End of a Chapter

Anonymous

My great aunt used to say

that when things came to an end it was

‘the end of a chapter’

j

I never heard her say it

she was my great aunt

People don’t really know their great aunts

j

But I always think about her saying it:

The End of a Chapter

d

Now that I am nineteen

(which is ancient)

I am starting to learn about chapters

s

Until recently I didn’t really have many

Nothing ever finished

So everything was one continuous part of my story

One story

a

Right now

I’m sorting all the books in my room

There are many

But now near the end of my organising

Near the end of the dwindling piles:

keep, chuck, maybe                

Near the end of the day

(in fact, near the end of the night, it approaches 12am)

I consider the chapters closed

a

All of these chapters

named after my friends

People whose numbers sit in my phone

People whose smiles

and laughs

and funny habits

I can recall with vivid certainty

a

I have this sentiment welling up inside me

For a chapter already closed

I can’t seem to let it go

I keep re-reading it

Saying the words aloud as though to bring them back to life

a

A couple years side-by-side

graduation day

a couple weeks together

a couple weeks apart

a

And then a couple weeks became a couple months

And couples got together and then broke up

And a couple of my friends started looking more like themselves

But less like my friends

And a couple consequences later I was alone

a

I feel like everyone changed and grew up

Everyone had high school and adjusted accordingly

People learnt how to improve themselves and shit

a

They are more confident, or more beautiful, or more drunk

They have different clothes, different hobbies

But

I am just the same?

a

I wear the same dark lipstick, the same cheap mascara

My clothes are a little more expensive but the same cuts and colours

My sense of humour is of the same, subpar quality

I employ the same tricks of social interaction

I still think most alcoholic drinks taste shit

I still love stars and fire, birds and beaches, festivals and fairy-tales

I am still drawn to people who don’t need me

a

End of a Chapter

I need to move on, keep reading

Stop putting sticky notes between pages

Stop underlining quotes

Stop making notes

You are okay now, you are free

You have no lingering responsibility

a

Go outside

Make friends – no one is going to make fun of you anymore

No one will ‘forget’ to invite you

Make fun of how you dress just to spite you

Call you a nerd or a fag or a freak, straight cis trash, they’ll like you

a

I promise                                                                                    

You are used to being an actor in their play

Now they’re all gone: bam! Gone away

a

Let them go

Throw out their things

Take your finger out of their book, marking your place

They don’t need it

If they will forget, let them

a

This is the End of a Chapter

a

So it is also the Start of a New One