Creative Writing: Into the Sunset

Sunset on Lake Taupo

Sunset on Lake Taupo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just five friends, young people enjoying their last day of their last summer together. Each young man has known the others since grade school and now they are less than twenty-four hours from beginning their last year of college. New friends have come along, and while their love remains, they each accept, to varying degrees, that they are drifting apart. Things change whether we want them to or not.

They gather at the county park near Simon’s home on the lake, just sitting in Kyle’s truck. The sun is setting and Simon packs his favorite, purple, glass piece before taking a long hit. He passes it to Mark who passes it Lonnie. No one offers it to Kyle, that’s not how he rolls and the other four have never bugged him about it, and he’s never judged them. Simon sets his seat back a couple of notches and just watches the twilight over the water. His consciousness fades into a pleasant fuzziness and he cannot help but grin a child’s innocent grin at the wonder of it all.

Just a an hour or two, this last little piece of lost time together. They talk about nothing in particular. No one addresses how it will be almost a whole year before they see each other again, if at all. All of them are going on to grad school except Mark, who is guaranteed a job in his dad’s agency if he finishes school next Spring. They will all be too busy this year and beyond to keep touch. Right now, though, none of that matters.

The sun is just a sliver on the lake now. However much they avoid speaking about it the reality of their circumstances creeps into each of their minds. Volumes left unspoken in the pauses between vacuous conversations. An epic poem fifteen years in the writing of mundane stanzas and sometimes broken verse. A decade and a half of first dates, pranks, trophies, fights and reconciliations and it all should seem so pointless on this, the cusp of their first adventure without each other, but they hold on to it for as long as they can. As their buzz fades and the first stars appear, they realize the sun has set.

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