This past month or so has been the best in a long time.
Despite my financial problems, despite my senior status and the looming reality of graduation and final projects, I was so happy. My best friend, my soul twin, Christian, was back from South Korea. She studied abroad there for the past semester but came back for winter break. Since then, we’d been hanging out, goofing off, going on little adventures and making too many inside jokes to keep track of; making memories and new friends, buying ice cream and alcohol at ungodly hours of the night, and just living so hard that I felt as if I’d been dead for the past semester.
This is what I’ve been missing, I realized.
The past semester was terrible. I don’t want to go into detail because the tale has been told so many times already, but trust me when I say it was bad, and I am surprised I got out of it in one piece. At the end of 2016, I was cautiously optimistic, and then Christian came back and my whole world brightened.
I spent two weeks at her house before school started, laughing and resting and doing whatever I could to prolong our time together. She got me into yet another K-pop band, we binged Game of Thrones together, stayed up all night and slept all day. When it was over, we drove back to Jackson, and she ended up staying with me in my apartment for another two weeks. This was partly because she had stuff to do in Jackson and at Belhaven, the school we both go to, before she went back to Korea for the next semester, but mainly it was so she could see everyone again.
Because of that, though, it was harder to say goodbye this time.
No one expected her to come back for winter break. It was a long, expensive flight, after all, but her Grandfather paid for her ticket back to America. The day she knocked on my door, I felt as if everything in the universe clicked back into place–but with her return also came her inevitable departure.
For the past few days, I ignored the reality that she was leaving soon. I tried not to think too much about the rest of the semester without her there. Just the thought terrified me, because it felt so empty, so pointless.
Today, she had to leave, and there’s a hole in my chest that aches with every mile stretching between us.
I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye again.