yearbook season is my favorite time of the year.

these lovely comments people write make me treasure words, because i remember people not by the color of their hair nor by the price of the clothes they wore. i remember them by the smell of their rooms and cars (that smell of sweet perfume mixed with cinnamon graham crackers), by the feel of their skin when we embraced (and the color it produced if any). i remember them by the music they listened to, and the shows we enjoyed. but mostly, i remember them by their words. by the number of syllables in their sentences, by their diction.

when i’m cold and homesick in new york, homesick not for the people who’ve raised me but for the people who held me when i cried, who saw me when i was invisible, who laughed with me in the hallway, i’ll remember them for their words.

i’ll think of julia and the endlessly impressive words she always employs. i’ll think of the way graham and jon laugh and how infectious their laughter is. i’ll think of the way graydon makes everything feel better because he makes you feel safe, like everything isn’t as complicated as you make it out to be. i’ll think of claire and her endless fascination with the human condition, with thoughts, with dreams. i’ll think of victor and that serious mask he wears and the subtle cleverness he hides. i’ll think of simone and how ghetto we get and i’ll think of how beautiful she looks when she smiles. and i’ll think of nadia of course and remember that sweet humility that i adore about her. and of olivia and how she always makes me feel like i’m the most beautiful girl in the room, though i’ve always thought it was her who left everyone else in the room breathless at the sight f her. i’ll think of aletheia and julie, and how the past few months with them at my side has made me happier, and has made me whole again, like i never thought it’d be possible to feel again at the beginning of this year. i’ll think of ric and that sassy smirk, and the way he called me when i was in pieces on my bathroom floor with a bleeding arm and a desire to close my eyes for good. 

i’ll think of the way they’ve all saved me so many more times than they can even imagine. how happiness has been a by product of my time at harvard-westlake, thanks to them. thanks to their words. to their support. to their love.

you know how dumbledore says that “happiness can be found in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light?” these people have reminded me to do just that. and though i’m ready to leave, they’re not going anywhere. because they’ll stay with me, no matter where i go. and i’ll love them very much. always.