I stand on my parents’ driveway waiting for my friend, who has forgotten what house I am after so many years away. It’s so quiet and I remember many other nights like this in high school, waiting for some boyfriend or friend under the light, looking up at the sky and thinking those thoughts all teenagers think about the stars. There’s a tree in the way now.
She finds me and we go to our old favourite high school hangout, which I’m not too proud to tell you is a Tim Hortons’ parking lot. It’s different now too. Louder, busier. People showing off their cars and honking for no discernible reason. My friend tells me it was kind of like that when we were in high school but what I remember are quieter times, room to spread out and make a pathetic attempt at playing hacky sack. On this night we find a corner far away and sit on the curb and drink our coffees and talk. She is leaving for Europe for the rest of the year and while I’m excited for her, the fact that I’ve known her over half my life means I will miss her every day until she comes home.
She drops me off at an hour appropriate for 31-year-olds and I take my dog for a walk. I look at the different levels of grass and the sound of my shoes is the loudest in the world. I stop and strain my ears to hear another sound but there isn’t one. I feel the way I always feel in the suburbs at night, comforted and so very small, all at once.