Green drink-stoppers and blood. Also other things.

It was licking the foam off the green drink-stopper from a new soy chai from Starbucks.

It was the pleasant agony of butterflies twisting my stomach when the handsome boy looked my way.

It was the taste of too many cups of coffee on my tongue, bitter and sweet and my only chance at finishing another paper at four in the morning.

It was long walks along the train tracks or through the graveyard at night, moonlight spiking friendly banter with chills.

It was letting my head sink into my pillow those few precious nights I didn’t have to set an alarm.

It was spying familiar faces in the crowd before the football game started, and the scratchy after-shout gravel in my throat afterward that pushed my second-soprano down to baritone.

It was waking up in terror after oversleeping, and realizing a project I’d forgotten about was due in an hour.

It was the suspense so thick I could drink it when I saw the cast list had finally made it into my inbox, and I couldn’t click it open fast enough to see if I’d made it.

It was the sticky warm red of my heart bleeding through my fingers when I realized I had rested my trust on the wrong shoulders, and the shoulders had bowed and my trust had fallen, and I had been betrayed.

It was learning whose shoulders I could rest my trust on and not be burned, and learning to trust those shoulders to escape from being crushed myself.

It was washing my own blood off my fingers and feeling a heartbeat awaken in my chest again.

It was discerning which voices in the rush around me were friendly, and finding to my shock after hurt that there were many of those.

It was a nervous hello in the caf, and an anguished goodbye in an airport.

It was going to bed a girl, and waking up a woman; and it was watching friend after friend walk out a door a boy and come back in a man.

And that was college, and college was me.

And now college is over, and I think I’m rather sad

about that.

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Death by Homework, a drawing I did in the margin of some class notes during one of the harder nights.