The Student Publishing House of Townsend Harris High School

The Starling Press

The Student Publishing House of Townsend Harris High School

The Starling Press

The Student Publishing House of Townsend Harris High School

The Starling Press

About
February 13, 2024
About Page Text
February 12, 2024

Time into Ink

Time+into+Ink
Ms. Levine

Some days she writes down everything she can remember about her past life in her notebook, just in case she forgets, just in case time steals them away from her like time has stolen away so many of her memories. Some days, she flips back on old notes, scribbled thoughts and lavish memories that she can only imagine being a part of, and today she does. 

Yesterday, she wrote about that day she turned seven, and her mother made her her very own birthday cake that year, done up in beautiful swirls of frosting and luscious strawberries dipped in chocolate shining like rubies. She remembered almost being too afraid to eat that cake, terrified that she’d never get to see that same kind of beauty again. 

The day before that, she wrote about her father, her strong, courageous father. She hated to admit it, since children weren’t supposed to play favorites, and she felt like she was betraying her mother, even now as an adult and her parents both buried underground or floating in heaven, but she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t closer to her father than her mother. It shouldn’t have been that way, since her mother was the one who raised her for the most part, who taught her the best qualities of boyfriends and how to spot red flags, who taught her how to channel her anger into an art form rather than screaming matches, who helped her when she got her first period, who made those birthday cakes for her year after year. But her father, as little as he was around since he worked in an office an hour away while her mother worked from home, managed to hold a special place in her heart. Maybe it was the gifts, maybe it was the days he pampered her and learned how to tie braids on YouTube just so he could do hers on weekdays when her mother had too strong of a migraine to do her hair.

Oh, what she’d give to see her father again—it had been sixty years, and every single moment of those sixty years felt like a moment too heavy, a moment too lost, a moment too much.

Some days, she’d read more of her entries, as if that could spur her memory to produce another one of those ever-dwindling moments. But today, she knew exactly what she could touch upon, what was perhaps her strongest memory. She couldn’t fathom it ever being lost to time.

Her pen touches paper, and she writes. She writes about the days. She writes about the nights. About the struggles and the rewards. About the fights and the making-ups. She has sixty years worth of content to spill on that paper, and it’s a miracle that every second of it remains encased in this ball of untouched memories.

She writes about her best friend, the friend that helped her when her heart was shattered into shards of glass when her father died. The friend who took her hands within his on those cold winter nights as they played in the snow when they were little. The friend she loved to be with, who she spent nearly every second with in school and at home. The friend that she had fallen in love with since the day she danced with him in her backyard because prom didn’t deserve their presence. The friend she never shared this feeling of limerence with—and never can.

She writes down that first feeling of butterflies in her stomach when he touched her hand so gently as they danced, writes down those months where she fell like raindrops falling during a thunderstorm. She writes about his smiles that she felt like were sometimes reserved just for her and his hugs that remained platonic. She writes about him, she wonders if he ever felt the same way for her that she did for him, she wonders if maybe he had and she was too afraid to share it. How different everything could have been if she wasn’t so terrified to tell him—she trusted him with her life, but this was one thing she couldn’t share. And at the end, she writes about the day he left. 

And some days, she wishes she hadn’t survived the pain of time wiping him away from her life. Some days, she wishes time had taken him away from her memories like everything else.



Bio: My name is Sydney and I’m a freshman graduating in 2027. I started writing in fifth grade with fanfiction and have expanded to longer works of fanfiction, short stories, and novels.



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About the Contributor
Ms. Levine, English Teacher and Advisor
Ms. Levine teaches 9th and 12th grade English and is passionate about creative writing. She has experience as a freelance writer, has published creative nonfiction essays and is working on a novel. She hopes to help students discover their voices and help nurture a new generation of writers.
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