In half a week I will be leaving for New York City! Here, in random order, are my Top 10 Favorite Memories from high school and the life I will be leaving behind:
Slip & Slide
One of my favorite memories will always be when Matt was chasing me around the high school gym. I can't remember why. But as I ran across the basketball court, I slipped and fell sliding sideways on my hip. Matt began to laugh as he slowed to a jog behind me, and as he crossed the area where I had fallen, he slid and fell. I happen to be looking up at him when he had begun to laugh and point at me on the floor, and I saw the momentary look of terror as he lost his footing and slid right next to me. And there we both lay on our backs, where we had fallen, laughing hysterically.
Teen Rescued from Reservoir
I still have the Asheville Citizen-Times article in a scrapbook:
Emergency crews rescued a 17-year-old Alexander boy who got stuck after rappelling into an abandoned reservoir Wednesday.
"He just rappelled in, and he couldn't get out," said District Chief John Bancroft of the Asheville Fire Department.
Aaron Zaval apparently went into the reservoir on Beaucatcher Mountain around 4 p.m. Rescue personnel got him out shortly after 10 p.m.
A member of the Asheville Area Rescue Squad was lowered about 50 feet into the reservoir and attached a harness to the teen. Zaval was then pulled up by members of the fire department and rescue squad.
Bancroft said Zaval was not injured in the incident.
That article was a result of the the typical mischief of Aaron and Jeff.
Mooo ... With Fries
Jeff is one of those people I'll never forget. I don't know where he is now, but I do remember his many talents and unique character. Half of my high school worked at the McDonalds in Weaverville, and I distinctly remember a day when Jeff hid behind the bunwarmer and made a variety of sounds while we tried to take orders, including various animals (a rabid dog, a cow, a goat) and an authentic crying baby.
A Particular Incident Involving Gum & Hair
There is only one other person in the world who knows about this, and he knows who he is.
It's kind of corny and a very not-another-teen movie cliche, but I was on homecoming court my senior year of high school (and my fourth year of college), and - in a super-loser way - I was really excited about it though I tried to be nonchalant (both times). My favorite part as a high schooler was the professional photo shoot with the other girls at the Grove Park Inn. My fifteen minutes of fame.
Senior Skip Day
Almost every high school has a senior skip day or cut day, a day when teachers and administrators expect the seniors to leave early or not show up at school at all. There's a reason why parents don't want their children to participate in certain things. My senior skip day involved a house party with no parental supervision, a lot of underage drinking, vomiting and passing out, waking up next to Matt laying in the grass behind the high school pool house with a little league soccer game taking place in the distance, and going home drunk at 18 years old. Not my finest hour.
Generally, I rode shot gun in Autumn's jeep and Matt and Josh rode in the back. And that's the way it was for the fabulous four cruising the streets of Asheville listening to tracks by the likes of Tupac, Jodeci and Ahmad: "Back in the day when I was young, I'm not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again..."
However, during a particular ride, the passenger door suddenly flung open, and Autumn heroically grabbed me and kept me from tumbling out as she maneuvered the steering wheel. As is often the usual with teenagers, we laughed at the incident rather than recognizing the danger and reflecting on what could have been. And Autumn and I still laugh now.
I was nominated for "most friendly" for the senior superlatives and tied with a girl named Laura. After a revote, she won, but I felt like 'friendly' was a good thing for which to be known regardless.
New Year's Eve. Fourth of July. Bele Chere. Good friends. Fun times. Great kisses.
Often you may hear of adults telling teenagers that they are too young to understand what real love is. To an extent, this may be true. Unconditional love is hard to fully grasp during the egotistic, hormonal, narcissistic and selfish years of adolescence. But I do believe that young love is real, no matter how short-lived. After all, infatuation and lust are essentially the basic foundation of love. I know I loved Matt, and I know that he loved me. We learned a lot about ourselves in that relationship, which inevitably helped mold who we are and shape what we want now. Part of my heart and my childhood will always live in that place. Even if there are many, there is always a first.