BY KATE HUMPHREYS

      My heart longs for the things I used to hate. The things that I used to put off and procrastinate until I couldn’t anymore. I long for canceled plans, for drama with friends, for the times when I spent hours on homework just to get a C+. I long for the friends I used to take for granted, and the sport I used to dread going to. I miss the walks in the sun, laughing as the sun burned our eyes. I miss the late-night talks with friends at our “sleep” overs. I miss when there was more than one topic of conversation when the news was actually interesting. I miss when I took my parents for granted, saying that I didn’t need them as long as I had my friends. Nothing will ever go completely back to normal. No one is allowed outside or allowed to hang out with friends. I miss when I saw my friends in public, and we would hug and talk for hours without the bother of 6 feet. I used to be able to go to my friends’ houses just to say hi, just to let them make my day a little better. All I want right now is last-minute plans, first dates, and times when I laugh so hard I cry. I miss feeling anything but numb. I wish my dog weren’t my best friend, and that I had seen someone my age in the past two months that wasn’t my sister. I wish my only form of entertainment wasn’t YouTube or Disney movies. 

But sometimes we don’t get what we want. Trips get canceled, friends grow apart, and everything you worked so hard to get goes away. Working hard for good grades goes out the window. How could you focus when there’s no reward of time with friends to come? School has been broken down to the most boring parts of the day, all from the “comfort” of our own homes. FaceTime has become a last-ditch effort to see the faces of loved ones, even just for a second. I’ve seen friendships fall apart because someone wasn’t obeying the rules of social distancing. Relationships ended because they couldn’t survive the long 6-foot distance. I’ve been yelled at by complete strangers for not wearing a mask when I take my dog for a walk. My mom has never been closer to an emotional breakdown, and to be honest, neither have I. She’s essential, but what does that really mean? She’s essential to me, and I feel as if she’s being taken away from me. I’m not a scared person, trust me, but here I am, scared to death of what’s happening on the news. The world is falling apart. Toilet paper prices are skyrocketing and there’s nothing I can do about it. The walls are caving in on me. Somehow, I continue to feel the same. The world I built, puzzle piece by puzzle piece, was smashed into pieces. And yet the only question I’m left wondering is, where did the world go wrong?      

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