Sixteen

Written on August 6, 2014.

*

Allan was shorter than me. About five-foot-two, his colorful personality and big booming voice more than made up for whatever he lacked in stature. He was the class thespian, the main choreographer whenever we had school dances and remained a consistent part of the honor roll up until the day we graduated.

Everybody loved Allan.


I don’t know why I’m thinking about Allan now. He wasn’t my closest friend and I most certainly never felt anything more than reverent admiration for him — yet, somehow, he found a way to surface into my stream of consciousness.

During my college years, when I was still really into “blogging” on Tumblr, I always described myself as sixteen at heart. There was something lovely about that age and that time and when I remember those moments now, they seem so extremely incongruent.

At sixteen, I was always in love with someone. And with everyone’s hormones shooting off the charts at the time, someone was always in love with me too. It’s a good time to note that to be in love at sixteen usually just meant you were looking for someone to hold your hand or write love letters to. It didn’t mean anything close to what I know love to be now.

At sixteen, I was friends with everyone. I loved building family with the funny mix of people I spent my days with. After school — I studied in this tiny unknown school, literally tucked in a side street somewhere in the meaner streets of the metro — a large group of us would walk, literally cross highways, to get to this tiny ice cream shop called The Big Scoop.

At sixteen, there was a boy named Luigi who spray painted my name on a wall beside his house. At sixteen, my friend, Ciara, ran away and flew a million miles to Iceland. At sixteen, I didn’t dream so much of the future because I was loving the present far too much.

There are people who I co-existed with when I was sixteen who I haven’t spoken to since. There are people who remain sixteen in my head forever, who I’ve failed to reconnect with over the past 10 years.

At sixteen, Allan and I made a pact. We wrote it on paper and vowed that when we were 17, we would meet at a certain place at a certain time. He’d wear red and I’d wear black. But, of course, that paper found itself in the trash and the promise remained forgotten.

The last I heard about Allan, he works in the hotel business. We’re friends on Facebook. He seems happy.

What I hope now is that the people I know and love at 26 will be the same people I know and love ten years from now.

That’s not impossible, right?

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