Ravens Travels

February 12, 2011
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“Raven Prymes, you’re up next!” my teacher exclaimed.
Grasping my fingers together, as I do every time I get nervous, I take a gulp and begin to speak.
“Good morning my name is Raven Prymes and I will be speaking to you about how molecules form.”

This is how my last speech for science class began. I am in my senior year of high school and I am so excited. Sitting right in front of me was the other Valid Victorian of my class. Whipping her long blond hair around making a one hundred eighty degrees turn, she batted her blue eyes and said break a leg. I knew in the back of my mind that she really meant for me to break a leg, so she could be the only valid Victorian to walk up on stage. Even though she hated me and vice versa I still said thanks and walked up to the podium. I have always performed significantly well in school making straight A’s beginning in kindergarten. My mom always told me, “Go for the gold honey!” I know she wants the best for me, and I never wanted to let her down.

This is my last class of my last day of senior year. My mom had me apply to Harvard, Stanford, and many other Ivy League colleges that require my grade point average. I haven’t told my mom yet that I do not want to go to college this year. It’s not that I don’t want to go at all I just want to take a year off and go travel. I love elephants and really want to see one that’s not kept in a zoo. Bollywood, India really caught my eye and sounds like an amazing place to go visit. Tick Tock Tick Tock...riiiiing! As the bell rings, I’m grasping my fingers afraid to break the news to my mom.

I walk into the house, and my mom is sitting in the kitchen. I gulp down some water and clinch my fingers together once more. I said, “umm mom c-can I t-talk to you?”
“I’m just going to come out and say it. I don’t want to go to college this year.”
She said, “What!? You have prepared for this your whole life! Why are you doing this!? You are going to college! You are going to have a future!”
I exclaimed, “Mom! I didn’t want to go to school right out of high school I never have! I want to go travel!”
My mom kept yelling after that, so I just stormed up to my room. I ran my arm across my desk, throwing everything around the room. As pencils flew across the wall and glass hit the wood floor, I said to myself, why should I even be here if I can’t be who I want to be? My mom is making all the decisions for me. It’s like I’m not allowed to have a mind of my own. I’m filled with depressing thoughts while cooped up in this hypocritical house. What is the point of being on this earth if you can’t explore it? I’m trapped in my mother’s dream and I can’t get out! I don’t think it’s possible to get out of this situation. Death is my only option.
Sobbing on my bed, I hear the doorbell ring. My dog, barking with an earsplitting sound, bounced up and down against the door. Pushing her to the side, I get up and open the door. There is a package on the ground with my name on it but no return address. I picked it up, shut the door, and hiked up the stairs. I thought to myself, who would care enough about me to send me a package? I opened it without any concern and pulled out half of a locket and a beautiful elephant.
Just then I remembered why I wanted to go to Bollywood in the first place. I waited until my mom left the house to pack my things. Instead of writing the suicide note, I wrote a note to tell her I was leaving to go travel. I bought a plane ticket and got in the car. I headed towards the airport when traffic suddenly paused. There was construction everywhere and the four lane highway had turned into a one lane, setting me back an hour behind schedule. When I finally reached the airport and got to the terminal, the flight had been delayed. I took a big sigh and moved my luggage to the closest chair.
Sitting next to me is a guy I swear I have seen before.
He turned his head and said, “Hi Raven.”
I said, “Umm...hi.”

