Before there were boyfriends and broken hearts and buddies that moved away, there were just three girls, a song, wooden bedposts, and a feathered comforter.
Our hands wrapped around the wooden spheres we’d wrestled from bedposts, makeshift maracas we alternated shaking above our heads and stuffing down our tank tops to make us look like Real Life Barbie Dolls.
The music played in our heads as we belted out renditions of a song we knew so well and not at all. A song fit inside us to make us feel like rebel girls all the while holding us in suburbia.
We knew the words, but we didn’t understand them. Heard the regret, but didn’t feel it.
We chose, instead, to bounce on a bed draped in a feathered duvet comforter. Our tiny toes trampled all that was Light & Airy & Floating Along Fine Just Fine.
“He was a skater boy. She said, ‘See ya later boy.’ He wasn’t good enough for her.”
I look for it now—those words, that verse, the moment when everything shifted from Peace Out, Sucker to Wait Wait Wait, Come Back To Me.
But it’s gone.
The song didn’t make it into my iTunes library when I shifted from Windows to Mac. The words didn’t wait for me to find them, relish in their bittersweet regret, and tuck them deep into my pocket for safekeeping.
“Now he’s a superstar. Jamming on his guitar. Does your pretty face see what he’s worth?”
I wonder how many moments it takes for us to figure out we won’t get it back. If it’s possible, at twelve years old, to be hyperaware of that while you bounce on your parents’ bed with your two best friends and a pair of makeshift maracas.
Back then we could end songs when we wanted to. Forgetting, sometimes, that it stopped well before we restarted the first verse after the last chorus. Forgetting we had the ability to hit Repeat six million times but it wouldn’t slow Tomorrow down.
Forgetting that we couldn’t stay in that spot where we were three girls in a bedroom with two pairs of wooden bedposts in our fists and a beige feather duvet comforter softening our falls.
The song ends. The day ends. The girls stop bouncing on the creaking bed. The stereo remote gets kicked beneath the bed and lost. The girl moves. The bed gets shipped to another state.
And then the three girls start to wonder if that moment was even real.
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