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A Day In the Rain
My heart was going to beat out of my chest, I swear! His dashing blue eyes were staring at me and his absent-minded smile exhilarated me. He waved good bye and got on the bus back to his home in Ohio; that seemed so far away now that I realized my feelings for him were strong.
It saddened me that camp was at its end. Moon Sands Fine Arts Camp was my home for two whole weeks and I didn’t want to leave. Not just because I fell in love with the cutest guy here, but because everyone here loves music and I, for the first time, fit in.
The bus began to pull out of camp, I saw Troy hold up a sheet of paper that said, ‘I love you Anita’, in big, black print. I smiled and blushed, silly Troy. We both knew it was highly unlikely that we would see each other again but we both had very strong feeling for one another.
“Prince charming forgot his princess, huh?” Beth said coming up behind me. “I didn’t know that fairytales had sour endings.”
I playfully shoved her, “Oh shut up Beth. I have both of his phone numbers, his email address, and his address.”
“Long distance relationships always last!” Beth chuckled.
I sighed, “We’ll make it work.”
“Just like every other teen couple on the planet. I bet you a million dollars that you’ll never see or hear from Troy again.”
“I betcha we will! We’re in love Beth and everyone knows that love always works itself out.” I shoved her again and laughed, “I already miss him.”
“Well, my ride is here. Call me, email me, or even randomly show up at my house. I’m gonna miss you Anita,” Beth said, giving me a big hug. “We’re gonna see each other again, I’m gonna make sure of it. Besides, we both live in Michigan.” With one last hug, Beth ran with her luggage to the car waiting to bring her home.
“Bye Beth,” I shouted after her.
Beth disappeared into the car and drove out of the camp; I was all alone now. Well, not technically, there was still quite a few other campers waiting to be picked up to go home but I didn’t feel like talking to them.
Finally my mother pulled up next to me in her old, red mini van and honked the horn five times; that was our signal that it was my mom and not some random stranger. She popped the trunk and waited for me to get in the van. When I finished throwing my suitcase in the trunk, I climbed into the front seat yelling shotgun.
“Anita I missed you terribly! Don’t ever let me let you go away to a camp for two weeks again! The house was so empty without you,” my mom complained, kissing me on the forehead. “But, on the other hand, I hope you had fun. Tell me everything!”
I smiled, “Hey mom, I missed you to. Camp was amazing, I made a ton new friends and learned new things about the flute.” I didn’t want to tell her that I now had a boyfriend who lived in Ohio, that would make the ride home very awkward.
“That’s great honey.”
“I met a really cool girl there, her name is Beth Smith. She plays the clarinet and lives in Michigan. Somewhere around Big Rapids, I think. Do you think she could come over sometime?”
My mom sighed, “Sure, whenever she wants to come over she can.” She seemed stressed, maybe the divorce was getting complicated. My dad must’ve abused my mom again or stole more money from her. Maybe he went back to our house and took what was rightfully ‘his’. I suddenly felt bad that I left my mom alone for two whole weeks with no one to protect her from my evil father.
“Mom is everything okay?” I asked, glancing at her trying to see if she was covered in bruises or scars.
“Why would you ask that? Of course everything is okay! Everything is just perfect...,” my mom yelled, turning to look at me. Tears began to swell up in her eyes.
My mom then had a meltdown, she began to cry like a baby. Between sobs my mom managed to say, “He came...and stole things...Our house is destroyed...We’re staying with nana until everything gets sorted out. Police are in our home...investigating. And your father is looking for us.”
The rest of the ride to nana’s was silent, I didn’t know what to talk to my mom about. I really didn’t feel like pointing out that she was driving way over the speed limit.
We arrived at nana’s shortly before dinner time. Her small house was filled with the aroma of onion soup and baking bread. Nana was asleep on the couch when we walked in the house.
“Put your stuff in the guest room, I got it all ready for you,” my mom commanded, going over to wake up nana.
I walked over to the guest room and saw my stuff from my room in it. My lava lamp, bean bag, books, sheets, and even some of my clothes were scattered on the bed. This would be my room for a long time now. Hopefully, the old person smell would go away; it should if I spray my perfume all over the place. I set my suitcase down on the floor and ran to the bed and cried. I cried over Troy, the love of my life who was probably somewhere in Ohio by now. I cried over how my father destroyed my house. I also cried for my mother and how stressed out and scared she must be right now. I cried until the tears ran dry and composed myself. Hungry, I ventured out to the kitchen for dinner but stopped abruptly when I heard my mom and nana talking; they didn’t notice me hiding around the corner.
“I can’t just live with you mom! I moved out and really don’t want to have to live here again,” my mom complained, stuffing her mouth with bread.
“Judy, don’t worry about it. You’re in danger, your ex-husband is out to get you. Forget about all those rules you have about moving out. Stay with me, both you and Anita, and be safe,” nana insisted, sipping from her floral mug.
“Mom, I can’t ask that from you. Your retired, how will you handle us all the time?”
Nana snorted, “I have no idea, but I do know is that you need to stay somewhere.”
“I’ve been looking out of state. Ohio or Illinois, somewhere around there. He won’t find us if we leave completely.”
Ohio, Troy lived there. Seeing him would brighten my day, but leaving Michigan would be hard. I grew up here. My memories are here. Beth lives here.
