It was only big enough to hold the bed, desk, and dresser, but the closet was half the size of the room. My trunk fit into it along with everything else I brought with me in my father’s van.
My mother asked me if I wanted her to unpack my things but I would only be able to find my stuff if I unpacked everything myself. Plus my mother unpacking would delay the inevitable.
With the van empty, my dad hugged me, kissed me on the cheek, and said, “Be Good.”
I waited for my mother to cry but she didn’t. So I didn’t either. With both of my parents in the car I waved goodbye but could not force myself to smile. All I really wanted to say was, “Don’t leave me.”
My mother would say later that she’d never seen me look so sad and she actually felt guilty for leaving. But they did leave and first break wasn’t until Thanksgiving.
I went back to the smallest room in Brewster. I lay on my bed and cried. I felt ashamed for not being strong enough to not cry. When I told a friend that I cried when my parents left she didn’t even blink, “Everyone cries the first night.”
So no matter what our backgrounds we all had something in common.