It was an early spring evening when the shuttle driver dropped us off at a nearby strip mall. Most everything was closed, so we goofed off a little, running around the mall biding our time but mostly enjoying each other's company.
Still hungry, we walked into an open drug store. After playing with some of the toys, laughing at each other's antics, we found our sustenance for the evening: Ritz crackers and cans of spray cheese. For variety, I grabbed the can of cheddar, and he the bacon cheddar. It was dusk as we called for the hotel shuttle and sat on the steps in front of the store to wait.
We opened the cans of cheese and talked about how much fun the week had been and how sad we were to see it come to an end. We so wanted this week to last forever, and somehow in the future, we were going to make that happen. We sat close, but not too close. Much like during the week, as we talked we'd find ourselves suddenly lost, staring into each other's eyes, occasionally breaking the glance we both knew lasted too long. Amazingly, we still hadn't run out of things to talk about. We were giddy, enjoying the boredom, and more than content in each other's company as we sprayed cheese in each others' mouths.
Occasionally our hands or knees would briefly touch pulled away before it got too weird, but long enough to send a shock wave up my spine. We'd catch each other staring, and look away when caught. Ignoring the unanswered tension building, we were both amazed at how our friendship had grown in such a short period of time, despite living over 1,000 miles apart.
We hopped in the shuttle van and back at the hotel, we chatted into the night before finally falling asleep as close to the edges of our two beds as we could be, our arms dangling wishing to touch.
It was early in the morning, and his plane left earlier than mine, so we hopped off at his concourse. For seven days, we'd spent every moment awake and asleep together. But our time together was quickly coming to an end as he delayed boarding as long as he could.
At last call, we got up and looked at each other. We hugged each other very tightly, but not too long as our hug morphed into pats on the back. We made our plans to hang out after the semester was over. We waved goodbye one last time, and I watched him walk down the jetway until I could no longer see any part of him. For the first time in a week, I was alone. I grabbed my backpack and began the long walk to my concourse. I wasn't prepared for how much I'd miss him, mere moments after we parted. The longing was almost unbearable when I was suddenly self conscious and aware that there were other people were around. For the first time in a week, it was more than the two of us. Suddenly back in reality, I couldn't remember ever having had that much fun with anyone in my life. And I haven't let myself since.