The final walk though the house was hardest.
The goodbyes weren't bad. A few tears shed, some long hugs, but they weren't too bad. The last day of work was okay too. Even the packing was fine. Taking all my things off the walls wasn't fun, I'll admit. Vast, lonely, blue walls were left where colorful, happy pictures once hung. But, surprisingly, most of the process was okay. I even had a little fun with it as I called out "This is the last time I'll mop this floor!" and "This is the very last time I'll change the toilet paper roll in this house!" at various points during this last week.
But that walk through the emptied rooms was rough. The furniture gone, the walls empty, the floors freshly vacuumed. In the kitchen I smiled at the memories of that one night's citrus fight and all our house parties over the years. The basement reminded me of last Halloween's spontaneous mini-rave (complete with glow sticks!). I laughed at the smudge of blue paint on the ceiling of the bathroom from our late-night bathroom rejuvenation. The bedroom was last, and I paused as my hand hovered over the light switch and looked around the room one last time. So many nights spent here, so many blog posts typed as I sat cross-legged on the bed, so many phone calls made as I lay on my back and stared at the ceiling, so many mornings doing my hair for work, so many spontaneous dance parties, so many memories, so much happiness.
I pulled the front door shut and slid my key into the lock one final time. The lock clicked and I descended the steps to my car. As I pulled away from the house and watched it grow smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror, the tears fell freely. I wended out of the familiar neighborhood and noted how darling this little community is. Has it always been so lovely? But even as I mourn the end of one life, I know that this is no longer my home. My dear townhouse with so many memories isn't home anymore. My home is already with a couple of guys out in New York and I can't wait to get there.
The house on Ellerby stands waiting for new occupants and new memories. But once it held a silly girl with a head full of Bob Dylan songs and a heart full of hope who left that home and found a new one far away. In about five hours this girl's going to point her car east, step on the gas and never look back.