"Are you coming with us? We’re leaving now."
I looked up. It was getting late and I knew I had to get up early to move out the next day.
Still, I hesitated.
It was the end of the summer semester and the last party before everyone parted ways for the holidays. And unavoidably, parted ways for good. It was the final farewell to all of my closest friends that I'd made this year, as they were all graduating. My smile faded as I realised that finally, after meeting them on the very first day of my second year of University and all the crazy adventures we'd been on since... it was actually the final, closing curtain of it all.
I reluctantly got to my feet.
He looked up at me from the garden, as I stood on the steps by the door. The others bade their goodbyes.
"Wait." He said. Everyone else headed inside to wave off the people headed toward the door. Usually he would be scowling or mocking me, but his expression was unexpectedly grave."Stay." He said very quietly. "Get drunk and listen to records with me?"
And the night was growing older, the crowd growing thinner and the liquor growing stronger when we realised but four of us remained. He retrieved a bottle of Prosecco from the fridge and we toasted being alive. We discussed the future, laughed at the past and mocked ourselves at present.
Minutes and hours melted past in a drunken haze, before we were eventually too drunk to stand. Dawn peeked above the horizon. The other two were deep in conversation when I looked to my left to see him stood in the kitchen archway, bottle of Cabernet Sauvingon in one hand, two wine glasses in the other. He nodded his head toward the stairs.
As he opened the door, the distinct scent of him washed over me and I couldn’t help but smile. Whenever I caught a waft of it I just thought of old black and white movies, expensive liquor and the vintage emporium. I went to his desk and flicked through his records, selecting a the vinyl I’d got him last Christmas, a 1954 brass jazz collection. He slowly lowered the needle, and with a crackle, the room was filled with rhythmic trumpets and the voice of Ella Fitzgerald.
He poured two glasses, and lit the candles on his desk, filling the room with a creamy glow. He handed me a glass and sat with me on the bed.
For hours we stayed up talking about Philosophy, morality, theories about life, the universe, space and time travel, drunk to the point that we were just talking nonsense, yet drunk to the point we were still convinced it was ground-breaking. We talked. We laughed. We yawned.
I turned out the light, we clambered under the covers fully clothed and he slipped an arm around my shoulders and an arm around my waist. No sexuality, no sensuality, no romance. Just peace, serenity and the comfort of two like-minded souls.
And when my eyes fluttered open hours later, my vision focused on the furthest away first. In front of me I could see his old vintage suitcase with clothes sprawling out at all angles, sitting pretty on the floorboards against the cream wall, then a little closer, the cream of his bed sheets, and then his old-fashioned watch from his Grandfather, which rested on his slender arm that lay under my cheek.
And I smiled.
I slipped out of the bed, picked up my shoes and tip-toed across the floorboard, stopping at the door for a moment to look back, just once. And I knew two things.
That it was right for me to leave now, like this.
And that that would be the last time I’d ever see him.
That's how I spent my last night of my second year of University. In two weeks time, I go back.
I can't really imagine what this year will be like, returning without having The Interesting Boys' there. But then, I smile when I think of it this way. I met them per chance on a whim on my first ever night back at Uni... Just who knows what this coming year holds?