We sat in the car for hours, and rain poured down all around us. The car’s wiper blades made a constant swooshing sound that added to the boringness of the drive. I sat in the back seat staring out the window. I didn’t see much because the sheet of rain was so thick. I hadn’t cried when I said goodbye to Aaron, but I let a single tear escape now, because the dark clouds above brought a gloomy mood upon me that made me wonder if I would ever see my best friend again.
I took out my notebook and a pencil and started writing a letter to him, so that I could mail it when we reached our new house. I tried to write, but no words came to mind. I was scared of meeting new friends, but I didn’t know how to put that into words. I was worried about my dad’s new job, and if I would really get to see him more. I didn’t know what my new house would look like, and all I could do was hope that everything would turn out okay.
I put my pencil in my bag just as my mom turned around in her seat to face me.
“You okay back there, kiddo?” she asked me.
I put on a small smile and nodded my head.
“I know you didn’t want to leave, but I promise this is for the better.”
I struggled to stifle a laugh. Nothing about leaving my best friend behind would make my life better.
“Your dad and I have another thing we would like to talk to you about.”
My dad looked up into the rearview mirror so I could see his eyes.
“How would you like to have a baby brother or sister?”
My eyes lit up and a smile jumped on to my face. I nodded with excitement, and I felt happier than I had in a very long time.
“Well, I’m glad you are so excited about it- because mommy has that baby sibling in her tummy right now.”
She patted her abdomen and looked toward my dad, glowing with pride. I have to admit, I was a little confused why it was in her stomach, but I didn’t ask questions. I was going to have a sibling.
“Will it be a girl?” I asked my mom.
She shrugged her shoulders. “It might be a boy or a girl. As long as it is a healthy baby, I’m sure we will all be happy.”
She picked up my hand and kissed it. “But no matter what, you’ll always be my favorite first born.”
I smiled and kissed her hand, too. She turned back around in her seat and took my dad’s right hand. I rolled my eyes at their display of affection.
In a few hours, we had reached our new house, and the moving truck was already in the driveway. The rain had finally cleared up, and my parents began to direct the movers where the boxes went. I stood outside the car, staring up at the big house with a white wrap-around porch and a blue door. The front was made of gray stone and each window had outside shutters that matched the door. I walked around to the back of the house, and opened the fence. A playground with swings and a slide sat towards the back. I thought about how much fun Aaron and I would have had if he were here. My nose stung as tears came to my eyes, but I blinked them away before they would fall.
“Hi!” a voice from behind me said.
I whirled around and saw a girl about my height with blonde pigtails and a purple dress. Freckles spotted her nose and long lashes adorned her eyes.
“Umm, hi,” I said back.
“My name’s Grace. I live a few houses down.” She pointed down the street to a brick house with black shutters. “My mom saw the moving truck and asked me to come see if the people moving had kids. I guess they do since you’re standing in front of me. What’s your name? Oh! You look like a Bridget. I have a cousin with the exact same brown haircut as you, and her name is Bridget. But she doesn’t have glasses like you.”
My goodness did she talk a lot. I got so lost in her words that I didn’t really hear when she did stop talking. She had her head tilted and a confused look on her face.
“Oh, uh, my name is Ella. I moved here from South Carolina.”
“I’ve been there once! My grandparents live there. I used to visit them all the time! Did you know them? My grandma’s name is Ivory and my grandpa’s name is Jack. But, I guess you might not know them, because South Carolina is a pretty big state…”
I drowned out her voice to the background for a second as I looked around the street. Nice looking houses were on every road and I hoped that I would be able to like it here. I heard a noise as I stared at houses, and I realized Grace was still talking.
“…Well, I mean, we studied geography a while ago, and South Carolina still looked pretty small.”
“I don’t know. I never looked at maps much while I lived there.”
I said just one sentence to try to shut her up. I remembered that I would never want Aaron to stop talking. I would always want to hear what he had to say. Something he told me once suddenly flashed in the back of my mind. He told me that God wants us to talk about Him and our faith. I decided to take advantage of Grace’s silence to try it out.
“Do you know who Jesus is?” I asked her.
Her eyes widened a little and she opened her mouth. I braced myself for a long speech, but she only said a few words this time.
“Yes. He is one of my best friends.”
I gave her a quizzical look and asked her to explain how he could be a friend. We walked down to her house as she explained to me that you could tell Jesus anything and everything. Talking to her about my faith, reminded me of talking to Aaron, but I tried to not worry about him. I would write a letter to him later, but now was time for talking to Grace.
I talked to her for hours, and not just about our faith. She told me about the school we will go to, and she told me funny stories about strange kids in her class. I learned about the mean teachers and the nice principal and everything in between. When the sun started to go down outside, I walked back home to my new house. There were boxes everywhere, but three sofas were set out in an empty room, and I assumed that was where we would sleep for now.
My mom asked me where I had been, and a hint of worry was present in her voice. I told her about my new friend Grace and how much fun I had with her. She looked very pleased that I had already made a new friend.
I fell asleep very happy that night, knowing that Virginia wouldn’t be so bad. I spent so much time with Grace that summer that I didn’t write a letter to Aaron. I started school in the fall and a few months later, I got a baby brother. My life was pretty uneventful for the next few years. Then, I started my sophomore year of high school