It's the kind of thing one is vaguely aware of, like one is vaguely aware that people in Africa eat monkeys. Vaguely aware of it, but it doesn't have any sort of real impact because it isn't immediate, real, there.
But if one were to travel to Africa and actually see it happen -
She knew it had to happen someday, that there was no logical reason for her to believe that Hayden and Lindsay would both spend the rest of their lives in San Diego. But to realize that in just over two weeks, they'd be gone -
It hits her. She feels like she imagines it would feel to be punched in the stomach with no warning. She's vaguely tempted to ask someone to punch her in the stomach for the sole purpose of having a basis for comparison. But that won't change the facts.
Lindsay's trip to Australia is sort of drastic, she feels - but it'll be good for Lindsay to experience life away from her family for a few months. She feels that Lindsay needs that kind of experience, that kind of freedom. And after all, Lindsay's coming back in six months or so - this isn't a permanent move. True, it's almost half a year - and that's a long time - but at least she's coming back.
She's always felt more of a connection with Hayden. Lindsay is sweet, funny, fun to be around - very likable, but what the two of them have in common is fairly surface. They have similar personality traits, similar viewpoints on many things. Hayden, though - they share personality traits as well. They share interests, humor, their rage at the world. She feels that she can be more herself around Hayden - that she can allow him to see some of the darkness she keeps caged up. Certainly not all of it - but more than she can show Lindsay, princess of sweetness and light. Hayden knows and understands darkness. One of the things she likes so much about Lindsay is that Lindsay doesn't know or understand darkness. That makes her likable, but it also means that she cannot relate to her as well.
And Hayden's leaving. Moving away to the East Coast. Not coming back in six months. Maybe not coming back ever. The thought depresses her enormously. She knows that he needs to get out of - at least his mother's house, if not the area entirely. She knows he needs to start a life of his own, a life that's his, that he can live without having to answer to his parents - a life that he can bring a wife into, someday. She knows it's entirely selfish, her sorrow at his moving away. And sure, there's texting, Facebook, Skype - but she looks at it, brutally and frankly - they rarely text, Facebook, or Skype now, and she doesn't expect that to change. No one texts/Skypes their stepmom. How very uncool.
And so she sighs and prepares to drown her sadness in alcohol. Because sometimes what cannot be changed or dealt with must just be drowned for a while.