13-17 Group first place winner 2017

 

Rainbow for the Ages by Madison Rivas

At the library, I found a photo stuck between the pages of a book: it was
of two girls kissing with a rainbow flag around them at a pride parade. I
made sure no one was looking, and then I took the photo out of the book,
put it in my bag, and set off home, because something told me that it was
important.
Life had been a bit blurry for me after a car accident I was in when I was
17 that destroyed most of my memory. After that event, I found myself
questioning many things: what happened to my parents, what my teenage
and childhood years were like, and my sexuality, which meant I was single
and living alone in a shabby apartment.
I set my bag on the table and went over to the fridge for a drink so I
could take a closer look at the photo. I found it quite strange that a picture
like that was just sitting between the pages like a bookmark. I held it to the
light and noticed that one of the girls in the picture looked a lot like me. I
blinked so much my eyes hurt and looked at it again only to realize that it
was me: I was at a pride parade, kissing another girl, in this picture. I
suddenly blacked out for a second because all of the memories of that day
and that girl came flooding back to me.
"Julia," my mouth forced itself to utter. That name had slipped away
from me after the car accident and now I remembered how much I loved
her. I needed to find her, my one true love, again.
I opened my phone up to see when the next pride parade was coming to
my town, since that was my closest shot to finding her again. It said that
there was a pride parade coming to a nearby town in a week, so I waited
that week away, even though it felt like years.
When the day finally arrived, I dressed in my gayest outfit and grabbed
a rainbow flag that I bought the day prior. I hopped in my car to set off to it,
the photo folded neatly in my back pocket. I drove the few miles and arrived
to see a pretty packed parking lot. I stepped out of my car and took the
photo into my hand to try to match someone to the other girl in picture.
I had walked a while, and met some pretty amazing people, before I saw
a face across the crowd that made my mind click. It's her, I said to myself. I
had the guts to walk up to her and say hello.
"Haven't I seen you before?" she asked. I nodded my head.
"It's Harper," I said, "and you're Ju-"
I was cut off when she gave a big hug, so obviously she remembered
me. I never thought I'd see her again. She ushered a camera man over and
kissed me with the flag around us once again.