Sep 07


How can this all be over? We just realized how good we had it, and now we're about to lose it all. 
I used to say that I was happy being alone, but really, it terrifies me. Every moment I spend hiding out in my own mind, alone with my thoughts, I feel the weight of every mistake I've ever made fall on my shoulders. I shake with memories of embarrassing moments of my third grade awkwardness, and feel the absolute inability to move past it. 
So why am I out here alone now, wasting precious time when I could be with them? The sunset is almost a metaphor for our fleeting time together, and I'm staring it down, stone-cold, willing it not to move past the horizon. Stay. I should go inside, spend these last few days squeezing in as many words as I can, laughing as loud as possible, saying everything I need them to hear. 
But instead I'm waiting out here with my dread, hoping some crazy twist of fate will occur at the last moment. It won't. I know I hope it won't. They have to leave. 
"It's Natalie." Rowan stands tall, his shadow covering me. I didn't hear his footsteps on the dock, but I guess he came looking for me. 
"It's Rowan." He doesn't look at me. I don't look at him. We both stare at the sunset, and I know we are thinking the same thing. How many more times will we be able to greet each other in our signature way? I already miss his carefully quaffed hair and squinty smile, but I can't let myself delve into the future like this. I'm sure that Drake and Lor aren't far behind him, but I don't look. I can hear Lor's whispers, not so much a whisper but a breath of a word. 
"Hi." Lor is right there, and I can feel Drake's quiet presence next to her too.
We are all watching the sun set, slow, but we know it will be gone soon. 
"So-" Lor begins, but I interrupt. 
"I don't want it to set." I stand, my back to the sun now. "I don't want-" My voice breaks. I catch Rowan's eyes, then Lor's, then Drake's. 
We stand for a while like that, each knowing what I meant, and each silently agreeing. In the morning we will all be apart, the sun will have set, our timer will have run out. Each of us will be crossing the country in a different direction having no idea when we will see each other again. 
Drake lets out a long breath. 

No matter what, the sun always seems to set. 
The timer always seems to run out.