This story is for my angels:
Kala Renee, Olivia Gayle, Mariah Jade, Cecelia Marie, Abigail Ann, and Rebecca Catherine.
Five years ago
My eyes snapped open. I turned my head; the red numbers on my alarm clock showed twenty till midnight. Silently, I threw my covers off and crept across my bedroom. I opened the large window and let the summer breeze ruffle my hair. I inhaled deeply and turned back to my room. I pulled a pair of jeans from my closet and put them on over my pajama shorts. I left my tank top on, pulled my hair back, grabbed a backpack sitting by my bed, and climbed out the window.
The large oak tree that sat right next to my bedroom window provided the easiest way to the ground. I had lost count of how many times I had climbed down this tree, though I was only eleven. My body made no more than a whisper as it hit the soft ground. With a few quick glances around me, I ran toward the forest.
A little ways in, I saw a light flicker on in one of the up coming trees. I smiled and ran faster. At the base of the huge maple tree, I kocked against the bark seven times, then paused, then four times. A long, rope ladder was trhown from the tree house, and I smiled even more the higher I climbed. When I was inside the small tree house, I saw him.
"Hi, David," I said.
"Hey, Rose," David replied. "What did you bring?" He nodded to the pack I had slung over my shoulder.
"Something for you," I said, as I lowered the backpack off my shoulder. I sat it donw on a small table and opened it. From within it, I pulled out a thick, hardcover book.
"A book? Really Rose?" David laughed.
"It's not just a book," I countered. "I made this book." Wit those words, I flipped open the cover to reveal picture among picture.
"Thank you, Captain Obvious," I laughed. "Yes, it's a scrapbook. I though you'd want it with you whenyou were away."
David's eyes looked in awe at every picture, and while he looked at the book, I looked at him.
David was taller than I was, only by an inch or two. He was also older, only by a month. David's face was round -- he hadn't lost all his baby fat yet -- and a soft tan color, dotted with freckles. He had short, light brown hair that stood straight on his head, and deep, endless brown eyes that were framed by black glasses.
I, on the other hand, had lost some of my baby fat already, and was beginning to show a soft heart shaped face. My skin was a slightly lighter shade than David's, with no freckles. My hair was long -- flowing past my shoulders -- straight and a strange shade of dark, mousy brown. My bangs fell just over my green gold eyes.
"Come on Rose," David said. "You need to get back."
I sighed. "You're right. I wish this didn't end. Wouldn't it be cool to just stay here forever?"
David said, "Yes, but we can't always have things our way."
I laughed. "You sound like my mother. But you're right, we should be getting back."
Together, we climbed back down the tree house ladder and landed back on the ground. David walked me to the edge of the forest, still holding the scrapbook.
"Oh!" David said. "I almost forgot." He pulled an envelope out from his sweatshirt pocket and handed it to me. I was about to tear it open, but David put his hand on mine. "Not here," he said. "Later."
"Okay," I said. We stood there a moment more before I said, "Goodbye, David."
"I'll be back soon," he promised. "You won't have time to even miss me."
"Uh-huh," I said. "Where exactly are you going?"
"Just around, I guess. Mom and Dad said something like Italy, England, France, Ireland." He smiled.
"You'll have to send me pictures!"
"I will," he said. Then, without warning, he kissed my cheek. I blushed as I ran all the way back to my house. I climbed back up the oak tree and into my room.
Mom and Dad were waiting for me
I knew I was in trouble.
The light flicked on, and I sheilded my eyes against the bright light.
"Where have you been?" Dad's voice wasn't loud, but I could feel the anger in it.
"Out," I replied.
I bit my lip. Should I tell them? Glancing around at their faces, my answer was decided. No, I wouldn't tell them.
"Were you out with that David kid?" Mom snapped.
"What if I was?" I retorted. "Why do you care? He's my friend."
"I don't want you hanging around him," Mom said.
"Because... because... oh, for goodness' sake why am I answering to you? The point is you are forbidden to see him. Am I understood?"
"I want an answer," I said.
Mom slapped my cheek. "I will not be spoken to in such a way!"
I cringed away from my mother, but my anger had reached it's point. "What has he ever done to you?" I shouted. "How can you hate him if you don't even know him?"
"Enough." Dad's voice was low and dangerous. "Rose you will not see this boy again. Do I make myself clear?"
Tears brimmed my eyes. "Yes."
Mom sighed, her face had relaxed, but then she spotted the letter I clutched in my hand. "What's that?"
My hand grasped the letter even tighter. I gave no response, but stared my mom down as bodly as I dared.
"Give it to me."
I shook my head.
"Rose, give me the letter." Again, I shook my head. Mom stormed over to me, wrentched the letter out of my hand and marched downstairs. I ran after her, crying, "Please, give it back! I haven't even read it yet!"
I was too late.
By the time I had cleared the giant staircase, the letter was being burned in the last feeble flames of the evening's fire. Mom was no where to be found, I assumed she had returned to her bedroom. I knelt in front of the fire, debating wheather or not to reach in and grab it. My hand was out-stretched, but Noah, our butler, pulled me away.
"No!" I screamed. My tears were flowing freely now as I struggled against Noah's strong arms. "Please! Let me get it. I need to read it!"
"It is gone, Miss. Please go back to bed, we will talk in the morning."
I cried for a while longer over my loss, but eventually, exhaustion took over me, and I slept, visions of buring letters dancing behind my eyes.