Elizabeth is leaving in three days.

Elizabeth is leaving in THREE DAYS.

When I was afraid that no one would ever give me a job, ever, she saw something in me that shined and gave me an interview. We clicked, hard-core, and just as I left that day knowing I’d be offered the job, she said she knew I’d be perfect for it.

She held my hand and gently pulled me into the real world two years ago, and since then has gradually let go little by little until I’m about to be standing here on my own.

She’s taught me how to be a (pseudo) professional, how to be someone who gets shit done. But aside from that, she’s seen me cry more times than I care to admit. She’s seen me angry, and vice versa. She walked my drunk ass home one night in Atlanta, promised not to fire me, and left Alka-Seltzer, water, and ibuprofen on the table for when I woke up with a hangover. The next year, I made sure her drunk ass got home. She went with me to the VP to protest an unfair decision, sat down beside me, and threatened to quit if the decision wasn’t changed. She got her way. She always does, and when she doesn’t, she knows exactly how to make it work in her favor.

In meetings this week she has gradually been giving me the reins, asking me to call the shots. And I have numerous occasions every day where I think of fifty questions I need to ask her, a hundred things I need to learn to do before she goes away.

She is my mentor, my role model, the most professional person I know. I have looked up to her from almost the moment we met, but we’ve also been a team, to the point that people have made half-jokes about our psychic link. I don’t know, at the moment, how I’m going to get everything done without her guidance.

It’s not just that I’m becoming overwhelmed by all there is to be done after she goes. It’s that she’s become my friend, and I’m going to miss her terribly.

This is the first time it’s really hit me. This is the first time I’ve cried.

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