"How Can You Leave Me Alone..."

April 4, 2008
By Carli Cramer, Manitowoc, WI

“How can you leave me alone for the whole summer? Why do you have to go to New York?” McKenzie Matthews asked Cheyenne Williams (best friends), “I’ll be so bored all the time!! I’ll have nothing to do!!”
“I haven’t seen my cousins in New York in like 5 years! That’s means I was like 8 years old when I last saw them! I barely remember them and I see you all the time.”
“Ugh! This is gonna be like the worst 4 months EVER!!”
“Try to meet a new best friend while I’m gone, okay?”
“Okay I’ll try.”
“Come over tomorrow so we can say, ‘Bye.” K?”
“Okay, see ya tomorrow.”
“See Ya.”

I met Cheyenne at a summer camp and she would always be playing with cards. Poker, Solitaire, Hearts, anything you could do with playing cards. She even made a few houses of cards, you know, when you stack them on top of each other. But she would only make those if something bad happened. Like when her mom got into a car crash and died, I watched her make houses of cards over and over and over again. That’s why I gave her the nickname, The Queen of Hearts. I call her that all the time (I call her Hearts for short if I don’t feel like saying the whole thing.) She was my best friend forever!! And now I have to live without her for a whole 4 months!! My parents don’t let me make long-distance calls and she’s grounded from her cell phone for 4 months!! (Geeez Cheyenne! Lay off on the text messaging, will ya?) So I can’t even talk to her!! Ugh! What am I gonna do for a whole summer without my best friend?

“McKenzie!!!! Wake Up!! Lunch Time!!” McKenzie’s mom yelled up the stairs to McKenzie’s room.
“Mom! It’s only 12:00! On a Saturday! Be Fair!! At least let me sleep ‘till like 2!”
“Okay Okay… I’m coming!” McKenzie said as she slowly climbed out of bed.
She could tell it was noon because her room was filled with bright light.
Suddenly she remembered that she was supposed to meet Cheyenne at her house at 11:00! Her plane was leaving at 1:00! She ran down to the kitchen, grabbed a piece of toast and was about to run out the door but…
“McKenzie! Are you really gonna run all that way to Cheyenne’s house in your underwear?” McKenzie’s dad asked as he came down the stairs in a suit and tie, ready to leave for work.
“FYI! It’s not underwear! They’re called pajamas!”
“Don’t you talk to me in that tone, young lady!” he said almost sarcastically.
“Fine. I’ll change.”
McKenzie runs as fast as she can up the stairs, throws on a T-Shirt and jeans, and quickly puts her hair in a pony tail. She runs out the door and guess who’s standing there about to ring the doorbell…?
“AHH!” McKenzie screams. “Whoa Michelle! You scared me!”
“Where to in such a hurry?” Michelle questioned.
“Cheyenne’s. She’s going to New York for the whole summer and she’s leaving in like half an hour! Wanna come with?”
“Sure. My mom thought I was coming to your house. Since we only live like 1 street away. But she won’t care because Cheyenne only lives like 2 streets away.”
Michelle was McKenzie’s friend but McKenzie kinda thought of her as a nerd. Just because Michelle like knew EVERYTHING. She’s in 11th Grade Algebra, and we’re in 7th Grade.
“Guess What? See the dew on the grass? Well, Dew is water in the form of droplets that appear in the morning or evening on exposed objects.” Michelle said confidently. “I learned that one in 10th Grade Science.”
“Well, I guess you could put it that way. Wanna know what book I’ve been reading?”
“Sure I guess.” McKenzie said as they crossed the street.
“Okay. The encyclopedia. It’s very informative and I’m trying to memorize it. I’m up to L.”
“Whoa. When did you start reading it?”
“Two days ago. I’ll recite you a passage, if you want.”
“Uhh…” McKenzie didn’t want to hear a passage from the encyclopedia, but she didn’t want to hurt Michelle’s feelings either. “Sorry, but I think I’ll take a rain check.”
“Okay, how about I just tell you something that happened on this date in history. That work better?”
“Yeah.” Definitely, she thought.
“Okay…June 10th, what’s on June 10th? Oh yes, in 1943, the ballpoint pen was first patented in the US. Interesting, isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” She says, rolling her eyes. “We’re here.”
McKenzie says looking around for their car. “Awww man, they left early!!”
“Aww, Shucks.”
“Yeah, Shucks. It’s used as a mild exclamation of disgust or regret.”
“Okkkaaaayyy then…Well I have to go, Sorry.”
“That’s Okay. There’s only 6 hours until the Channel 12 presents, ‘Math Extraordinaire.’ It’s about math! The description says its two whole hours of algebra and division! Doesn’t that sound enlightening? You should come over later and watch with me? Sound like fun, or what?”
“Um, I promised my mom I’d go somewhere else with her tonight, sorry. I’m late. Bye!” McKenzie says and runs back to her house.

