As I stared at the middle school doors, little memories of my dad waiting for me after school came flooding into my mind.
A few days ago, I was walking behind my school with some friends. It was a regular day, on our way to marching band practice, when something caught my eye. As my friends continued talking, I turned to look at the entrance to the middle school, and a memory suddenly hit me.
It was after school. I was walking out, checking my texts as I did so. I stopped at the curb and looked out at the parking lot, searching for my dad’s car. About 5 seconds later I found it, near the back in his usual spot, and, after checking to make sure there was no traffic, I went out into the parking lot, and walked up to his car. I sat down, in the back seat right behind him, and he turned around, smiling at me. He asked about my day, and I replied that my favorite part was lunch. He laughed, and then I asked him about his, and we were on our way back to our home.
As I started at that door, I could almost see myself walking out of it. When I turned to look at the parking spot my dad almost always waited in, I could almost see him in the car, sitting on his phone, looking up as I crossed the street and putting it down as I got closer.
I remembered week after week when he would come to pick me up, memories flooding back into my brain that I didn’t even realize I had. As all of these moments rushed through my mind, five words were slowly making their way to the top of my brain:
That will never happen again.
Little memories (and big ones!) that I once took for granted will never happen again. I’ll never again go out those doors, look for my dad, and find him, parked where he always was. Sure, I might look, but he would never be there, waiting for me, again.
As my friends and I walked passed the doors and past the parking spot, I forced myself to look away and focus back in on the conversation I hadn’t been listening to. From then on, every time we passed those two places, I would always look, not listening to whatever was going on around me, and imagine that I was in middle school again, walking out and seeing my dad waiting for me.
Created by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks. Photo by John Matychuk.