The worst nightmare I have of her is she left me, permanently. I tried to imagine a life without her, and it's just too painful to even consider. However, I made a promise to her that I will live no matter what happens. If she died, my first thought would be to join her, side by side in a cold grave. But no, she wants me to live.
Shadows greeted me in my dreams. My throat closed up, locking the gate, words trapped inside. Why do I have to be the one that leaves?
She made the first move.
"I’m going to miss you so much,” my best friend sobbed.
I can only nod. My eyes are useless at this point; I’m crying so hard.
Then I woke up.
These nightmares, these terrible visions of me saying goodbye to my best friend of four years, visits me every time I think about her. Every disappointment she tells me, every recollection of past memories, they all threaten to bring up tears. I can’t help but feel selfish that I don’t want her to go to the movies with her friend. Jealousy coursed through my veins when I looked at her Facebook status earlier.
It’s not fair. At all.
Four years left. Four years, and my friendship with Mikayla Christine Pearce will be gone. We’ll go to college in different places and only see each other for important events such as weddings and visiting our godchildren. But it’s not going to be the same. Even not seeing her for a day almost kills me. Sometimes I don’t notice, because she rides horses every Saturday and is exhausted when she returns home so I don’t bother. But when we’re both doing nothing, stuck in our houses, and she has no way to see me, that’s when I break. Every single time she says she can’t, I’m just so upset I almost start crying and go into frustration.
People say we shouldn’t be friends. At some times, I agree. But Mikayla is the only person who can cheer me up instantly. Ironic, I know. But when I see her, my face immediately brightens up. That’s how much she means to me.
The worst nightmare I have of her is she left me, permanently. I tried to imagine a life without her, and it’s just too painful to even consider. However, I made a promise to her that I will live no matter what happens. If she died, my first thought would be to join her, side by side in a cold grave. But no, she wants me to live.
Considering it’s about two a.m., I attempted to sleep.
Instead, the nightmares attacked.
Alex Tanner sat in a lime green chair at Purple Berri, a frozen yogurt store, with a couple of friends, just chilling. Somewhat ignoring them, he thought of Michelle Summers, the evening they first kissed. She was distraught over another kiss, listening to her music on high, not realizing Alex had burst into her door, and, without a word, kissed her. He smiled to himself over the memory. Kelsey, Ryan, Whitney, and Dalton threw puzzled looks at him. “Remembering something,” he explained.
"Ooh, what was it?” Whitney pressured. His ex-girlfriend liked to know everything about him.
"Yeah!” the ex-girlfriend’s best friend Kelsey countered. The boys stayed silent.
"Nothing too special,” he murmured, but still blushed. The two girls glanced at their boyfriends for help, but Ryan and Dalton doesn’t have a clue on what Alex is talking about.
They all looked to the door because two girls were walking in.
Of course, it’s Michelle and Mikayla. Of course.
Icy air hung between the groups. Popular and non-popular kids don’t mix too well. Alex fought the urge to go up to Michelle and say hi, but couldn’t find the courage to do so in front of his friends. Dalton kicked him to get Alex to focus on his buddies again.
But he can’t help but notice how beautiful Michelle looked, as always. Perfect green eyes, straight medium length brown hair. She was even wearing his favorite color, purple. As she smiled to Mikayla at the toppings counter, her eyes darted at him for a fraction of a second, and then returned to the spoon she was holding and dumped cookie dough into her cup of frozen yogurt.
They sat by the door, as far away from the elite kids as possible and whispered quietly. He can’t hear what they’re saying, but he has an idea about who specifically they’re talking about.
If he’s going to ask Michelle out when school starts, how is he going to get acceptance from his friends, the ones who basically hates anyone of lower status? He certainly doesn’t want their relationship to be a secret. He wants to proudly take her to homecoming, prom, and blackout night. But if the girls go crazy over the fact that he’s dating someone they’re not “bff’s” with, they’re certainly going to give him a hard time.
