Nothing–or at least few things–make me more nervous than opening the envelope that contains my grades.
And nothing–I mean, nothing–feels better than seeing those A’s staring right back at me!
Yeah! I did this thing! Master Controller!
The ground was still blanketed in snow when I walked into the graduation ceremony, though the sun warmed the air.
“Congratulations, Marigold,” said Melvin Moon.
“Thanks for coming to see me graduate!” I said.
“Of course!” He replied. “I wouldn’t let my best friend graduate without offering my felicitations!”
I had to chuckle. My mind had been so full of Shannon lately that I completely forgot that Melvin and I were best friends.
The ceremony lasted forever, and it was nearly dark when I got out. Plus, all the snow had melted!
But there I was, diploma in hand, my second degree! Phys Ed major, and summa cum laude!
Mom would be proud.
Before I made it back to the dorm, I got a text from Shannon.
Congrats, babe. Party. Coming?
Shannon was nowhere to be seen when I arrived.
Instead, I was met by Becky Blackstone.
“Oh! I’d recognize you anywhere,” she said.
“Have we met?” I asked.
“You know me, right? I mean, no, we haven’t met. But Becky Blackstone? For sure you’ve heard of me. Famous like you, right?”
“I’m not really famous,” I said.
“Get out! If you’re not famous, then how come I’ve been reading about you for the past four years in the same rags that have all the stories about my family?”
I had to admit, she was really cute. Maybe she was a little starstruck or a little full of her own status, but her enthusiasm was adorable. Plus she had the cutest mini-dreadlocks.
We got to talking. She’d just finished her first semester as a technology major.
“I want to design video games,” she told me. While she was telling me about her idea for a game based on the jet stream, Shannon came in.
She was wearing nothing at all. She looked kind of sad.
“I see you two met,” she called to me. “I thought you might have something in common.”
“Right on!” yelled Becky. “Thanks for inviting me!”
By the time Shannon returned from getting dressed, I’d just given Becky my address.
We kind of decided that we wanted to spend more time with each other, and since I was leaving in a few hours, I invited Becky to come visit over semester break.
She seemed pretty excited.
Shannon had disappeared again by the time I had to head back to catch the shuttle home.
Just as well!
I raced back in the rain, thinking about everything–about friendships starting and those that just continue. I thought about Shannon inviting over Becky so we could meet.
All through the long flight home, I kept replaying my whole connection with Shannon, from our first meeting during my first time in college when we were so wrapped up in our own universe, then back to the time when I was home, writing her so often, to this up-and-down stint for my second degree, when it took me the whole time to figure out what Shannon meant to me and to understand what I meant to her. I thought about Becky, who’d be coming to visit in a few days. I felt like I was following through with Shannon’s wish for me.
When I got back home, the first thing I saw was the graduation gnome, tossing up his mortarboard in celebration.
And then I noticed the plants! Did nobody tend the garden while I’d been gone?
Better get busy!