Too Soon

Four.

Four guys.

Four guys who climbed up the brick wall and onto the roof of the Tabernacle. On a lazy Friday afternoon. During that lull between the last class of the day and dinner hour. A time made perfect for taking naps. As the more obedient students might do. They would shut their eyes and dream.

Yes. I’m sure of it, they would dream.

About what? Anything, perhaps. Except for sex. A religious curse word. Sex. Boys and girls were rigidly observed. Boys were not to cross the yellow line surrounding the girls’ dorm. Boys will be boys as the saying goes.

I crossed the line once.

And nothing happened.

So I crossed it again. Still nothing happened. Must’ve been the deans’ day off.

But the four of us. We climbed up onto the roof of the tabernacle and spent the better part of an hour lying face up towards the Spring’s azure sky. The four of us had other things to do than dream with our eyes closed. We held dreams within open eyes. About the quickly coming Summer. About our future in the years to come after we’d completed our time at Bible School.

Too soon we found ourselves climbing back down the brick wall. Off the roof. Too soon we were immersed in hot plates and cold drinks and the voices of three hundred of our fellow students who had packed the dining hall. It all appeared as a dream. Like the darkness of night had slowly enveloped us, beginning with purples and reds in the sky, and then the sun disappearing and we would all guess as to where it might have gone, but we could never be more than speculative. We only knew it returned the next day. We all lived as in a dream. Like a fog slowly rolling into town holding everything helpless in its power and only able to allow it to come and pass when it will.

Too soon we found ourselves packing our things. The end had come. Studies finished. Some had moved on with their lives a year before everyone else. One or two of those had come back to watch their friends receive diplomas. We’d all moved on in our own way, whether we’d left early or stayed the duration. But now it was all so final. Boxes filled with personal belongings and cars packed full, some preparing for long cross-country trips back home. Lights shut off and dorm rooms locked in preparation for a new crop of Freshmen to come bursting through school doors.

Too soon we all moved on.

We only now realize we’d left part of ourselves behind.

There are ghosts up there on the roof of the Tabernacle. I am told they dream with their eyes open.

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