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"Death teaches us that life is precious. And the Goddess teaches us that life is a gift. Why squander such a precious thing with tears? Isn't it better to live every day as if it were made of gold? To show our gratitude by doing all we can to live and love?"
--Anonymous


You know, I always thought that the summer of my graduation, I'd be backpacking across Europe.

Well, can't afford Europe. And StFX in September is gonna cost more than I've got. Europe boiled down to a Canada Day trip to Victoria to party with Jen, a later walking trip of the Coastal Islands, and maybe camping. Or something. At least something. You know; backpacking with two days' worth of clothing and sleeping on the ground and things like that. Adventure. At least a pale shadow - all I could have afforded in the first place. Living spontaneously for possibly the last time of my life. It's not as if any point still within the province is out of "call home if you need us" range.

But... well. They didn't want to do that anymore... got scared, I guess. I notice that a lot of people wish for adventure, then shrink away when it comes to them. Kristine said there'd be plenty of time, maybe we could go camping at Allouette, we'd go to Canada Day in Victoria.

Nadia said we could explore Vancouver. Shop a lot.

Kristine nodded in a satisfied way. And that would be fine. Would that satisfy me?

Nobody ever wants to say: "Hell no! You don't get it, do you?" I guess I folded. So as they cheerfully pared down our week-long backpacking trip from spontenaeity to shopping and hour-away camping trips, I sat silent and simmered.

Damn. Damn, damn, damn. I bloody *hate* shopping. And it's exhausting with them. I don't find wandering around Vancouver, a city I've lived two hours away from most of my life - probably on foot since the buses are still on strike - poking around clothing stores and household-item stores and hunting out second-hand bookstores that are full of little more than antique dictionaries in any way interesting. I find that crap *boring*. Oh, yeah, it's all well and good when it's the beginning of summer and you've got all the time in the world for adventures... but I don't.

No, it's not like I'm dying or anything - but I leave in ONE MONTH. August 2nd. That's when all my adventures will be *over*. I haven't got *plenty* of time. I have ONE MONTH. To get in even the pale shadow of all the things I always dreamed I'd do. Things I'd like to do while I'm still young enough and stupid enough to still do it. While I've still got time.

And I *hate* the Allouette campsites. The lake's polluted, and the ground is invariably lumpy, and it's not really camping if you can *walk* to a diner for breakfast.

I don't have time. They still do. Kristine's only going to Saskatchewan - and even she's coming home more often than me. She's going to *Bible College*, for gods' sake. And Nadia's not even leaving home.

They still get to act like kids, for years. But come August, I'm on my own 'til I'm done school. It's not like I can go home whenever I want, or just leave when the urge takes me. I'm there for the duration. Adulthood looms a month away. For me, anyway. Not really for them.

They JUST DON'T GET IT. And I don't know how to explain it to them, like so many other things, without coming off selfish or insensitive (heard bloody enough of that for one week, thank you...) or whiney. Maybe that's a sign.

Hell. All I wanted was to celebrate my last few weeks of freedom with my friends. But they want to parcel out the summer into organized little pieces, to calmly plan everything bit by excruciatingly boring bit, to take plenty of time working things out and eventually, they think, things will get done.

And to think my mother said *I* was a procrastinator.

I don't have *time* for this. I want to have *some* adventure squeezed in before I have to take on a life with more responsibility than fun. I'd go on my own... but I can't. Maybe I'm scared too, but I don't think that's really the point.

Okay, maybe it is. But I was counting on them, damnit! I would never let them down like this. Never. By the time the chance to do this kind of thing comes around again, I'll be an adult. And adults can't just hare off on a whim. That's something kids have the exclusive on. I wanted to have at least *one* adventure while I was still young enough, open enough, unspoiled and unstagnated enough to appreciate it.

I admit I'm afraid of growing up... but even my stories can't keep adulthood at bay forever. And I was kinda hoping to put another brick in that big wall this summer. But I guess that's shot.

If I said I was heartbroken, would that be too mushy? Probably.

Screw it. :P

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Chandri MacLeod
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