When I was young, I knew everything. Living in my ivory tower, writing. How the world worked, how to live life—and then she came crashing in. She was a punk, a kid who rarely took advice, who dyed her hair blue. Her with her bomber jacket, her epic tales of far-off war.
(Now I'm grief-stricken, sobbing with my head on the floor) With the sun seeping through. I woke up again, my hands shaking—
(No, I can't be held responsible) That night they were like diamonds, and I wanted to reach out and wipe them away—but she was holding her face—I won't be held responsible—
A word, and all my books went up in flames. Of course it would be winter, when everything's ice, snowball fights, that day when everything was frozen, the berries on the branches like little drops of blood, and we said—and for the life of me, I cannot remember—all those beautiful things we said—what made us think that we were so wise and we'd never compromise. For the life of me, I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins. Back-to-back, side-by-side on the Dome, standing looking over the city lights. We were young and only freshmen. We were merely freshmen.
My favorite author, he says, when you can't stop shaking, that's when you die. And my hands, I hold them in front of me and—my best friend, he took a week's vacation to forget about her—she lit a week's worth of candles and—now he's guilt-stricken, sobbing with his head on the floor, curled up on the floor he thinks about her—and he never really wept, he says—I never really wept, no. I can't be held responsible, because back then—she was touching her face. An angel. No, I can't be held responsible—
A lot of people in this school are like these doors, in this hall. Profound, green and sturdy bronze—but you move them easily, it's just a front after all. She said—I should have done anything, we were so stupid and I told her—but for the life of me, I cannot remember. What I whispered. What made us think we were wise and we'd never compromise? Now the first birds are singing, like how we hid from the world that dawn—for the life of me, I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins. Sticking plastic soldiers all over the walls, for them to discover, running down the Corridor just because nobody else was there. We were merely freshmen.
It's the absence that gets to you, really. The echoes through these midnight halls. Ghosts are silent and they never talk—about lasting relationships—lacking—and now we're guilt-stricken sobbing with our heads on the floor. Pointing out the stars at night, every night a different one. In my dream, we were walking across the river and it was frozen solid—we only fell through the ice when we tried not to slip.
Frozen. That night, when only the moon lit up everything, sitting on that bed, I should've reached out—I can't be held responsible—because she was touching her face—I won't be held responsible—
She fell in love in the first place.
And for the life of me, I cannot remember. Those times when time seemed nothing, the world could've ended if it weren't for you. When we painted the tunnels, when we got lost underground. When we talked. Promising, walking back across the bridge. Your voice—for the life of me, I cannot believe we would ever die for these sins. We were young and only freshmen.
We were only freshmen.
AN. Lyrics from The Freshmen, by The Verve Pipe