My friends and I didn’t pass notes during middle school.
Instead, we passed entire notebooks. Sharing a notebook with a friend – and passing it back and forth all day long – was all the rage.
It makes sense, really. First of all, it demanded exclusivity, the currency of junior high drama. But the benefits didn’t end there. We could write longer letters, we could refer back to previous notes if needed
to win an argument, and handing a notebook to a classmate was much less conspicuous than handing off a piece of notebook paper folded into a heart.
What doesn’t make sense is keeping more than a dozen of these notebooks well past graduation. From college.
Besides being weird and immature, holding onto those notebooks wasn’t good for my heart. While some of them were inconsequential and painless to revisit, others contained words that hurt then – and hurt now.
It’s been many years since I ruthlessly cleaned out my cedar chest full of schoolgirl memories. I tossed those spiral-bound books in the trash with abandon (and, okay, just a twinge of sentimental regret). It hasn’t been quite as many years since I threw away another shoebox full of cards and notes from my adolescent days, but it was still quite a while ago.
And yet, some of the words linger.