Did they understand? They had to have understood. Was I the only one thinking about this? Was I the only one that cared. It was the first day of senior year and my high school class and I were standing in the soccer field on the property of our school. We had been ordered to stand in the shape of two numbers a zero and a six. The point of this early morning exercise was to form the shape of our graduation year with our bodies, while overhead a crane near ninety feet tall took a photograph to capture the class of two thousand and six. I stood next to my twin sister giggling. Our friends to the left of me and the soccer boys and cross country players to the right. Patiently we waited staring up towards the sky as the crane took practice shots. I looked around at the mass of students, just over three hundred of whom I'd shared one thousand and ninety five days with. The importance of the moment had begun to dawn on me however everyone around me seemed irritated with a shared desire of wanting to get out of there as fast as they could. I stood nervously next to everyone thinking about all the many events that had occurred over the past few years. We were barely eighteen years old and we had nothing to lose but our minds I guess. We had taken all the Advanced Placement courses offered, struggled through honors American Studies and English. Mr B made us chuckle in Chemistry when he'd do that weird dance on Friday afternoons. Our track coaches screamed at us during indoor track meets to push just a little bit harder to win that race. We knelt in the wet grass during the second round of post season field hockey playoffs, shoulder to shoulder having been defeated with our eyes toward the ground but our hearts united. We were careless, foolish, sentimental, enthusiastic, fearful, and in love.
Each moment of those years had been completely irrelevant to the outside world but to me they were everything. My fellow classmates weren't aware that the memories had slowly begun to engrave themselves into our hearts. We stood there waiting for those final images to be shot that would result in a tangible reminder of our time spent together. When we were united in high school we were profound. When we divided and took separate paths after graduation we became fools and “phonies” in the words of Holden Caulfield from JD Salinger's book, “The Catcher In the Rye.” My fellow classmates had underestimated the immensity of those years. I knew in that moment on that field that nothing would ever be the same. I knew that years later we'd all look back with sentimental longing. Wanting no more than to go back in time and spend one moment, maybe even that moment on the soccer field carelessly, foolishly, sentimentally, enthusiastically, fearfully united and in love.