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I let Adam’s words repeat in my head over and over.
Joey is moving.
Oh my god.
I remember what he told Sarah when she asked why.
“He said his dad gave him a choice and he doesn’t like it here so he’s leaving.”
I’m sitting on my bed with my backpack in my lap letting tears stream down my cheeks when I hear the horn of the bus and rush out.
“Bye mom!” I call. She waves with the knife in her hand that she was carving apples with. She’s making apple butter. An old family recipe.
I climb the stairs of the bus and nod when the bus driver says hi.
When I sit down Aubin is giggling and talking about some stupid conversation she had with Bradley yesterday. When Jess told her he tripped on the stairs she burst into hysterics. I turned around only to see her still laughing like an idiot. Drawing attention to herself.
“Hey Aubin, why don’t you do us all a favor and shut up.” she immediately stopped laughing. She glared at me and then smirked.
“Well how about you do me a favor and lose some weight.” she giggled.
That did it. I lashed right at her face and smacked her.
Her head jerked to the left and I left a handprint right there.
She looked up at me with a horrified expression.
“What was that for?” she squeaked.
“Is that any way to apologize Aubin?” I said innocently.
Her eyes narrowed.
“I’m so very sorry.” she growled.
I laughed. “Apology not accepted.”
I turned around and turned on my ipod. I could hear her complaining hysterically behind me. Her brother was smiling at me and laughing at her.
When I got to school the first thing I did was go find Adam.
When I did he took one look at my agonized face and grimaced.
“Oh god Norene what’s wrong?” he whimpered.
“Please tell me you were lying to Sarah last night.” I whined.
He shook his head. “I-I’m sorry Norene.”
I tried to hold back my tears but they managed to fall.
“Can I do anything?” he asked anxiously.
I nodded. “Go get him.”
I was relieved to know he wouldn’t be leaving for a couple weeks.
Adam nodded and walked into Mrs. Shleuters room.
He walked back out with Joey. My legs shook as he got closer and he too grimaced at the look on my face. Only now, I was crying.
He ran up and hugged me.
“Please don’t leave.” I begged. I was overwhelmed by him touching me. Considering he never went near me. Ever.
He pulled back, still holding me and looked into my eyes.
He pulled me back into the hug and whispered the two words I’d dreamt of the night before.