The opening notes of the little-known country song play out from the speakers above her. Her eyes widen and she halts her speedy running across the open soccer field. Recognition flashes through her face and she leans back slightly.
It has been three years since she last heard that song but she knows every single word of the lyrics.
She remembers herself young and innocent. She remembers herself cunning and malicious. She remembers herself stressed out by troubles that pale in comparison to what she faces now. She remembers herself fierce and defensive. She remembers herself radiant, iridescent.
She remembers herself loud and obnoxious.
She remembers herself exactly as she is now, except for one thing. She remembers herself being unafraid to be those things.
She remembers her rather strange obsession about Czechoslovakia.
She remembers a time quite long back when she was four when she had to have stitches on her head and was screaming for ice cream.
She remembers first hearing that song. The second after it was over she replayed it and called her best friend.
She remembers singing it off-tune for ages after that.
She remembers screaming the lyrics again and again, at school and at home.
To others, it was a random clichéd love song. To her, it was her world.
She remembers the year after she found that song.
It's one thing to be forced apart from your friend. It's another knowing that it was entirely your decision to walk away.
It's another regretting it bitterly.
It's another knowing that the bridge back there has been destroyed forever. It's another knowing that they don't want you back.
(Well, it's possible to go back. Just like it's possible to take a luxury vacation in space. Do you have two billion dollars?)
And then she solved that problem. She grew familiar with her new surroundings and almost everything was perfect.
But then everything broke again. And that was worse than the year before, because it was completely unexpected.
And then everything was magically fixed and it was alright again. But that was the worst year.
And now she sighs. Because now her innocence has faded into naiveté. And she's not sure she wants either.
Because successes and epiphanies never last forever. You pick yourself up in a time of adversity, a feat of tremendous courage and determination, and it feels like the greatest thing in the world.
How long does it last? Three minutes.
One battle won, nine hundred and ninety-nine left to go.
And they keep cropping up. They keep appearing in unexpected places. She realises that the only way for satisfaction to last forever is death.
But is that what she really wants?
And that's just another example, that realisation which makes her seriously euphoric.
So she simply stands there, listening to the song end and the chattering of those around her, relishing the feeling that despite the fact that she's not exactly the most outspoken or popular person there, she belongs.
It's a funny feeling.
And she knows that when all of this is over, her little, tiny, insignificant realisations aren't going to if change anything, and they're still going to look at her that way, and their expectations will make her absolutely miserable because she can't live up to them, but if they last for three minutes, she's damn well going to enjoy them.
It's time to show the world just what we had in mind.
I don't have the slightest doubt that we will pass the test of time.
Disclaimer: The song is Forever (Since that day) by Matt Vrba and I don't own it.