Last Sunday I sat on the fire escape eating a late breakfast, and this Sunday I sat on the fire escape and got a last moment additional “Goodbye, I love you” as I watched my boyfriend walk to the train on his way to the airport. Time flew by, and I wasn’t ready for it. It’s my last day in the city, and I’m still not ready for it.
Saturday was supposed to be an easy and relaxing day, we got up early, made a plan, and then started from scratch when nothing in that plan went accordingly. He got pick-pocketed on the train, and I ran into a major snafu with my travel plans. We spent the day replacing the contents of his wallet, ensuring he could still depart a mere 15 hours later, and trying to sort through the sudden red tape I was faced with. Fortunately, we’re a good team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly the leisurely last day together we had planned, but in its own weird way, it was actually kind of perfect.
Last semester, I wrote about how lonely NYC made me feel. That in a city of 8 million, I felt like the only one. I then continued about my subway ride, where a girl was silently crying to herself, and the man in front of her reached out his hand. She grabbed his hand, without even making eye contact, and silently cried, while he stood there caressing her hand with his thumb, just a simple reminder that he was there for her. Between the lack of sleep, the misfortune he was facing, the frustrations I was facing, the sadness of knowing we were about to say goodbye for three and a half months, a few other third party factors, and walking everywhere in the rain—I just couldn’t hold it all together, something had to give. We got onto the subway, I sat down, and just started to silently cry. He came over, stood in front of me, held out his hand, and let me cry, while letting me know he was there, and I wasn’t alone.
It had come full circle. Months ago, it was exactly what I wanted, and months later, it is exactly what I have. We’ve had a five month roller coaster of up’s and down’s—did nothing normally, told each other we loved one another before even dating. Now, he’s in Asia, I’m leaving for Africa, and in three and a half months we’ll be moving in together.
It’s my last night in the city, and I’m still not ready for it. Granted I’ll be back in three months, but I still feel it is the end to a chapter—the transition is over. When I come back in September, it will be to something established, to someone, to friends, to familiarity. The adventure (and at times nightmare) of starting over is, well, over. I have an established life to return too.
Now, I finish packing up my apartment, and prepare to celebrate my 22nd birthday tomorrow in Burlington with my best friends, and the week remembering why they’re my best friends.
Hasta el otono, NYC. See you in September.