May 14, 2008
By Taryn Huizenga, Waterford, MI

The seasons were beginning to change. For the first time I was able to go outside without having to put on a jacket. Whether or not my mom thought I should have been wearing a jacket, now that was debatable. Summer always seemed to tease me. Spring was an ongoing game of peek-a-boo, seventy degree weather would soon be followed by ice storms. The weather never really made a sense. But yet again it didn’t have to. It was free to do what ever it pleased, never under the control of a single person, always moving, and always unpredictable. The wind was starting to blow me in new directions. Eighth grade was coming to an end and I would be starting high school in the fall with my best friend Hannah. We were anxious to enter this exciting world of new teachers, new friends, and most importantly, cute new boys.

I stood outside and felt the warm sun beaming down upon my face. I was waiting for my mom to pick me up from my dance class; although she was late I didn’t mind. I loved to stand outside in the spring time. The warm weather reminded me of how close summer was approaching. I spotted my mom’s silver SUV pulling up to the door. I quickly grabbed my things and got in the car.

“How was class honey?” she asked as if it were routine.

“Great! What are we having for dinner?” I was starving.

“I’m not sure. We have to talk when we get home though, Ok?”

“Alright Mom.” Was I in trouble? What did I do? I didn’t want to get in trouble right before the summer was starting. I quickly skimmed over anything I did over the past week and I couldn’t thing of one thing that I could have done wrong. The rest of the ride home was nerve racking. My stomach was full of butterflies and soon my appetite had disappeared. The five minute car ride home seemed like it took forever.

When we pulled into my driveway I almost felt relieved that I would finally know what was going on. As I stepped out of the car a drop of rain fell on my head. Dark clouds were slowly staring to cover the beautiful day. I ran into the house when the rain started to pick up.

My mom and dad were waiting for me when I walked into the kitchen.

“I’m afraid we have some bad news. Hannah’s parents called us earlier today and… we thought it would be best if you hear it from us first. Well, Hannah’s Dad lost his job and Hannah’s family is going to have to move to California.” The smile on my face slowly disappeared. Was this a joke?

“She’s moving?” I asked surprisingly. How could something so serious come up so suddenly? I could tell by the looks of their concerned faces that this was no joke.

“Yes, they have to sweetie. All you can do now is make the best of it.” What did she mean make the best of it? How could you make the best out of a situation like this?

“Oh… I just need to be alone now… ok?” I said fighting back the tears.

“If you need anything just let us know. I know this must be extremely hard for you.” I had never walked so fast in my entire life. Once I got into my room my eyes welled. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. Was this real? How was I going to survive? How is Hannah going to survive? Why was this happening to me? Unanswerable questions flooded my mind and took over my thoughts. Life as I knew it was going to change and I didn’t want to accept it. My emotions left me breathless and in denial. I felt like there was a part of that had just been stolen. I had just lost a best friend and the future I thought I had with her. I buried my head into my pillow and cried.
The tears weren’t stopping and neither was the pain I felt. The questions just kept coming back and running over and over in my head. “Why?” That was the biggest question of all. The question I or no one could ever answer. When things happen in your life, unexplainable things, all you wish you could do is figure out their purpose. I believed that everything happens for a reason. The truth was that time was the only real thing that could answer the inevitable question of “why?” and time was something I wasn’t willing to wait for.

I wanted to call Hannah that night, I really did, but I just didn’t feel ready yet. I felt like I had to be strong for her. This would be much harder for her than it ever would be for me and right then I needed to be her support system. We were always there for each other over the years. We helped each other through problems that we just couldn’t handle on our own. At that moment I felt helpless though. How was I supposed to support Hannah when I needed to be helped myself?

The next day I woke up to the sound of my blaring alarm clock. I started going through my daily routine as if today was just like any other. As I was walking the halls of my school I thought of what I was going to say to Hannah. Never in my life did six minutes of passing time seem like a century. I went to the locker that we shared and hoped she would be there. I turned the dial on my locker and slowly put in my combination. I kept looking down the hallway to see if Hannah was coming. When I finally got the locker opened I saw all of Hannah’s books stacked perfectly from the day before. The Jonas brothers posters were there, but no Hannah.
When I got to my classroom I could hear my heart pounding. I started to bite my nails, a nervous habit I have had ever since I could remember. My eyes were fixed on the door, any minute now. This was the moment I had been dreading. Yet I anticipated getting to talk with her about this. The bell rang. There was no sign of Hannah.
Hannah was always the type of person to be the first one to class. She was one of those people who actually liked school for academics. She liked the people there too. She just moved here when she was in fifth grade and it was amazing how fast she was able to make new friends. She was the type of girl that everyone liked no matter what social group they were in and she accepted everyone. It was very strange for her not to have shown up for class. I knew something must have been wrong.
When the bus dropped me off at my house I ran to my garage and bulled out my old rusty bike. I got a new one for my birthday this year but it was too high up for me to reach. My old bike was purple and black. It was worn down from the many rides I used to take on it as a kid. I hopped up on the seat, it was a little low. Considering that the last time I rode this bike was when I was eight inches shorter, I knew this was going to be a challenge.
I slowly made my way up to Hannah’s house. When I reached the driveway I ran up to her door. My bike fell on the ground because I didn’t have time to put the kickstand up. I rang the doorbell several times but no one came to answer it. I tried to see if the door was unlocked. I slowly pulled the handle and the door opened.
“Hannah!” I yelled.
“Kendall? What are you doing here?” I ran upstairs to her room.
“Why weren’t you at school today?”
“I can’t do this again Kendall. Moving is so hard and I don’t feel like I can go through with this again.” That day we ended up talking for hours. It was probably one of the best days I had had with Hannah in a long time. We reminisced on old memories we shard and talked about things to come. We dreamt of what our lives would be like after we left high school and were we would go off to college.
A year after Hannah moved away she came back to Michigan for the summer and stayed with my family for one week. From the moment I saw her walk off her plane I knew that nothing had changed. We hadn’t seen each other in a full year but it was like we just hung out yesterday. I was glad that our friendship survived the year and from then on I knew that we were going to be friends for a very long time.
Today as I look back on all though times me and Hannah had, I’m glad that her moving didn’t shake us. In fact, it made us stronger. She lived on the other side of the country and that forced us to become closer. Her moving has taught me the true meaning of friendship and for that, I am forever grateful.

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