Iremember the night before I left for sem. I’d invited my closest friends — Mimi, Ita (who’s also my cousin), Shani, and Chayala — to come over. My open suitcases sat on the floor and we cried and hugged, bemoaning the length of an entire year and how big the wide world is and pledging to keep in touch, to write, email, call, the works. We took pictures and when I look at those pictures of our red-rimmed eyes, with the future glimmering in front of us, leading us on such different paths, I just somehow can’t believe it. It feels like a different lifetime.