Clare has just graduated high school and is all set to head off to college. However a letter and a mission from her friend best friend Lauren, who passed away 5 years ago pushes Clare to rediscover parts of herself that she has lost throughout high school.
Clare was on cloud nine. She smiled,hugged, and congratulated her way through the crowd of her classmates until she reached the street and saw her family waiting on the other side. She didn't wait for the walk symbol to cross the busy street;She ran across right away, dodging cars, her red graduation gown trailing behind her like a cape.
"Congratulations sweetheart" her dad embraced her and her mom gave her a kiss on the cheek.
"Clare, honey, we are just so proud of you" her grandmother Lucille chimed in.
"I guess you weren't as dumb as we all thought" , her older brother Craig punched her facetiously, then put his arm around her and the whole family began walking towards the car. The next couple of hours went by in a blur for Clare. The whole family ate, laughed, and planned out what college would be like for Clare. There were presents to be opened and calls from other families members sending their congratulations. The best part for Clare though was the absolute feeling of contentedness. She had done it. She didn't know how she had made it, most of the time she thought she wouldn't, but somehow she had finished high school. The freedom felt overwhelming. She would finish up the summer here in Seattle but then in a few short months she would be heading to the east coast to attend the University of Virginia. Everything was going to be perfect.
Hours later after the excitement had died down and Grandma Lucille had said goodbye, Clare laid down on her bed. She breathed out a huge sigh as she looked around her room at all the things that had become important to her over the years. Her eyes stopped on a framed picture on her desk.
"I miss you Lolo" Clare whispered as she gazed at the picture of two 7th girls with their hair in silly pigtails, smiling from ear to ear. "I wish you could have been here." Her eyes moved to the next item on the desk. It was the program from the funeral.
"In Loving Memory of Lauren Hatfield: 1994-2008" the program read.Clare picked up the framed photo and gave it a kiss. She didn't want to dwell on the fact that one person had been missing from graduation today. She knew Lauren wouldn't have wanted that.
I wonder what the Hatfield's are up to today she thought. This day couldn't have been easy on them.
Maybe I should stop by tomorrow to catch up She hadn't seen them in ages. She was on her way back to her family in the living room when there was a knock on the door. Clare answered it and was confused by who she saw standing there. It was Mrs. Hatfield of all people.
"Hi Clare, Congratulations" she started. "Look I know this seems a bit strange but I have a letter that I was instructed to give you on Graduation Day. It's from Lauren."