"hey (:” he texted to Michelle even though she’s about twenty feet away. She peeked over her shoulder at him and flashed her most gorgeous smile. “lets walk home together” he suggested. Michelle gave an equally puzzled look that his friends performed earlier. “ill get rid of them.”
Meanwhile, the girls are staring at him and Michelle suspiciously. Once Michelle glanced up and saw them looking at her, so she stopped turning around and finished her yogurt.
“Who are you talking to?” Whitney snapped.
“My brother. He’s gonna come pick me up in a bit. I’m staying a little while longer, to wait for him. You guys can go ahead and leave, it’s going to be a while before he gets here.” He shot Ryan and Dalton a glare to take their girlfriends with them.
Whitney frowned uneasily at him, grabbed Ryan’s hand, making Kelsey follow suit with Dalton, and sauntered out the door.
When the coast was clear, he motioned for Michelle and Mikayla to join him at his now empty table.
“Is it really that bad that we’re here?” Mikayla asked.
"They just don’t like Michelle, that’s all. I bet they don’t really know you.”
“Gee, thanks,” Mikayla said sarcastically.
"Well, Whitney’s a bit on the jealous side. Honestly, if it weren’t for Ryan dating her, I wouldn’t be eating frozen yogurt with her. I’d rather have her very far away.” Alex made very clear last year that he doesn’t like Whitney for who she is, an extremely green person and always envious over the silliest things, like who he was last seen with and such.
“So,” Michelle interrupted. “Are we all gonna walk back together?” Mikayla and Alex looked at each other, both forgetting one of them is a third wheel.
"Sure,” he said with a smile. “You came with her, I’m not about to split you guys up.” Michelle tensed, then relaxed. He probably shouldn’t have said the last sentence, given their history in their broken-then-slightly-healed friendship.
They dumped their cups and stepped into the heat of Milk Springs, Texas. On their way to the neighborhood all three live in, just a few streets away from one person, Alex held Michelle’s hand while they talked about their plans for the summer.
“I’m going to be with Mikayla as much as I can,” Michelle revealed. “Who knows what’s going to happen after we hit high school.” Her best friend nodded sadly. Alex was going to a Green Day concert in August and Mikayla was pretty much going to do the same Michelle said.
Since Mikayla was the first house they landed at, they said goodbye to her and walked to Michelle’s house alone, which was only about two blocks.
"You must be really sad to let her go,” Alex brought up. Michelle looked like she was on the edge of falling off a cliff.
"I’d really rather not talk about it,” she whispered in a cracked voice. He dropped it. She sniffled, indicating she got really upset.
"Don’t cry. You know I hate it when you cry,” he murmured, wiping away the tears. She buried her face in his shirt, possibly to avoid embarrassment that she’s crying. He pulled her in close, smelling the sweet berries that came from her hair. “It’s going to be okay.”
They rounded the corner and went up to her room to cool off. On her bed, he held her near, her head where she can hear his heartbeats. She’s finished with crying about the future, her quivers stopped, the tears slowed, the sniffling ceased. He sang softly to her, just random calming songs. She hung on to her white square blanket that she’s had since she was a baby.
Comforting Michelle was the most heartbreaking thing in the world. To see her in pain, physical or emotional, ripped him right in half. Even worse if he was the cause of it. Michelle’s accepting him stunned him because she is so stubborn and usually doesn’t let anyone in at a time like this.
Taking a risk, he said, “Remember what happened here a few months ago?”
She looked up at him and kissed him in answer, shocking him. Ordinarily it was Alex who made the move first. But he didn’t care. She kissed him and that’s all that matters.
She returned to her position and stayed there, never fidgeted, and whispered she wanted to stay there forever. Whispered what’s going to happen in four years. Whispered how much she loved him. She curled her tiny fingers on his chest, breathing in and out slowly, trying to compose herself. Eventually she fell asleep in his arms. He continued stroking her hair, waiting until she’s mollified, then moved her to the other side of the bed where the pillow was, put a blanket over her, and gently kissed her goodnight. She didn’t stir; instead she smiled widely.
Alex floated home.