He said, “It’s me Peter, I was in your English class.”
When he said that, of course I remembered him, he sat two rows next to me. I smiled and replied with a chuckle, “Yea I remember you.”
He asked, “So why are you going to Bollywood?”
I said, “I really just need to get away, and I love elephants.”
We talked for the rest of the three hours that our flight was delayed. Finally, we boarded the plane.
Luckily, I received a window seat, so I could take some pictures. I had just gotten a new camera for my birthday on Monday, and was excited to use it for the first time. When I was situated, Peter got to the seat next to me. We talked the whole ride and then fell asleep. When I woke up, I discovered I had been lying on his shoulder for hours. I looked up and glanced at him, he just smiled. We decided right then and there that we would go tour Bollywood together. We exited the plane and saw so many different sights. We spotted a beautiful wedding outside by a famous fountain. From the clothing to the instruments, there were so many colors used. The couple in love made an impressive entrance riding on an elephant which had jewels draped on its trunk. Everyone was happy and dancing. We felt like doing something out of our comfort zone, so we crashed the party. Since the wedding was so big, no one even noticed, except for our clothes. Instead of having an amazing traditional dress draped around my shoulder, I had sweats on. Nevertheless, Peter took my hand and spun me around then dipped me. It was just like those old time movies. I loved every minute of it. That night was a great start to my trip. The next day we went to an auditorium where we saw amazing Bolly dancers. I told Peter that I knew he enjoyed that while winking at him, but I really did enjoy it too. Their costumes were sparkly, and they were wrapped with extravagant cloth. After that, we were a little hungry; it was a beautiful day, so we went on a picnic. Peter packed the basket while I got the blankets and the camera. He is such a good listener because I had told him I loved strawberries, and he surprised me with a whole bowl full of them! When we got to the park, there were kids everywhere. It was the first time I have ever seen kids play without a playground. There was only open space and a sunny day. Kites in shapes of animals were soaring in the sky, and people were fishing in the lake. We set our blanket right next to a big oak tree. We started to eat, and then, Peter just smiled at me. It was a little weird at first, but then he got up. He grabbed a rock and carved in the tree “Peter <3’s Raven.” It was so sweet.
I smiled, and then he kissed me and said, “I love being here in Bolly with you.”
That was a perfect lunch, and I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for the rest of the day.
We walked around the streets holding hands and looked in about every window display that could possibly exist. We saw these people who were meditating on the floor and thought we could give it a try. It was actually very peaceful, until I started to laugh at everyone saying “ommmm.” I couldn’t help myself, but then, we were kicked out of there. Peter never let that go. The next morning, we went on a walk because it was perfect weather again. On the sidewalk, we saw a biker who had the most interesting hat on. I mean, it was huge! Once I saw the hat, it gave me an idea. I pulled Peter across the street and into the hat shop. We tried on every hat in the store, and I took a billion pictures. After that, we went to dinner and a movie. Sitting in the theatre, I hid behind Peter because it was just too scary, but I know he didn’t mind. I smiled so much when I was with him, and he made me laugh. All I wanted to do was never leave his sight.
Finally, this was the day I was waiting for. We are going to see the elephants. We arrived just in time to ride the astounding creatures. We talked, laughed, and saw a stunning view. Peter was really good at riding elephants because he rode a lot of horses at home. I, on the other hand, couldn’t find the right grip and wobbled for about ten minutes straight. Eventually, I got the hang of it and started to turn my elephant around. I called Peter to come over, and he looked the other way. All of a sudden, his elephant had a panic attack because of a snake. This is the one thing the instructors warned us about. Peter flew up in the air and landed on the ground. I was so worried; I jumped off my elephant and ran to him. My heart beating so fast, I didn’t know what to do. I yelled for help, but no one was in sight. Peter was unconscious and wasn’t breathing. I started to perform CPR. I was crying my eyes out; it had been thirty minutes, and by that time people started to worry because we were taking more time than usual. They came looking, and had emergency help. They got out their tools and did every procedure possible, but it was too late. Hysterically crying, I lye next to Peter on the ground.
I whispered in his ear, “If you can still hear me Peter, it’s me Raven. Don’t forget about me.”
I was not ready to say goodbye, but the medic said it was time to go. I nodded my head to the medic, kissed Peters forehead, and gathered my things. I followed them as they showed me the way out. I was the last thing Peter saw, and I never left his sight.
I entered the hotel and packed my things. Peter once said to me, “If you can’t be happy alone, you might as well be happy with someone else.” Peter was my “someone else,” and now he was gone. Why do these things happen!? You always say, “Oh that’s not going to happen to me,” but it does! I thought there was an explanation for everything, but I guess some things are just a mystery. On the plane I was looking at all of my pictures. I will treasure this trip forever, I thought to myself.
As I departed the plane, I turned around and said, “Goodbye Peter I’ll see you again someday.”
When I got home, my mom was furious. She started to yell just like it was six months ago. I waved my hand, smirked, and told her it was nice to see her too. I dragged myself up stairs and collapsed on the bed. Right when my head hit the plush pillow, I heard what sounded like a paper crinkling under my ear. I bounced back up, turned my head, and saw an envelope on my bed; again, it had no return address. I opened it up, and it had the other half of the necklace with a note. It said “Be with me in Bolly, from Peter.” I sat there as my eyes started to tear up and thought how could this be? I traced my steps back to before I left. I knew that I didn’t tell anyone about my dreams to go to India. A drop of salty water plunged from my face onto the piece of paper. I went through my old backpack to find my notebook from English class. I rapidly flipped each page, until I came to an interesting looking page. It was folded into the shape of a heart. I remembered that this was the day I fell in love with India. I had drawn an elephant in the heart. I flipped it over to discover a note written in red, my favorite color. It said: “I know about your dream, and I’m with you the whole way. from Peter.” Although I made the heart, I had shoved it in my notebook, never to be touched again. I thought to myself, he knew about me this whole time. I broke down into a million pieces; drenched with sorrow and a lot of wet tears I couldn’t stop thinking about him. This was the last thing he had said to me and it was so important.
I reached over to pick up the necklace and put the two sides together, held it close to my heart and whispered, “I love you Peter.”
Even though I know now that he knew about me this whole time, the mystery still stands of how I received the package. I adore the precious gifts he bestowed on me and will treasure them forever.
Every day, that necklace lay adjacent to my heart. The next school year, I applied to Stanford and got accepted. I am ready to take on the college world and become someone. I know that Peter is going to be with me the whole way. As I try to move on from this tragic event, I am changing my childish ways of arguing and creating a new relationship with my mom. I have transformed since I was a senior in high school. I am now a senior in college and going to take my second, and last, trip to Bollywood, India. I’m going to visit Peter for the last time. I plan to do everything we did, but with him in spirit. I can’t wait to go eat under our tree and try on hats. Peter was my life, my love, my spirit, and, in the future, my soul mate.
Well, until next time. I’ll ttyl diary, thanks for listening.


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LovelyMiss This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 20, 2011 at 12:22 am
Omg I think I just fell in LOVE with this!!! Omfg I freaking loved this! And y did it have to be so sad:( it most made me want to cry it was so sweet so vivid like I was there was there stocking them or something!:) haha jk but i really liked this!!:) good job! Keep writing it amazing and u have some talent!:)
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