That summer, two things became clear to me. The first was that eventually everything changes, and there is nothing to do but accept it. I wasnt God; I couldnt stop the world from turning. All I could do was move right along with it.
The second thing I learned was that, in the vast city of New York, in the midst of a hundred thousand bodies, there was not a single soul I could trust.
The wonderful thing about Manhatten is that it's never necessary to set an alarm. As soon as the sun breaks over the horizon, stretches its rays to push back the darkness, and the drones of the city arise for their coffee and taxi rides and walks to Wall Street, it's impossible to sleep anyway. People called New York the city that never slept; it truth it was the city full of people who believed if they should be up, so should everyone else.
Usually I embraced the phenomenon, because I was an unnaturally punctual person. The first day of summer, however, it wouldnt have killed to sleep a little past six.
Nevertheless, once I was up, I was up, so I threw back the heavy lavender comforter. Stretching my arms high above my head, I allowed a smile to cross my lips. This summer was going to be perfect, no matter what it took.
Since I'd come to live my grandparents three years earlier, I'd realized there was never a dull moment in the Kingsly penthouse. Even at six a.m., I emerged from my room into a rush of commotion I pushed past the hired maid, down the stairs and into the kitchen. Extravagance was in our nature, and it was demonstrated in the lavish chandelier and imported marble counters. Things like that held little interest to me, hoever; my attention was focused on my grandmother.
Abigail Kingsly greeted me with an approving look over her steaming cup of coffee and a slight nod of the head. "Good morning," I responded to her silent hello.
Grandmother allowed a warm smile. Kind gestures were reserved only for the most deserving, and so I cherished it greatly. "You're up early, Willow," she noted. "Eager for your summer to start?"
I shrugged, pulling my own coffee cup from the cabinet, filling it swiftly. "I guess so. I'll probably just go into the park for a while. Meet with some people."
If she heard me, she gave no indication. That too was in her nature. If it didnt relate directly to her, it didnt exist. "I have to go into the office," she told me, to which I only nodded. That was probably the extent of our interaction for the day.
With my fixed coffee in hand, I was content to return to my room Within those walls I was safe. I could be myself, or whoever I felt like being.
Thinking on it more, going into the park didnt seem like such a bad idea. This early in une it wouldnt be unbearably hot, and I knew a few of my friends would be there, pretending to be philosophical and comparing the tragedies of their life. More entertaining than it sounded.
The smile was back, surprisingly. Pulling my white blonde hair away from my face, I headed into the bathroom. Reminded myself that the summer was going to be perfect.
Repetition turned lies to truth, after all.