By Nate Hromalik
A girl ran. Her immaculate flats pounded the pavement; her spotless leggings rapidly pumped as her modest skirt flapped well below her knees; her prim blouse defied movement as each button up to her chin stayed well in place while tucked into her pristine jacket.
A boy ran. His grimy sneakers cut the concrete; his tattered jeans flailed in the air as tears in the faded fabric revealed boxers that could be seen protruding from the rear as well; his baggy shirt swayed in the wind as it flowed around his grisly frame of bone.
Her forehead glistened as much from the strain of her hair being pulled back so tightly as from the velocity to which her entire body propelled. An unassuming book bag carried an endless amount of school supplies for an endless amount of classes and extracurricular activities. She had no purse. No lipstick. No makeup.
His forehead gleamed under a tangled strand of weeds that jolted with the same wild flaying as the speed at which his whole body advanced. One flimsy folder contained the entire contents of work he needed for the school day. His pockets were filled with more important commodities. A phone. A lighter.
She was sprinting early to her first period elective class where she wanted to ask her teacher a question before their quiz that day, so she could ace another class, one she was only taking to look good on a college application.
He was careening late to his zero period mandatory class where he needed to ask his teacher to excuse him just one more time, so he wouldn’t have to drop another class, one he was retaking.
Her eyes were red from spending many hours studying. His eyes were red for another reason.
These two sped toward each other faster, faster, until they both rounded the same corner—and ran straight into each other.
Foreheads crashed. Books flew. The two bodies sprawled on the ground, aching not only from the impact, but the stresses their inhabitants’ lifestyles created. This accident was the fated result of racing to an edge of reason.
Yet this story is a lie. While many people push themselves to their physical and emotional limits, hardly do such self-assured psychologies manifest to the point of breaking down.
The reason this story is partially false is because most teenagers (as well as people of all ages) move about in a constant state of confusion. While mostly people know what they want (or think they know what they want) there always exists a notion of tiny, yet unhinging, doubt.
Perfect people don’t exist. No one is completely certain of every action they commit. Whether cramming for a miniscule test in a class of little concern, inhaling chemicals forty years of medicine have proven deadly, or simply getting dressed in the morning, there is always a hint of possibility the choices people make are wrong. Thus, mistakes are made and lessons are learned.
But that’s the beautiful thing. While confusion is often frowned upon in society, not being of completely decided mind should be embraced: we are human and are meant to change, to grow. Indecision allows evolution.
That is why the next time you find yourself running to that destination, which is so important to arrive at quickly, I implore you to ask a simple question: why?
By Nate Hromalik