Letting go


The most bitter-sweet feeling you’ll ever experience.

It was half past dusk, and the cool spring breeze was wafting the smell of fresh grass into my nostrils. My roommate Pete had just tossed the football across the lawn to me — I barely saw it drop into my hands.

We were finally finished with class for the year. In fact, Pete and I were finished with class forever. There was only one more week left of college, and we both didn’t have a single final. What a way to cap off our senior year.

With all the excitement that came with graduating and starting my career, though, I still felt a sting of sadness and mounting anxiety about leaving college. What will the rest of my life be like? Can it actually get better than this? I was staring at the torn laces of the football, gripping its leathery skin with both of my hands.

“You alright, Cliff?” yelled Pete. “We can go back in the house. It’s getting pretty dark.”

“I’m good, man,” I replied. “I just have a feeling we’re going to miss this more than we think.”

As I whipped my arm over my head, I felt the football roll off my fingertips and watched it spiral toward the night’s sky. Part of me wished it would just hover up there, spinning, forever out of the reach of my friend’s hands. But the other part of me knew it had to land  —  sometime, somewhere.

Clifford Chi