As I watch from behind the black gate, and my eyes get used to the darkened surroundings- the shadowy areas and unexplored parts- I come to a realization. What am I doing here, exactly? Why am I not outside, pursuing an adventure of my own, and what do I expect to gain from watching strangers pass by? In that moment, I begin to see the neighborhood for what it really is, or what it can be. Suddenly, the little building at the end of the street doesn't seem so dangerous anymore.
Here's the thing: In four months or less, I am going to be leaving my home to go to college in another city. Which university will I be attending, exactly, is something I haven't decided on yet, even though I've spent countless hours thinking about it. In sixteen weeks or so, I will be saying goodbye to my family, school, and basically everything I've grown accustomed to in my life- the lovely smell of the trees in my backyard, delicious home-cooked meals served to us three times a day, being able to sleep soundly at night. All of these things will be swamped by the fast-paced draw of city life.
I smile, seeing a particularly shiny red car come to a stop at the street. I swing the black gate open and step outside. It is not the car that makes me happy. I smile because I come to a realization. It didn't matter whether the car had arrived or not. In that moment, I would have opened the gate and gone out either way.