This I Believe

Akanksha - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in erasable pens. The concept of being able to glide a little piece of rubber over something permanent and watching the words vanish is amazing. More amazing is the faint imprints of the old words that never quite disappear. The residue left behind never goes away no matter how much people scrub away at their paper.

As I clutched a one-way ticket to some far away country, I tried to erase my mind. As I stepped forcefully into a crisp plane, I tried to forget memories of friends. I convinced myself that there was no way I could start a new life with my head still entangled with the past. In my own way, I was trying to erase my permanent words.

Recently I found a scrapbook my friends from Bahrain had given me. It was filled with simple smiling pictures; it was obviously done by a few pre-teen girls. Seeing photographs of people I had tried to pretend were imaginary triggered the prickly feeling of tears. The words blurred as I read page after page. The memories I had blocked out for so long came streaming down.

That night I emailed my previous best friend, Richa, for the first time in five years. She replied back almost automatically retelling the escapades of my friends while I was gone. She said that they had never forgotten me; she said they missed me everyday. Her words were not as saddening as I expected them to be. I was surprised to find myself laughing at the hilarious trouble that my friends still managed to get in. Logging out, I smiled and finally realized that I had missed them too.

That short exchange had shattered my entire life philosophy. I had seriously thought that if I seemingly forgot my friends they would never have made a difference to me. My mind was not an etch-a-sketch; I could not just shake something away and pretend it never happened. The friends I had made had always affected me, whether I wanted it or not.

Life is a lot like an erasable pen. You can erase your words and forget they were ever written, but they usually come back and find you. You can get over your past, and sometimes it is necessary. But everything that happened will affect you somehow. The stringy residue will still remain. An erasable pen is a metaphor for life. I believe in erasable pens.