Afterwards

On Friday night, I finished my last grad school assignment at 6:55 and Jeff arrived at 7 to drive with me to Omaha, Nebraska. We were going to meet his parents, meet his friends, see a free Bright Eyes concert and chill in the suburban-urban wonderland of the big O. By 8pm I was packed and out the door, but with a sneaking feeling that I hadn’t finished everything. I’d been expecting a huge sigh of relief to just flood over me. I was expecting instant enlightenment. Instead I just felt like I was going away for the weekend with too much on my mind. Luckily a brisk 8-hour drive was a good distraction (Jeff got pulled over twice, and acquired one warning and one ticket in the space of four hours).

Also a good distraction? Meeting his family, looking for the little facial features and behavioral quirks that run in his bloodline, then driving around Omaha and learning where [insert failed chain store] used to be. That night we went to the Bright Eyes concert… in the pouring rain. We huddled under an umbrella and watched the clouds swirl overhead. Afterwards we carvanned to the Village Inn (mmm… two-egg breakfast) with his high school friends.

By the time we got home on Sunday, Janelle was set to arrive in approximately two hours, just enough time for some dinner and driving Jeff home. Now Janelle and her friend Anne are here, and we’ve been having a lovely girly time listening to Anne play guitar, making dinner, drinking wine, shopping, wandering, sitting by the lake. They’re leaving tomorrow morning, and then I need to figure out what to do with this silent vacuum I’ll be living in.

I’m definitely not complaining about the coming silence. The last day was a mad chaotic rush to pack up my classroom, turn in keys, forge some documents and get out as quickly as possible. I saw some of my favorites who came back to say hello and pick up their report cards. (Ok, mostly to pick up their report cards.) Bridget was acting strange, hanging out with Shaquila in my room while I was trying to do my attendance records. (She hated me all year.) Ricky forgot to bring in the rest of his horror novel. Dajia and Brannick promised to write me emails over the summer. (I never had them as students, so I would be totally happy to hear from them.) I am left wondering why I sound so bitter and jaded, so raw, after such a short time, and hoping that those feelings fade as my tan lines grow darker.

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