What do you do when you hear a voice you haven't heard in weeks? Do you calmly listen to the recording on the answering machine, the one you have heard so many times? Or do you almost drop the phone in start, not believing your ears, but knowing they don't lie?

He has been gone since the beginning of June, gone to serve our country. One letter from him and second hand stories from his mom is all I have heard of him since he left. It was weird to go from seeing him almost daily, to this. Not that we were dating, but good friends. We had gone to our senior prom together, ran track and cross country together, and worked at the tree farm up the road together this past Christmas season. We met almost seven years ago, and now he is gone for six.

I learned long ago, things change, and people leave. I had changed schools three times before I started third grade. When I moved for my last time (seven years ago), I made a promise to myself not to get attached again, not to get hurt. But being friendless in middle school is hard, and compromises are easily made. I made friends, dated, loved and lost. I got hurt, rejected, and I still lived. I decided it was worth it.

As I leave for college, I face my hardest task though. With so many of my friends leaving, and me leaving so many more, I must come to terms with the fact many I will never see again. Or will lose touch with before the year is out. But tis life, for it is better to have loved and lost, then to never have loved before.