Boxes

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     “Madelyn,”  my mom called from the kitchen. She was wrapping the breakables in yellowing newspaper. “Are you packed?”
     “Yes, mom,” I yelled back. Lying on my carpeted floor, face towards the ceiling fan, I sighed loudly. I felt like an ant in my now-empty, hollow room. Six cardboard boxes were stacked in my bay window-- everything I owned was in my bay window.
     “We’re leaving in ten,” my mom shouted in the direction of my room. My heavy heart fell to the carpet.
     Only ten more minutes. I didn't notice I had stood up from the floor, but suddenly I was facing the duct-taped boxes. “I can’t wait to see my new home,” I pretended, tears beginning to steadily stream down my cheeks. I would make a terrible actor: I couldn’t even convince myself of that one statement.
     There were two knocks at my bedroom door. “Sweetie, the moving truck is here a few minutes early,” my soft-speaking mother started, peeking her head through. “Are you ready?”
I shook my head with my back facing her. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the windows where I spent all of my memorable moments with Cierra: laughing until our stomachs both hurt, crying over the season finale of Boy Island, and especially when she gave me our first friendship bracelet-- the turquoise one with white stripes that will forever be attached to my wrist.
     “This is for you,” Cierra whispered as if we were undercover again on our usual spy mission: collecting information on Kassy’s boyfriend. Cierra’s older sister, Kassy, claimed that she had suspicions about her boyfriend cheating on her. Being the naive but considerate eight year olds we were, Cierra and I used to stealthily cruise Elmore Avenue on our bikes for hours in the July heat in search of any intriguing movement that would emerge from Corbin’s two-story home. The most action we saw that summer was Corbin embracing his sister before she left for college. Thrilling.
     Continuing smoothly, almost as if this was rehearsed, Cierra wrapped the blue and white bracelet around my boney wrist and snapped it into place. It was loose, but I liked it. “This way,” she began again, “if you ever miss me, you can just look down at your wrist and know that I’m always with you.”
     Where was she now that I needed her most?
     My mom, who usually shows little to no emotion, draped her arm around my waist. The salty tears started pouring from my eyes in sobs. While we stood there absorbing the sun and each other’s body heat, the air in my room had been sucked out in a vacuum. All that was left was silence-- no semis roaring outside the windows, no birds pecking songs on the oak trees, no lawn mowers awakening from sleep. Just silence.
     “Let’s go,” my mom croaked as she slowly dragged herself out of my room, taking her arm with her. The warm space on my back had gone cold again. It was nice while it lasted.






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