The Last Night
The last box is packed. Tonight is their last night in town and summer decided to behave itself for this very occasion. The sky is something to see at dusk. An orange popsicle swirling above their heads. The temperature is just right. A breeze as refreshing as a sip of ice cold lemonade on a day with a dehydrating sun.
They hold hands as they make their way down the village avenue, down the familiar cracks on the sidewalk and past the benches in the small park with the wobbly tree. They walk by the local movie theater, a coveted spot for the new generation of young teenagers looking to spread their wings on a Friday night. At the red light, they wait to cross the street to their frequented sushi bar, which is right next to the cafe where they first met. But they have plenty of time for nostalgia later.
With a suitcase of setbacks between them, just like others in life, and even less than those who have or who’ve had it worse, which is a guaranteed truth, no doubt about it, they know they are growing up a little bit more as their steps etch the pathways in their hometown on their last night. Home is like a language, engrained in memory, whether conscious of it or not. And yet, the same can be said of their new home in their new town. Life makes room for all of that. For the searching and the settling, and the settling some more, and experiencing the experiences that are stretched out in front of them.
It will still be here, he says, a sliver of heaviness hanging in the space between them.
I know. Whether we are or not, it will always be here. She moves her hand over her heart as the light turns, and they cross the street.
Come on, he says. Let’s go.