High School Orientation


Today your older sister went to school to welcome the freshman for high school orientation. You missed it. You didn’t show up. Did you forget to go?

I was going to wake you up to remind you that you had to be there at 8:00, but then I couldn’t find you. I looked in your sister’s room, but I just saw clothes strewn across the floor. There wasn’t even a second bed. So then I went upstairs and looked for you — I thought maybe you’d crawled into one of your brother’s beds, but alas, no Grace.

Dammit. I can’t even find your bedroom. Why don’t we have a bedroom for you?

I glanced at our checking account; there were no recent purchases at Forever 21 or H&M, not even American Apparel. I suppose if you don’t have any new clothes, you can’t really start your freshman year, can you? And I don’t even have the list of school supplies for your classes. What are you taking?

Your sister would tell you to register for AP Human Geo but I’m not sure they are even offering that class anymore. She has all kinds of advice for you. She’s excited because you’ll be taking Honors Chemistry, and she’ll be in AP Chem which means you’ll have the same teacher, different periods.

Speaking of periods, it doesn’t seem like I’ve even bought you any tampons lately. Are you running out? I’d go to the store tonight for you? I’d even change back out of my pajamas and into clothes to get them for you. Really! I don’t mind. What else do you need? Do you have enough sharpened pencils to start the year? Did you get a pencil bag at Sephora like your sister did. She’d tell you that makeup bags are way better pencil bags then the lame ones they sell at Walgreens or Target.

Grace, why aren’t you answering me when I text you on your cell phone? It’s just silent. No read message or text back, just emptiness. Too much emptiness.

You’d think after 14 years I’d get used to this silence from you, but I don’t. Silence would be welcoming. Instead, the words in my head keep knocking around inside of me:

You should be starting high school.

You are a freshman.

Did you register for band? Are you playing the flute like your sister? You’ll be marching at football games with her. She’ll even tell you all about Mr. Loupe. She’s the best advice giver ever.

Grace? Grace?

Answer me, dammit.


I miss you.


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