I thought I could just slip out the door unfazed and unnoticed but you called to me…You told me to come back even after I thought we’d said goodbye. I thought I was done with you a month ago – nay, TWO months ago – but you reached for me and promised me you would hold me so I wouldn’t feel so lonely.
Athens, you’re breaking my heart. I don’t want to leave you! I know you’ll still be here when I’m gone but you won’t be the same.
Bars will turn over and buildings will change. There will still be students here and they will still go downtown and wait with bated breath while bouncers study their fake ID’s; they will still climb down the stairs in the SLC to hear the satisfying echo of their footsteps in the rotunda on the ground floor; they will day-drink on gamedays in the autumn sunshine; they will explore the botanical gardens and swim in the river in the springtime; they will run into each other in dining halls and catch up with acquaintances over lunch in between classes; they will congregate on futons in dorm rooms to watch movies. They will love each other the way I love my friends.
But they won’t be my friends. And so, you won’t be the same.
Neither of us will be the same. I can’t say what will happen to me, really, but it’s sure to be something, right?
I wasn’t expecting to feel this way. I never necessarily wanted this relationship with you…I wanted out of Georgia, out of the south (who knows what they want or don’t want at seventeen though, right?), but you charmed me as you charm so many and yes, maybe I settled a little bit, but you gave me so many wonderful things anyways.
You were simple and comfortable and I could navigate your bureaucracy. You were my bubble. You held my hand, nuzzled my cheek, and cried a little bit when you realized I really would be leaving. You assured me we would keep in touch but I still couldn’t hold back the tears.
It was casual, this thing between us. There are still so many ways in which we can’t and won’t connect (I will never, NEVER understand the Greek culture you so enthusiastically sustain), but you don’t need to be a perfect match to become attached. That’s been a big lesson for me throughout this ordeal.
My heart is broken and it really hurts, but they keep telling me it will all be okay…