the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

  Authors & Artists


Faces & Voices 4
Faces & Voices 5

Traveling Alone
Erika McDaniel
Maumee, Ohio - Marketing

        I haven’t talked to you in almost six months, and it has been a time of transition, change and discovery; so much has happened that I can’t believe this much time has slipped by. Everything has become so different.
        You know I’m at Howard now. I wish you could have been there the day I left home. I said my goodbyes – to everybody – except to you. You weren’t around. I miss our talks on the phone, especially now, because I am so far away from home. Remember the first time we met? We talked on the phone for three hours - about everything and nothing all at the same time. I was so tired the next day. I wish we could talk like that again. Even if I have to walk around campus deliriously sleepy the next day, I wouldn’t mind. Our “counseling sessions” kept me sane throughout high school, especially during my senior year. I’m not even sure how I made it through the last two months of school without you.
        You missed so much in May and June -- senior skip day, the senior prank, graduation. I really wish you could have been at graduation. Something was missing because you were missing. Walking onto the path to adulthood didn’t feel quite right because you were not traveling by my side. If you were there it would have made the transition a little easier, the load a little lighter and the burden a little less hard to bear. I would be more comfortable adjusting to my role in a “grown-up” world because you would be adjusting to yours too, right here with me.
        Living life without you is still a foreign experience. I can’t believe I will never watch your “six-foot-four” frame run pigeon toed down the football field for your third touchdown of the evening, or saunter through Franklin Park Mall, showing love to all those you encounter. I will never see you sign another autograph for a young fan, spend endless hours with you, Shaunta’ and Lovell during the summer, nor playfully joke with you – rituals which were all too familiar.
        I haven’t talked to you in six months; haven’t heard your voice in all that time. It is difficult to talk to someone when you know they will not answer back. Now it doesn’t matter when or how long I talk to you, the reply is always the same – Drushaun Michael Humphrey, October 30, 1982 – April 30, 2001. So much can be said about those eighteen years, and yet, when I talk to you, nothing is said at all.

© 2002 Howard University
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse, Prose & Art, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2002. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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