Sara swung her duffel bag several times before she caught enough momentum to lift it up onto the sedan’s backseat; at Christmas, her partner Linda had given her a new chocolate brown leather satchel, but most days it was too small to carry all the unmarked essays and term papers that journeyed home with her.
After stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts to refill her travel mug with dark roast, Sara drove for two miles to the on-ramp that turned into eleven miles of highway, then exited onto the lane that flowed onto University Parkway; twenty minutes later, depending on traffic, she parked in the lot located directly behind the Liberal Arts Faculty.
On these drives back and forth from work, 1997 accompanied her in the car: the Verve singing Bittersweet Symphony, Ellen DeGeneres coming out on television and Sara attending her first series of women only parties in the Student Union upper ballroom, dancing free yet entwined with Emily Burke.
Gripping the steering wheel, familiar landmarks moving past the car’s windows, Sara remembered her summer wind happiness at the many possibilities open to her with Emily at her side.
And every morning, right about the time she was turning onto the parkway, Sara felt the same ache move through her when she glimpsed the single knowing look that had told she was no longer loved and that the choices that would determine her life would not always be her own.