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I see bright lamppost after bright lamppost illuminating the dark night. It’s a starless summer night in late August, a week before I had to return to school. There was a slight breeze hitting the back of my head blowing my straight hair in all directions around my face. His index finger swept across my cheek and combed the loose locks behind my ears. We stood on the maroon cobblestone path positioned between the soccer field and the ticket office. In the distance, the ebony-colored gate separated the silence of the St. John’s campus in Queens with the busy street of Utopia Parkway. Slight streaks of muted yellow and red emerged from the top of an iron pillar. The base of the mast was covered with dirt and the rusted pewter of the post shone through the old chipping paint. My teary eyes were barely able to perceive this tiny light glowing. It’s almost midnight, and all the new college freshman are out and about looking for a social scene to attend on the first night of their exciting new experience.
I’m still standing there unable to get the courage to approach him with open arms as I felt tears building up. It was dark, but the gleam from the lamppost made it possible for me to see the opaque sclera of his eyes and the sparkling white smile; the smile with a slight gap in his two front teeth—a bit imperfect, but real. The space between us shortened as we inched closer and closer. We approached each other at a steady speed reaching out towards one another. He slowly pulled me in, placing me in his muscular arms, and squeezed firmly, but not too assertively. The jet-black cotton T-shirt smelled of fabric softener, Downey brand, the same familiar scent from childhood. My breaths were soft, yet heavy, as I felt tears beginning to build up again. I kept my eyelids shut with the hope that the tears would not escape. With our arms still intertwined, I slowly lifted my head up and opened my eyes. My warm, dark, mahogany eyes met up with his soft, spring-green eyes. Wrinkles on the corners of his mouth appeared, his round cheekbones raised, and his eyes squinted slightly. In an attempt to make this moment a joyful one, I mimicked him. I was not going to leave without making this a good good-bye. In a way, Holden Caulfield had the right idea—needing a good good-bye is essential in order to move on to the next stage in life.
To most, a lamppost is a structure used to hold a lantern in place with the intention of lighting roads, footpaths, parks, or other such areas at night, as UrbanDictionary.com defines it. It’s merely a way for one to see where he or she is going, what lays ahead.
It takes away the fear of the darkness, the unknown. Light gives people guidance. A lamppost is lonely, standing in a position, often looked past. We must have been just like that post, solitary, stuck in that specific moment. Lampposts are sad good-byes—the kinds of good-byes people avoid. Not only are they sad good-byes, but a good good-bye. Lampposts are the unknown, the darkness. It is the smell of Downey fabric softener, the spring-green eyes looking at me with assurance that all will be okay. It is the tall figure in which I put my arms around and cannot release. It is the only thing I had left of my years back, my memories. The lamppost speaks the words, “I’ll see you soon. I love you.”
Walking away, the light gets smaller, and I realize, I won’t be seeing it again.





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