Friday, May 20, 2011

Ciera's Last Day

I woke up at six in the morning. It was difficult to say the least. Ciera's apartment was humid and cool. The air was thick. Everything creaked. I walked to the kitchen. As I did, the hardwood floors felt solid under my feet—real and tangible. I felt how they warped, made a dip by the front door and gently rose again. It was odd. The gray light and white walls felt so familiar and foreign. It was the last day in Boston. I looked outside. It was cloudy, warm, light rain. The trees were a bright green. The green that can only come from a rainy spring; a crisp clear-breeze running down red brick building lined streets.

I ran to the car and pulled up out front. The drive was going to be long and hard. We tossed in 4 bags—the remainder of Ciera's belongings. She was having a tough time leaving; I wasn't surprised in the least. Nothing about the day was a surprise. We had been talking about it for months. We knew the day was coming and we did everything we could possibly imagine to make the move easier.

It wasn't easy. The air was still; electric with the emotions of four years of experiences and people. Each step was difficult for Ciera. Every step she tried to hold in the moment, tried to re-experience everything that had happened in that space. We gently woke Beth and Lexi, said goodbye to tired and fatigued eyes. Beth whispered a goodbye, Lexi just put her arms out and gave us hugs. Ciera headed for the door, but was briefly pulled back for a second goodbye.

I pulled away. I turned to her at the stop sign and held her hand. She started crying—sobbing and exhausted. We drove in silence for a while.

“Say something.” She implored between breaths.

“I don't know what to say. It sucks. And it's going to suck. This is not supposed to be easy or fun. And it is going to hurt for a while. And you can't hold onto it because no one is going to stay here, even if you did. It is the end and there isn't a way to prolong it.”

I felt helpless, cold. My words didn't comfort, my words didn't show her how much I was trying to make her feel better. “But there is good news. You will keep in touch with those you want to. You will see these people again, they are part of your life now and we can always visit.”

I mused on my words, I hoped they were true because I wanted so badly to prolong the magic. I was looking ahead to my graduation. I was seeing where I would be in four days. And I hoped that I was speaking truth. Friends don't disappear just because college ends.