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1:56 p.m.

Lana feelsThe current mood of xengirl at www.imood.com

Okay, it would appear that I'm wrong, not everybody abandons me. My friends don't. What I was talking about wasn't friends, it was Kat Ross in particular and 16 other older-sister/mother figures in general. Kat Ross, my dorm mommy from last year and general comforting always-there-to-be-hugged cookie-baking warm kind and loving presence, is leaving. She resigned, it's a good thing for her cause she's going to go be a lawyer and she wants that, but I'm going to miss her and it was really unexpected and it brought back years and years worth of being left behind back in one flash of traumatic emotion. 16 people who have lived with us and left to go on with their own lives, as I knew eventually they would, but I always looked so hard for somebody to love me and I'd always think that I'd found it and then they would leave and I'd never hear from them again and then a new one would come and it would be the same story over and over and over again.

Elivra, Vicky, Terry, Sherry, Meagan, Eileen, Ivy, Jolanda, Holly, Jennifer, Sandra, Linda, Juliette, Virgie. Three or four more whose names I can't remember. They'd come. They'd stay for a few months. I'd start to like them. They'd go away. Some of them, Terry, Holly, Linda, Sandra, I liked a lot. We were honestly friends, they liked me too. In Linda's case, we were very close indeed. And Kat found a place in that part of my heart, and now she's leaving, and it feels that way again and it hurt.

Everybody's leaving this year. Julian and Debs, Bronwen and Mike, Lisa, Kerri, Kat, Shawn, probably more that I haven't thought of to list. And Cesca, Mandy, Lila, Rachel, maybe Shaina, Meg & Sato and all the rest of the seniors. Everybody who's gone away before has promised to keep in touch. Vicky kind of has. Linda kind of has. I haven't heard from any of the rest of them since they left. Ever. Deb and Kat both say they'll keep in touch. I doubt it.

Suddenly I'm eight years old again, as close to in-love as you can be at 8, attached at any rate, watching Terry Hawkins walk out my front door and climb into a car, having managed to control my tears until the door closes, then I dive headfirst into the couch and cry until I can't breath, long after my eyes stop tearing. Suddenly I've just turned 14 again, and I lost my virginity a week ago and I spent the morning helping Sandra move all her things into her boyfriend's apartment, and it's 12:17 and he's ringing the doorbell, his fancy black sports car sitting in the driveway, and she hugs me goodbye and sees the tears in my eyes and says no, no, don't cry for me. So I try not to, and I smile and hug her once more and she walks out the door. It closes behind her on a big, empty house and I stand in the middle of the big, empty hall and I hear myself scream a scream like a dying animal and then I go upstairs and collapse in my window-seat alcove and I cry myself to sleep, alone. And suddenly I'm 15 and I'm with Linda and she's kissing me and I cling to her, my lips cling to hers and my hands cling to her shoulders and my heart clings to the tears in her eyes but we pull apart and I watch as she drives away with her friend and I don't cry because tears come from the heart and she's ripped mine out and taken it with her. Then I'm back in the Bar Fork and Kat's hugging me and trying to make me understand why she's going and I just nod and walk away. I've heard it all before. Terry was going to law school too. Everybody had something else they were going to do. I was just a little figure waving goodbye from a big front porch on a big, empty house, and then they drove away and I never saw them again. All my goodbyes.

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