“Today is the day,” I said to myself as I sat up in the hotel bed. “The day I get back home to Clayton.” Clayton is a relatively small town in east Texas. It had been seven years since I had moved out and today in the late summer of 2020 I would be back. My plan was to stay at my friend Bill’s house while I moved into my new apartment and prepared for college.
Bill and I had been friends since I moved in next door to him. He was two grades behind me, which meant he is going to be a junior in highschool. Every so often he came up north to visit, we usually just played sandbox games and our friendship stayed strong through the years.
After a six hour drive, I finally arrived. Bill and his parents greeted me at the door and we went to the living room and reconvened for a while having been about a year since we had last seen each other. Later on we went to the local barbecue place for lunch. We arrived and seated ourselves, and the local cats, felines not women, came and greeted us followed by the waiter. I ordered my usual barbeque pork sandwich and they ordered their food. Then we all went to wash up. Ten minutes later our food arrived, hot and steamy as usual. My sandwich was barbeque pulled pork in a bun oozing out in a similar fashion to a sloppy joe, and it was the best food I had tasted in a long time.
Afterwards we went back to the house and prepared to go to the neighborhood pool. This was a normal summer thing in Texas since it was a refreshing way to cool down and pass the time. Since I wasn’t an official member of the neighborhood yet, I was their honorary guest. I had fondly remembered swimming to the deep end when I was younger although now, at five feet deep, it was only up to my armpits. Next feeling nostalgic, I walked up to the water slide and slid down. Unexpectedly my feet gently brushed against the floor. It was inevitable, I was tall.
I proceeded to swim around and meet up with Bill and we leisurely walked circles around the pool and discussed ways to spend our time before my first semester in college, such as playing the new Nintendo games and possibly doing a Let’s Play together to make some easy money. Eventually walking circles became boring we decided to swim laps around the pool. Bill was much faster and had to slow down for me due to my inexperience. Eventually the day came to a close and we all walked back home and took in the fresh air by the neighborhood lake on the way. Then checking the mailbox, which only held junk mail, before turning the corner to our road.
Once home we dried off and changed for dinner. We went to the local Italian place and I ordered my usual pizza dippers which were mini pizza slices circling a cup of marinara. Over the meal we discussed my rent and other terms and conditions. We settled on what I found to be a reasonable price and terms too.
After dinner we all prepared for bed and called it a night. I layed in my new bed and slowly started drifting off. Ahead of me was four years of college, a job, my final house, and a long life and for the first time in seven years I finally felt like I was at home.