Early the next morning, McKenzie calls Lauren and invites her over. Lauren was kind of McKenzie’s friend, but she didn’t really know anything… Michelle and Lauren were like complete opposites. Lauren’s little brother (a 3 year old) was smarter then her. Well at least he can count to 20…
DDDiiinnnggg DDDooonnnggg

“I’ll get it!” McKenzie shouts upstairs to her parents. “It’s Lauren!”
McKenzie opens the door and sees a complete stranger.
“Can I help you?”
“Umm yes. Have you seen Lauren?” the stranger asks.
“Oh! You must be Lauren’s step mom?”
“Yes. About 20 minutes ago, you called her. Then after she hung up she came up to me and said, ‘BOOOOBAAAAAH!!!’ and ran out the door. I was hoping she came to your house.”
“Boo bah? Well I did invite her over but she hasn’t gotten here yet.” McKenzie says thinking about where her friend might be.
“Well do you know of any places that she might be?”
A light bulb turned on inside McKenzie’s head. “There’s a Boo Bah Festival at the Resch Center today. Maybe she went there?”
“No. She’d have to go on a train to get to Green Bay.”
“Well, she thinks there are Mole People, Evil Little Munchkins, and Barney are in the trains. She’s scared of all those things…Especially Barney!

Riiiinnnngg Riiinnnngg Riiinnnngg
“I’ll get it!” Shouts McKenzie as she runs in the door from a morning jog the next day. “I hope it’s not Michelle again.” McKenzie whispered.
“Hello? Matthew Residence.”
“Hey McKenzie. This is Carly. Did you hear what happened?”
“No what?”
“Terrorists took over four planes this morning! Two of them hit the World Trade Center.”
“Where’s that?”
“New York!! You Know? The Twin Towers!” Oh no, Cheyenne was supposed to tour the Twin Towers today!, she thought.
“Where did the rest of them land?” McKenzie asked.
“One hit the Pentagon. And the other one crashed in a field, because the passengers in the plane tried to take over. I heard that it was headed toward the White House. It would have killed the President and Everything!!”
“Oh my gosh. This is so scary.”
“I know. I’m watching it on the news right now. They have pictures and recordings. Turn your T.V. to any of the news stations! It’s on all of them!”
“Okay.” She says as she flips on her television and puts it on Channel 11.
“This morning thousands were killed in the terrorist attack against the U.S. Four planes were taken over by terrorists and were planned to hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House.”The News Reporter stated.
“Whoa…I’m gonna try calling Chey’s cell phone. See if she picks up. Okay? I’ll call you later.” McKenzie said as she flipped off the television.
“Okay see ya.” Click.
860-9196, McKenzie typed into the phone.
RRRiiiinnngggg RRRiiiinnngggg.
“Hello?” A deep men’s voice said.
“No, I’m from the National Guard, trying to find survivors. I found this cell phone in the pocket of a young girl who looks about the age of 12, maybe 13. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and looks to be about 5 foot 3 inches. Do you know her, and if so would you identify her for me please? We’re trying to identify all the survivors…and well non-survivors.”
“She’s Cheyenne Williams from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Can you tell me something?”
“Is she still breathing.” McKenzie questioned slowly and gulped, not sure if she wanted to know the answer.
“Let me check.” He answers and pauses as he checks. “I’m sorry miss, she’s not.”
McKenzie stays silent as she clicks off the phone, and touches her cheek as she feels a tear slowly trickle down.
She’s gone. She thought. And I thought four months was going to be hard to live without her. McKenzie backed up to the wall and slid down until she was sitting. She felt another tear slowly slid down her cheek and fall onto the ground. The Queen of Hearts is gone. Forever.

I walked into my room and got out Cheyenne’s old deck of cards that she gave me. I dumped them all into a pile on my desk, and started. The last house of cards ever made by Chey’s cards.

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