“Hey Lilly, want to play a game with me?” I turned around towards the source of the voice and my eyes found Matt sitting on the carpet, PlayStation joystick in his hand. He tilted his head towards the screen and I realized he meant play a game of tennis digitally with him. I really wasn’t interested and had never been much of a gamer girl and so I shook my head no and started to head towards the kitchen but Matt had quickly jumped to his feet and ran to block the way towards the kitchen door.
“Come on Lilly! It’ll be fun!” He urged, taking light hold of my hand, and tugging me back towards the carpet.
“Matt, you know I don’t like to,” I groaned as his hold on my wrist grew tight as he now dragged me against my consent, and then pushed me down onto the carpet, picking up and handing me a joystick.
“You can be the girl,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone and I muttered in reply, “Well incase you’ve forgot, I am a girl.”
His gray eyes twinkled as he grinned sheepishly at me. “Sorry.”
I jabbed at the keys effortlessly, knowing that Matt would only beat me in this game anyway. He always did. After all, he’s a boy.
The rest of the week had passed by quickly, much too fast for my recognition. Soon, the first day of school had arrived and I was waiting at one of the bus stands in my neighborhood with my mom.
“Mom, are you sure we bought everything I need?” I asked her for the umpteenth time and she sighed, saying the same answer, “Yes we did honey, no need to worry.”
Right. No need to worry at all. The familiar yellow bus came driving around the corner and I felt the beat of my heart increase in excitement as it parked and waited for me to hop on. “Have a good day honey,” my mom said, giving me a kiss on the forehead and watched me board the bus as I hopped onto it. I looked around and saw many unfamiliar faces, all probably new students and flushed in embarrassment when they stared back at me with curious looks on their faces when I stayed rooted to the spot.
“Lillian!” I heard someone yell my name and my eyes flickered towards the back. Erica grinned at me, waving her arms around to get my attention and patted the seat next to her. Smiling to myself, I moved towards her and sat down with a huff.
“Hi Erica.” I gave her a hug as it had been a long time since we’d seen each other over the summer vacation. That’s when I noticed the changes in her. “Wait a sec, you’re tan!” I poked her face and noticed that her usual peachy complexion was now golden brownish. Her used-to-be long brown hair was cut short and had yellow highlights at the tips. The only thing that hadn’t changed was her eye color which remained light brown.
“I know!” She giggled. “California was a little sunnier then we thought it would have been.” The rest of the ride was filled with our happy chatters and slowly, whatever anxiety I’d felt inside me at the start melted away with Erica by my side. She’s been one of my best friends since we met in the first grade. Over the years, we hadn’t fought much like most girls did and stuck together and the bond proved helpful when her parents divorced like mine had when in fourth grade. Though I hadn’t been able to support her fully as her situation had been different and she’d gotten to know both her parents well whereas I hadn’t. But I tried my best to help her through the time. In the end her father got custody over her, her mother left to Washington and remarried. She’s even got one stepbrother, who isn’t at all evil but is really nice. Though it took her a while to get used to things, eventually she did.