I'm taking a train to London, then, on Saturday morning, I'm flying home. It's been 130 days since I got on a plane and found myself in England, nervous but excited to see a new place and absorb the culture. That day, I met Eugen, my crazy Romanian flatmate, who introduced me to the group of people that I would spend the next four months with. But, here we are, it's the last day. I'm not sure how to feel about it. I'm definitely excited to go back home and enjoy the superior weather, free food, and the company of my family and HBoO, but I have this really sick feeling about returning to America and having my group of friends, the best friends I've ever had, being three thousand miles away. It's a difficult situation to face, an emotional roller coaster with exciting highs and depressing lows. One minute, I can't wait to eat my mom's food, sleep in my own bed, and give HBoO the hugs she deserves, the next, I'm practically in tears knowing that I'll never be lounging in Flower's room air drumming to Rush and playing Civilization III until 6 AM ever again. I don't know how to feel...
The rest of this entry is dedicated to my friends who, unfortunately, I won't see for a long time (in alphabetical order)...
Amy: Fellow history student, one of the nicest people I know, and the butt of every racist joke that Flower, Oliver, and I can muster (Sorry!). As Mark always says, you WILL make a great mother one day, what with all the life advice, back massages, and stern talkings to that we get. I'll miss the face you always make when we suggest that you date Mark..:-)
Eugen: You crazy foreigner! Seriously, though, you are the most skilled person I know. If I ever need something assembled, cooked, or customized, I know exactly who to turn to. From the stuffed peppers to the cool lights in Flower's room, you have provided our group with all of the amazing gadgets, stenciled shirts, and delicious food that we could ever ask for. Whatever you end up doing, I'm certain you'll be great at it..:-)
Flower: Where do I even begin? From the music to the guitaring to the sarcasm to the video games, we have nearly the same taste in everything. We've been through hell and back together, from sleeping in subways during blizzards to confronting your parents about drugs, university, and life, we've been through it all. I know you'll figure your shit out, I'll always be there to help..:-)
Joe: There are too many cool things to narrow it down to a paragraph, so I'll just say the first things that come to mind. You are a sensible guy who knows what he wants. You are genuine, honest, and really really cool. Also, you have impeccable comedic timing. Remember when you had liquid in your knee and were absent for a few days? Punchlines ceased to exist during that time, only to be replaced with "I miss Joe!"..:-)
Layla: It's a shame you could only come up on the weekends, we missed you during the week. You and Flower are the perfect couple (awww), keep it up, because he really likes you. Enjoy Northumbria next year, and make sure to keep me updated on the group situation. You're my eyes and ears while I'm away..:-)
Mark: Marcus, Marcus, Marcus..what do I say? A social networking genius, currently with 706 Facebook friends. I've never met a nicer person. You are an integral part of our group, providing nonstop entertainment in the form of stories, drunken shananagins, and other Larry David type behaviours. I'll always remember, THIS. IS. SPARTA!!!!
Oliver: You sexy sexy bastard. You truly are a man beyond words. One of the few people on earth who is more offensive than I am, I don't know how you do it. One thing's for certain, you, Flower, and me in a room spells trouble for anybody within fifty miles..:-)
Zoe: Hiya! Are you alright? Upbeat, cheerful, and always regretting the night before, you are an awesome friend. I'm happy for you and Eugen, I hope everything keeps on as well as it is. Hanging out with you was a real treat..:-)
There's more, of course, but I lack pictorial evidence at the moment. To Stu, Cheskah, and Jordan, you guys are awesome as well. I wish we could have hung out more. All the parties were tons of fun, and I hope to hear from you in the coming months. Have fun, and stay smart..:-)
Well, there you have it, a tribute to my friends. I love you guys, it won't be the same without you..:-)