Just a Phase

Every Friday, I leave seventh period chemistry and breathe an ecstatic sigh of relief. It is finally the beautiful weekend. I want to jump, cheer, celebrate; but with what? Usually, the answer to this question is an iced sugar-free hazelnut latte with whipped cream. As I begin to dial a friend’s number to join me in the trek downtown, I freeze. It is Friday at three o’clock, and going to downtown Andover now would mean one thing: Middle-schoolers. Hair-straightening, North Face-wearing, black eyeliner sporting, ridiculous middle-schoolers. One cannot travel past Ultimate Perk without being bombarded by them. They travel in packs to the downtown feeding ground on Fridays. After getting permission from Mom, they carry backpacks that are bigger than their bodies and stand in their groups, gossiping loudly to each other while simultaneously texting on their cells. The girls giggle at each other in their skater shoes (as if they could even stand on a skateboard), while the guys, with their chubby cheeks still unmoved by puberty, take the last sips of their jumbo Amp drinks and carry on conversations while only making eye contact with the girls. It’s quite the scene, especially because after a while, they all look the same. Eventually, you will notice them everywhere. The movies, the bowling alley, the supermarket, coffee shops, and even at my own house: piles of Coolatta cups and pastel colored North Faces loiter in my hallways like mall rats. And please inform me, when did babies started drinking coffee? If it doesn’t actually stunt growth, it definitely stunts individuality and free thought. As if seeing them clutter the sidewalks on Fridays is not enough, I get to see their documentation online. Thirty different photos of the same “selfies” in an album entitled “Downtownnnn