“Out of state! Why how can you be able to afford that?” nana exclaimed.
“I can if I take the money out of my retirement fund. My other option is to take money out of Anita’s college fund, which is the absolute last thing I would go. Her education means a lot to me and to her...”
Nana sighed, “Yea, don’t take the money out of Anita’s college fund.”
“What if my retirement fund isn’t enough money for the move? What do I do, mom?”
Sick to my stomach, I quietly walked back to the quest room and sat there on the bed. Pros of leaving Michigan: no crazy, lunatic father trying to hunt us down and nothing else. Cons of leaving Michigan: no Beth, no nana, memories will fade, and I will be very angry. Yawning, I set my head on a pillow and fell asleep.
Days passed and Troy didn’t email or call me. Beth called twice within four days and emailed me ten times. Maybe Troy forgot about me...Shaking the thought aside, I ran out to the kitchen to eat something. Nana wasn’t in the kitchen, my mom was. She looked up from the newspaper and looked at me; a frown formed on her lips.
“Anita, we really need to talk,” my mom whispered.
I looked at her and swallowed the lump in my throat, “About what mom?”
“Our life and what we’re gonna do about it. Your nana thinks we’re safe hiding here, but we’re not. Your dad could find us at any moment. We need to hide for good and that’s why we need to leave Michigan completely.”
My heart broke into hundreds of pieces. Move out of Michigan for good just to get away from my father? No, I thought, please no. This is my home, this is where I belong...
“I’ve been looking at homes in Ohio and found a really cheap trailer park that we could stay at. Nana said she’d go with us, wherever we may go.”
To tell my mom how I truly felt would hurt her in so many ways. She’s just trying to protect me... “Mom that’s great,” I whispered holding back my tears.
She smiled, “Good, we’re leaving next month. Now I need to go buy us a trailer in Ohio!” My mom got out of her chair and went to the living room to use the computer.
When she was gone, I cried my heart out. I wish my life was a fairy tale. I was the princess and Troy the prince. He would whisk me off to some world that was perfect; Beth would be there too, with her crush, whoever he may be. We’d dance the night away and sleep all day. That was my dream world, the world I suddenly longed for.
It was two days before the big move to Ohio and I just remembered that Troy lived there. Maybe moving wouldn’t be so bad. Beth called today and I told her what was going on. Just by the sound of her voice, I knew she was upset. How could I change this? This is all my dad’s fault, not mine!
“You can’t do anything to change her mind,” Beth whined on the other side of the phone.
“No, we’re all packed and ready to go,” I answered, twirling my hair. “You were right about the Troy thing. He hasn’t called or emailed me. I should’ve believed you...I thought he was different.”
Beth laughed, “You owe me a million dollars, Anita.”
“Yea I do, I chuckled. “Well, talk to you later, my mom really needs the phone.”
“Aw... Love you like a sister,” Beth said before hanging up. I hung up and handed my mom the phone. She thanked me and started to call the trailer park. Walking back to my room, I tried to think of ways to earn a million dollars.
The next day was my last day in Michigan. It was heartbreaking to realize that I was leaving my home for good. Nana suggested I should go say goodbye to my police infested house. I decided that I was going to do just that and headed out the door. To my luck, it started to rain while I walked over to my house. I had no umbrella or hoodie to keep me dry. It was like Mother Nature wanted to watch me cry again.
Nana was right about my house being full of police and detectives. They were taking pictures and looking at evidence. I sat on the curb in front of my house and sighed. My house full of memories would belong to someone else shortly, my mom told the police to forget about the missing items case and move on. The past came back to me when my father loved me and my mom. I remembered our picnic in the backyard when ants ate all the food. I also remembered the tea party in the basement when my dad split all the tea on the carpet. I let out another long sigh.
A car pulled up to the house and someone got out. Probably another cop, I thought. The person put on their hood and walked over to me while the car drove away. The person was a boy, a really tall boy. He seemed so vaguely familiar. The boy sat next to me on the curb and whistled. I looked at him, his blue eyes were staring at me, a smile broke out on his face.
“Troy?” I asked, wondering if I was dreaming.
“Anita,” he answered, grabbing my hand.
“What are you doing here?”
He laughed, “I’m here to see you. Why else would I be here?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I don’t know...Why haven’t you called?”
“I did! I called your house, the one you said you lived in. The one that’s swarming with cops. You never answered or called back, I was afraid something happened to you. I asked my older brother to drive me here if I paid him for gas. Basically, I came to make sure you weren’t dead.” Troy starred at me, waiting for me to reply.
“Oh...I’m so sorry! My da-- , long story. I’m living with my nana now, I should’ve called. I thought you forgot about me...,” I cried, leaning on his shoulder.
“Why would I forget the person I love?” Troy whispered, burying his face into my hair. “I love you so much Anita.”
I looked at him, “I love you more, Troy.”
Troy leaned in and kissed me on the lips. It was so magical with the rain. His lips were like velvet, I practically melted. I parted first and looked him in the eyes.
“I just remembered something,” I said mysteriously.
“What,” Troy asked.
“Beth owes me a million dollars.”
Troy laughed, “Do share...”
I then kissed him, it was electrifying, I had to command my heart to stay in my chest. So this is what love felt like...