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Hold On to the Memories (They Will Hold On to You)

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Allura could not believe how late she was.

A whole five minutes wouldn’t have normally made any difference, as her senior class at Garrison Academy consisted of more than a thousand people. Platt City was by no means a small city, which unfortunately meant that traffic was particularly bad on the first day of school.

Luckily for her, she managed to pull in just as the masses outside the sprawling campus were being let in. She parked in her designated spot, reserved for the previous year’s student body president. Grabbing her bag, she hopped out of her sleek black-and-while convertible and took a deep breath.

“Hey! Allura!” She looked up to see Lance, calling to her from across the quad. Students milled around, and her main group of friends had gathered by the front fountain, the most desirable spot in the school.

“Hello Lance! Happy first day!” Allura smiled, secretly hoping that Lance had gotten over that hopeless crush on her that he’d had in previous years. Before she could make a snide remark, he began talking.

“I just got my schedule, it’s awful this year! I have six classes with Keith, of all people, and only two with Hunk. You and I have the same lunch period though, so that’s good.” Allura smiled again, taking in who was in her crowd this year.

It seemed like she was still on top, with Lance as her second-in-command. James Griffin and Nadia Rizavi were still there, sitting next to each other and sharing a box of candy. She spotted Lotor, the school’s playboy “Emperor”, sitting on the other side of the fountain with Sendak and Throk. Unlike last year, Allura didn’t see Acxa, Ezor, Zethrid or Narti. At the end of junior year, Lotor had publicly outed Narti, and she had gotten attacked. The incident had left her blind and mute.

Needless to say, the school’s “Generals” had stuck by their friend, and were now congregated on the steps across from Lotor, cementing their place as the second most popular group in school. Acxa was shooting her cousin the evil eye, and the rest of the girls were ignoring him. He didn’t seem to care, instead flirting heavily with a cute boy who Allura seemed to remember as Curtis.

As soon as she finished taking in the view of the quad, a hand snaked onto her shoulder and a kiss was planted on her cheek.

“Shiro!” Allura tried to make herself sound as cheery as possible.

“Hi babe,” crooned Shiro. He was good, Allura would admit, at faking this thing they had. Despite their lovebird attitude, their whole life together was a lie, conceived in ninth grade to disguise the fact that both of them were gay.

Shiro was uncomfortable telling his parents, who he thought might not be happy with his sexuality. And Allura? Well, she couldn’t possibly tell her family. She was the mayor’s daughter, and there was no way that would look good for publicity. The college she had gotten into, Arus University, was notoriously traditional, but it was one of the best schools in the country and there was no way Allura wasn’t going to go there.

So, they decided to fake it. And their little charade had grown into a big secret, especially when Shiro started secretly dating Adam. After that, Allura had sworn that she would find someone as well, so that Shiro didn’t feel like he was getting a better deal.

Enter Romelle Clayton, the transfer student from Colony High. She had immediately captivated the legions of people at Garrison Academy, rising to become the captain of the soccer team and the second-in-command of the Model Congress, which Allura happened to be president of.

There was something about Romelle that captivated Allura, and the two became fast friends. But in order to be together, they had to stay in separate social circles and act like they didn’t know each other.

Over the summer, the two had gone on vacation to Japan together with Allura’s family. There, underneath the fireworks over Tokyo, Allura considered telling her parents about who she really was. But she’d paused at the last moment, and decided that she would wait one more year.

This year was the year, and by god was it going to be long.