On summer nights, I would sit by the train tracks. There wasn’t much to do around town except go to the movies, hang out with friends, eat at restaurants, and hang around the free trampoline park. Mom was busy all the time, working her part-time job that would peel her away for hours at a time once a month or so. Dad was around, but he didn’t understand current pop culture references. I always thought he’d start watching reality TV. He didn’t. I turned to my journal.
The crisp autumn air was blowing through the trees when I began writing. I was lonely. My friend group was too big and we couldn’t all fit in my new station wagon. “We can take an ube–,” my friend had said. “I have to do this alone,” I told her. “And also it’s eight minutes away.” She said she understood and would see me at soccer practice later that afternoon. For months I had been dreaming of the train tracks, but my social calendar was too full for bittersweet solitude.
The pages of my journal were crisp and untouched. My kind and supportive English teacher had gifted me the journal last Autumn, and then she was gone. She had a baby and would return very soon. Until then, I wrote about when I had nearly lost everything. We were in the car to soccer, riding the winding roads, when a tire blew out. The pounding of the squeaky metal on the tar road. We almost missed the big match. I would never have made that assist to Kaylie in the third quarter and then she wouldn’t have almost made that game-winning goal. It’s funny how life can change in an instant. This is something I think about, often. Until later. I have a test next week that I need to study for.