the things they carried...

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Madison was memorized by the clock on the wall, counting down the minutes, even seconds; she had left of high school. The teacher’s farewells and last words went right through her head as she could only focus on what the summer had in store for her and her friends and more importantly, what they were going to pack. Maddie and her three partners in crime were going on the trip of a lifetime this summer before they parted ways for college. It was the day they were leaving for the trip, and of course, she hadn’t packed a single thing. She had been too busy to pack with soccer practice after school everyday and then going straight to the gym as if soccer wasn’t enough of a workout. Bridget, on the other hand, had been ready and packed for weeks now. Checking and rechecking the things she packed, she didn’t want to forget anything. Knowing the girls wouldn’t be prepared, Bridget’s suitcase was consumed with first aid supplies, extra tampons, spring fresh deodorant, magazines, snacks, and a day by day schedule of events so they wouldn’t be bored for a second. She didn’t want to have a free moment this summer to think about the broken heart she was starting the summer with. Her suitcase also contained her new pink polka-dotted bathing suit, fresh pair of Gap flip flops, a picture of her ex-boyfriend, numerous love novels she pictured herself reading on the beach, and last, hope for one of them to be about her.

Opposite of Bridget, Kate was not as optimistic about the summer. School ending and summer beginning meant saying “see ya later” to her boyfriend of two years, Rick, the star of the baseball team. She could not live without Rick, and was dreading not seeing him the whole summer. The only thing she wanted to pack in her suitcase was him. As she packed, she couldn’t help but wonder what this meant for her and Rick, would he be faithful while she was gone? Speaking of that, the first thing she packed in her suitcase was her bible, followed by her favorite sweatshirt and sweatpants to feel more comfortable, they were Rick’s of course. She packed her favorite pictures of her and him together and her paints and sketchpad for when she sat, toes in the sand, admiring the sunset, alone. She couldn’t forget to pack the stationary with hearts on them, that she had ordered online, to keep Rick updated on her trip and keep him thinking about her. She put on her favorite necklace that he had given her for her birthday and she was ready to go after she packed one last thing, her journal, she couldn’t live without it.

Beep! Beep! Madison was there with Bridget to pick her up and head over to Holly’s house, she was having a fashion emergency. Leaving for the airport in about an hour, Holly was still in the early stages of packing and in need for help from the girls. She almost needed a separate suitcase just to pack hair products, make-up, lotions, tanning oil, perfumes, and teeth whitener. Holly, always concerned with her appearance, also packed her suitcase with full-priced designer everything. You name it, and she packed it. From bathing suits to dresses, she wouldn’t dare be an outfit-repeater. Her morals varied from the other girls’ as her suitcase also contained a fresh box of condoms, lacy bras, and her new, Victoria’s Secret lingerie. To say the least, Holly was overwhelmed with the excitement of meeting new boys, foreign ones. She was a little bit bored with the ones here, “been there, done that”, was her feeling about it. But before they could go, she had re-apply her lip gloss and pick out the perfect outfit for the plane.
Madison was the only one left to still pack. But it was easy for her. All she thought about was sports. She rummaged through her clean laundry to find her lucky shorts; they helped her make it to state last year in soccer, she couldn’t go anywhere without them after that. Her suitcase was also packed with every gym shirt she owned, four pairs of running shoes, soccer cleats, every color sports bra you could think of, her workout plan, and nutrition guidelines. She threw hair in a messy ponytail with a headband and she was excited for the summer to find new paths to run down and more calories to burn. She just wanted to experience the culture change of the athletic world.
Now, all packed, off to the airport. They all hopped in Madison’s little two door sports car to begin their summer. Their adventure would start out as they each stepped out and walked up to the departure terminal. Each of them strolling along with different expectations carried in their luggage. Bridget, planning every moment, carried hope. Hope for a safe, happy trip following the schedule and no drama, everything running smoothly, and learning new and exciting things. Kate packed love. Love for her boyfriend that she was leaving behind. Kate also carried doubt. Doubt about Rick’s feeling about her leaving for the first time. Doubt about how it would be upon her return. Holly on the other hand, carried excitement. Excitements to meet new people, experience new things, and hopefully get some guys’ phone numbers. And lastly, Madison carried with expectations of adventure. Hoping she would find cliffs to climb and beaches to run on. As different as these girls were, they left for the summer about to embark on the same journey. Just the things they carried with them were different...





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