Never Look Back and Leave No Regrets

by Jordan Wellnitz

           Come on, Andi! a brunette boy yells to a black-haired girl, his brown eyes seeming to sparkle in the moonlight.

Are you sure about this, Markus? the young teen asks, her blue eyes looking with uncertainty up at the old run-down house that was supposedly haunted.

Dont be a chicken, Andi! Dont you want to see a ghost? he asks, pulling the bushes away from the old chain-link fence to reveal a large hole.

What if its dangerous? Or we get caught? she asks, her eyes searching the desolate area for any signs of life besides the two young teens.

Geez, what are you so afraid of? he asks in a huff, climbing quickly through the hole in the fence.

N-nothing! Lets go! she says in false confidence, pushing through the fence hole and past her dear friend.

An hour later, the pair of friends exit the farce of the haunted house. Dude, that was so stupid. It was just a stupid, old house, Markus whines dejectedly, exiting through the hole in the fence and waiting for his female companion.

You still jumped when the rat ran across your foot, Andi teases, sticking her pink muscle out of her mouth after coming through the fence and straightening.

Shuddup. You know I hate rats, Andi. The moody teen crosses his arms huffily.

Oh, Markus, my hero, she swoons dramatically, expertly playing the role of damsel in distress. Super-Markus! Throw him ghosts and zombies, and youll be just fine, but you better be ready to fend for yourself if a vicious rat appears,she mocks again, this time using a deep, announcer tone.

Well, what are you afraid of, then, Andi? he asks angrily, trying to find a weapon to tease his best friend with. The two begin to walk towards their houses, coincidentally on the same block.

Being forgotten by you she answers too quietly.

What? Markus looks at the girl inquisitively, having not heard her.

Nothing, she dismisses with a smile. Markus continues pestering the girl the whole walk home, but her hard-headedness wins the battle of stubbornness and they say their good nights.

Hey, Andi, can I borrow a pencil? the same brunette asks, though he is much more mature, and his voice has taken on a deep, masculine tone. This is to be expected, however, as it has been four years since the night they snuck out together to the haunted house. The pair were seniors now, nearing the end of their high school heaven/hell.

Y-yeah, here, Andi responds, a more feminine look to her features and a more feminine tone in her quivering voice. You cant really blame her, though. She was surprised he remembered her name, and that was the most they had spoken since freshmen year!

The two friends had drifted apart when high school started. Markus was social, athletic, and attractive, instantly granting him access to the football team and all of the popular groups. Andi was quiet, smart, and creative, preferring to spend her time immersed in writing, music, or art. She was thrust into the nerd group. They walked through the front doors of the school together and left strangers, all in one day.

But, you must give Andi credit. She tried to hold onto their friendship but populars only talk to nerds when they need their homework done, as one of the Crayola flunkies so kindly recited to her when she tried to sit down with Markus for lunch that day like theyd talked about. Markus oh-so-happily agreed with Barbies clown cousin, casting his friend a look of disgust. They hadnt spoken since, save the occasional can I borrow your pencil? or let me copy your homework.

Finally,on graduation day, Andi decided it was time. Some of the popular girls scoffed rudely when Andi stomped into the auditorium and over to Markus before the ceremonies but Andi simply ignored them. She was a woman on a mission! Being forgotten by you, she said in a level, calm voice.

What? Markus asked, his face portraying his obvious confusion and slight disdain.

When we visited the Old Rosse house together to see if it was haunted, you asked what I was afraid of. The answer is being forgotten, by you. Andis blue orbs stared unwavering into Markus brown ones. The principle called for them to line up soon, and Andi confidently turned on her heel and walked to the front of the line, Markus was left standing rather idiotically where she had lefthim.

When the principle called for the valedictorian to speak, Andi walked across the large stage to the podium to give her speech. A long time ago, someone asked me what I was afraid of, and thats really stuck with me. Were all afraid of something, right? Maybe spiders, or clowns, or rats. But we dont have to let that fear control us. All we can do is embrace our fears and conquer them. If youre afraid of clowns, force yourself to go to the circus. If youre afraid of rats or spiders, go out and get yourself one as a pet. Im sure a lot of my fellow graduates fear the future, the uncertainty of not knowing what lies ahead. Well, I say embrace it! Dive head first into the future and dont look back! Leave no regrets. The audience clapped ceremoniously and Andi took her seat quickly.

We will now give the graduates their diplomas. Our first graduate is Andi Anderson. Andi stood again, shook hand with the principle, gratefully accepted her diploma, and strode confidently from the auditorium. She never looked back, and she can honestly say that she had no regrets.

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