Here’s a little more of my story…
by Xenia Makridou
Last summer I flew to the United States for a summer school at a boarding school in Connecticut. Looking back, I always reach the same question: What was I thinking?
How did I even find out about it? This is exactly what people would always ask me. I don’t blame them. It was strange, indeed. A summer school in Connecticut? Out of all places, in Connecticut? Why? My answer would simply be: I found out about it on the Web. They all seemed satisfied with the answer; didn’t ask for clarification. Yet, the underlying question of how my parents allowed me to go lingered on. I also have that question.
I used to be young and stupid. I used to add charming boys on Facebook without even knowing them. I would just search random names and add the good-looking ones. I know, I know… What was I thinking? I grew out of that, thankfully. In any case, a boy remains.
I found James on Facebook. I could see everything that he was doing – he posted way too much. I loved it. I fell in love with his life. His posts were beautiful – interesting, clever… I “stalked” him for two years – I still do sometimes. He used to go to the prep school I went for summer school last year (he is currently in college). And this is the truth on how I found out about this school.
I told my parents. They knew. They knew I wanted to go there to find him. He would obviously not be there as he had graduated a year ago and it was summer. I hoped. I wished. I had faith. And thus, I went. My parents figured it was a good school after all, and a summer school can never be bad, right?
I didn’t find him. Obviously. Yet the feelings endured during this experience are still fresh in my memory. The day I was going to get on that plane I knew I was happy. I had waited for that moment a year and a half. Those thirty minutes before landing at Newark airport… I will never – ever – forget them. I would stare out of the window (we were in a cloud so I couldn’t see anything) and then stare at the screen showing where we were at the moment, the time to our destination, and the rest of the information they always have on. I would do this repeatedly for those painfully beautiful thirty minutes. One second I’d be looking out that window, the next I’d be watching that screen. My heart was beating fast and I knew I was happy. I was excited.
I had been to the states before. It was important to me to be back, yet James was more significant. I was now 3,000 miles closer. I was in the same country. I was determined. I knew I could do it. And then I thought: Dreams do come true.
Despite having returned “empty-handed” when it comes to James, I still believe in dreams coming true. Yet, one must work hard for them before they can be realized. All I know is that I do what my heart tells me. And this is what it told me back then. Call me crazy, a child who is influenced by movies too much… That’s what I wanted to do. I regret nothing.
Taken on the Empire State Building the summer of 2012, on July 18th, on my 16th birthday. James was at Marquee, Las Vegas at the time.