Maybe I am "just homesick". But I think not: it seems I have stumbled upon Homesickness, Extreme Version, which, it seems, is much closer to plain, old heartbrokenness.

It has really hit me so hard that from this point on I have to go my own way and live a life separate from my family. Well, duh, that's what every kid does when he grows up, right? Right. But I've never, ever thought of what that means.

My parents, bless their hearts (as my Grandma C. says), drove all the way down to SAU yesterday just to take me out to lunch and spend a few hours with me. It was one of the most bittersweet times I've ever experienced. I wanted to be going home with them, wanted the past two weeks to be some kind of scholarly excursion or something, - anything, as long as it was over and I was going to back to my life at home.

But I watched them drive away.

I realized right then that that is how it's going to be from now on, give or take a summer or two. I'll never, ever come home to live with my family. Sure, they'll call me on the phone to tell me what's new and exciting at home, and visit me, but they'll always drive away. They will be there for me, but I will not be with them, won't see them every day. No more daily games with my youngest sister, no more helping my brother with math homework in the evenings, no more . . .

I do miss them. But I miss even more that I'll ever live with my family again.

I feel an overwhelming sense that I am alone, which is pretty much my number one fear. I've felt lonely before, but never this ominous feeling of being alone without being able to go back home, back to living at home, especially without having a clue about what I'll do instead.

Can I be, like, ten years old again . . . forever, please?

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