After my dramatic weekend at home, I went back to college. I drove home again soon because it was time for our family to bury my mom’s ashes at a cemetery my dad chose.

He chose a parklike setting and I learned that cremated remains are called cremains and at this particular cemetery, the cremains are all buried in the same area, by a pond, near a windmill. It was ironically similar to the space where I met my mom in my dream.

Still always surreal to see in person.

I didn’t tell The Dude I was coming home. In fact, he had no idea I was home the previous trip either. It was time for a confrontation.

I found The Dude at a house party, well actually a detached garage party. I strolled in, heart racing, and saw him with a beer in one hand, a cigarette hanging from his mouth. I completely surprised him and he immediately tossed the cigarette.

“Babe! Babe, wow, you’re here.” He came in for a big kiss and I dodged.

I dodged for two reasons:

  1. Kissing someone who just smoked was like making out with a dirty ashtray.
  2. Yeah, I was there, and I was there to break up with him for having sex with one of my friends. Not a great kissing moment.

Yeah, I am. We buried my mom’s ashes today. Can we go for a ride?

He was understandably shocked by that statement. I guided him to my dad’s car, all decked out with power windows, power locks, and… a cassette player.

We drove around for just a few minutes and after some icy pleasantries, I pulled the car over and parked. I took full advantage of my dad’s Delta 88 Oldsmobile and its many fancy features. I hit the power lock button and genuinely startled The Dude.

I unbuckled my seatbelt and slowly turned to the passenger side. This created a dynamic dramatic effect. Then I asked him about Homecoming.

How was the dance? 

The Dude answered.

I see. Did you have sex with She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named?

“Babe! No. Babe, I would never do that to you.”

Are you sure?


Really, really sure?

He nodded an emphatic ‘no’.

At this point, I pushed the cassette in and hit play.

He listened and then tears started to stream down his face.

It was so dramatic and so fantastic.

I totally forgave him. We weren’t in love, we agreed to see other people. Did it feel good to have him go that far? Absolutely not. Was I willing to go that far with him? Absolutely not.

I drove him home and stayed chatting with him and his brother for several hours. We officially broke up that night. My first official boyfriend was history.

I returned to college and stayed until Thanksgiving break. During that time, I certainly had my eye on my friend Andy’s roommate whom I will call Tall, Dark, and Handsome (T, D, & H).

T, D, & H, Mod, Andy, and Tammy

I filled my days with occasionally going to class, meeting all of the new friends I possibly could, making out with T, D, & H on the regular, becoming a little sister at a fabulous fraternity, drinking, and sleeping.

I found that whenever I would sit down to actually study, my mind would calm, I would remember that my mom was gone, and the tears would flow. I decided I needed to stop those tears from coming. Once they came, it was so very hard to stop them. I absolutely wouldn’t allow myself to break down and found all kinds of ways to distract myself.

I would close my books and head out to find the fun. It wasn’t hard. If friends in one room were studying, I’d skip to the next. I’d keep going until I could find somewhere to land.

At the time, it felt like life was good.



2 thoughts on “Endings

  1. How those early years shape us! I’m sure it’s why you’re an empathetic friend today. Bold and strong, but kind and grace-filled too.

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