Little Yellow Stars | Teen Ink

Little Yellow Stars

October 27, 2015
By emparente PLATINUM, Cooper City, Florida
emparente PLATINUM, Cooper City, Florida
22 articles 5 photos 9 comments

I jolted awake with excitement, yet there were waves of anxiousness flowing through my empty stomach, keeping me from falling back to sleep. I tossed and turned glancing at the alarm clock with the numbers 3:01 glowing through the darkness in my room. My thoughts began to run wild about the day ahead of me, how did I make it this far? I made it through the days of red bricks rubbing against my cardboard uniform clothes, and through the days of belligerent teachers worried more about my ID then the lesson they were teaching. I talked about this with my best friends tonight, recalling all of our old memories. I remember sitting in the lunchroom laughing our troubles away, and hearing the chattering of the people around us echo, like the crowd at our favorite band’s concert. The memories soon lulled me to a peaceful sleep, and the last memory I can recall was just last weekend; the pizza we ate that dripped grease on our tie dye shirts, and how we ran through the cold rain, carelessly during those hours of dark. We imagined ourselves as stars reaching for the future through the night sky. 
It was the next morning, and I awoke to the sound of my alarm clock buzzing. I groaned and rolled over onto the floor. Graduating high school couldn’t even get me up out of bed. My mom’s voice came knocking at my hollow door.
“Get up and eat something, your favorite day of high school is finally here!!” I looked at her and started laughing, she knew me so well. I dragged myself to the kitchen, and put an Eggo waffle in the toaster. I was sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to hear the toaster’s infamous buzzer, but instead my phone began to ring. A picture of me and my two best friends appeared on the screen. We were so young just those few years ago. I press accept, and hear Reid’s deep laughter, echoing through my speaker.
“Dude you should’ve seen what my dog just threw up, I swear it was art.” I smile to myself, and tell him to send me pictures or it didn’t happen. As I’m about to hang up, I see Nicole’s name pop up on my screen. I tap the screen to merge the phone call, and Nicole’s raspy voice breaks through the static.
“Guys I found this crazy movie on Netflix last night. This girl gets hit by a bus and she just dies!!? Can you believe that? What kind of movie is that??” Me and Reid start cracking up, asking her how many hours of sleep she got last night. The toaster buzzes snapping me out of my wave of laughter. I take a bite out of my crispy yellow waffle, and let them know that I’ll see them soon.
I’m almost done getting ready, and I hear sniffling from the doorway. My Mom and Dad are staring at me like they’re seeing a younger me with sticky fingers, and missing teeth all grown up in a graduation gown. I look at their aging faces, and smile sheepishly. They’re about to let out tears the size of a waterfall. We’re heading out the front door, and I see a familiar face through the car window of a beaten down Volkswagen. He jumps out of the car, and looks at me like I’m still his rugrat little sister. He pulls me into a tight hug, and mutters into my hair, ‘Hey, you made it.” I look up at him, and smile. Mom and Dad are tearing up again, and I insist on ending this sob fest.
We arrive at the school I spent thirteen years of my life at, and the anxiousness I pushed away just last night comes flooding back. In the rear view mirror I see Reid and Nicole waving in my direction, and feel a sudden rush of relief. I turn towards my family, and mutter words of appreciation and affection. I tell them I’ll see them in there, and give them a reassuring smile. We take our seats in the auditorium on the cool metal chairs, and I glance around the room seeing familiar faces like specks of light. They start announcing names, and it all seems so surreal. The only thing I can hear is the reverberation of clapping and cheering. The echoing noises remind me of the concert Reid, Nicole, and me went to all those years ago. I suddenly hear the sound of my name being called in the overflowing room. A few cheers in the crowd pierce through the rest that make my heart dance. I’m walking across the stage, and in the sea of people, I distinguish my Mom and Dad clapping proudly and my brother screaming at the top of his lungs some foolish phrase he promised to say. I glance towards the front of the seats, and see my two best friends smiling widely. I walk back towards my seat, and sit in astonishment at this moment as I only half listen to the rest of the names being called.
The principal walks back to the podium, and the words that come out of her mouth next have my heart beating at a rapid pace. “Well, there you have it, Congratulations to the class of 2017!!!” I gaze up at the ceiling, and see hundreds of yellow caps reaching towards the future like little yellow stars in the night sky. 

The author's comments:

My teacher said the word "seventeen" as a trigger word that Friday, a couple weeks ago. I was provoked by the massive fear I constantly feel towards thoughts about the future, and how things weren't exactly going my way, but decided to write a story where things go the right way for me and my friends.

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