Eighteen

A High School Drama, Eighteen, is a story based around a group of young teenagers and how they cope with life itself; love, pain, heartbreak, relationships, family, society. "And as they laid together under stars, they knew even if just for that moment, they found happiness."

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1. Rosie: Yellow

“Please Rosie,” My mother begged, “it’s not going to kill you.”

I huffed as I swallowed the last bit of the pancakes she made me every Tuesday morning. “Well we’ll never know.” I replied.

 

I couldn’t understand why she wanted me to go to a stupid counselling group anyway. I was perfectly capable of handling things on my own. I didn’t need to talk to anyone, it wasn’t like they’d listen anyway.

 

“See this is it. This is why I’m trying to get you to go. These little comments you keep making only make me worry more,” She threw down the towel she held in her hands, “If you’re so tired of me asking, why don’t you just go?”

 

It wasn’t as easy as it sounded. I didn’t want to talk about it. That was the problem. I didn’t want to sit in a circle with a bunch of people and talk about my ‘feelings’, if anything it would make me feel worse.

 

I looked up at her, she leant on the kitchen counter, her arms crossed. She stared directly at me. I shook my head, “I can’t.” I said, standing up and walking towards the sink where I put down my plate.

 

“You haven’t even given it a chance. How can you say you can’t do something if you haven’t even tried?” I began to get frustrated, the more she hassled me about it… the more I didn’t want to go.

 

I looked over my shoulder at her, “Trust me, it’s possible.” Her face softened as she knew what I meant. She hulted herself off of the counter and walked over to me.

 

She placed one hand on my back, “Rosie-”

 

“Don’t.” I cut her off.

 

As I quickly walked down the hallway of the house and towards my bedroom, I felt the tears form in my eyes. My bedroom door came closer, which gave me a sense of relief. “Rosie!” I heard my mother shout.

 

I reached for the handle and walked inside, shutting the door behind me. Resting my elbows against the wall, leaning my head against the door and sighing.

 

It was silent. The house, my room. Everything was silent but my thoughts. They were going absolutely wild. Screaming at me, calming me down. I was lost, confused.

 

I turned away from the door and looked around my room. My eye catching the framed photo on my bedside table. And then it hit me. She was gone.

 

******

 

“Hi, my name is Rosie, Rosie Hartley. Uh, I’m here because 1. My mother forced me and 2. Because I’m lost.” I introduced myself. Not the happiest introduction I’ve ever done, but I don’t think they expected it.

 

The group was silent for a moment before the counsellor spoke up. “And why are you lost, Rosie?” I stayed quiet, I wasn’t sure if I should answer. “It’s okay. This is a safe space. Sometimes it helps to get things off of your chest.”

 

Again, I remained quiet. “I didn’t speak up until three months in, so you’re doing great.” A girl across from me said, it made me feel better, I guess.

 

I thought about it for a moment as I stared at the rugged carpet. “I guess I just don’t know where I’m going. You see, I lost someone very close to me. Her name was Violet. We’d known each other since we were three. She was my best friend, my only friend, if that. You know - we did everything together. And now, I’m just… existing.” I explained.

 

This is what I was afraid of. A silent room. But I guess i’d be more afraid if they erupted in chatter. “Have you heard the poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost?” A voice spoke up.

 

I looked around the circle at the boy. He had long brown curly hair, just below his earlobes. From where I sat, I was captivated by his piercing blue eyes. He stared directly at me. I shook my head, “No, I don’t think I have.” I told him.

 

He sat up and cleared his throat, “John, if it is okay with you I’d like to recite it for Miss Hartley.” The boy asked as he looked at the counsellor, John. He nodded.

 

I looked back over at the boy who smiled down towards the ground, then returned his gaze to me. He kept eye contact the entire time, which gave me a feeling of safety.

 

“Nature’s first green is gold,

her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower,

but only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

so dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.” The room was at a complete stop. But it was a different kind of silence.

 

“That was lovely. Would you like to elaborate on that, Mr O’Donnell?” John said, breaking the silence. Our eyes finally separating. The boy nodded; who now had a last name, but not a first name.

