May 30th 2014. The day I was graduating high school forever. Putting it in perspective, it really wasn’t a big deal at all. In fact in the larger scheme of things, this event was completely irrelevant to the existence of human kind. But for me, I had an existential crisis on my hands. How was I meant to go out into the world all by myself? And be expected to make my own decisions and pay for my own things and be responsible for myself? Okay maybe I was being a little dramatic but it was a scary time. I’m only 18 and I can barely even drive, never mind make life decisions.
Although I was scared beyond comprehension, there was a small part of me that was excited for the future and what it holds. There was an endless possibility of opportunities that were awaiting me, I could do anything I wanted. Reinvent myself completely. No one was going to know who I am at college. No one knows all the shit I’ve been through this year, and no one has to. It was going to be a fresh start that I badly needed.
"Kendall! Quickly you need to be in school in 20 minutes" Mom called down from the bottom of the stairs. ”Coming!” I called as I scrambled around my room, packing all the things I needed into my backpack. I scurried down the stairs to the front door open and my Mom standing there with a proud smile. “Look at you, my little graduate” She said smiling widely. I rolled my eyes and laughed. "Mom I haven’t graduated just yet" I told her. "Sorry, I’m just excited" She said hugging me tight. She stood there just taking all of me in. ”Come on let’s go” She said gesturing towards the car. I got in the passenger seat and she got in the drivers’ side. ”I think this is the first time since your first day of school that I’ve dropped you to school” She said to me and I laughed. ”Dropping me on my first day and on my last, very poetic” I teased and she laughed.
As we drew closer to the school, my Mom brought up the one thing I didn’t want her to. "Kendall, I hate to bring this up, but what’s your plans for college? You still haven’t decided where your going yet and I’m just worried" She began. ”I know, I know I have to decide soon but can we just leave it for today?” I pleaded with her and she nodded in agreement.
The school was completely bombarded with people. ”It’s going to take me ages to find a parking space so you go ahead you don’t want to be late” She told me and I hoped out. I ran to the back of the school to get my cap and gown before heading to the stage where we all had to stand.
"Teachers, Fellow students, this is the day we have been dreading and anticipating for the last 4 years and it has finally come…" Cindy our valedictorian began. They began calling us out individually to the platform to receive our Diploma after she spoke. I kind of blanked out until I heard my name. I flashed back to reality before running on stage to collect it. "Thank you" I mouthed to the principal before shaking her hand. I turned to the crowd, catching a glance of my Mom and waving at her before walking back to my space on stage. After some of the staff said what they called ‘Inspirational speeches’, the principal came back on stage. ”Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the graduating class of 2014” She announced before we all cheered and took our caps off and threw them in the air like in some cheesy movie.
I hugged the few people that were standing around me before walking to pick up my cap. I made my way down the stairs of the stage to reach my Mom but stopped when I saw who was standing beside her. Standing there with a happy but guilty expression on her face. I stood there blank expression in response to her. Lexi. She looked at me anxiously anticipating my next move, probably scared that I was going to punch her in the face. I let out a sigh as I glided over to her, pulling her into a hug. Her muscles stiffened at my reaction before relaxing and hugging me back. I noticed she was about to open her mouth to say something but I cut her off. "Thanks for coming" I said before she could apologize or anything else.
Before her or I could say anything more, I felt a tap on my shoulder which made me turn around. I screamed at the top of my lungs when I saw who was standing there. "Courtney!" I yelled before jumping into her arms. She laughed as she hugged me back. ”What are you doing here?” I asked, excited. ”Did you really think I was going to miss your graduation?” She asked me. I grinned widely at her. “I can’t believe you’re actually here!" I yelled. After that Mom insisted on taking a million pictures. Ones with me and her, Lexi and me, her and Lexi..every combination under the sky.
After that we all went inside for tea and coffee in the gym. "Hey" A voice said from behind me. I flipped around to see Sam standing there in his cap and gown. I jumped into his arms as he picked me up and spun me around. ”We did it! We actually graduated” He said in a surprised tone. ”I know, crazy isn’t it” I said giggling. ”Kids get into a picture” I heard my Mom call from behind us. I rolled my eyes and groaned. ”Mom..” I said turning around to face her. "One picture isn’t going to kill you" She said holding her camera up. I groaned again as Sam laughed as we posed for a picture. ”Smile!” She exclaimed as the flash flashed. ”Okay that’s enough” I said waving her off. ”I gotta go but I better see you at Steve’s graduation party” He demanded. "Wouldn’t miss it" I called back before he walked away to see his family again.
