Warwick Library/ Finn Chadwick
Warwick Library/ Finn Chadwick

Greetings and Goodbye

We met, and no one really knew each other.
We had fun anyways, so it didn’t matter.
The rooms were nice, the kitchen smelled awful
So disgusting, in fact, it spelled university.
We were happy.
We met when the sun was up, sweatshirts tied around our waists.
We changed time. We made it ours
We partied until six and no one made a peak out before three We were free.
I would hear from the wall sometimes, the life of one I did not know
Filled with characters of whom I knew friend group, birthday and voice;
The second day, I put my hand against the wall, wishing the person in the bed beside me
Separated only by sound-not-proof bricks Would do the same.
I barely knew his name. I was lonely.

We learnt what it meant to be torn between two homes.
Two lives, two families, two very different familiarities.
We learnt independence and what it meant to be alone,
We learnt to tear up at the memory of the dog we used to own.
But after saying goodbye, and many dramatic speeches.
Little notes passed around to say how extraordinary we all were,
After returning to the childhood haven with scarves around our necks,
We couldn’t wait to come back.

Friendships formed whilst snow fell on the ground.
We drank coffee and studied and talked politics and family
We watched movies – and stopped watching to confide instead
We went out and not only took care of each other but sought each other out
We played and laughed and said the stupidest things
Yelled music out of windows of cars and other accommodations
We took pictures and videos – heaps of them – Eating, reading, working, sleeping.
We heard giggles. We remembered names.New names
Second names, parents’ names, friends of friends’ names, ex’s names
We cried sometimes and the first time was very impressive.
Instead of dramatic speeches, by the time flowers were blooming,
We smiled at each other as we said goodbye.
It was alone that I cried.

And then – well, everyone knows what happened then.
We grew closer, we grew fonder, we grew older.
Things got a little more complicated, but it was always good-natured.
Weasel the weeds out! It’s something one does at nineteen,
Or so it seems.
The people I hesitated to write down the names of in my journal,
Certain I’d forget them all in an instant, Are now my best friends.
First we built the structure, and then we built the bonds.
Being with the group always makes me smile;
And the people in it make my heart light and euphoric.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines?
Tonight I can write the sweetest words:
I love you all, so much.

The last night, no one cried.
It had been two years – we knew each other in and out.
A slight reflection on a roommate’s mind:
“Once she walks out that door”, said he, “we have no future plans. I don’t know when I’ll see her again.
No squash, no more surprise visits at Rugby Road;
No more insults and sarcastic bites.
It’s the first time that I truly – have – no idea when we’ll meet again”

We met, now everyone kind of knows each other.
We had fun, and it did matter
It mattered in those days when it wasn’t night and you didn’t go out,
It mattered in those days where you wanted to talk,
Or wanted to listen,
It mattered because after two years, Of loving each other hour after hour,
We had to say goodbye.
I am in the middle of a typhoon,
The weather is neither breezy, nor snowy, nor blooming.
Living a year abroad,
I barely know why I do know that I miss them, and them, I.



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