In high school, I would always be sad after the end of each term. Either it was Christmas or it was Summer break, but whichever one it was, when it came, it meant that until classes resumed, I'd have no life. Not that I had a life... School was my life. It became clear to me after high school graduation that I invested way too much time in school and extra-curricular activities (such as Concert Band, Peer Ministry, Math League, math contest writing, etc...). Nobody else cared. I cared. And when the school shut down, I shut down.
Anyway, the ring of the final bell signaled freedom! Everyone would go running out into the streets jumping for joy ...and I would take my time as I walked slowly toward the exit. I would watch all of the students excitedly run out the front doors while the teachers remained for a little while longer to pack up their things. I'd peek into classrooms, and wave good-bye to anyone inside. I'd carefully examine what remained: the decorations on the walls, all of the new plaques and pictures that were put on display in the showcases, the mess that served as proof that it was indeed a place where teenagers dwelt, but most overwhelming of all was the silence.
It always felt so lonely being the last student to step outside. But I always did it. No one would wait with me. I used to take one last look back just before I pushed open the front doors to let myself out. Emptiness. Silence.
It didn't matter that I didn't want to leave. There was no reason to stay.