I am back at the Lowes Hotel, which is the hotel we stayed at on our first night in Nashville. It is probably the most opulent hotel I have ever stayed at in my entire life. As I lay in the in the giant, queen sized bed buried underneath the pale, soft blankets, I can’t help but feel out of place. I have grown so accustomed to my smaller, twin-sized bed back at the dorm that this newer bed feels strange. In fact, not being in my dorm room right now, sitting in a comfortable silence blogging while my roommate watches One Tree Hill on Netflix feels strange.
Today was a very melancholy day as it was the day everyone left Vanderbilt. I watched as my fellow VSA camp members filed out of the dorms, luggage in hand and tear-stained cheeks flushed. The usually crowded university seemed to slowly grow more and more empty.
I spent my last night at VSA in the dorm of two of my friends who were roommates. They hosted a sleepover for the girls in our little group. We stayed up late into the night gossiping and playing games. At some point in the night, I just stopped what I was doing and looked around at my friends. They were all smiling and laughing and carrying on as though it were any other night. My smile faded when I realized that this was the last night that we would be together in a very long time.
My sadness only deepened when I woke in the morning to my friend gathering her things. I hugged her good-bye and told her to keep in touch. She smiled and nodded her assurance that she would do so before she left; the other members of my small group did the same.
I was the last one in my group to leave. I walked over to my room after saying my final goodbyes to my friends and collected my things. I paused with my back to the room before exiting. I turned around and examined the room that had been my home for the pass three weeks; there were no more clothes strewn about the floor and the beds looked naked without their unmade sheets. The room looked lonely and desolate instead of warm and inviting, like it did on the first day.
I closed my eyes and swallowed the lump that had formed at the back of my throat. I grabbed my luggage and the rest of my bags at left, walking the halls of level 3 in Hank Ingram for the final time. I took the elevator to the fourth floor, where I met a crying Hannah, a sad-faced Yessenia, and an ambiguous Chris. I rested my suitcase against the wall, bent down behind it, and silently cried.
It was 11 when Mr. Mannix came to pick us up. It was nice seeing him after three weeks. It felt nostalgic, the four us being together again. We lugged our multitude of bags down to the parking lot and he helped us mount them into the rental van. We drove to the hotel and checked in our bags. After that, we went to eat lunch at this Jamacian restaurant, which I really liked because it was something new.
Now Hannah, Yessenia, Chris, and I are sitting in the hotel room, each of us typing away furiously at our keyboards, stopping occasionally to watch some Spongebob Squarepants. We have much to discuss with one another, so I predict that we will be up late filling one another in on our experiences. I look forward to having girl talk with Chris once again after such a long time…
|My Jamaican Lunch.|