I’m five months into my 27 months in Peace Corps and recently I started thinking about all the byes I have said in the last half year. I said bye to both my biological family and my host family, both of those were equally hard in different ways. I said goodbye to my bosses, managers, and co-workers, not super easy. I said bye to my Tuesday night darts and drinking buddies. Probably the easiest in all honesty. And I said bye to other volunteers but that’s not so much of a bye as it is a see you soon. But of all the byes that I had to say the one that affected me the most, mostly out of sheer confusion was my best friend.
We had agreed to spend the day at the mall, and later go to one of our favorite restaurant’s Bahama Breeze, known for it’s hokey interior and being the only place I could get vaguely authentic Caribbean food and Red Stripe Beer. We sat for hours with her watching an Eagles game and me entertaining myself through Pokemon Go. We were without a doubt camping and quickly becoming the bane of our servers existence, but I couldn’t find it in me to want to leave. I didn’t know if I’d see her again and the prospect of moving scared me and for the past year she had been a rock for me.
As I’ve said many times, my friends reflect what I want to be. Megan was exactly what I needed at the time. I needed someone to show me how to be kind, and happy without fear. And she did just that, to this day my mother accredits Megan with helping me become softer.
But saying bye to her. We walked to our cars, gave a small hug, and she said “I’ll see you later.” then got into her VW Bug and drove home. My mind was racing, I thought “I’m leaving in like two days, what if we don’t see each other by then. How could she have left with such a weak bye?” I was perplexed. But then I thought maybe she was being so abrupt because she too wasn’t ready to say bye. It’s easier to say see you later. Bye seems so final. So as it is then, I’ll see you later.