The highlight of my spring semester of my junior high was visiting “the boys” as I like to call them. My roommate, Jenni, had moved out in December so my “safe place” at school no longer felt the way it once did. I had two great roommates in the other room – they were my friends and I knew that I could talk to them without judgement. But it was not the same to me, for a few reasons, and I began to sink.
January started off all right and I kept myself busy enough to get through each day. But as the semester slummed on, so did my heart. Prayer, phone calls – both wonderful, but I did not have a safe place any longer. There was no one with whom I had built up the right type of relationship with yet; it is a very unique and rare relationship and I should have started doing this before Jenni moved out. I can’t explain these friendships, only that the person seems to know my needs without me saying a word, but they let me say the words anyways.
Occasionally, I found myself driving down to Fullerton to visit Corey and Luke. Sometimes it was planned; other times, I would text Corey at 8PM and ask him if I could come over for a few hours. Whenever I went home for a weekend, I would make an excuse to stop by for even a short visit, which was fair because they literally lived thirty seconds out of my way.
The twenty minutes to their apartment always felt short, as I was filled with excitement. Even sitting on the couch watching New Girl was fun as I relaxed and let myself forget about APU and the feelings of stress and loneliness that I was trapped inside. Anxiety begone. Their apartment was my new safe place. I remember once that I stopped by to visit Luke on my way up; all I did really was play on my computer and work on homework. It didn’t matter. It was enough.
My move out from school was difficult and stressful; it was bittersweet for the people. But no longer was there a safe place in my apartment so it was easy to walk out, saying goodbye to the oven in which I baked my heart out of stress. I was only relieved to be done.
Last week, as Serena and I walked out of the boys’ apartment, my heart fell. Last night, as I got into my car to leave Brea, my heart fell again. I would miss my random drives to Fullerton and Brea. I would miss the boys’ apartment that I affectionately called their “man-cave love-nest;” it was never dirty enough to be called a “man-cave” alone.
You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way again.
– Azar Nafisi
This quotation sums up exactly how I felt both times I left. I did not feel this when I left Azusa this semester. But Fullerton with Corey and Luke…. no, I will miss who each of us were these last few months. I will miss their bromance; I will miss New Girl watchings; I will miss that a little apartment in a creepy complex could make me feel so safe. I’ll see Corey again, obviously. I will see Luke again, of course. But never again will I allow myself to be sad in their wonderful little apartment and feel the heaviness fade away. It was a place where I was safe to feel sad. It was a place where I felt safe to be me, without worrying about how it was affecting others or my friendships with others. It was a safe place.