Graduation

By , Bozeman, MT
You could hear us laughing a mile away. Everything takes on a whole new meaning when it’s summer and your laying in the yard with your best friends. Even the littlest things could make us burst out in laughter, Emily’s neighbor who always sang in the shower oblivious to the fact that he was serenading the whole neighborhood, the ant struggling with a cheerio twenty times its size. I love these moments, I live for them when every second is magic and there isn’t a single place you would rather be.
I’m sitting here now wishing I had appreciated those moments more, because they are fleeting like everything in this life. For some reason I just never thought that summer would end it was so perfect there was no way God could be cruel enough to take it away. But alas he did, and today when summer is on the cusp of coming back in its warm generous glory something even more precious is disappearing from my life as well. Today was their graduation. I have always had the same friends, and they are all a year older than me. I immersed myself in an illusion where they would never leave.
Last summer, different from every other. We could drive. We would roll down the windows and scream at the top of our lungs It’s a Great Day to be Alive by Travis Tritt. The sun feels twice as good when you know the engine purring under the hood of your first beat up car can follow it across the sky. Usually though our cars, all named by now, took us to the river. There are not even words to explain the ecstasy of jumping in that cold water when the roar of it closes in over your head and all you can hear is the pounding of water beating the earth.

They all look so excited in their robes, a new chapter opening in their stories. I can’t help but hate them for it, because I know while they are down there hugging each other they forget about me. Seated in the stands with their families the first pang hits me, come September they wont be there. I wont look up from my locker and see them galloping toward me yelling some obscenity. The thought of finding new friends is terrifying; I’m so comfortable with them. What if someone else thinks my love of tonic water, or cows, or obsession with grammar is just to weird. I breathe, they are down to the Z’s, deep breaths, I can’t let them see me crying when I go to congratulate them.

They are done, no more names. Looking down I see them all throw their caps in the air. Thrilled their lives are starting. I make my way down the bleachers already knowing there is no hope in keeping back the tears. I see my friends, my other halves. They are smiling so much I can’t cry, I can’t cry. But I do, when they wrap their arms around me in the most urgent hug we have ever had I feel the silver tears sliding down my cheek. I see them hit their robes.

Its last summer, and were biking. There’s this abandoned house it looks as old as the prairie surrounding it, we always joked we would move there and today we decided to go see it. The kitchen still has baking soda in it, and old newspaper litters the floor. That day all I could think was, “It’s a great day to be alive I know the suns still shining when I close my eyes...” It was the happiest I have ever been, and even though time takes my other halves and I down separate paths all the memories are magic and I wouldn’t trade them for anything because when I think about them I know in that moment there wasn’t a single place in the world where I would rather have been.





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