 

He smirked to the side of his mouth, “Well, Green means youth in nature. Frost is stating that youth is valuable - as we know it - however, it is also the hardest color to hang on to. Green does not last. Youth will always be corrupted. Nothing can ever stay the same. Nothing, especially that which is perfect and beautiful, can last forever.”

 

I was captivated.

 

And for a single moment, I no longer felt alone.

 

The session had ended, and I hated to admit but my mother was right. Talking about it helped, well, getting a response helped. If Mr O’Donnell hadn’t spoken up, I feel as though I wouldn’t come back.

 

I walked out the main doors of this old building and out into the street. I threw my bag over my shoulder and began to walk. Suddenly, a truck pulled up next to me. I tried to keep calm. “Hey!” I looked over slightly and noticed the boy from the counselling group.

 

I stopped and smiled at him, “Hey, you alright?” I asked, he leant over the passenger seat and did that similar smirk.

 

“Did you want a ride somewhere?” He asked, as much as I trusted this boy, I couldn’t get in a truck with him. I didn’t know his story. By this point, he knew more about me than I knew of him. I knew he liked poetry, and his last name. That was it.

 

I shook my head, “I like walking.” I lied. I mean, walking was nice but I would’ve much rather had gotten a ride with him. I sent him a small wave and a smile before I began walking again.

 

I walked a few steps before I heard heavy footsteps behind me. And then, just like that, he was walking next to me. “What are you doing?” I asked, puzzled. He dug his hands into his pockets and looked down at the pavement.

 

“I enjoy walking too.” He replied, which made me smile. I didn’t question him again. We just walked, side by side down the long pathway. “I’m Will … by the way.” He said, finally, I had a name to the handsome face.

 

“Rosie.” I replied, looking up at him. He nodded.

 

“Yeah, I know. So, Rosie, tell me something about you.” He stated. There wasn’t much for me to say. He knew most of it, if not, all of it.

 

It was a sunny day, and there hadn’t been one for a while. “Well, after I lost my best friend I completely lost it. Lost myself - “ He cut me off.

 

“No no no, tell me something about you. I heard your story already - not that it’s boring, it’s just,” We stopped and looked at each other, I knew he didn’t mean to be rude about it, but watching him justify himself was entertaining, “I want to know more about you. You know, what’s your favourite film or music?”

 

I began to laugh, “It’s O.K. I get it. It was cute watching you trying to justify yourself.” I told him, he had that same smirk plastered on his face. I couldn’t explain it but it made me weak, and I hated to admit that. I’d never felt this way.

 

He covered his teeth with his tongue and looked around, “So you just let me go through all that pain?” He said, with a huge grin on his face. I let out another laugh as he shook his head. “Wow, Rosie Hartley, you are something else.”

 

I held back my laugh, “Is that a bad thing?” I asked. He looked down, trying to hide something. “What?”

 

“You know,” he looked back up, but not at me, “this morning I was actually so determined that today was going to be my last day. I hated coming here. It’s repetitive. People come and go, say they’re getting better but it doesn’t. If anything it gets more and more depressing. Sitting in a circle with a bunch of depressed people… it doesn’t make you feel any better about yourself. But then you came along.”

 

I didn’t want him to stop talking, but he had to. And I think we both knew that. I could feel my cheeks go red, fluster. “Okay, first question.” I said as we began to walk again.

 

“Alright… what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” He asked, it was a hard decision.

 

“It’d have to be chocolate, definitely.” I laughed a little as he smiled, “What’s your favorite film?”

 

He thought about it for a brief moment, “Titanic.” I couldn’t help but let out a little laugh, I’d never heard a guy say that before. “Why are you laughing? It’s a truly imaginative and beyond brilliant film!” Then he began to laugh, “No, I only like it because Leonardo DiCaprio.”

 

“Don’t we all.” I replied, he laughed again.

 

Favorite color?” He asked.

 

“Yellow.” I replied.

 

 

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