Three years ago, I told myself I wasn’t going to walk at graduation.
I didn’t want to buy the polyester gown, I didn’t want to walk across a stage, and I didn’t want to be in an auditorium full of people cheering on their graduate.
None of it mattered to me because you wouldn’t be cheering on your graduate.
I’ve come to avoid performing on stages because I know you’re not going to be in the audience.
There was no point of auditioning for solos in choir because you wouldn’t there for the performance.
There was no motive for dance rehearsal because you wouldn’t be there for the recital.
There was no reason to practice for cheerleading because you wouldn’t be there for the competitions.
I still can’t believe I cheered.
I signed up for everything I had an interest in. I always had my friends to encourage me to try new things and carry on. And even though you weren’t in the audience: I still sang; I still danced; I still cheered.
And I still graduated.
You could have been there yourself, but you didn’t return my calls. You said you were getting the flyers in the mail and you said you would try to make it. I called and you didn’t pick up- REPEAT!
Aunt Patty said she really wanted to go, but I told her I didn’t want anyone else to come. “If my mom isn’t coming,” I said, “I don’t see any point in anyone else being there.”
I didn’t want to be there in the first place.
My boyfriend Dave forced me to walk at graduation. He dragged me to the Rutgers RAC. He took photos of me the way the proud mothers and fathers around us took photos of their grad: run a few feet ahead, crouch low, snap a photo- REPEAT!
There are dozens of photos of me that day walking and scowling at Dave from afar.
There were two people in attendance of my graduation: Dave and our best friend Sean. And I told myself that it didn’t matter. But in the sea of scarlet robes and bobbing tassels, I had the violent urge to scream. I found myself looking for you as I walked onto a stage-REPEAT!
Months after I walked across that stage, I got you on the phone. I asked you the usual: Why didn’t you return my calls? Did you get my messages? Why didn’t you come to my graduation?
You said simply, “It would have been too much of a hassle to get up there.”