It was the last night in our Alabama condo. The 12 of us gathered together for dinner. It was a last supper of sorts, one final and carefree gathering before the hectic two-month dash to graduation began.
The table was humble, the meal simple. Bread was broken in the form of frozen pizza and green pepper strips. We washed down the food with lukewarm beer and orange juice. Instead of a prayer, we shared inside jokes and rehashed forgotten memories from freshman year.
Yes, the weeklong sunburn festival was coming to a close, much like our college days. And after we waxed nostalgic, plans for the future were discussed. A sense of melancholy pervaded the festivities, a reminder that we were now firmly in the category of “lasts.”
I attempted to brush some sand off of my shin, gave up, and looked around at my friends. I stopped talking and tried to absorb the feeling, not wanting to forget any detail. I created a mantra in my mind: “These people are great. They are my best friends. And I will miss them dearly.”
Then I took a deep breath and a bite of macaroni and cheese, and went back to scrubbing at the stubborn sand.