I trudged into Rm. 113. Our dinner break was almost over.
Well, I thought, this is it. Our last concert together I looked around at the faces of the other seniors.
I had forfeited my high school diploma in order to be able to come back here for one more year, next year.
I’m not sure anyone knew what I sacrificed, to be able for just one more year, to spend at the place that saved me. I’m not sure what they think.
Perhaps they think I had some sort of extra-special privilege.
No, in forfeiting my diploma until the age of 21, I sacrificed many things, years of freedom, and made myself subject-able to Massachusetts, and a fatal mistake on my diploma that said my graduating year was 2009 when it was really 2008. I should’ve told them.
Sometimes I think they were resentful.
(If I knew what was in store, I may have just let ECA go and move on, like all the other seniors.)
But next year?
It wouldn’t be the same, and I knew it. Didn’t stop me from looking forward to it. Also didn’t stop me from trying to make this one last concert count for something.
I used to say that my day at ECA was made up of three people. Nichole, Anna and Taryn.
Those were my favorite three faces to see each Monday through Thursday.
Sometimes, if one was missing, I’d say “Well. 33.3333--and so forth percent of people are missing today!” or, “Only 66.6--infinity percent of people are here!”
I guess I was a little strange.
But when all three showed up. I knew my day was going to be just fine.
But it was Taryn that I’d miss the most.
I watched her carry herself into the room with the grace I’d come to admire, and she sighed as she sat down at the piano.
I heard her play a familiar chord pattern.
F... C... B-flat....F
She looked up sheepishly. It was a song we all loved to hate. We all knew it though.
It would bring us together one last time.
We came from all corners of the room to gather by the piano, when she struck those chords. All of us. Anna, Erica, Bridget, Jen, Shelby, Jess, the other Jen, Nichole, Taylor...
And we began to sing.
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes....
People joined in from the hallway. Jacqui, Casey, Joe, Jamil...
We started clapping and we all belted the verse, It’s time now, to sing out, though the story never ends...Let’s celebrate, remember a year, in the life of friends!
I’ll never forget that song.
We’ve all parted ways now.
It’s been about 6 years.
I’ll always love and cherish every single last one of those people until the day I take my last breath.
Measure, measure your life in love....