Finals are ending, and everyone is leaving. Yesterday and today, I hung around friends as they packed up, cleaned, and carried their bags of belongings down the stairs and out the door with the broken lock to their parents' waiting cars. I carried bags and boxes for them, met their mothers, and trailed after them as they tracked down RAs to check out. I watched from the side as they surrendered their keys and became suddenly unattached to the rooms that had been their homes for nine months.
Free, unburdened, they skipped down the stairs, leaving their final footprints on the dark green linoleum. Outside, the rain fell on the verdant trees. It is still falling. The sky is shrouded in soft gray.
I should be studying, but instead I am typing this, and remembering the goodbye hugs--the "I love you"s--the "call me"s--the "I'll miss you"s. The empty rooms feel barren like trees in winter. Their doors are shut, locked, but the emptiness seeps out. . .
The elation of those going home lingers in the hallways like perfume.
I can't wait.