A Plastic-Wrapped Momento

I somehow began friendships with most of my closest friends in the confusing world of high school. I may usually look back at those four years very negatively, but they were still a time when life seemed simpler and happiness came easier. , it’s no surprise that some of my fondest memories with my friends are

Something that has stuck with me for several years is a short and random memory with one of my most loving friends. We met in sophomore year, and I’m not actually sure when this took place, so it could’ve been three to five years ago. My friend and I were goofing around in the cafeteria, when she jokingly gave me a plastic-wrapped fork as a very special gift. I took it, returning the joke, and acted like I was deeply touched and would keep it forever. That, however, was not what either of us intended. It’s not like she would never give me anything again; she celebrates my birthday with me every year, which should hold some more significance than giving me an extra fork in a prison school cafeteria.

After this over-dramatic brief interaction, I decided that it would be funny to see how long I kept it. So, I kept the joke going and treated the plastic-wrapped fork as if it was actually very special to me. I ended up keeping the fork for much longer than I had intended, and at some point, it became important to me. (But maybe that’s just the hoarder in me talking.)

The fork reminds me of not having to think about the serious things going on in our lives and just focusing on being friends and happy nonetheless. This reminder helps especially now that I find it difficult to fully trust and unconditionally love people I’ve met after high school.

I don’t take the fork everywhere with me, but it always stays in whichever room I usually live in. First it was at home, then in my dorm taped on the wall, in my first apartment on my desk hutch, and now in my apartment on a shelf.

To this day, it’s still in its plastic-wrapping and still making me smile when I look at it. I think of how silly it is that I’ve kept it for so long, and how this ordinary object reminds me that even if this friend isn’t at the same school anymore, I know that she and my other high school friends are always looking out for me.

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