So that was the long-awaited last day of high school, in the blazing California sun, per usual. Nothing seemed out of place, other than the makeup AP Spanish Test, and the chromebook that still needs to be turned in. Everything exactly the same as the Troy High School I’ve experienced for infinite afternoons.

What do I remember after all these years at Troy? The tree that looks like a thumbs up? The yearly field fertilization that stinks from 50 miles away? The carpet in the halls that’s now gone? The new warrior statue in the quad? The needles that fall from the pines in the winter? The sky that was especially blue one day, or the dusk that was particularly colorful?

The people walking on the gym roof during AP testing. The unplanned mis-fire alarms. The Mr. Heaton burning bridges in classroom and the Ms. Oropeza not putting in the final exam. The printing Philo papers franctically in Falleta. The technical difficulties during rallies. The walking through the entire Elf Dance floor because “I can’t find my partner.” The Shmooping Catcher in one night. The rolling chairs in Teresa Mormont, or the large tables in Gregory Platt.

The ditching ROTC. The coding bats. The Spanish projects. The existentialism. The us.

Memory really is a funny thing. It will be liquified as time passes it by, blurring the details and leaving merely an outline of the emotions and the values attached to it. And then we would have to use our imagination to fill in the things that will be gone forever.

We lived. Crazily. Fanatically. Dogmatically. Uniquely. Hedonistically. We lived like that for four years, jumping and dancing, looking stupid just for the heck of it. Maybe it’s only the courage of youth, the beginner’s luck that allowed us to do so. Yet I can’t stop wondering what luck must it be, to meet the most sparkly people, in my most free years.

Yes, that’s really the most beautiful story. It might not be a fairy tale, with godmothers and pumpkins and unconditional romance. It might be composed of way too many midnight decisions, lonely feelings, 1 A.M. desperate texting for homework, and tantrums on classroom floors. But it’s beautiful nonetheless.

It’s almost like the end of a grand orchestral performance. We came from different places, and we once again part our own ways and resume our directions in life. Saying goodbye has been difficult, precisely stemming from the overwhelmingly irreplaceable charm of the rollercoaster ride. But to me, these beautiful memories will be worth framing in albums incorruptible by time.