It was the light that did it.

It was the neon light reverberating throughout the campground at 4:30 in the morning in early August on a Pennsylvania mountainside. It was the feeling of my heart pounding as I ran down the girls’ campus hill with my right hand interlocked with a camper’s and my left with my co-counselor’s. It was the burn I felt as we tumbled down and blood met air and I learned for the umpteenth time that summer I was not invincible. It was the weightlessness I felt as we jumped up and ran forth again toward the music and flashing lights. It was the overwhelming sensation of sweaty bodies still in pajamas running around the wet grass and trying to find their friends. It was the look in his eyes when mine met his from across the crowd. It was the dampness of his neck as I draped my arms around him for a squeeze. It was the energy passing from the stage to the campers and to the counselors as though we were all made equal by an invisible bolt of lightning, lifting us above the campsite, making us realize summer was almost over. It was the annual breakout of our Olympics made small for even the smallest of voices and feet. It was the final countdown when we learned our respective teams. It was the second time my heart tried jumping out of my chest when my eyes raced down my team’s list searching for familiar names. It was the feeling of excitement to kick-off the tradition and the feeling of sadness when I realized we would soon have to part. It was the feeling of sadness again when I stood under those football lights, but not for a sport. It was the feeling of longing. It was the stroll back to the bunks with his hand in mine, with no rush to close our eyes again, for once we closed our eyes, we’d be one day closer to parting. It was the stars above us and the fading of the music and the coolness of the summer air that made me want to hold his hand for more than just that one night. It was the darkness that made us say our goodbyes, but that’s not how I grew.

It was the light that did it.

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