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I’ve decided to attempt another weekly writing challenge from The Daily Post. This one is to write a 1,000 word story based on the picture below (if you haven’t realized yet, it’s based off the saying, “A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words”).

A Lone Girl at the Playground

It was September 3rd. The first day of kindergarten, the beginnings of a new life forever. It was a cool, breezy day, as most autumn days are. The sky was many shades of gray (not as many as 50, however, perhaps only 20), as if it couldn’t make up its mind weather to rain or merely cast an ominous shadow.

It was a good first day. Though I left behind many friends from my old preschool, I was quick to make acquaintance with many like-minded girls of my age. It was a good crowd here. We could relate on many levels, and shared many interests. Barbies, dolls, to name a few (or, perhaps, all). I could already spot my future best friends.

Yes, there were boys too. I won’t go too in depth here, but let’s just say I had my eye on a couple of them, and I think they had their eyes on me too. I have that effect on boys. Preschool is over; it’s a clean slate, and I like that.

It was a good first day.

After the dismissal bell rang, and everyone filed out, I found myself drawn to an old carousel. I had already made plans with some new girlfriends to go out that night, but I needed a moment to myself first. I told them I’d catch up with them later.

In what seemed to be only a few minutes, everybody had left the school premise, leaving me alone sitting on the carousel.

Yes, it was a good day, but I couldn’t help but feel immense nostalgia. It may be the first day of kindergarten, the first day of a new life, but it was also the last day of an era. And this carousel reminded me of that.

So long ago, it seemed, I used to love Winnie the Pooh and the other cartoon characters that made up this carousel. When was the last time I watched that show? It must have been weeks ago, maybe months. So young was I back then. Back when life was simple and carefree. How things have changed. Now, I find myself trying to keep up with styles and trends. The Hello Kitty pants I wore that first day prove this new found desire to remain in style; to be trendy.

That day, September 3rd, while sitting on that old carousel, I took a trip down memory lane and reflected on the life I had led thus far. It had been a good life, difficult at times, but good overall. Only then did it dawn on me that I was indeed young for a large portion of my life. And those young days, my cherished childhood, included some of my best memories, maybe all of them.

The time my family saved enough money to go to Disney World, or the numerous trips to the local beach fill some of my happiest memories. The thousands of times I used to spend daily playing with toys blended together, reminding me of how the days used to flow and spill into each other, as if there was nothing to divide them other than the movements of the sun. Not so anymore. The 3 o’clock bell is the new setting sun.

Preschool wasn’t school. It was more of an all-day play-date with a bunch of my friends. The boys had blocks. We had dolls. Neither of us had responsibilities. We were young; it wasn’t school. This is school.

It was frightening. I never was really prepared to grow up, to be old. Yet, that day had finally arrived. I remembered back in preschool when I used to look up at the kindergartners in awe, amazed by their maturity and astonished by their intelligence, never expecting to become them.

Sitting on that carousel, by my new grown-up school, I couldn’t help but to laugh at the version of me from an entire year ago. Way back then I’d foolishly thought I had it all figured out. I’d thought I’d learned my life lessons and planned out far enough in the future. Like two weeks was far enough. I’d known, of course, I didn’t literally know everything, but I’d thought I was pretty damn close. I’d been capable of picking up most of the words when adults were speaking to each other, and I’d been able to count all the way to 20. That’s right, 20. How foolish I was a year ago. Ha! If only I’d known at the time I’d be able to count all the way to 100 (one of the biggest numbers) a year later.

No, I’d been a young girl under the delusion of being old and mature a year ago. I’d been wrong. But this time it was different. This time I was in kindergarten. It really was the first day of a new life filled with responsibilities. The era of a simple and carefree life was finally over; I was old.

The End

There it is, all 1,822 words, that is if we count the picture literally as 1,000 words (the quote is very specific about this). If not, you can do the math.

Epilogue

I find this old writing in a notebook (my old diary that I started in kindergarten if I’m not mistaken) in the attic. Reading through it, I’m reminded of the pride I had when I was a young girl. Although some of the language I used as a kindergartener appears to be surprisingly complex (what kindergartner uses the word “ominous” to describe a shadow? Me, apparently), my heart is softened by the attitude I held back then. I was a very young girl then convinced I was old. In some ways, perhaps, I was right; it was the beginning of something, just not as grand as I expected.

It’s funny how old I used to think I was. No, now I know that I’m truly grown-up.

I then hear my mom call out, “Alexus! Where are you? Santa Clause got a new Barbie doll and Justin Bieber CD for you!”

Doesn’t know Santa that I don’t listen to Justin Bieber anymore? I’m too old for that!

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