Graduation day. Holy mother fucking crap. I slipped into the short black dress and over it my graduation gown. My hair was curled loosely, soft makeup was on my eyes. I didn't want to talk, afraid that I would suddenly start bawling. Everyone else was ok. They didn't have to board a flight to go to the other side of the world tonight. They didn't have to leave the guy they loved for the summer. They didn't have to face the disapprovement of their mother. I sighed, wiping the edge of my eye carefully. I didn't want to smudge my makeup.
"Ready, Hales?" Grace asked, placing her warm hand on my shoulder.
I nodded, sucking my lip in nervously. Walking down the aisle didn't take forever as I hoped it would. Jacob threw a piece of paper at the back of my head once we sat down. I turned around and smiled.
"You look hot, babe," he mouthed, "and good luck."
"Thank you," I mouthed back.
I blew him a kiss, and turned back around. Grace was the valedictorian. She walked up to the podium, smiled at the crowd waiting for her motivational words to swim through their ears.
"Class of 2012," she said quietly, her voice gradually getting louder, "we fucking graduated!"
The teachers laughed. They couldn't do shit now.
"Anyway, sorry about that Mrs. Jergens," she smiled, looking at the strict teacher in the back, smiling, "So, guys. Look at us. We look pretty good right now. Your hat might not fit right, your gown may make you feel fat. But seriously, don't think about that. You should think about your future right now. Or at least the awesome summer we're gonna spending together! It's not the time to cry. It's not the time to regret anything. It's time to look in the past, analyze it, feel, live it once more, and then let it go. We're going to college, boys and girls. And if you're not, you get to look forward going straight to work. Or some country out there..."
She smiled, winking at me. She continued.
"Guys, it's unbelievable. I know. I know. We're wearing our caps. We've dreamed of this moment since we were in kindergarten watching our older brothers or sisters walk down the aisle. And I remember me saying... I can't wait to graduate. But the time's come and I overthinking this again. Do I want to graduate? Do we want to graduate? Are we ready? Well, let's see. We've done freaking awesome on our SATs, our finals, our college applications were piled high. We've experienced what it's like in this hellhole. The hellhole named High School. And we survived. We survived. That shows something, doesn't it? So, hell yeah! We're ready to graduate and become something we've been dreaming of since we were little. Doctors, lawyers, actresses, actors, policemen, firefighters. Well, you know what I mean. So, yes. We are ready to graduate. And we are graduating. I'm gonna miss you guys, though. But... we'll be playing beer pong soon... how 'bout tonight?"
She smiled. The graduates roared and clapped. The auditorium was filled with the sound of laughter, clapping. There was no room for the sound of crying or whining, or regretting. The principal walked to the podium.
"Graduates, Class of 2012, you may turn your tassels to the left."
After that happened...
"You have officially graduated!"
We threw our hats up in the air. I wish mine came down, so I could hold this moment forever.