Four years have finally come to an end. The greatest and worst years of my life. While they felt short and quick to die, much has been said and done, created and destroyed, started and stopped, changed or forgotten—lost to time—within me, those around me, and within the worlds and characters I’ve made.
Four years ago, freshman year of high school began. When times were simpler, less stressful, happier. There was more laughter between friends as we sat together at lunch and played video games. It was nearly the same as middle school, yet just at a different school. Back then, the only concern was homework in Algebra I, and we visited much more often. Life was simple, but didn’t last long.
Three years ago, sophomore year of high school began. Writing became more common for me as worlds blossomed and characters given life, while I started and stopping a book several times over. Several friends drifted apart, only to disappear then be replaced by one more. Our final group. I learned many things; I was bi—something later disproven—and that I was a furry. A job began, and there was no worry—life was great!
Two years ago, junior year of high school began. It was the beginning of the end. My end. Life grew worse; relationships deteriorated while writing and video games became commonplace, yet seldom works published. Characters and worlds were changed, some given new life under different names, while others given new life under different species. Friends grew tighter while family drifted apart. Classes were failed, fingers were pointed, yet life still went on.
One year ago, senior year of high school began. Fallout was had, cops were called, threats were wagered. Lies were crafted for defense while tensions grew evermore. Writing became published and found itself being shoved into hidden corners of a desk, afraid someone would find them. A breakup followed the realization that I was gay before I started dating a guy. Then, an estrangement with family resulting in being kicked out, told to find somewhere else to live—told to be someone else’s problem—being homeless. The world shattered. Commissions closed, vague reasons of why. More classes failed, and schedules changed. Friends grew closer and worlds were frequented more. People helped, ultimately a beacon towards graduation—the end of it all.
This year, freshman year of college begins and another four starts with a new name, a new face, in a new place. All that separates the two is a simple walk across a stage before an audience of hundreds, a single handshake, and a flick of the tassel over the cap. And as I walk across the stage, I leave all of that behind in my past—gathering dust as its lost to time—and celebrate my achievement, against all odds and everything that has happened. One truth remains echoing in my mind as I walk across the stage and celebrate: Four years have finally come to an end.