An Ode to Seventeen


(Image via AP)

Danielle Murray, Media Manager

Slow silk solitude, an enchanting beginning. Promises of hope and chances of actually winning. Silver nail polish and old-fashioned ringlets, blissfully unaware of the growing winglets on his back. A dancing queen, scoping out the dancefloor, waiting for the melting of her doubt. The clock has ticked, midnight has stuck, her time has run out. Just as the spotlight flickered on, and just as the crowd hushed, everything went dark. 

The world shifted around her. The stage collapsed under her feet. The music stopped. Time slowed. The rook appeared in front of her feet, a collar dangling from its beak. He was gone. Blindsided. Heartbroken. Lost. Before the dream could even start, it crumbled. Sixteen handed Seventeen a different knife, one that struck closer. The queen was dead, but so was someone else. The end of a fifteen-year book is accompanied by the emptiness that ends always bring. 

She spent the first months breathing, slowly coming back to life. For some the global solitude was killer, for her, it was rejuvenating. She was gifted with her own space for the first time in her life, and she adored it lovingly with pillows and fairy lights. She set aside a shelf for him, ensuring him a place to rest for the remainder of her life, but she tucked it away in her closet. The living can’t allow themselves to be haunted by the dead. So she mourned the dead, just as she did with the living; she embroidered them into carefully crafted stories. Every thread was a piece of a memory that would be a sin to forget. Once she was done, she stowed them away into a chest, just in time for the summer sun to make its stay.

Summer was a blur. She slipped into her own world of starry nights, moonlight hikes, and wondrous waterfalls. She found her home in quaint road trips and in warm, summer skies. She eased herself into the world. A smile here and a smile there. She thrived in the isolation, exploring new hobbies and future possibilities. However, as it always does, summer slipped by, and with a gust of wind, autumn burst into flames. 

Once again, it had seemed like the world was ending. An apocalyptic world she had only ever read of had sprung to life. Smoking, ashy sky. Orangish, angry sun. Glowing, bleeding moon. It was a beautiful sight. She realized that, sometimes, the most destructive things disguise themselves in beauty. She should’ve learned that sooner, it would’ve saved Fifteen from a lot of grief. 

The months slipped by, the world went cold. She’s getting into the swing of things. The winter months are a double-edged sword, but this year seems duller. The winter seems peaceful and still. It seems to hold peace and quiet. Only time will tell. Seventeen is patiently waiting for Eighteen.