Mortal Time

Mortal Time

A Story by Kayla K

Based loosely on my night earlier this week. Names changed for privacy

"Growing up is never easy. you hold on to things that were. You wonder what's to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn't have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves... for growing up." ~ The Wonder Years.

"Four years ago, we stepped into middle school...individuals seeking to do well, to find our identity, to find our best friend. We opened our lockers for the first time, looked at our schedules, thought about how great it was to finally be in Jr. High. Four years ago, we met our best friend, went to our first school dance, and had a crush on a cute 8th grader. Four years ago, we couldn't wait to get older." Unknown


The gym floor was scattered with balloons, deflated and popped. With the lights on, all of the 8th grade students filed out, grabbing their stuff now that the last song was over, signaling the end of the last dance of the year. I waited behind with Jane and Kevin, my two best friends, since it wasn't yet 10, and we knew our parents wouldn't be there to pick us up for awhile.

I walked over to grab my shoes, seeing Jane and Kevin in a loving embrace by the corner. Dating for four months, I figured they'd never break up. I picked up my sandals, slipping them on my feet. I slung my bag over my shoulder, walked over to the two, and handed Jane her phone. We were the only ones that were still lingering in the halls, excluding some of the teachers. Without even having to say anything, the three of us headed outside, where cars with their headlights were waiting outside to pick up their kids. My phone sat in my pocket, and since it hadn't vibrated yet, I knew that nobody was here to pick me up yet. Jane and Kevin kissed good-bye, then headed to their parents, waving to me. I looked around for anyone that I knew, finally noticing Steve standing alone.

"Hey," I said.

"Hey, how was the dance?" he replied. I shrugged. "Disturbing?"

"Ya, you could say that," I laughed. "It's kind of amusing that so many girls think that sticking their body parts out in the air in a "sexy" way is attractive. Let me tell you, it isn't."

"It's disgusting. People are idiots, humping and grinding each other right in front of all of our teachers."

"When did all of us lose that innocence?" I asked.

Steve just shook his head. As he did, I heard a loud car pulling in. His dad's mustang. He waved to me, walking away, leaving me alone again. There were some kids still left, but mainly people I tended to avoid. Then again, I avoided most people in my grade. The immaturity annoyed me to now end. Finally, sitting on the picnic table, I saw Josh sitting, my best friend since 1st grade.

I jumped up on the table from behind. We were away from most the other people, lost in the dark silence.

"That was fun and messed up, wasn't it?" I said jokingly.

"Let's just say," he said, "some things can not be unseen."

Both of us laughed, in a sort of agreement. In reality, I hated how we sat here and joked about it. To everyone, it was just so hilarious that everyone was turning into s***s and players, only in to stuff for the lust. All I could think of was the scared little 5th graders we all had been just 4 short years ago.

"You never danced with Tiffany," I said. "Why not?"

"I'm not sure I really like her that much," he shrugged. "Plus, she's probably not that into me."

"Of course she is," I said reassuringly.

When I said that, I wasn't lying. I wasn't saying it to be nice. I was saying it because it was true. Josh was one of those people that everyone adored. He maybe wasn't the hottest guy, but he made up for that in his sweetness. In our eight years of being friends, never had we once had fights. I always told him everything. Well, almost. There were the multiple times I had been convinced that I'd been in love with him. Then, before anything happened, before he knew, I'd move on. That's why I wasn't going for anyone right now. I knew that things at this age didn't last, so there was no use.

Together we sat there, nobody speaking a word. We didn't need to. Although he wouldn't show it, I knew Josh was sad about our year ending. Who knows what would change in High School? As we sat there, staring at the night sky, our Spanish teacher walked by to her car with her two daughters, probably around 7 and 9. They ran by, laughing, happy to be up way past their curfew.

All I could think of was being that young, thinking things would never change. When did all this happen? As each day went by, nothing ever seemed so different. Looking back, nothing was the same now.

We used to be little children, swinging as high as we could on the playground during free time. Teens today spend their "free time" getting as high as the can with their multitude of drugs. I can remember when the only bad names we could call each other was dumb or stupid. Now everyone casually drops the f-bomb, and the names girls call each other would make their mothers cringe. Instead of hoping for a lollipop, most everyone would kill for a cigarette right about now. As little kids, we admired our parents all the time. Now we all tell our friends how much we hate them.

Back when we were little kids, nobody ever thought about things like death. Now, there's been, how many? Ten? Eleven? Fourteen? In the past few years, there's too many to count. Back when we were little kids, we never thought we'd be unhappy. We never thought someone would hurt themselves on purpose, or kill themselves because they wanted to. When we were little kids, the only thing that hurt were skinned knees. How did our hearts become so broken?

"Memento mori," I whispered.

"Did you say something?" Josh asked.

"Uh, no. It's nothing," I lied.

It was something though. Memento mori. A phrase that translated specifically to "Remember mortality". In a literal sense, it meant remember you will die. It could mean so many things, like remember to live, or remember things change. To me, it summed up so many things. Life, and how it has to end eventually. Songs, and how each one had to end. Even time itself, though it kept going, never can be in the same moment forever.

As so many thoughts raced through my head, a tear trickled down my cheek. I thought I would have cried much earlier tonight, with so much nostalgia tonight. Lucky for me, my face was turned away from Josh, so he didn't even realize.

As I stared at the cars still pulling in, I saw my brother's car pulling in.

"Gotta go, Josh. See you Monday," I said quickly.

"Bye, Kayla."

Climbing into the car, Dave's music was blasting. As I slammed the door, I looked back at the school fading behind me. All my classmates, acting so normal like me. Did they think anything like that, or was it just me?

Memento Mori. Remember mortality. Something everything and everyone should remember. As I sat there, staring at the stars out the window. Even stars, which seemed to last forever, would someday lose their sparkle and explode into a supernova of wonder, leaving the universe forever.

We arrived at home, 10:15. I was exhausted from the night, and was completely prepared to head up to bed. As I set down my bag, Dave turned to me.

"Let's go out and get something to eat," he said.

It was late, I wasn't hungry, I wanted to sleep. The night had been depressing. Yet as I looked at my almost 20 year old brother, I sighed to myself. Most brothers didn't take their little sisters out at night just because they wanted to.

"That sounds great," I said.

"Be careful with my daughter," my mom said.

We laughed on our way out the door, getting back in the car again. Memento mori. Time would die with us, so we were living. Okay, so maybe going out to eat late at night wasn't what most people called living.

At least I wasn't sitting around and wasting my life away. Maybe I wasn't doing something completely amazing to change the world. I'd try working on that later.

© 2011 Kayla K

Author's Note

Kayla K
Based loosely on my night awhile ago. Names changed for privacy.

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Reminds me of my school dance!!!! :O
Great write!

Posted 11 Years Ago

lol yeah i see that in ly school especially in middle school even though i am in high school but anyways it is a good story i like the ending and if it is you you have great potential to change the world !:) nice write !:)

Posted 11 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on June 19, 2011
Last Updated on June 19, 2011


Kayla K
Kayla K

Small town , NY

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