The Untold Stories of Eastern’s Senior Courtyard

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  As I pull open the study iron door, the dull monotony of the school day suddenly melts away. “I’ve escaped Eastern!”, I excitedly think. At least for a time.

  Standing under the vast, pure blue of the open sky, I feel as if I am one with nature. Half of me—the rebellious side—wishes that I could just escape it all, and just stay here forever.

  The Senior Courtyard; a place in which I’m forbidden to spend my free time. There’s a reason why 75% of the school isn’t allowed to be here; it’s probably the single-most tranquil, serene location on Eastern’s premises. Here, you can escape the crowds, confusion, and chaos that a school day brings.

  The allure of the central gazebo—the defining feature of the area—draws me inside. As I sit down on the creaky, wooden bench, I am presented with at least twenty iron plaques of Eastern figures who have moved on to the afterlife. Each with their own identities and stories, their memory will forever live on in this solemn place. 

  Day in and day out, members of Eastern’s student body find themselves here, but many of them never notice the plaques. Names of a bygone era in our school’s history, students likely only recognize around five names.

  A plum tree moves into my line of sight. Once teeming with life, it now fights for every second of sweet life, as summer says sayonara.

  With the refreshing morning breeze crossing my face, I sit and rest on the cinder block half-wall. As I take in my surroundings, something catches my attention from the corner of my eye. Inside a barren ceramic planter sits an expired container of orange juice. 

  My mind wonders; who would leave their trash in such a scenic area of Eastern? What is this person doing right now? What are their goals in life, and what are their problems? Do they know that I’ve just exposed their littering ways?

  The cackling cry of a crow permeates through the air, disrupting my thoughts. I watch, as it slowly flaps into the distance. In the direction from whence it came, I notice a towering piece of shrubbery that strongly resembles the shape of a human hand. The earthy palm faces towards the walkway, greeting the students, while the gangly fingers reach towards the sky.

  Little does it know that it will never achieve this goal.

  With a shriek, the familiar noise of the bell rings out across the school, signaling my return to the reality of school.

  While the school day comes and goes, I will always be able to appreciate the overlooked beauty of Eastern’s most prestigious lunch locale.