I never really wrote about it, you know. About the year ending because it all happened so slow but yet so fast. I felt like it was trapping me but at the same time, in the end, the end was too fast for me to comprehend. I was being told to get into the car and my vision was filled with women in white and that was all I could see: white, white, white. With all of it in my vision, I didn’t know what to feel since I could barely see. I never let myself feel it either, really. The end of it all. Or the beginning of the end. There are too many words to label it all as one thing. And I’ve written about it all before. Even as I write these words, there is no point in them because all year I have written about how much I love Cottey and how it is the best choice I ever made and how much I have and haven’t changed.

So what am I doing writing these words? Because something feels off. The world is not tilting in the right direction and I have to write to make sense of it all. The year ended on a hot day. The sun kissed my shoulder. My hair was light. I was dressed in white. I locked my empty room with the key free from the chain. It was cold in my palm. My knuckles tapped against the door twice and I turned and walked out of my true first home away from home. My back was the last thing it saw. I stood, my fingers twisted with hers into one link, one line. A chain. We all tried to smile but we really just wanted to cry. And I did. I cried so hard I couldn’t make the words pass over my lips. Until, suddenly I could and the worlds that fell over the waterfall, they mean everything to me. I ran through the crowd. My two worlds collided faster than I could pull the brakes and suddenly nothing would ever be the same. But when is anything ever?

I miss Cottey. As I sit here in my room, I miss it. It changed me. I grew. I learned. The world shifted, half because it wanted to and half because I pushed it, forcing it to do so. I am thankful for these past 9 months.

In the end, that is what I am trying to say. Those are the words that will pull me out of this hole: Thank you.


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