Six years ago, I was sitting in the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park, watching children running around the fountain to the sound of Frank Sinatra, finding it difficult to part from a city I had just visited.
“It’s just the beginning,” I heard her whisper
“You’ll come back,” she said.
She was right. Atlanta was right.
A year later I returned with three suitcases to the unknown.
I moved here by myself.
Apart from a friend I knew from Israel (Roi Shoshan), and a tourist trip I made the year before, I did not know anyone, certainly not the city itself. It took me two months, until I got confidence, and began to explor the streets of Atlanta, the restaurants, the bars, the neighborhoods, the people, and the multiculturalism.
Atlanta quickly became my best friend, she told me about the South and all about the United States of America.
I went to the office during the week, and during the weekend we would spend time together, sometimes people would join, but most of the time we would be alone, only me and her.
I talked about her with glittering eyes so everyone will know how amazing my Atlanta is.
Atlanta gave me the biggest airport in the world, with flights to most destinations; Mexico, Costa Rica, and Colombia. She showed me singers like: Bruce Springsteen, Cindi Lauper, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Cher, Justin Timberlake, Blondie, etc.
Her diversity was in every aspect of her life with Broadway shows, Opera, Ballet, Museums, the Clermont, and Swinging Richards.
Atlanta gave me friends that are my family. The kind that made me want to be better (and thinner). Atlanta made me explore, discover, and show the world the real story of USA.
Most of all, Atlanta made me a writer become better version of myself.
While I was in Atlanta, US had two presidents and two houses were elected.
There were elections for the city Mayor and the governor.
I had four roommates, each one of whom taught me a lesson
I visited 14 states, countless cities and towns in the United States
Atlanta got to the playoffs in NFL, NBA, MLS (and won)
All this and she was still Atlanta,
Welcoming and Green.
For five years we were one.
“I’m Hagar from Atlanta,” I always proudly answer.
Atlanta is part of me.
“You’ll be fine,” she whispers to me for few days.
“We had fun together,” she says, trying to soften the goodbye
“We’ll meet again, I’m sure.”
I love you.