Saturday, June 4, 2011

Snapple Apple 450 Week 54: A Friendship to Remember

SnappleApple 450

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A Friendship to Remember

“This is it, Santana. Last day of high school!” Jeffrey couldn’t stop smiling.

I nodded mindlessly. “Yup,” I popped the P at the end.

He jumped up and sat on my desk. “San, what’s wrong?”

I sat back and crossed my arms. “I don’t know, nothing I suppose.”

He leaned over and poked my arm. “Speak now or forever hold your peace.”

I stuck my tongue out. “Just that school is almost over.”

He laughed. “Most kids are saying it like SCHOOL IS ALMOST OVER!!!” he yelled enthusiastically.

The teacher glared. “You’re still in school, Mr. Kingsly.”

He ducked his head apologetically as I chuckled. “What I mean is we’ve been in school since we were five! What the hell are we supposed to do now? At least in school we had our lives planned out. It was secure and safe. Our parents took care of us and all we had to do was go to school. We’re on our own now.”

His smile turned down. “You shouldn’t be scared though. We’ll always be friends. How’s that for secure?” He nicked my chin softly with his closed hand and hopped off my desk. “Permission to leave the classroom?” He asked the teacher, walking out.

I sighed. “Yeah, always be friends…” I whispered to myself.

Since the beginning of high school on the first day as a freshman, I had a crush on Jeffrey. I actually told him once that first year and it was awkward for a week before I just pretended I never said it and things went back to normal. We stayed friends. I never got over my crush. It was more than a little schoolgirl crush so why couldn’t see it?

“Psst!” I heard Jeffrey from the door.

I excused myself from the teacher and followed him into the hall. He had an envelope in his hands. “I wanted to tell you sooner but…” he sighed. “I got accepted into the school of arts I applied to.”

My face lit up. “Really?! Jeffrey that’s amazing! Congratulations!” I jumped into his arms and hugged him.

He laughed briefly, his breath tickling my ear. “Yeah it’s crazy.” He lowered me back to the ground.

“Why aren’t you happy?” I asked confused.

He showed me the address on the envelope and my heart stopped. “California?”

He nodded, dropping his hands.

“Um…wow. I don’t know what to say.” I felt my knees go weak. California was a long way for from here. “I need to sit down,” I breathed.

“I don’t know if I’m going yet. I wanted your opinion.”

I leaned my back against the lockers and sat down, looking up at the ceiling. “You’re a talented dancer. Why shouldn’t you go?”

He sat down beside me. “We were gonna go to college together,” he said softly.

I shrugged. “I actually got accepted to a college in New York…maybe I’ll go. We’ve been right by each other all through high school, maybe it’s time we branched out on our own.” I didn’t know where these words were coming from. Inside I was screaming, but my mouth refused to work right.

“Branch out? What if we never see each other again?” He whispered.

I forced a laugh, ignoring the sick feeling in my stomach. “I’ve heard they invented these things called airplanes… We’ll see each other again.”

He didn’t make a noise for a long time. “I don’t want to leave without saying something first. And I want you to listen and not talk.”

I didn’t speak, listening for what he wanted to say.

“You remember in ninth grade when you told me you liked me and I didn’t talk to you for like a week?”

“Yes,” I said softly.

“I didn’t like you. You were just a girl in my class I liked hanging out with. You were like one of the guys and it was great. I was glad things went back to normal after that. You dropped it, went back to being friends, you even started dating that one guy so I thought you got over me.”

I remembered everything he was saying. I dated that guy Charles to get my mind off Jeffrey, but it didn’t work.

Jeffrey continued, “Tenth grade something changed for me. We started back at school and there was something different when I’d look at you. You started wearing dresses, I remember, and guys were all over you. I really couldn’t see you as one of the guys anymore. I really liked you,” he chuckled. “I couldn’t get you out of my head. But you had moved on. I missed my chance to be with you and I decided to just be happy being your friend.”

He fell quiet for a second, letting me think about all this. “The thing is…I’m not happy anymore. Just being your friend sucks. I lie awake at night thinking about how your kisses taste and how it would feel to hold you against me in the morning as you wake up.”

I took deep long breaths, trying to process what he was saying. “Go to California, Jeffrey,” I whispered, wiping a tear away so he couldn’t see it.

He sighed. “I missed my chance with you, didn’t I?”

I didn’t say anything. If I told him how I felt, he’d never go to the school in California. It was the very best art school in the country and he was accepted. I’d be selfish if I didn’t let him go.

He stood up. “Why don’t we go our separate ways for now,” he said. “And in four years we meet again.”

I held my hand out and he pulled me up. I didn’t let go of his hand as I started into his eyes. “Four years.”

He nodded softly and I hugged him. “See you in four years, Jeffrey Kingsly.” He released me and left the building, leaving me standing there.


New York was big, scary, and lonely. I felt completely alone in the crowded streets, all the faces blurring together. College was fun and I enjoyed it a lot. I had a job at a corner bistro which was nice, and my life was good. But I was alone. I was used to Jeffrey always being there and then just like that he wasn’t. I was still trying to get used to that.

“Ma’am, can I have the ham and cheese bagel, please?”

I snapped out of my trance and grabbed the bagel, putting it in a bag to go. “That will be $3.27.” The customer paid and left as I leaned against the counter and sighed.


I looked up and saw Jeffrey standing in front of me. My eyes widened. “What are you doing here?! You’re supposed to be in California!” I jumped into his arms.

He chuckled. “I’ve heard they invented these things called airplanes.”

I held tighter to him. “I thought we were supposed to meet up in four years…”

He didn’t let me go. “I couldn’t wait that long.”