A Smile (Part 1)

May 13, 2010
Plato once said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” This is a story about losing, then realizing you still have your whole life ahead of you. We go to Jane, the salutatorian of Wrightsville High School, at her graduation ceremony on June 10.

“Hello? Is anyone in there? Jane? Yoo-hoo!” I jerk my head up and come back to reality. My friend, Jenny, is there, tapping my shoulder.

“Huh? What?” I ask.

“You’re up next!” she says, as she pushes me onto the stage.

“Jane Langley, our salutatorian!” announces Principal Snow. He shakes my right hand, and hands me my diploma. I look out across the crowd and smile. In the middle of the gym is where the graduates are, a sea of blue graduation gowns. I sigh. I am done with high school. I look down at my hand with my diploma and see proof of this.

I get off the stage and take my seat among my fellow graduates, the people I’ve survived four years of high school with. I’m going to miss this.

The next day, five of my friends decide to go to Millie’s Ice Cream Parlor. Jenny said that I’ve been acting strange and distant, lately; they were her words, not mine. Plus, she found this as an opportunity to celebrate the end of high school.

“A-hem! I would like to propose a toast!” Jenny exclaims. She raises her incredibly decorative ice cream cone with sprinkles, nuts, hot fudge, chocolate chips, and strawberries; and, everyone follows. “To our memories in this little town of ours; to the late nights talking, texting, and studying for exams; and early mornings with our newfound friend, Coffee; to growing up; to moving on to wherever you’re going; and, most of all, to friendship.”

“To friendship!” we all cheer.

As another group of friends walk through the doors, the laughter and bicker all start up again and I am alone. Millie’s Ice Cream Parlor is a really special place in Wrightsville, especially for teens. In some places, teens gather around gas stations or parking lots, but here, we have Millie’s. I remember the first time I came here. I was four years old and Millie’s had just opened….

Ding-dong! The door chimed as Mommy and I walked through. I was wearing a pink dress with white flowers, pink flats, and my dark brown hair was up in two high pigtails, tied up with pink hair ties. I use to love my hair in two high pigtails because I could walk and feel my hair swinging around. I was holding Mommy’s left hand with my right hand. I had thought Millie’s was “so cool” because I liked the colors: the creamy vanilla beige, the mint green, the chocolate brown, and the pink!

I tugged on Mommy’s hand. “Mommy, I want ice cream,” I said.

“Hello there, Pumpkin! Which flavor do you want?” a tall woman with red hair asked, from behind the counter. At the age of eight, I learned her name was Millie, short for Millicent.

I pointed to one and said, “Pink.” Of course, at the time I did not know it was strawberry. Strawberry, though, would become my favorite ice cream flavor.

“Sure, hon. It’s on the house,” Red-haired Lady/Millie said. Mommy thanked her. I was confused and asked Mommy if we were able to reach the ice cream since it was on the house. Mommy just laughed.

Millie’s became my second home. It was where I met Jenny for the first time, when she moved here. I had my first date here. I occasionally came here to do my homework, too. Over the summers of freshman, sophomore, and junior year, I worked here. Home is where the heart is. I’m not just leaving my residential home; I’m leaving Millie’s, too....

“Jane? Jane?” Jenny calls in a sing-song voice. I come back to reality. Jenny is giving me an are-you-okay look with one raised eyebrow. “Are you okay?”

I think for a bit. I am going out of state for college and Jenny is going out of state, too; she is just going to a different state than I am. “Yes, I’m just going to miss this place,” I reply. I sigh, and get up and out of Millie’s. I need to take a walk….

Jane had gotten accepted into her college early, so in a week, she will begin a program for incoming freshman. She does not have all summer to appreciate and have fun. Jane, though, is considering not attending the program and just starting in the fall. She knows her mother will not like it. She has not yet told her friends.
In life, there are many paths to take and some paths automatically shift you onto a different path. Some paths are intertwined. We go to Alexis, a girl who used to love to laugh and smile, until her best friend died in a car accident…. (To be continued... in Part 2)

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback