That was how long it had taken to get a degree. It was how long it took to realise that the place you grow up in, is possible to grow out of. It was about thirty-six and a half times longer than the probationary period with International Affairs.
It was the amount of time since we'd shared more than a simple conversation. It marked time where I pushed you to a place in the back of my mind so I wouldn't have to remember you in the middle of the night. It was the space of time since I'd last promised myself I would cry.
I was happy. It wasn't just a superficial happiness either; there was a sense of contentment that had permeated me to the marrow. I'd also managed to irrevocably contract a pride in myself, in my work and at having put my official studies behind me. University had left me largely unscathed with a somewhat larger ego than I had started with, and yet my family seemed delighted at the change it had made. Although, I continued to harbour a deep grudge for change, and rather unfortunately I still lacked what I needed. Without knowing I was missing anything at all.
It was a Friday, rather typical and lazy for someone seven months and twelve days off being twenty-two. I was quite delighted with nowhere to go, and having nothing, and no one demanding attention. However, should one of my seemingly countless friends or family tried to find me; they'd have discovered I was ensconced in my favourite coffee shop. With better than good coffee, more than comfortable seating and, despite the popularity, a relaxed atmosphere that had, on more occasion than one, nearly sent me off to Dreamland, it was as near to Nirvana as a caffeine addict could get.
It wasn't unusual to spot a friend or acquaintance dropping through for a quick buzz, or to see one madly scribbling at a table with three or four empty mugs around them during semesters or late June. What did shock me was the certainty that I'd seen someone walk in whom I'd have sworn would never, so long as the sun shone, walk into a store with the intent to purchase something caffeinated, other than a coke.