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My Song: How "Baby" by Justin Bieber Helped Me Reach Nirvana

Joined: 7/31/2012
Posts: 1
Seventh grade. We cruised through the year like high school seniors. Pencils tapping. Staring out windows. Questions, questions. Where are you going to school next year? Graduation. Cookout. All of this swirled in our minds like windstorms, gaining velocity as the year’s end approached.
This was our school, our show. Our grand finale. Some of my classmates had been here their entire school career, singing and dancing and acting literally since kindergarten. Out of all of us, they were the most excited. My heart soared for them because they’d finally be able to explore the world. A number of students were waiting for audition results from the sister high school, which promised hard work and adventure if they made the cut. Despite this, we were relaxing and enjoying our last year.
That’s where the dance came in. Usually I could skip dances without remorse, but this was prom. No one wants to miss prom. I was especially excited because it fell on my birthday. It’s so much fun to dress up and feel beautiful, and I spared no expense. My dress was a black and white floral number that ended at my knees. My hair was twisted into a complex updo, a labyrinth of braids that twirled and twined around each other. Add a short pair of heels, and I was ready to party.
At school, the air hummed with energy, and my body hummed with anticipation. There was none of the lollygagging usually seen at school dances; we were dancing in earnest a few minutes after the doors opened. The night passed in a blur, like dark smears of paint across a canvas just before you see the masterpiece within.
Sometime during the dance, everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. I beamed at everyone, absolutely sure the night couldn’t get any better. But it did.
The world is full of Lasts. There’s always the last smile, the last call, the last breath. Most of the time, we never know a Last is coming. But, while I was jumping and dancing in the crowd of my friends, I knew.
I thought you’d always be mine, mine.
At that moment, I floated. The music poured through me like a new heartbeat, and I felt free of the other bodies, of my fears about my audition, of the bittersweet pain of leaving home. I was one with the world.
Then I lost the feeling. Once more, I became a girl jumping in a crowd at a dance, and this would be her Last time to see all her friends in one place having fun.
The night ended, as nights are wont to do. I rode home with my eyes half-closed, a laminated star in my lap.
Arlena M., it declared in my best friend’s beautiful script. Happy 13th birthday! May 7th.
It’s the sole reminder from that night that I really was a shooting star, aiming for unknown galaxies.
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