This was their spot. It wasn’t anything special to anyone else, but they liked it. To the West were cornfields and the turn rows where they would spin their tires and dig ruts into the ground; there was a stretch of highway to the East, where they would sit atop the sound wall and watch the cars go by, talking about anything and everything under the sun. Right in the middle was an open field of grass where they would play football and baseball, all year round. This was there they had congregated, for the better part of the last four years.
Soon, however, adulthood would begin to take hold, and life would pull them in very different directions. Their college graduation was two days away, and this very well might be the last time Trevor and Brian would be here together. It was a thought Brian had successfully dodged for the majority of this last year; until now, that is.
The two of them sat perched in their usual spot on top of the sound wall, crows flying above and cars zipping by below. The conversation had slowly ebbed to a trickle as the reality of what graduation meant began to strike Brian.
Trevor leaned back and stretched. “What’s on your mind, dude?” he asked nonchalantly.
Brian shook his head. “Eh; nothing, really.”
Trevor snorted. “Bull. I’ve known you since grade school, you can’t fool me. You’ve got something stuck in your craw. Out with it.”
Brian smiled briefly, then his face fell. “I don’t know, man, I just…graduation is coming up crazy fast, and it’s all just starting to get to me.”
Trevor cocked his head. “What is?”
Brian shrugged and sighed. “All of it. The anxiety, the fear of what’s next, the…grown-up-ness of being out of school forever and having to fend for ourselves. And to top it all off, we’re all going different places as soon as we get out of those gowns. Sure, we’ll all be having parties and stuff, but after the celebration is over, we’re all moving to places around the country, and some of us around the world, to pursue our dreams. I don’t know, it just…I never really thought about what it meant to move forward from this stage of our lives. I guess I never thought about how far apart we all would be.”
Trevor nodded silently. Brian awkwardly waited a moment for him to respond, and then continued.
“It’s like, we’ve spent all this time in this bubble, and now we’re all leaving it and going different directions. Soon enough, all we’re going to have is our memories. We’ll all be too busy with our lives to do even pick up the phone and talk to each other.”
Trevor shrugged. “What’s so wrong with that, man? That’s how life is. I’m sure we’ll still get together now and then, at least for old times’ sake.”
Brian sighed deeply. “But things will be different.”
Trevor laughed. “They kind of have to be. Things can’t stay the same forever. I mean, even now, all we have is our memories. It’s not like we’re out there doing any of the crazy crap we used to do. We’re not having a giant bonfire right now, or racing four-wheelers through the corn rows, or skipping classes to drive to the city and catch a show. Life is all about the memories. You never really have the right now or tomorrow; it’s all yesterdays.
“Look, Brian, in the end, all we have is a lifetime full of yesterdays. I guess the definition of living a good and full life is having more good yesterdays than bad ones. I’d say we’re doing pretty good in that regard; we have a ton of great memories. It’s the kind of stuff lasting friendships are built on; those are the things that transcend distance and difficulty.”
Brian nodded and ran his hand through his hair, and Trevor continued.
“Even when things are tough, we have the choice, the chance, to make a conscious effort to be good people, and to do things worth remembering. We can be places and be with people that we want to remember. When I’m on my deathbed, I want to be able to look back fondly on all of my yesterdays. Even the difficult ones, like saying goodbye to good friends.
“People come and go, dude, and it’s normal to miss them and to feel that happy kind of sadness when you think about them; you know, that feeling where you feel like you want to laugh and cry at the same time. That simply means the time you spent with them was worthwhile; it was a good investment.”
Brian tossed a blade of grass lightly into the air and watched it float down towards the road below them.
“I guess I know all that, but I still feel kind of pent up and anxious about it all. I mean, here we are, about to graduate and go our separate ways. I want to move forward and live my life, I really do; I want to explore what the world has to offer, but…but even more than that, I want to go back and do it all again. I don’t want to leave this part of my life. I want to stay here, and live it again, to experience it all again.”
“Well, you can’t. And even if you could, it probably wouldn’t be as great as you think on the second go ’round. You can only ever go forward. What you can do, though, is take it all with you. You can treasure those memories, wherever you might go from here. Hide it all away in your mind, and keep these things safe; that way, you never have to lose any of it.”
“Unless I get dementia,” Brian quipped.
Trevor shook his head and grinned. “You ass. even then, these things make you who you are, whether you remember them or not. You ain’t getting rid of us.”
Brian arched an eyebrow. “You’re really kind of a sappy little bastard, aren’t you?”
Trevor reached over and shoved Brian off the wall onto the grass behind them. “Whatever, dude; you started this whole conversation, so I could say the same, or more, about you.”
Brian laughed. “Fair enough.”
The two of them went silent for a moment as they turned their attention to the highway once more. After several moments, Brian coughed.
“You’ve really thought about this a lot, haven’t you?” he asked.
Trevor shrugged once more. “Meh. I do a lot of thinking in general. People tell me I think too much; I’d like to believe it’s in all the best ways, though.”
Brian stood and dusted himself off. “I would too; I hope you’re right about all this yesterday business. C’mon, we should get back. If we’re late for the team dinner, Coach will have our asses.”
Trevor rolled his eyes. “What’s he going to do, cut us from the team? We graduate this weekend; we don’t even have another game for him to cut us out of.”
Brian chuckled. “True, but do you really want to see Coach Rick pissed off?”
Trevor was quiet for a second. “…good point. Let’s go.”
The two of them jogged back to Trevor’s car and sped off.