I think about it a lot, you know–this summer. All the time, really. It still doesn’t seem real. I still can’t believe I was welcomed into so many homes all over the world. I still can’t believe my parents believed in me and Em enough to let us do that, to trust us to do that. I owe them so much–for always letting me go.
I think about it a lot, you know, especially when I think about this spring and the Cottey trip and how I chose Guatemala over London. I picture them all there, us all there–in London and I know that even though it hurts, I made the right choice because if I went back…
I can see myself returning to all the places we went together, standing outside of the apartment. That place–London–it belongs to the 7 of us. To return with Cottey would be to give that away, since suddenly it would belong to me and all of them. It would hurt. It wouldn’t break me but it would hurt. It’s something I can’t do–not so soon and so in the end, I am glad. About that, about everything.
How do places belong to people though? How do they?
I couldn’t go to Ireland without Emily–Tiarna too but Em most of all, because if you bring someone to share a place you already know–that’s different. But when you both experience a place together for the first time, drink it in, it becomes yours. To share that place with anyone else is suddenly impossible–it feels like cheating, like I’ve done something wrong.