I watched, embarrassed, as Courtney hauled my heavy luggage from our hotel to Planet Hollywood, where the kind attendant helped us on the taxi instead of making us go to the pick up station as he should have. In silence, we were driven to the bus station where our paths, which have been so unexpectedly entangled in friendship, would separate.
I waited on the side with my orange and black bags as she stood in line to get her ticket. It took her about an hour, and that time I spent looking back on the all the times we've spent together when everyone was still here - all the sleepovers, the movies we've seen, laughters that turned to tears because everything was just so funny.
It was time to say goodbye. Her bus was an hour before mine, and I thought, that was the last goodbye I'd be having here in America. She was my best friend. When it came time to board her bus, she squeezed me tight and I gave her a one armed hug, thanks to my luggage that would fall to the floor if I let go.
I held back everything when everyone was there. The night before, I went to the hotel bathroom and cried, and I washed my face before coming out to cover the puffiness of my eyes. It was one of the saddest things in the world, to go on a 9 hour bus ride alone to a strange city you only see in movies and TV. To sit next to a lady who gave you a hostile look when you asked if the seat next to her was taken. To stay focused on the book you were reading as a drunk man across you slurred his words, and the hipster EDC attendees in front of him threatened to "beat his fucking ass up at the next stop" if he didn't shut up.
It was one of the saddest things in the world, to stand in that bus terminal with no one and nothing but my suitcases on my side, looking lost, tears falling, because I'm bad at saying goodbye. Because I hate saying goodbye. It was the saddest thing, to look at all the pictures, all our smiling faces, and think, "this is all I'm gonna have for now."