On the day before my 16th birthday, the day before I moved 400 miles from my hometown to my new home, leaving all my friends and most of my family behind, three of my best friends - Jen, Peri, and Rhonda - and I decided to have one last adventure. We decided to drive to Jackson, Mississippi to see Joben and Joel one last time.
Just after 7pm we all climbed into Jen's car - a 1990 Camry - and set out on I-20 headed East. After four and a half hours on the interstate, driving 80 and stopping every hundred miled for snacks and "pee stops", we arrived in Jackson utterly lost. We'd never been to visit Joben and Joel at their home, always waiting for them to come to Shreveport to visit Joben's grandmother instead.
Yet there we were, nearing midnight, making a phone call for directions to complete a half-baked scheme. Joel answered, giving us the information we needed and not bothering to hide his amusement upon learning where we were.
Once we arrived at Joben's house, we stayed for about 45 minutes, sitting on the trunk of Jen's car, talking to these two cuties that were more of an excuse to undertake a great adventure than the climax of it. I hugged them goodbye with little real remorse that I wasn't ever going to see them again. But on the way home, I cried for all that I would miss. Once I started, Peri and Rhonda started. By the time Jen got in on it, we had to pull over on the interstate because none of us was fit to drive.
We made it back safely, after staying up all night driving, talking, laughing, crying, dreaming, making promises of youth to always be what we then were. That was a promise broken before I completed the drive to my new home, though I didn't realize it for a few years. But that night, for one night, I lived like I had nothing to lose, with three friends who risked parental wrath (at the very least) to live it with me. And even now I remember the sun barely breaking the horizon as we came off the interstate back into town, the wind whipping through our hair as Jen, Rhonda, and I hung our heads out the window, just laughing our fool heads off. It was good to be so alive.