We share the same sense of humor. We share the same love of early morning breakfasts in a local soda shop. We share the same love of drives through the country, coffee in hand. And let’s be honest, I go with you for errands because you are way more likely to randomly stop off at Dunkin Donuts than Mom is. Sorry, Mom. We share the same fiery temper. We share the same heart–that one that loves deeply and then breaks, no, shatters with every strike. We share that dimple on the right corner of our mouths–the one that flashes in mischief when we think we’re being funny.
And we share that same love of the pen.
I’ve held these words in my mind for about three weeks now and it’s time they flow onto paper. Because you need to know: I broke down that day.
And we BOTH know I’m not about that life.
It was in the first days of May just before my college graduation. Right before the car. Right after years and years of consistency, living in this house with these people. In the mornings we rush out and face the day. In the afternoons we call each other. In the evenings we eat and try to get Mom to calm down about the dishes.
Three hours of sleep wasn’t unusual for a Wednesday and I was running on it as best I could. You picked me up after you finished work and we drove home. You turned on the mower and began to work on the yard while I sat on my butt. Two classes on a Wednesday PLUS chapel? Hardest life ever. As I was luxuriously sitting on my butt, my phone rang.
It’s funny how one simple text can make you go into a panic:
Abby: Did you get your [yearbook] yet?
Me: No…I thought it closed at like 8.
Abby: They close at 4…
It was 3:26ish and school is 20ish minutes away. This was CODE FREAKING RED.
I ran outside and called for you to stop the mower, “I need your keys! I have to go get my yearbook from school and they close in 30 minutes!”
This was apparently a very big deal.
You handed over the keys and told me to be careful, but something in your eyes screamed worry. I didn’t have time to think about being worried, but I felt awful for some reason. I hopped into the car and peeled out of the driveway, peering into the rear-view mirror long enough to see you come and stand at the corner of the driveway like you wanted to say something. But I didn’t stop. I just kept driving.
Seeing your face in my rear-view mirror is enough to completely break my heart.
But, more than that…it seemed too soon. How did we get to the days where I’m looking back at you? I asked for them. Begged for them. But now that they’re here. . .I’ve found they’re not really what I wanted after all. That’s a shock, huh?
I thought about that scene all the way to Bob Jones, crying over the steering wheel as I pulled onto campus. It had hit me at last: I have to adult now, but all I want to do is stay just a little bit longer.
For you? I’d wear those awful velvet, laced-collar dresses to go back and stay in the IHOP and “Butterfly Kisses” days.
And for the record? Thank you for those days. You made an impact on a six-year-old girl with a love for clown-themed pancakes.