Okay, before you read: I wrote a really good version of this last night, as a second journal entry. I pressed submit and KAPOW! My computer decided to die on me. I forgot to save. So... please read this one and make any comments that might be needed. Thanks!
Name: Grace Hughen
Bio: It's all in the story.
I was born at 5:47 AM on January 16, 1992. Eighteen days late. They had to cut me out because I was strangling myself with my own umbilical cord. I could have died, or been brain damaged, but I didn't do either and now I am in all honors classes at school. That's one of many interesting facts about me that I could tell you. There are lots. For you, I can recall the name of the boy who chased me with scissors in kindergarten and then invited me to his birthday party; the first day of first grade, where I told a joke and made a friend; third grade, where my friend and I marched around shouting "Vote for a president, not a plant" to protest George W. Bush running for president; the page number in my journal where I first wrote that I was in love. Fifteen years sounds like a small number when compared with thirty or forty-five or sixty, but if you spend those fifteen years right, they can hold an eternity's worth of memories. So which ones should I give to you now?
I remember going to my little sister's Brownie meetings after school in fifth grade. Her friend's older sister would sometimes be there, too, and we would talk about whatever topic came to mind. She brought in a portable CD player and asked me to pick random numbers, sometimes. I remember one time I picked the number twelve. "Oh, that's a really good number!" she said. She said that about every song... Les Miserables is a well written musical based on a well written book. For some reason I laughed when I heard the song. It was a little boy singing it, and he sounded so young and cute. He sang about how "the world is big, but little people turn it around". The next year, when I was in sixth grade and she was in seventh, I read the book and discovered that the boy who sang that song died. She and I would discuss the part of the book I was on each week, when our sisters had dance class and we sat in the changing room, talking and making jokes. I remember once she recited the song a character sang, that was in French in my book but translated in a footnote. Instead of "ah, me!" she would say the French version, "oh, gue!". Something about how she pronounced it set us both off on a fit of giggles. And another time, she gave me two printed-out stories. They were fanfictions, and they were slash. I still have them. I read some of her own writing, too. She is an amazing writer.
The next thing I remember is seventh grade. I don't remember much of that, because I don't want to. It was very bad. I told her I liked her (that's what you say in seventh grade; you "like" someone. How do you distinguish platonic from romantic?!). The day after I told her, I went to my dance class. When it ended, she was just about to start hers. Before she went into the studio, she put her arm around my shoulders and told me it was okay.
I remember when we found out that our pinky fingers curved in towards the rest of our fingers. I remember when she told me that her middle name was made of the names of her grandmothers. I remember her eyes - she once told me they had no pigment, and that was why they were blue like the sky on a day when white clouds make a film, turning the blue from vibrant to crystalline. She would never wear her glasses, and how she told me once that her eyes sometimes crossed when she was tired. I remember how she would comb her fingers through her fringe and how my sister once braided her hair. I remember that she is taller than me but slouches, so if I stand up straight I sometimes look taller than her. We are both dancers but our real-life posture is so far from how ballerinas are supposed to look. And I remember her laugh, her voice. I could listen to her voice forever and never get tired, never lose interest.
I have one more memory to share, and she isn't in it. It's from when I went with my family and two others to Maine. We hiked up one of many mountains called Bald Mountain. They had a contest for renaming the mountain, but we had no ideas. The memory is of when we reached the top. There was a bald spot, and an observation tower with metal supports and wooden steps. There was nothing but a guardrail to keep me from falling. When I looked out, I saw the sky, blue and big, with clouds that cast shadows over parts of the land. I saw the other mountains, and a river. I saw the whole state, the whole country, the whole world from that point. And then I looked down. I saw trees like dark lichen on a rock, and people as small as ants. I saw exactly how far I could fall and knew I wouldn't survive if I leaned too far over the railing. But I didn't back away, or stop looking around. I guess I cheated death again. It was worth all that danger, though, to see that view.