Prior to the last few months, it's been a long time since someone I cared about moved away from me when I wasn't also moving away from a place. The last time was May of 2004. I remember that it hurt like hell, but time and distance had dulled the memory of just how much that meant. During the past month the universe has contrived to remind me what it feels like to be one of the ones who's left instead of being the one who's leaving. Two of my very dear friends on the course have returned to their lives Stateside and I can't help but realize that their stories have now diverged from mine. We say we'll keep in touch, and we will, for a while... trading emails with less and less frequency, with less and less substance. We say we'll visit, and maybe we will, but probably more as an additional perk of going to a place rather than a purposeful trip. Maybe I'm pessimistic. Maybe I'm just melancholy with a dual loss in short succession. Maybe I'm picking at old scars while tending to new cuts. All I know is my heart hurts. And I'm sorry for all the times I've been the one who's leaving and made the ones who're left feel this way.