Words Left Unsaid

“We made it. It’s hard to believe we’re here,” Anna said to me, draping the tassel correctly over my mortarboard.

“I know. Yet here we are, with the student loans to prove it,” I joked, trying not to focus on the solemnity our black gowns were supposed to impose.

The June day was beautiful as we milled with our fellow graduates on the brick pathways and green lawn in front of Towers. I looked around campus, trying to avoid the eyes of my best friend, but the realization that I’d never again be a student in these venerable brick buildings had the effect I was trying to avoid.

“When do you leave again?” I asked Anna, as if I didn’t already know the answer.

In response, she grabbed my hand and said, “Nothing’s going to change, except for the state in my address. You’ll come visit.”

When I look back at the picture taken of us that day, frozen smiles and forced determination, I see a different conversation in our eyes…

“Come with me,” Anna seems to say.

“Don’t leave me behind,” I reply.

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