They trek across the horizon, lugging backpacks twice their size. To the untrained eye, the small collection of ramblers appears purposeless in their slow though steady footfalls. As the nameless travelers bundled in neon-hued sweatshirts come into plain sight, their wind-kissed cheeks and toothy grins tell a tale I know far too well. By my calculations, they’re just moments away from their final destination: Starbucks.
In all of my 17 years, I have never felt more adult than during my journeys into town from Middlebrook. From selfies with hands wielding peace signs to crumpled white paper bags toting Scoops penny candy, these post-school day rendezvous defined my tweenhood. Bounding across sidewalks, the independence tasted nearly as sweet as all of the ice cream I’d buy with the mere dollars to my name; to feel so mature while making such rash spending decisions remains a paradox I’ll never quite understand.