A New Chapter 

Ishika Jain

Lily stared reminiscing about the bittersweet breeze that blew past her as she watched the large boisterous bus turn the street corner for the last time. A soft smile formed on her face as she slowly turned around to walk down the worn sidewalk to her house. She grabbed the straps of her navy backpack and started her commute home. Savoring every word of the beautiful songs that the birds sang every spring as they watched her walk her familiar path back. 

High school was over, she had graduated as salutatorian, committed to Boston University for women’s soccer, and best of all it was summer. She had no plans for tonight except showering, doing her skincare, and cozying up in bed with a candy salad and Netflix. It felt deserving after a treacherous senior year of recruiting difficulties, late night cram sessions, and exams. 

Not too soon later as she entered her tidy room after grabbing a juice box, she felt her back pocket of her jean shorts start to vibrate. Dropping her backpack on the floor by her nightstand, she pulled her phone out and swiped on the screen, answering the call from Casey, her best friend since kindergarten.

“Hey Lil, what’s up?” 

“Nothing much, I just got home, I was about to hop in the shower.”


“Why, what’s up?”

“I was just wondering if you wanted to go for a bike ride, for old times sake?”

She hesitated. She wanted nothing more than to see Casey, but she had been dreaming about her bed since the second the first period bell rang. But she had to, Casey would leave for Mexico tomorrow and wouldn’t come back before Lily would already be at preseason practice. Who knows when they would see eachother again.

“Of course, meet at our usual spot?” she replied, plastering a smile on her face.

“Yay! See you there Lil!”

“See you soon Casey.”

Sighing, Lily flopped onto her bed tossing her phone besides her. The sun peeked through her half open blinds and danced on her face. Standing up, she walked to her closet and grabbed her favorite hoodie. She had gotten it last year when she went to a Boston University ID camp and fell in love with their campus. Falling in love with the greenery and lakes she dreamed about her future life. Lying under the vibrant trees and reading while she enjoyed the hum of the birds and motion of the lake. Shaking her head slowly, she awoke from her daydream and pulled the hoodie over her head. 


For it being summer, today was a rather cool day. Lily loved this weather, it was perfect. Not too hot that she would sweat, but not too cold she needed to wear pants. Grabbing her phone she placed it back in her pocket, grabbed a cool water bottle from her fridge and retrieved her purple bike from her crowded garage. She locked the door and placed her bottle in its holder and rode over to the stop sign where both their streets collided. In the horizon she saw a figure with blond hair waving at her. 

However much she wanted to stay home, she couldn’t stop the smile that took over her face. They hadn’t hung out alone for a while ever since Casey had gotten a boyfriend. She missed that feeling. As Lily reached Casey, they both simultaneously dropped their bikes and embraced each other. Pulling apart they started squealing and eventually reached back for their bikes. 

They took their usual route through their neighborhood and to the park. They sat on the bench and watched the children play on the playset. Not too long ago, they were the ones who were climbing the monkey bars or sliding down the poles. 

“I’m going to miss this,” said Casey, staring wistfully at the happy kids as she leaned her head on Lily’s shoulder.

“Me too.”

They felt comfortable in their silence as they watched them continue to play. After a few more minutes, they got up and biked back to Casey’s house. They parked their bikes by her garage and took their shoes off at the front door. Casey went to her fridge and threw Lily a Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream. They walked to her deck and positioned themselves on her swings. There they sat and talked about the experiences of high school.
“It went by so fast,” added Lily.

“I know! I miss freshman year when we didn’t have to worry about the goodbyes.”

“Same. I wish I enjoyed it more instead of worrying about everything else all the time.”

“Just don’t do the same in college Lil,” said Casey smiling at her knowingly.


Later that night, Lily was cozied up in her bedroom, hugging her giant candy bowl watching Gilmore Girls. She was showered, in her pajamas, and felt refreshed. Although she loved highschool, loved soccer, and loved her friends even more, sometimes nothing felt better than a night alone with nothing to worry about because sometimes all she did was worry and forget to live in the moment. She made a promise to herself. She wouldn’t let the college experience slip away from her as her highschool experience did. She’d spend less time worrying about what comes next, and more time enjoying what was happening now. 

It was the start of a new chapter.