As I looked around the room, I caught a glance of Jack leaving the gym from the corner of my eyes. ”Eh..I’m just going to go for a walk, I’ll be back in a minute” I told my Mom, walking towards the door without waiting for her response. I picked up the pace so I didn’t lose sight of where he was going. I walked out straight onto the football pitch and could see him sitting on the bleachers with his cap in his hand. I strolled over slowly. His head shot up when he heard me getting closer. I smiled half heart-idly at him and he smiled back.
I didn’t say anything, just sat down beside him on the bleachers. I sighed deeply and so did he. "We did it huh? We finally graduated" He said after a few seconds of silence. ”Yep, we did it, It looked a little hazy for a while but we did it” I replied. "Not sure if I would have passed this year if we didn’t do that project together last September" He joked. I laughed while lightly nudging him. ”Oh shut up we both did 50% of the work, give yourself a little credit” I told him. He looked at me. "That’s not what I meant. I meant if I hadn’t of met you this year, and if we had of never happened, I would have never had the motivation to even try and graduate this year. You were the only reason why I even bothered to try" He told me. I sat there for a moment unsure of how to reply.
"Well then you’re welcome" I joked smiling at him. We sat in a comfortable silence for a moment before he spoke again. "Isn’t it crazy how much has changed this year? Like this time last year we didn’t even talk. And to think about how much we went through this year together" He told me. ”Yeah it’s crazy really” I said looking down at my feet. ”I don’t regret one minute of it, I just want you to know that. I know I acted like a dick to you sometimes..well a lot of the time but it’s just because I cared..care about you so much. I care about you more than I’ve ever cared about anyone and I didn’t really know how to act about it. So I’m sorry for all the times I hurt you but I really did try” He told me genuinely. ”I know you did..” I responded. All I wanted more than anything was to ask him to try again, for us to try again but it just didn’t feel like the right time.
He turned to me and laughed. "What?" I asked him. ”Nothing” He said shaking his head while wearing a grin. Before I could press him to tell me my phone buzzed and a text popped up from my Mom telling me to meet her by the car. I sighed, "I got to go" I told him standing up, "Yeah I should probably go too" He said standing up. We walked onto the pitch. I turned to head towards the parking lot when Jack called me back. "Yeah?" I asked turning around. ”I have something for you” He said lightly jogging up to me. He dug into his pocket for a moment before pulling something out.
He took my hand and opened it before placing a key in it. "I told you I’d pay you back" He said. I looked at it before looking at him in confusion. "What’s this?" I asked. ”It’s a key..to an apartment in New York” He said and my mouth literally dropped. “Well it’s in the Bronx and it’s only a rental for 12 months but it was the best I could do, this means you can travel into NYU on the Subway” He said with a proud smile. "Jack, I don’t know what to say" I said shaking my head in disbelief. “Just say thank you” He said shrugging. "Thank you!" I exclaimed pulling him into a hug. He hugged back and I rested my head on his chest for that small moment they were in contact. I leaned out of the hug, still speechless. "You’re amazing you know that?" I told him. "No you’re amazing, what other person would spent all their college money on some guy just so he wouldn’t have to spent one night in jail" He said half smiling at me. I just smiled in response to his sweetness.
My phone buzzed again and it was my Mom again. ”I’m so sorry I really have to go but I’ll see you later?" I suggested. He nodded before taking my hand to pull me into another hug. He leaned in to kiss my cheek which sent good shivers all the way up my arms. I leaned out and began to walk away. I turned slightly, waving at him. "Bye Jack" I said
"See you around Sparky" He said before walking off into the opposite direction to me.
Thank you all so so much for your constant support the entire way through this fan fiction. It was an absolute pleasure to write this for you all and I hope you all enjoyed it. I had so much fun writing this and I hope you enjoyed reading it. I know this may not be the ending everyone was expecting but for me I felt it fitted in with the story. It’s not the ideal ending but it’s a realistic one and I think it’s kind of sweet and I hope you think so too. Thank you again for reading x x