I walked out of my plain yellow house for the last time. When I turned I saw my friends gathered in a small circle. Ashley, Victoria, and Emily all had tears in their eyes. Ashley my best friend was the first to run up and give me her final hug. Her golden blonde curls crushed me. I hugged her back not knowing when I would see her perfect face again. I let the tears fall down my face because I knew that I would miss her as soon as I was in the ugly orange pickup truck. When I was finally released from Ashley’s hug, I saw Jamie and Tim coming up the drive way. Tim was wearing the Blue shirt I got him for Christmas a few months ago. His red hair all nice for once. Jamie on the other hand was wearing a plaid shirt with his favorite boots that he kicked me in the butt with last week. Jamie was the first to approach me. It was wired because this was the kid who had pulled my hair in the first grade and has always hated me.
“Hello Alice, I know we have never really have gotten along…...” he let an awkward chuckle escape his lips. What in the world is he thinking?” but I honestly will miss you. I thought maybe…..well if you wanted to……um….,”
This was driving me crazy,” Jamie just tell me what you wanted to say.” I said with a sour tone.
“Well……be friends? I know that after all the stuff I have done to you that this would not be easy to say yes to.” I laughed a quiets laugh.
His eyes narrowed then grew sorrow. ”Just forget I can see that this is silly.” He turned for the side walk. He took fast, large steps towards the mailbox as he continued to talk.” Hope to see you when you come pack to visit us. Oh wait.” He paused and turned to me. His expression had caught me off guard. I stared unwillingly at his disheartened face. He looked as if he was going to break down and cry. “Alice?”
I could not find my voice. I just shock my head to encourage him to continue.
“You are coming back to visit. Right?” No one had asked me this question yet. I looked around and saw everyone’s waiting faces. They all automatically thought I would come back and visit every few months.
I whispered the words because that was all I could do. “Jamie I am afraid I won’t be able to return to this town till I graduate. So the soonest I could visit would be in two years.” I could feel my skin going cold as the blood rushed from my body. The tears were dieing to escape my weak eyes, but I held them in.
I saw shock and pain cross everyone’s face that was in my drive way. I wish I could have said something more but that was all I could get in before I was attacked with hugs. When Ashley, Victoria, and Emily came running I saw Jamie turn his back and start towards the side walk again. I called his name and he turned. I could not say the words out loud at the moment so I ran towards him fighting my way threw all my friends, so I could give him a goodbye hug of my own. I knew I would miss him. Him more than anyone else. Even though everyone thought we hated each other, I liked him. I could not help but like him. He was the only boy in school who never showed any interest in me.
He grabbed me around the waist and hugged me close. It was clear that he would miss me to. I smiled as tears made it impossible to see anything. I released him from my hug but I leaned into him because I couldn’t see through my damp eyes.
Jamie walked me to I think Tim, but I wasn’t sure. I was passed from friend to friend and some how ended back up into Jamie’s secure, warm arms. He whispered into my ear,” I will come and visit you as soon as I get enough money to drive out to Florida.” I turned to face him.” I will miss you. Please keep in touch.” He gave me another hug, pulling me closer to him in the process.
Then my eyes were finally clear and I could see the confession on all the faces of my friends as the stared at the way Jamie was holding me. I realized then what it would make them think. They would think I was dating him. I quickly undid my self and walked unsteadily towards my dad’s truck. I got into the passenger seat at the same time my dad walked out of the house with my mom. I waved goodbye to my friends through the car and gave one last look to Jamie who was leaning against the garage. Jamie's brown hair was a mess with grief and his blue eyes all cloudy.
My dad pulled out of the driveway and headed towards the local airport. We passed the Piggly Wiggly. I remember when Ashley and I were four and we would run in and put all the cereal boxes in the wrong spots. We would get caught and get kicked out of the store for the day. We would come back the next day and do it all over again.
We passed the middle school. It was my safe haven. It was the one place my friends could find me when I disappeared. It was so quiet there when the sun was setting. The clouds would go pink and orange; the sun would sink below the tree tops and make the surrounding forest glow. It was the prettiest thing I have ever seen.
We pasted the park. The only truly romantic place in town were you could be alone. It was a big park. You could be alone and not worry about having waiters and other town’s people surrounding you. You were truly alone. There were roses that circled the benches and wooden walk ways. On all the dates that I went on we would end up back in the park. We would be on the wooden bridge that hung over a little pound, surrounded by fireflies and my dad would say I was beautiful and give me a rose that he found on his way in. Isn’t it funny how guys can’t be original?
“Hun what are you laughing at?” Opps!
“I don’t really know.”
We passed the High School. The place were I have been attending for the last two years. The sun was falling and the red school bricks were glimmering from the remanding sun light. I had already said goodbye to all my teachers, friends, and classmates. They threw me a goodbye party yesterday. They had put up a banner that read, “Goodbye Alice. Hope you have a great time in Florida” When they showed that to me yesterday I cried.
I just turned my head and studied the dirt walk way. Our town was to cheep to put sidewalks in. They kept it the way it was when it was made. They of course made the buildings better, but they tried to keep the feel of the town the same. I think they succeeded in keeping the town an old fashion, boring, dump.
We were now at the airport. My parents rushed me through the airport. Leaving me breathless as I got on the plane. I gazed out the small, oval window and watched as the ground disappeared along with the sweet, blue Washington sky.