I heard my mother. Just wasn’t sure I understood. “College registration isn’t happening. They’re closing the doors.”
Most people go to college. I lived for college. The love affair began when I was 8, when my professor aunt invited us to visit. We stayed in on-campus housing. Every year following, I spent summer and school breaks roaming the halls, nosing through books in the musty little library, exploring the lush grounds and hunting lizards.
I began tagging along with the (I thought) sophisticated college kids. I couldn’t wait to attend, following family tradition. In fact, I didn’t wait. Whenever we visited during session, I sat in class, starting at age fourteen. Professors let me read materials and take quizzes. I aced them…much to the professors’ amusement and the “real” students’ dismay.
“Actual” home was a let-down; I cried for days after we returned. (Looking back, this depression was sort of pathetic, but I was a sensitive kid.) I home-schooled through my last two grades, completing them in a year. I missed a prom and all the fun of senior year, but I was single-minded. College. Can’t wait. Won’t wait. Let’s go!
Freshman year was unbelievable. My head was full of new ideas; my heart full of new experiences. And, of course, there were guys. Mature ones. (Ahh, my rose-colored lenses…) My high school boyfriend never saw it coming, poor thing. Out you go.
Sophomore year was even better; the school moved, thanks to a merger, and we all lived in off-campus apartments near the beach. Bliss. My grades were..less stellar…second year, but I had SO much fun. Not the “I don’t remember last night because we drank ourselves to oblivion” fun. Just good, clean, real. I know now that we didn’t actually have utopia, but I wasn’t part of the darker society circle. The place was an organism, binding our souls. Friends forever. No, family.
We parted in May with hugs, wide smiles and good intentions.
Only three months until our happy reunion in the sun.
But then, my mother called.
Lies. Infidelity.Merger redacted. School is closed.
It’s August. Pick a new school.
We didn’t have Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat. No texting. For that matter, no cell phones.
We never expected this. Most of us hadn’t even exchanged contact information. Where will my friends go? Where will I go?
I chose. I went. Lost, devastated and alone, I arrived at the new campus.
Then…I saw you. Tears and hugs and thankGodyou’rehere.
We can start over. Be happy.
Maybe. We’ll see.