Today was Brittany's last day of high school. She's gone. All year long I dreaded this day. I saw it as a deadline of sorts, the end of the road. If I didn't win her affections by this day then it would be over and done. I would never see her again. I could not have been any more wrong, as usual. I found her at her locker after finals and we just hung around for awhile. She told me how weird it felt to actually be leaving high school. And last night she finally joined my friends and I for our typical Monday night dinner. She'll be coming every Monday from now on. We all laughed so hard we had headaches and we stayed as late as our mothers allowed.
When she said goodbye today, I didn't feel that dread, that sense of something ending. I only felt happiness. What the hell was I so worried about? She suggested we even do something this or next week, so she's already anxious to hang out over the summer. Plus I'll be seeing her most Mondays now. This isn't an end at all. I'm not spiraling into a torrent of despair. Huh. Who knew?
My junior year is coming to an end. This has been the greatest year of my high school career, and I have a feeling it'll trump my senior year. I feel like this year I've started to solidify who I really am, like I've finally started growing into my own skin. I threw myself out there to a girl I really liked and it all paid off. We're close friends now. I finally grew the nerve to drop the former "love of my life," so I no longer had to deal with her. I found my niche in a group of awesome friends who love and accept me and bring me joy. I've come out to a handful of people. I've blossomed out of my little shell, become more sociable and likeable. My confidence. My self-esteem. My identity. They've all developed so much this year.
It's the littlest things that are the biggest things. I still have a difficult time believing that just before Christmas break, I only vaguely knew who Brittany was. I was still shy and hesitant and always fighting silently for her attention. Now we always talk. Fuck, I'm even sharing poems with the girl. It used to be that sharing poetry with anyone was a huge feat, let alone sharing it with a girl I'm head over heels for. I started conversations with her. I pushed myself to take those first steps. I got a few shoves here and there from friends (thank you, Shelby), but I still did it myself. Imagine where I would be if I hadn't had the courage to reach out to Brittany. She'd still be a stranger, someone I'm dying to know but still know nothing about.
I really have found out who my true friends are this year. Most of my friends from sophomore year are gone now. They have their preoccupations, their distractions and priorities. So it goes. I hate to turn my back on them, but in the process I found my current friends. These guys are amazing. They don't mind at all that I'm gay of course, they're hilarious as hell, and they're completely drama-free. I've forgotten every issue from sophomore year, most of all Amber. Not too long ago my life was all about her. I don't need her around anymore. I don't hate her, I just don't want to deal with her any longer. Brittany has shown me what a real infatuation is like. It's not supposed to be horrifying or depressing or tempestuous like it was with Amber.
I'm going to miss seeing Brittany every day. I'm going to miss scanning the halls for her between classes and walking her to seventh hour and listening to that incredible laugh. I'm going to miss the daily routine that I took for granted more than a few times. I don't know what's going to happen. I know we'll hang out throughout the summer, but I don't know what happens after that. I don't know what happens when she starts college and I start school again as a senior. I don't know if we'll have time for each other and I don't know if we'll stay in touch. I don't know if she's going to the same college as I plan to like she talked about. At least we're guaranteed the summer. We'll have that. I don't know what's going to happen in the distant future.
And I have to be okay with that. I don't have a single regret from this year. I'll always cherish it. Not just because of the little moments I shared with Brittany, but because of the moments I've shared with my friends, because of the growth I've experienced as a person.