I wake, the fingers of a dream still clutching at my shirt sleeve.
It’s my college graduation, but for some reason we’re at my old high school. Talented Beau who always has star roles in our plays is flying high above the brown cafeteria tables, hanging precariously from cables in the ceiling, Angels in America style. He’s the entertainment because an unexpected thunderstorm has driven the ceremonies indoors.
We’re in line to receive our diplomas, but Kim’s missing. She’s always just before me in alphabetical order. I know her dad is very ill and her absence drops a cloud over me. I’m worried.
I hear someone call my name and I stumble across the stage distractedly. Random teachers hug me, but none of my favorites is there.
There is no time. There is rushing around.
Suddenly I find myself in the car with my family, heading home to New Orleans.
“Wait!” I cry. “Stop the car! What about all my stuff, everything back at the dorm?” I yelp. All I have is the clothes on my back.
They meet my wild eyes with blank stares.
“We just figured maybe you’re better off without all of it. You don’t need that stuff.”
Maybe they’re right. Maybe I don’t.