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She Has Style
Soda with too much syrup becomes overly sweet. It is too aggressive with the taste buds that are so meek and timid. Yet, soda is soda. The hint of its delicious tint is still embodied in it.
I sip on my Dr. Pepper. The beverage slides down my throat and brings comfort to my sadness. I’m lonely.
My phone begins to buzz with the breath of life. I take a deep breath and glance down at my cell. Sandra. A name I am not surprised to see. I want to talk, but I’m not ready. I sip my Dr. Pepper.
My phone vibrates again. She left a voicemail. What can she have to say? Words will only make this harder. Despite everything, I really want to hear her voice. Even to hear her say “okay.” She says that word often. “It’s okay” “Don’t worry everything is okay.” But not everything is always okay.
Why did this happen to me? I’m just a girl who had a best friend and now everything is ruined. I sip the rest of my Dr. Pepper, crush the can and place it into a bag and hear the clank as it hits the other dozens of cans that had taken residence in that bag. Yes, I drink soda a lot and I care about the environment so I recycle, but I am forced to do it myself. Sometimes Sandra would help me.
I wince in pain. It’s impossible to look back on anything in my past that doesn’t involve Sandra. Ever since I had short out of control hair with bangs and was noticeably shorter, Sandra was there sitting across from me in kindergarten. My lips form a smile. A quirky girl with free flowing hair, that made my cheeks green with envy, comes to mind.
I remember the day I talked to this girl who was outgoing and weird(in a good way), the complete opposite of me, the shy and boring one. I don’t remember the season, but I know it was a rather cool day with the breeze swaying the trees and the sun was smiling with a hint of warmth. My blonde curls kept attacking my eyes that day and I had gotten glue on my favorite Cookie Monster shirt from the noodle art we had been doing before lunch.
I was walking out to recess after eating my lunch, when out of nowhere flowing hair waltzed up to me, without introduction, and demanded I play two square with her. I had no idea what to say so I awkwardly followed her. That day lead to countless slumber parties where we stayed up way past midnight playing twenty questions and having “creative discussions.” Mostly we argued about stupid things, like who was the best Backstreet Boy.
We never agreed on anything and constantly fought, but I loved hanging out with her. I instantly became obsessed with our friendship, because I like who I am when I’m with her. When others diss my style choices of animated shirts, colorful barrettes and long jean skirts that fall past my knees, Sandra is there to offer comfort. She teases me playfully about some of the clothes I wear, but when tears start to fall she gets serious.
I can almost see the outline of her in front of me clasping her hands together, sitting in her beanbag chair looking up at her ceiling(she does that when she’s thinking.) It was the time in seventh grade when I was more depressed than usual. Ryan Miller, my crush at the time, had purposely poured his milk on my Little Mermaid tank top.
I can see Sandra cursing his name and resuming to thinking position. After awhile, she looked at me and said something that I will never forget.
“Lacey, you do something most kids are terrified of doing. You like wearing clothes that seems odd in middle school, but you still wear them no matter what anybody says. While people like Ashley Aimes wear what everyone else is wearing, you continue to wear shirts you’ve worn since what,..fourth grade?.. You pave your own path and like what you like, which scares the Ryan Miller’s of the world who like what they’re supposed to like….Does that make sense?” Sandra said. I just smiled and nodded. Sandra gave me an assuring pat and surprised me with a brand new Little Mermaid shirt.
All these memories make me want to cry. I force myself to my present fifteen year old body. My phone is still ringing. Sandra. I should answer, I should answer I continue to think.
While I debate with myself, a slight tapping begins to evolve on my window. Tap Tap Tap. I make my way to the window and lift it open. I look down to find a person I expected to see. Sandra.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your tree,” Sandra says beginning to climb the tree that leads to my second story window. The reason she didn’t say “let down your hair,” is because I don’t have long hair. Mine is chopped short where it brushes my chin and flips out at the ends. Also, Sandra says that line about Rapunzel letting down her hair is completely unrealistic. “If the prince really came up on her hair, she would be in so much pain that she wouldn’t want to be with him…Of course a boy would be dumb enough to try that and expect something from her.” Sandra had said. We have had countless discussions in regards to this topic.
She steps through my window with ease and the breeze moves her long flowing hair. Her done up cat eyes look into mine.
“So how come you haven’t answered my calls?” She asks. She was never one to beat around the bush.
“I don’t know,” I say not meeting her gaze. When I don’t say anything further, she removes her hand from behind her back and offers me a Dr. Pepper.
I smile and grab the soda. Sandra admires my newly painted walls. I sip the Dr. Pepper and place it on my desk.
“Thank you,” I say quietly, giving a small smile.
“I miss hanging out with you,” Sandra says. I’ve never seen her look so helpless. Her glazed eyes wander the room.
“I miss you too.” I say.
“I know it may scare you, but I meant what I said……I love you.” Sandra says. My voice catches in my throat and I remain silent. After a few minutes she lets out a sigh. “Well that’s all,”she says, going to leave. She’s leaving, She’s leaving my mind says.
“Wait.” I say freeing my voice. She turns questioningly.
“You’re right, I am scared,” I begin to say, “I’m scared, because I think I have been in love with you since we were little.” I say the latter in a rush and I can feel my cheeks warm. She tentatively smiles and grabs my hand and kisses my palm.
A tear falls out of my eye as I remember the first time I ever felt this type of warmth. At the time it happened, I didn’t understand what the feeling meant.
It was a time in middle school when I was walking down the hallway and out of nowhere Sandra grabs my hand out of comfort. I got this warm feeling in my stomach as I listened to Sandra yell at yet another kid, who didn't understand my love for Disney characters, “Shut up stupid! You’re just jealous, because she has style and you don’t! For future reference, a green shirt and red pants should only be worn around Christmas time!...In case you didn’t realize, Santa’s sleigh isn’t coming anytime soon!” I just smiled and sipped my Dr. Pepper while we held hands down the hallway.