"Because really, a goodbye is a sort of hello."
He says, he says to me as he's falling asleep, he says, "Goodnight, I love you, really, and really, you're beautiful."
He loves me, he thinks I'm beautiful. Connor, no need for any beatings.
Connor, you're going to say goodbye soon. Not in a while, but in the blink of an eye, you'll be leaving, and what will I even write in your yearbook? Will I tell you that you mean so much to me? You're one the ones who boosted my confidence, you helped me realize that I could survive, not just survive, I could grow. You didn't even realize. I remember, I remember it all, I remember going to your house for that musical theater "party" of finding music and practicing monologues, you took the time to help me, you introduced me to Marley. You looked me in the eye and asked me, by name, if you could help me, you, the drama council president, what a big deal! And then at Shakespeare, when I really got to know Kristen, and she told me- imagine this, she told me, I didn't believe her, I still don't- that you thought I was the prettiest sophomore. Oh, how happy, disbelieving? What a feeling, you, drama council president, not only do you know my name but you thought I was pretty. I remember it all, Connor, more than you think. I've never liked you romantically, but I think you're incredible. I really, really love your awkward dancing, and the pokemon, and how you make sure I make it inside your house, that's why I've posted so much about you this weekend, because I realized you're incredible, and you're leaving. I'm just a sophomore to you, one that people tolerate, but you symbolize the period of this year where I began to overcome the crazy and the new and began to open up, thank you, thank you, and don't hurry when you say goodbye.
Amy, you're going to say goodbye soon. How quickly a friendship between us started, how happy it made me when it did. I remember at shakespeare (everyone, remember shakespeare?) you were one of the only ones I didn't begin to talk to, that I didn't begin to make connections to. You made me feel shy, with your beauty, how everyone was (is) obsessed with you, with your spanish mouth and sexy smile and beautiful eyes, oh you made me shy. How could some gawky, awkward sophomore who didn't know anything come close to your smooth, your in control, your beauty? But when did we start to talk? It seems seamless, now, maybe I'm still that sophomore that when you think of, you think of fondly, but the thoughts aren't exactly often and why should they be? I'm not part of drama 4, and when I am, it'll be too late-- you'll be gone, you all will be gone, with goodbyes and memories staining the room. Amy, with your hair, with your size, how you're little but never small (--Cody), and your dancing, how you know yourself and you know everyone so well, how will I say goodbye? You've helped my confidence, even so recently as two nights ago, after two hours of feeling terrible, you and your tiny muscles managed to metaphorically pick me back up, lift me even higher because you know who I am, you like me, we even have memories together now. How delighted I've been to find myself knowing you, knowing all of you. Amy, thank you, thank you, and don't hurry when you say goodbye.
Kristen Parker. Once, you called me up, and asked if I wanted to go to 39 steps with you, I was so flattered and shocked that I even made the list of people to call, even if I was far down after many rejections, I was still on it, how could I miss the chance? How I love your lovely, the little girl in the tall body, you and me, we've been the tall ones our whole lives. I remember, oh I just remembered, how at Shakespeare (yes, this is where I made many connections, Shakespeare was a good time for me) how you told me you were intimidated by me, with my dancing! Oh I was so shocked. Who would be intimidated by me, me on the bottom rung on the ladder next to all of you at the very top, but how easily, how kindly so many of you have reached down your hands and helped me up higher, how will I say goodbye? I love being recognized by you, Kristen, what will I do next year without seeing you? You, after all, are the one who told me what Connor thought, you told me I should go for Taft because we would make a cute couple, you've helped me so much. The very very first time we met was way back when I was auditioning to get into the classes! You absolutely don't remember me from then, but I remember you, I remember thinking, "I'm going to know the people like her next year, oh my gosh". Kristen, thank you, thank you, and don't hurry when you say goodbye.
Benjamin...Benjamin. What's funny is how long I've known you. When you're all famous, I can say, "I was in two plays with him, also, his older sister used to babysit me." The drama department, AF, none of it will be the same without you. I can't even imagine you not being here. My favorite thing about you is no matter where we are or when it is, I can look at you and guarenteed, I'll be entertained. Honestly. So many people say, "I always think Ben hates me." But honestly, I don't get that from you. It's funny, because I think that about so many people, I just inherently think that people hate me, but I don't think you do. Correct me if I'm wrong (please). But I remember once when I looked at you, we sat in opposite corners of the room, but I looked at you and you looked at me and we sat there for a moment, and then I made a funny face and you laughed your loud laugh and I felt so accomplished. Oh! I remember you driving me home, we talked about so much, I felt so incredible, I had a talk with Benjamin Wright and it was easy, I joked around with Benjamin Wright but I also talked seriously with him, it was easy, it was comfortable. Something funny I just realized is all these people have given me a ride home before. I love that people care, that people want to make sure I get home. Benjamin, you and your pants that you wear to every set build, how will you not be here next year? Who will I feel like doesn't hate me? Benjamin, thank you, thank you, don't hurry when you say goodbye.
These four seniors, I've been thinking so much of them lately, how will they be gone? How will I say goodbye? How does anyone say goodbye? When I was six years old, I said goodbye to every single person I knew except for my mom, my dad, and my older brother. All of them. I said goodbye to all of them and looked with excitement towards a new home. Sure, tears were shed, but not for long, I was excited for new friends. The goodbyes were hard but the hellos exciting.
I think I was braver when I was six than I am now.
How will I say goodbye?
Thank you for adopting me in the department, you four, you've made me comfortable. I'm just the sophomore that everyone tolerates, but to me, you four (and really everyone, not just the ones I've named) mean so much, keep that in mind when I end up only being able to write "I'll miss you so much" in your yearbook. Take what I've written above, pretend that's what's in your yearbook, even though I'm bound to have many more experiences with your four in the coming months, what with footloose and such, but remember these key parts of a nostalgic night, remember not to hurry when you say goodbye.
love always, laura elizabeth.