Sudden Change - An Outburst

Not a long time ago, I was living the dream. I was in Canada, for the first time, as an exchange student, and everything seemed perfect. I was having the time of my life when the pandemic started. No one had any idea of what was about to happen. On that Friday, March 13th, I had my last day of school. I didn't even know it was the last, I wasn't prepared for it to be the last. I had to stay at home for another week when the bad news came: I had to go back to Brazil. I was devastated. I didn't know what to do or what to say, so I just cried. I spent hours crying, just acknowledging that my dream was over. After that, I tried to see the bright side: I would be with my family, in my home with my lovely dog, what could be better? Honestly, I didn't think it was that awesome. I wanted to stay, so bad, but not everything goes the way we want. So I decided to cope with that doing what calmed me down, such as washing my hair and painting my nails. Silly activities, but very effective for a 17-year-old. What broke me even more after that was that I wouldn't be able to say goodbye to my wonderful friends. People that I would hardly see after that year, and I couldn't even hug them and tell them how special they are for me. Of course, I called them and told them everything that I wanted to say, but still, it wasn't the way I imagined it would be. I feel that now we are becoming more distant, and I am afraid that those friendships are going to fade away. Also, I didn't get to do everything I wanted. There were so many places that I still wanted to visit, foods to try, things to buy, people to meet, and experiences to live. I loved every single moment I had there, and every experience, especially those who were so different from Brazil. However, I still can't accept that it was enough. This idea doesn't seem to get off of my mind. It is too hard to accept. I told my parents that I am better now, and I really am. But, there are so many feelings stuck with me that I can't seem to make them go away. There are still nights that I cry. I cry a lot for all of this that I lost, all because of a tiny thing that we can't even see, and that has destroyed and is destroying so many lives, in many different ways. So I got on a plane on March 26th, just one day before all flights to and from Brazil were going to be cancelled. Many of my friends had to leave as well. But even by knowing that, it hurt the same way. It was hard saying goodbye to my host family. Four amazing women that helped me through everything and made me feel that I was at home, with my own family. I even gave them a Brazilian flag, so they would remember me as much as I remember them. I spent 10 hours on that plane, and I kept thinking about how life was going to be after that. Before, everyone was so certain of everything, but now, we have no idea what tomorrow is going to be like. There is no clue of what the future might bring. And that scares me but also gives me hope. Hope that people can change for the better and that all of this is going to be a crazy/sad story to tell to my children.

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Mike Lyles

Author of “The Drive-Thru is Not Always Faste...

Staresville, United States