"So, what are we going to do?" Will asked.
"Well, we're going to walk across that stage, and then we'll be graduates." I answered, matter-of-factly.
"Yeah, but then what?" I knew he was referring to us, not his post-graduation plans. But I didn't have an answer for us.
"Well, then I'm going to Texas to find a job. And you're staying here for grad school."
We left it at that. We didn't talk about what we were, what we could be, what would happen with us. We didn't even talk in hypotheticals. We just had an understanding that we'd still be the best friends we always were, only we'd be living 200-something miles apart. We didn't talk about a long-distance relationship or the next time we'd see each other. Would we date other people? Well, dating wasn't on my mind at the time. Until I found a job the only dates I'd be going on were one-on-ones with my laptop at a coffee shop. Or interviews, those are like dates, right? Both parties walk away from an interview wondering if there's a future there.
A funny thing happens when you're jobless and living with your parents: You cling to anything that makes you feel like an adult. Talking to Will made me feel like I was in a grown-up relationship. So once I moved back to Texas we still talked every night. Nothing all that serious, we just talked like good ol friends.
We'd talk about how many jobs I'd applied for that day (50) and how many I'd heard back from (0). We'd talk about how this person got lucky finding the perfect job out of college or how that person decided they wanted nothing to do with their degree.
I started nannying so I wouldn't go out of my mind at home. I hadn't been without a job since I was 14, and even then I was babysitting every chance I got. Being a nanny kept me sane, made me feel like an adult. I tried to ignore the fact that people might be saying, "Oh, remember Whitney? The girl who graduated in the top of her class and did all those cool magazine internships? She's a nanny now."
I didn't care. I loved those girls I nannied. And at least it sounded better than saying I worked at Sonic, because I seriously considered going back there. I worked there for 5 years, rollerskates and all (mine even had light-up wheels).
When I wasn't nannying or job hunting, I was lying out by my pool with my mom, because part of me knew this would be my last summer. I was about to enter the real world, the world where there are no summer vacations, no spring breaks, no extra credit assignments to make up for that quiz you missed.
I didn't know where Will fit into that world. He couldn't be my study buddy anymore, and considering the distance, he couldn't be my bed buddy, either. I accepted that.
We thought we were over.
Then he came to visit me in Texas.
Then I surprised him in Oklahoma.
Well, maybe it would end when I moved to NYC...