I still remember this night as if it's a dream.
A concert, splitting summer right down the middle. July 15th, 2018. A Saturday night that hung heavy with humidity. Everything had felt slower-paced that day as if the urgency of life had suddenly been erased and we could all just simply breathe.
We had arrived at the venue just as the sun began to set over the hill, painting the skies in soft pastels. We wore in bright-colored sundresses and cowboy boots that were a few sizes too big. At dusk, the music started. I remember a million fireflies dotting the sky like Christmas lights as our favorite song filled the air. I looked around at my best friends. The girls I spent nearly every waking moment of the summer with, and suddenly the perfection of it all made me afraid.
Two weeks. That's all the time we had left together. Soon we would be off in our new worlds, meeting new people and building new lives that were separate from one another. My heart was sweltering with the weight of what I was losing, and goodbyes have never been my strong suit. But at the same time, I caught myself smiling. How did we all get here? It still seems like a miracle to me that we were lucky enough to find each other and to be able to change each other's lives for the better. So, at least for the rest of that bittersweet night, I tried to just be thankful.
I remember belting out the lyrics until I was sure my voice was gone. I remember being hoisted up onto broad shoulders to get a better view of the stage. I remember the lights, the band, the cowboy hats, the luminous yellow moon, but most of all I remember feeling thankful. Rather than looking at this as an ending, I tried to see it as a beginning. The beginning of a promise, that no matter where we end up someday, we would always have each other. I felt just as sure of it that night as I ever had before. This was never going away. And although it might never be exactly the same again, this night would still simply be. Never touched or changed. It would remain the perfect picture we saw behind closed lids that night as we laid our heads down to sleep. A perfect memory. I'll always think of us like we were on the 15th of '18.