75 days is a long time to be away from home, but 730 days is even longer.
For two years I have lived at school pretty much year around. Occasionally I would go home, for a day, a weekend if I was lucky. The last time I have been home for more than a couple hours was 75 days ago. The weekend of September 14th to be exact. The only reason I could remember this was because it was my best friend’s birthday.
I worked with her mom for a couple weeks trying to plan a surprise birthday party. She was turning 21. I told a few of our other friends from high school, the few that we talked to anymore, and I got a few of them to go. I drove home and we successfully pulled off the surprise party, but it just wasn’t the same.
Things have been different since I stopped coming home all the time and it breaks my heart. Thanksgiving weekend is the first weekend of the school year where everyone comes home from college. Where I am from, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is known as “Valley New Year”. I was asked if I was going out, but being the person that I am, I kindly denied the invitation. I just wanted to sleep and relax, it had been a while since I have been able to do just that.
That was one day that I turned down plans. Not only did I just really want to sleep, but it was snowing and it is one of the biggest bar nights of the year. Technically I didn’t even turn down plans considering no one wanted to go out anyway.
Obviously with Thursday being Thanksgiving, it was a big family day. Everyone spends time with their family and does their own thing. I understand that, and it gave me two days to see my friends and when you look at it two days isn’t a lot of time. I sent out a group text about hanging out with two of my best friends, and it didn’t go as planned.
Both of my friends said that they were good for later on Friday. One had to work, the other was going shopping, okay, I didn’t want to get up early anyway. I had to go see my grandparents and my aunt, so I had plenty of time to waste. Then it came time to leave my grandparents’ house and I hadn’t heard from them, so I texted them. I was giving them from the time I left the driveway to the time I got to the highway in the town they lived in. I heard nothing. So I choked back the tears, and drove home.
I felt like I had been stood up. As soon as I got home one of them texted me back. I told them that I had just gotten home because I wasn’t going to drive around Derby all night until someone answered me. If they wanted to come up to where I lived, by all means, but of course that never happens. Later on they tried to make plans with me again for Saturday. I said if they wanted to do something just let me know, I wasn’t going to waste my day driving back and forth between where I lived and where they lived. Eventually we came up with some plans.
From the second one of them apologized for blowing Friday off because she wanted to spend time with her boyfriend before he left, I knew it wasn’t going to be the same. I hadn’t been home in three months, to me it felt like she had seen her boyfriend or even talked to him more in the past three months than she had me. I never heard from her unless I texted her first, and even then there were possibilities of her not answering me.
When I first left for school, we talked every day. She would love that I came home all the time, and we would see each other every time. Then I started staying over the summer and I just never saw her anymore. I would ask all the time if she would come up and visit, and she always said yes, but never did. Even now, I ask if she would come up and never does, even though she says yes.
There are a couple things I have learned over the long weekend. After you move away from your home, you move away from everything. Things become distant, mostly people. You aren’t there, and people find other things, other people.
I realized that when we finally went out and went to dinner, things were weird. The entire time pretty much she spent it on her phone texting her boyfriend. My other friend who had been sick for at least a month could barely talk without having a coughing fit. He and I talked more than she did. When we were coming to the end of dinner, the question about walking around the mall came up, and she said she had to get home. Barely talks the entire time then has to go home, okay. I understand, I’ll take you home, I didn’t have an attitude about it, I wasn’t upset I was just going to do it. I took her home first, before my other friend. After I dropped her off, we ended the night with a hug that said, “I miss you a lot, and I’ll see you soon” but other things didn’t make me believe it.
On the two and a half minute drive it took me to get to my other friends house, we had a better conversation than we had all night. I haven’t laughed so much in a two and a half minute period in a long time. When I got out of the car to hug him, his hug said, “I missed you, I can’t wait till you get back” and I believed it.
When you move away from your home, you move away from your friends, the life you are used to. You come into a different life with new people, new friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your friends behind and forget about them. Your best friend is your best friend for a reason, and it breaks my heart to think that she may not be my best friend anymore. You would think that when your best friend comes home after so long, the first thing you would want to do is see them. Apparently not anymore. I don’t know what to make of this and I don’t know how to fix it.
I guess the only thing to really do is accept that people move on, and move on yourself. Things change, and people change. Always keep them in your heart, and maybe one day they’ll turn around and realize what has happened. It is going to hurt at first, and you may have to fight with emotions, but eventually time will help heal. Do things that keep your mind busy, and eventually it won’t hurt a much. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt as much to let go as it does to hold on.