were any better than they are now. I feel like somethings I can’t remember, and others are memories I don’t know if they were fake or not. If you keep remembering something that didn’t happen it is easy to store it as a real memory.


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