M— never said those words to me. She had been coming to Butler writers with her cousin for a few weeks now. Upon meeting her, we clicked instantly. The whole group did. I don’t know what it was—her spunk, her enthusiasm, her fabulous singing, the random dance parties, her ability to make me laugh at anything—but the moment she joined, our little group was complete.
However, I knew by week two, that writing with her was going to be challenge at best. (How can you combat the “why would I write something down if I can just tell you right now” argument?) So, when she came to me last week, completely unprompted, with a bright yellow sheet of paper, the words “Be-YOU-tiful” scrawled across the top in blue colored pencil, I couldn’t hide my surprised grin.
It was then that I realized people don’t recognize the moments they are going to remember forever when they are living them. We are too busy experiencing it, distracted by every little thing happening. It’s a shame, really, because if only we had known—known that the moment was special—maybe we would’ve payed more attention. Maybe we would’ve dragged it out longer, said something different.
After six weeks of being at Broad Ripple High School, I realize that I have these moments every single time I walk through the door. It’s in all of Rickie’s smiles when I make her a straight peanut butter sandwich (the best way, in my opinion) without her even asking. It’s in every giggle between Morgan and Journey when I say something ridiculous, highlighting the gap between our ages. It’s in the words of Minnie’s poem, which now hangs on my mirror, a constant reminder every morning to “keep your head up, princess.”
So maybe we aren’t supposed to know when those special moments are happening. It could spoil everything that made it special in the first place. Maybe that’s the point, that in one moment, there was no point.
That’s what I’m going to believe.
Hayley Gearheart is a senior English major.