Daydreams - Alaia Singh '17

I've come to believe that our worst enemies also happen to be our best friends. My dear companion and dreaded foe has always been lurking by my side since before I could tie my shoelaces, attacking me playfully in times of emotional distress and willingly keeping me company at the peak of my boredom.Though we don't hang out as much as we used to, he is still my best friend. No one knows me as well as Daydreams.

I really love Daydreams, but I wish he was more respectful of my personal space. His persistence has been both a bounty and a curse. He barges in uninvited and drags me along with him to visit several new worlds, often against my own will. These worlds are, both, different from the world you and I exist in, and different from each other. I don't have the courage to explore these unknown alleys of the possible future or even the knowledge to get around these boggling streets of endless likelihood, contained in these new worlds, without Daydreams’ guidance.

Daydreams knows that I especially like to visit Amsterdam with my olive-skinned Arabic boyfriend, and sit by the picturesque canals sharing waffles topped with whipped cream--all during chemistry class. Daydreams also knows that listening to the song ‘Eye of the Tiger’ takes me to a setting where I am doing something of great accomplishment --be it scoring the winning goal for the  soccer championship, or delivering a motivational speech that forever changes the course of human history. Moreover, Daydreams doesn't need a frantic text message or a shaky voiced phone call to infer my emotional misdemeanor.

I am in awe of Daydreams’ commitment to our friendship. Though Daydreams’ subtle suave and irresistible charm has a giddying effect on me, he has also gotten me into a lot of trouble. My teachers and parents didn't understand--and still don't--just how convincing Daydreams was and continues to be. Daydreams’ perseverance never seemed to be a valid excuse for my missing homework assignments or my messy room. Eventually I got tired of defending Daydreams’ innocence and mine.

I began to realize Daydreams wasn't like me. He didn't have obligations and commitments. Daydreams didn't have to make a future for himself. He didn't experience heartache, anger, and the piercing feeling of loss because in his world he would always be the director of his destiny.

Daydreams who had been my lifelong best friend was now beginning to seem like my worst enemy.

To be fair though, Daydreams always showed up for me during tough times. He didn't offer me the conventional shoulder to cry on; instead, he offered a shoulder to jump on and then flew me away to escape my melancholic reality. Daydreams helped me climb Mount Everest effortlessly, fearlessly swim in the  frightening depths of the azure ocean; and thus he gave me the confidence to walk up the podium the second week of being at my new school, in a new country and have sixty new faces glare at me, not quite able to understand my accent, as I recited the lyrics of ‘NOT AFRAID’ to conclude my vice presidential speech. Daydreams continuous prodding and unsolicited interruptions made me realize just how much I wanted to call home and hear my dad's reaction when I told him about the success in my most recent venture.

Though most people see him as a distraction, robbing me of my true potential, I see the good in Daydreams. I see his truest intentions are to inspire and foster my imagination. Daydreams constantly  reassures me of all the endless possibilities I could translate into reality--forever inspiring me to do it because I dreamt it.

Driver's License - Dylan Richmond '18

I walked into the well lit and old-people smelling basement of the church for the second time in my life, hopefully the last as well. From that moment on I forced myself to smile for the next hour, trying to win over the old familiar face that had dashed my dreams only a couple months ago. This time I knew the ropes and seated myself in front of the makeshift desk while  keeping that constant smile. She asked me to fill out some information and I did. I moved to prepare to take an eye test; however, she told me that because I had taken it last time, I did not need to do it. I was handed two sheets of paper and told to wait in the car.

As I sat waiting in the car, I probed my brain, searching for pieces of information to remember throughout the test: how to use the parking brake, turn on the lights, left and right signals. I knew that I was prepared, but I was still worried that I would forget. She emerged through the basement door. I smiled at her my most charming smile. I was received with a neutral face. She stood in front of the Buick Park Avenue Ultra and barked orders at me.

“Left signal. Right signal. Lights.”

She walked around to the back of the car.

“Left Signal.”

I hesitate. I don’t know why.

“Left signal” she says again.

I do it.

“Right signal.”

She seats herself in the passenger seat of the car and orders that I put on the parking brake. I do it. Then she asks for the papers I had been handed just a few minutes ago. I hand them to her. She tells me that we are good to go, and I say okay. I grab a hold of the gear selector and move it casually downwards like I had done a million times before and I slowly released the brake so that I would smoothly pull out of the parking space. Except I’m not pulling out. Instead, I begin to go backwards. The opposite way of what I wanted. At first I act like nothing had happened and calmly move the gear selector to drive, but it is too late and she tells me to stop and breathe. My heart is going about as fast as a NASCAR race car right now, and I let out my breath that I had unintentionally been holding for a long period of time. This time I successfully pull out from the parking space and exit the parking lot.

I remember when my brother got his driver’s licence on his first try. He was happier than Uncle Sam on the 4th of July. When I asked him about any tricks that I could use to help me pass, he said that he had just talked to her like any normal person and even thought of presents that she could pick out for her grandchildren. This was going to be my plan. As soon as I got on the road, I began to ask her questions about her day.

“How many tests before me had there been today? Is it usually busy during the summer or the winter?”

Finally we got around to her grandkids and I instantly jumped on it.

“What were their names? Where did they live? How old?”

Then it turned out that one of the grandkids played lacrosse. Now that was something I could really hop on. I told her that I also played lacrosse and began to hammer her with more questions, but with ease and politeness.

“What position? How did he like it?”

I also slowly began to reveal information about myself as well. I said that I went to Hebron Academy and then we discussed about how diverse the school was. Finally she ordered me to do the dreaded command.

“Please parallel park.”

I calmly pulled up beside the car and began the maneuver smoothly. I put it into park. She said I could go now and I tried to. However I had parked so closely to the curb that I could not turn the wheels. I tried and tried again, but I just couldn’t move and was very frustrated. She gave me directions and only then was I able to get out. After that I knew there was only one outcome to this test. It was pretty silent throughout the rest of the drive. At a big intersection, I took a left turn and entered the wrong lane. Eventually we arrived back at the Church. By the time we got there I was feeling pretty down. My mind was shrouded with disappointment, and I could only think about how many things I couldn’t do without my license. I parked and the day felt gloomy, like Lucifer himself had ascended from the depths of hell and cast his doom over the land. Then she said the magic word. Congratulations.

Excitement and about a hundred pounds of burden was lifted from my back. After she explained all the official stuff, we got of the car. The bright rays of the sun struck my face, and a breeze cooled me down from the mind excruciating torment of the test. My smile felt a mile wide.  

And the summer was over.

And I need to get a car.