We Shall Return

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Today the sky matches the mood. It is gray and full of sadness. The rain pours down, making the tears and raindrops one. Three yellow school buses line up on the dirt road, but today these normally bright buses look dull and uninviting. Their presence is like a punch in the gut, is overwhelming and invasive. We walk past them, like enemies in the hall trying to avoid, eye contact. They don’t belong, and in the end they are going to be what takes us away from this place. The slight anger towards the buses boils within me, as I realize my anger is not really at the bus.
We slowly walk by, embracing the steps that were often forgotten. We feel the weak pebbles below us, and finally understanding there frailty. The mood surrounding me is full of sadness, and the rain increasing really doesn’t seem to affect anyone anymore. Each step towards my village is filled with reflection. My eyes try to grab everything possible, as if to capture it all in a scrapbook not leaving any detail out. I look around at the people that have become my family, and the place that I feel more familiar with than any place on earth, and I sigh. For the first time in seven weeks, I don’t hear screams of joy or laughter. I do not hear the sound of the little girl’s rain boots against the puddles. I don’t see the smiles that brighten my day. The atmosphere is different. One step at a time I lower myself down this familiar trail disguised by mud. The rain pours down, the trees blocking some of its wetness. My fear of falling is lessened knowing I have people behind me who would catch me. What happens when that all disappears?
From a distance I can pick out my tent. The windswept tent that looks fragile enough to collapse at any moment. It suddenly looks like a reflection of me. My tent flap is opened in one familiar motion, but just enough to duck in my trail of wet rain boot prints follows me closely. Taking them off would be pointless now, no use trying to keep it clean for the animals that will inhibit it by tomorrow. I stand in the middle of our platform aware of the bareness. The packed up trunks, and sheet less beds. I feel a chill run through my body for the first time as I become truly aware of my soaking clothes. I rotate around in a full circle, slowly taking my last look. My body is trembling now, with a combination of emotion and chill. My feet stand firm and unwilling to move, as if to rebel. My feet and mind finally agree, and slowly I turn to make my last exit. My hand reaches for the flap and for a second I pause and lookout at the gray day. Among the grey abyss my eyes are drawn to the little yellow hammock barely hanging on between two trees. The same bright yellow hammock that my friend and I spent hours putting up, only to have it flip us over. Its color is no longer that same, and it really does not seem as exciting as it use too. It seemed to belong, so I let it be; just like I wish we could. I let it rest where my memories on it are most fond. It sways in the wind, and I once again remember the endless days on it. The wind slaps me in the face as I finally take the last step out of our platform. I look over my shoulder as if someone is going to yell if the tent is not completely closed. I laugh to myself, figuring is does not matter anymore, but doing it anyways. The tent next to me is filled with parents and siblings loading the summer’s worth of living supplies into a car, trying to make small talk with the friends of their children. Their smiles seem artificial, and the laughs seem unnatural. They don’t understand I say to myself. The cars roll over each rock as if to be a mountain, and we follow them closely not wanting to let them go. The tears begin to roll as the rest of us walk in silence, carrying our backpacks to the big yellow buses. Our legs keep us moving forward, but our brains are saying otherwise.

People are cluttered around the buses, yet no one dares to take the step on. Even the young ones fear that once they get on their return may not be allowed. So instead we congregate outside of them in the rain. I hug everyone around me, and say my last goodbyes; Still refusing to admit that my time here is up. It’s 10:30. I don’t have a watch on, or even really care. The director makes his rounds, pleading people to get on the buses. Counselors comfort the young campers, who have no desire to leave. They are pried away, like baby cubs being taken from their mother. Their faces filled with grief and sadness. I turn around one last time to see my counselor Dylan. We look at each other in disbelief, it’s over. As we embrace for the last time he whispers something in my ear. “You are one of the most incredible people I have ever met” he says with a smile, as if to hide the tears. The warmth and familiarity of his voice warm my body, as I stay in his arms. We unlock from our embrace only to truly look at each other for the last time. I process what he has said as his words stick to me like glue, I will never forget them. There simplicity holds meaning that explode within me.
Like lead weights on the ground our bodies don’t move. Our eyes wander from person to person, never seeing so much grief, yet understanding it completely. We begin to migrate closer to the buses, although the fear of taking the first steps is still there. It is time. We can no longer try to avoid it. The director rants about the parents waiting, and the bus driver schedules. The realization that we cannot stay washes over everyone. As the ground below us begins forms a one way path to the bus. My feet hit the first step as the tears begin to run down my face like an endless stream. It comes from deep within, tears of pain and sorrow. They run down my freezing cheeks, as my crying continues and exhaustion sets in. As the bus rolls away, my eyes begin to shut, as tears continue to run down my face, as if in endless supply. I cry for the people I will miss, the memories I have made, the place I call home, and the uncertainty of return.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback