Editor’s Note: This letter was originally written in May 2013, following the announcement of Bexley Hall’s closing due to structural problems.
Just over a year ago, I discovered what it felt like to return to Bexley. It was 5 a.m. and the freezing wind was slicing through the air as I stepped out of a cab under the little dome. I knew that no one was awake, but I ran across the street toward the brick building anyway. I had just pulled my suitcase out of the cab’s trunk, slamming the lid hastily. My suitcase was rolling — no, bouncing — across Massachusetts Avenue, and I could feel my backpack swinging behind my shoulders, but my eyes could only be fixed ahead.
The archway above the courtyard’s entrance — this threshold I’d crossed every day of my freshman semester — welcomed me once more. I could feel its warmth. I always could. My eyes lit up as they passed over the lone tree rooted in the center of the courtyard, its branches bare but for the white snow stacked on top. Then, as always, I’d look up and hold my gaze over the three brick facades that enclosed the courtyard. They towered four stories high, and the snow upon the ledges highlighted the windows overlooking our tree.
The smell of the air hadn’t changed. I’d never turn around and look back at Mass. Ave., for I never questioned the notion that I could almost hear the archway’s rusty gates closing shut after me — creaking — welcome back.
Nobody was awake to hear me, but it was not to them that I shouted. “Home!”
Jocelyn Gonzalez is a member of the Class of 2016.