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It's Our Turn - If chocolate doesn't last, then nothing does

I've always had this thing about chocolate.

To me, it has always been absolutely perfect.

No matter what was happening in my life or how bad things were, there was never anything wrong with chocolate.

But after finding an old chocolate bar in my room and biting into it expecting a smooth rich substance to envelop my mouth, I found instead, a hard, grainy board and I realized that not even chocolate lasts.

But if chocolate doesn't last forever, then does anything?

I've always held onto the fleeting hope that I would never have to leave, but, like chocolate, my days are quickly counting down.

I know I have been preparing for the day, but I'm not ready.

Yes, I've been taught everything to get to this point, but what I really need to know now, I don't know. And the things I've been told I should have in life aren't lasting forever like they should.

I was never taught to say goodbye, but I was taught that a sturdy foundation is needed to build something strong.

In that sense that is what my father has been for me. He has made sure I had everything I needed and never a crack or bump were on my ground.

I was never taught how to pack up a life, but I was taught that walls are there for protection and guidance, like my mother always makes sure there is food on the table and beds to sleep in - keeping me safe no matter what.

I was never taught how to be alone, but I was taught that roofs keep the mistakes in life from adding weight to my shoulders, like my brother has always taken the blame and done the hard things first.

I was never taught how to start again, but I was taught that colors brightened every mood and bring joy, like my little brother always gives me a hug and makes me smile.

I have not been taught a lot of things, but I know that these four simple things are essential when making a house, and even more important when making my family.

Alone, they are nothing, but together they are the most important things in my life.

A roof needs walls to stand on, and walls need a foundation to build on; family needs one another.

So why does it inevitably fall apart one day?

In one week and five days, my walls will come crashing down, my roof will fly away, my floor will melt and my colors will quickly diminish.

I'll be starting a new life, on my own, in college.

I know it's inevitable, and I dread the moment.

I dread the moment because I will be alone and I don't know what to do.

I don't know what I will do without my mommy. I don't know what I will do without my brothers and my daddy.

But I also dread it because I won't have as many chances.

I won't be around to hug my little brother every day or tell my mother I love her. I won't be at home to make amends with my older brother or get to know my father.

I won't have the chances to do what I know I should but haven't done enough.

The days are dwindling down and I keep asking myself: "What if."

What if I had made that other decision? What if I had taken that other turn? What if I had enjoyed those little moments?

I can image my life completely different; imagine it with the walls staying in place and the roof still over my head. I can imagine it with chocolate always staying sweet.

But truth be told, no one even knows what becomes of a what if.

I will never know what could have been, I only know that I can make the best of these fleeting moments and hope to not regret anything.

Because nothing lasts forever, not even chocolate.

So as the walls on my house fall down and the colors disappear, I'll slow them down for a moment, and make sure in 10 years I won't be asking myself: "what if."

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"It's Our Turn" is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.