“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss
Both her feet used to fit on a single gray tile. The ceilings looked imposing and felt untouchable. The chairs were too big for her small frame, and the tables felt too high for comfort. Sometimes agoraphobia kicked in when she was alone in the rooms. The lights sometimes hurt her eyes. The sheer number of stairs on the way to the roof made her legs ache every time she climbed them to get lunch.
She sometimes wished the place would disappear, just so she wouldn’t have to wake up every morning and leave the comfort of her bed. She wished things would change, and become like those schools they showed on TV. Lockers. Gym. Swimming pool (even though she didn’t swim). No uniforms.
But she put up with these things for a decade. The lighting that could make you resemble a zombie if executed correctly. The windows that most often did not let in enough light to read by. The graffitied walls. The library that was in constant need to refurbishing but managed to survive without it nonetheless. The wonders time can do!
She lived her life there; a life away from home. She met people. All sorts of people. The Everyone’s-Friends, the Quiet-Approach-Me-Nots, The Fashionistas, the Bookaholics, the TV-Junkies. Friendships formed. Broke. New ones formed. She had her first heartbreak in the rooms of that building.
Things changed. The constant that was her school for the major part of her life began to reform, and she watched, amazed, when she realised how much she would miss its old spirit.
They charged her up for the biggest battle she fought in her life; he biggest mountain she scaled. She did it with pride and confidence. She did not let them down. When she came down, though, she realised her time with her foundation was coming to an end.
Two more years. Only two more. This would just be a fond memory after that.
The tubs of plants put out in the open part of the terrace began to blur in her vision. How many days more? How much longer did she have with this place? How much more did she have to hate it to really hate it, and not love it in her heart?
An image flashed in front of her eyes. The image of another girl, shoulder length hair pulled up in a ponytail, walking out the gates of the same building. The golden glow of the sun hit her face when she turned to wave at them one last time before she left the campus forever. She was smiling, and it was the brightest smile she had seen on her best friend’s face.
She wiped the tears out of her eyes. It would be hard to say goodbye, but she would have to do it. She smiled, her eyes still glassy.
The memories would always be there. She was content with that.