She ran her fingers along the walls. How many times had she felt those tiles? How many times had she smiled and cried while walking through these very halls? And yet, of all the things that have changed, so much remained the same. There was the room where she took Biology next to Ken Burlow, and that corner was where she had her first kiss with- Oh, what was her name? She stood for a moment unbelieving that she could remember a face she had touched yet not at all remember the name.
Memory had it’s own way in these matters. We are forced to live entirely in the now, while all of our previous nows are slowly ripped from our minds by its own reasoning. We are left with shadows of previous us’s. Shadows we are ashamed of, images of people we only were and never can be again, all at once.
She had no love for this place. She’d spilled her own blood and shed her own tears on these walls. She’d been in the main office plenty of times, holding sprained wrists and biting down fat lips. She never told, and now it didn’t matter. Was it pride? What worth is pride when the deeds are forgotten?
But with every bad memory came a good one. The lunchroom held the tables she’d shared hundreds of times with Paul, Aria, Jamie, and Kitty. The laughs and the high hopes for the future. She’d only kept up with Aria over the years. She’d loved all her friends, but time takes you apart, and old friends are forgotten. Aria was some kind of restaurant fanatic, trying to get people to eat lab grown meals. Paul worked for an energy company. Jamie and Kitty got married and went somewhere. She’d resigned to never see any of them again except online. Maybe after today she’d have to hit them up, they’d want to know what she was about to do here anyway.
She opened the main entrance doors and stepped out into the open. She walked passed the place where she confessed her love to Abby without blinking. She stepped over the walkway where she’d stood a hundred times without to much as a change in heart.
“You okay, River?” The voice pulled her from her trance. Before her stood Christian, an overweight man who’d kept his baby fat all these years. It gave him a certain charm especially in moments like this.
“Yeah,” she said, “Just a lot of memories.”
“Fond ones I hope.”
“You could say that. Hey do you and Marcy want to Join Isis and me for dinner tonight? We’re making lasagna.”
“I think we’d love that.”
“Good, I’ll text you then.”
He smiled. She turned around and looked at the building. Thousands of kids- seven generations. All for this. All for entropy.
“All set then, River?”
Christian tapped a tablet, and just like that the school was flat and on the ground.
“Move on in and clean up this mess.” She said as she turned to the trailer where she’d set up an office.
River shed no tears for that place, but she was not exactly okay. The past was a heavy burden to wear. But in the end, it’s purpose is only to prepare us for the future. As she looked over the blueprints on her desk she thought to herself that forgetting a thing or two was only part of the progress.
For auld lang syne.
Image credit goes to my own alma mater
Liked this story? Why not take a look at these nostalgic pieces!