As Melanie started her senior year, she became more stressed each passing day. All her relatives kept asking her where she was going to college, what she wanted to study, and if she was working. It got to the point that she hated going to family gatherings. At school, her teachers would always ask their students if they had a plan after high school. She knew she wanted to continue school, but that was about it. She was undecided on where to go and what to study. Melanie’s classes had also gotten more difficult. She was conflicted by this because everyone always described senior year as an easy, blow off year before college. She kept waiting for it and asking where it was because so far, she was struggling.
“So Mel, have you decided where you want to go?” Grandpa Jim asked Mel.
“No, gramps,” Mel answered, rolling her eyes.
“Well honey, you’re going to have to decide soon. Senior year will be over before you know it, and you don’t want to be rushed to make a decision.”
“Gramps, it’s only October. I still have some time.”
Melanie was a smart girl, at the top of her class. Yet she didn’t really show it. She wasn’t always studying. She was involved in sports and other extracurricular activities. Melanie had played softball since she could remember. Her mom had played when she was in high school and had made Melanie play since she was a child. She didn’t plan to play in college, though. Outside of softball, she was also in student council. There, Mel would help out to plan ideas for her graduating class. She would come up with themes of activities planned for the year, like football game themes or assembly themes. Melanie would go out at least once during the weekend with her friends. She was a very social person, but she didn’t want to be seen as a lame girl who only studies. Melanie always thought that if she was that person, that nobody would like her. She would feel stuck up and as if she only cared about school. She knew how to manage her time in order to have spare time.
Last Saturday, Mel and her friends decided to go to a haunted road called Cuba Road because they felt adventurous. It was a week before Halloween, and they didn’t want to spend any money on a haunted house. Melanie and her friends, Kevin, Jerry, Ashley, and Jeff met up at around eight at night. Jerry offered to drive, and Mel took shotgun.
“I just hope we don’t die tonight.” Jerry exhaled deeply.
“I don’t understand why there’s so much hype about Cuba Road. There’s literally like nothing there,” Kevin mumbled under his breath.
“There’s a lot of stories saying that it’s haunted and that a lot of paranormal activity happens there. Especially the cemetery. We should walk through it tonight!” Ashley suggested.
“I’m so down,” Jerry said.
“Um, are you crazy?!” Jeff said. “I don’t plan on dying tonight.”
“Okay, honestly, it’s not even scary. Unless you actually get out and walk around. And if we die, we’ll at least die together, am I right?”said Melanie.
“You right, you right,” Ashley agreed.
As they left for Cuba Road, Kevin took the aux cord and started playing some throwback songs like Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani. Mel stopped for a second and realized something. These were the memories that she was going to look back on in a couple of years. She enjoyed having fun in small and simple ways like this, and in a couple of months, she won’t be able to go out like this with her friends. They were all planning to go away to college and eventually they would drift apart. Life just won’t be as fun and simple as this moment right now.
As they hung out at Cuba Road, Mel and her friends enjoyed themselves by joking around and telling stories. After a couple of hours they decided to drive back home and call it a night. After stopping at McDonald’s for a quick bite, Jerry drove everyone home.
Melanie decided to do some homework that night since she wasn’t tired and had nothing else to do. She decided to catch up on psychology homework since she had missed school and was behind. She hated missing class. Melanie never understood how people just ditched class. In her opinion, it was worse than actually going. If you don’t show up because you didn’t do the homework, it’s a domino effect. You then have to do the homework you didn’t do, whatever you missed in class, and the homework for that night. Half the time teachers don’t even care and forget about it. After she finished her psychology homework, she decided to go to bed.
Sunday morning, she woke up around seven. Melanie was definitely a morning person, and seven in the morning for her was sleeping in. She got up and showered, then made herself some coffee and got ready to go to the library. At around eight in the morning, she peeked into her parents room to let them know that she was leaving. Every Sunday, she would spend her morning at the library and come home after a couple of hours with her homework done in order to spend the rest of the day with her family. Sunday was family funday.
After being at the library for a couple of hours, Melanie decided to go home. Her family had planned to go to a pumpkin patch that day. She, her parents, and little brother John, were going. He was twelve years old and was pretty cool for a little brother. John wasn’t the annoying kind that he was always wild and bothering her. He would be really nice to Melanie and sometimes they would hangout. She would take him out to get Chick-fil-A sometimes or help him with his homework. He was smart, but sometimes needed a little help and Melanie didn’t mind.
“I hope it’s fun today,” John said to Melanie as she was getting ready.
“It will be. We’ll go through the corn maze, pet some giraffes and goats, and then we will pick out a pumpkin to carve out tonight,” Melanie replied to John.
“But I suck at carving pumpkins. Mine never comes out as good as yours.”
“Don’t worry buddy, I’ll help you.”
They smiled at each other.
Sunday came to an end, and Melanie relaxed for the rest of the night. Her Sunday night routine consisted of taking a relaxing bath with a bath bomb from Lush. Those were the bomb, no pun intended. After that, Melanie would lay down on her king-size bed and watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. Her parents were rich and she lived in a mansion. Her room was so huge that when her friends came over they would say her room alone was the size of their kitchen and living room combined. Melanie didn’t like to talk about that. She wasn’t the type to talk about her wealth.
Monday came, and Melanie was ready to take on the week of school. On the following Friday, Melanie was ready to relax during the weekend. She had planned to go to Krispy Kreme with Ashley and Jerry. Melanie and Jerry had never been to Krispy Kreme and Ashley found that ridiculous. Ashley loved it and freaked out when she found out that they had never had it. She said it was a must for them to go as soon as possible.
On Friday night, she relaxed for a little bit and started her homework. Most of her friends were at their sports practices, so she took advantage of the time. She wasn’t going to go out because her friends were going to be tired, and she knew they weren’t going to want to do anything.
Saturday night arrived, and Ashley picked up Melanie first, then Jerry. They drove to Krispy Kreme and Ashley ordered a dozen donuts. She could eat half of them by herself, so she knew that they would love them too. Since Ashley knew the cashier, the cashier gave them the donuts for free. All three of them sat down. It was time. Melanie and Jerry picked up a donut each and took a bite.
“Thoughts?” Ashley asked them.
“Okay, how have I not had this before in my life?!” Melanie said.
“Boy, I just started living since this moment,” Jerry added.
“Damn right,” Ashley said.
Ashley recorded their reaction and thought it was the greatest thing ever.
They decided to drive around since the night was still young. Listening to good music, talking about the past and the future, and creating more memories. Melanie couldn’t have asked for better friends and for a better time. Ashley dropped her friends off and Melanie went on with her usual routine.
Saturday night was to start homework. Sunday morning was to finish her homework and to study, and Sunday afternoon was for the family. At night, it was time to relax and to prepare herself for the upcoming school week. This is how she was getting through the school year and preparing for college, even though she had no idea what her plan was.