Who I Am With You

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 Stereotypes suck whether they are “good” or “bad.” People put you in some category and expect you to live up to it; don’t dare step out of line or you will be judged.


I guess that you could say I was given the stereotype of the quiet little straight A student who would never dare to do anything wrong. I can’t count the times I have heard people say things like “We all know Adeline got an A” or “Well it just comes easy to you.” I would bite my tongue and hold in my snarky comments about how if they tried studying they wouldn’t fail every test they took. Honestly school was not a walk in the park for me. I spent several evenings studying for hours to earn those A’s. I guess the good girl reputation went along with how much time I put into school, and that I didn’t spend my weekends partying.  


Up until my sophomore year of high school I was content with the idea of being the “good girl.” It was just who I was. But  somewhere during that year I started to want more. I was bored of my dull life. My days consisted of going to school, going to cross country practice, and going home. The school year dragged on that boring schedule never changing; except for when cross country ended I ran by myself instead of with my team.


Finally after what felt like an eternity  it was summer. I knew that I was not going to become some exciting person just because it was summer, but at least I wouldn't have to go to school. It may surprise people, but just because I am a straight A student does not mean I like school.


On the first day of summer I decided that I was going to mix it up and go for a run on one of my favorite trails; I didn't get to run  this trail very often during the school year because it was about a thirty minute drive from my house. As I drove the winding road with the windows of my Jeep down and music blasting I belted out every word of every song. After my little karaoke session I finally arrived at the state park where the trails was. I parked my Jeep in the little parking lot that was inhabited by only a few other vehicles.


I hopped out of my Jeep locked the doors and stashed my key away under my back left tire. Then I pushed the little green button on my GPS watch so it could find my location and track the miles how many miles I went during my run. I stood at the start of the trail with the arm  my watch was on raised in the air; if you're a runner you will understand that it feels like the GPS will find you quicker if the watch is in the air.


After a few minutes I finally heard the watch make a beeping sound telling me the GPS finally found my location. I pressed the little green button again and started running. I was planning on going on a long run today all the way to the end of this trail and back. Which came out to be around six miles.


As I sat into a nice pace all my troubles seemed to drift away. This trail always had that effect on me all I could focus on was the natural beauty that surrounded me. The trail curved with the lake  giving the perfect view of the morning sun hitting the water. The farther I went the less I focused on my running and the more I focused on what surrounded me. That was short lived  because around mile two I was snapped back into reality as my foot got caught on a root. I went crashing onto ground.      


After hitting the ground I sat on there in shock for a few seconds, but was pulled back into reality as the pain flooded in. The worst was my left ankle. As I examined myself I saw that the ankle was already beginning to swell; I was pretty sure that it was sprained


I was so focused on assessing my injury that I did not even notice that someone was approaching me.  My head snapped up when I heard a masculine voice saying, “Are you alright??” It took me a minute to respond. I was a little preoccupied by his gorgeous face. Finally I snapped out of it and answered him, “ I’m not sure I think I sprained my ankle.”


He crouched down beside me to take a look at my ankle, and as he did that I took the time to get a better look at him. His chocolate brown hair was drenched in a layer of  sweat, probably from running or whatever he had been doing before he came to my rescue. I could definitely tell he did some type of physical activity by his broad shoulders and muscular arms. Once again his voice snapped me out of my thoughts. “Yeah it looks sprained; do you want to try and stand?” I nodded my head and said, “Yeah.” He helped me up making sure I didn’t lose my balance. As soon as I tried putting pressure on it I crumbled into this guy who’s name I still didn’t know.


“Well it doesn't look like you will be walking anywhere on that ankle, "he said as he helped me keep my balance. Next thing I know he scooped me up into his arms and said, “I will take you back to your car.” As he began walking I said, “ Thank you.” He smiled down at me and said, “ No problem, by the way I’m Tyler.” I returned the smile and introduced myself.  “ I’m Adeline.”
We continued in silence for a few minutes before I broke it. “Sorry to interrupt whatever you were doing before.”  He shook his head saying, “Don’t be sorry, I don’t mind getting to save a pretty girl.” I felt my face heat up; it was probably red as a tomato at that point.


For the remainder of the walk we talked  about running. You would think that I would feel uncomfortable with him carrying me but I didn’t. I guess there are some good people left in this world that are helpful without any bad intentions.


In no time at all we were approaching the parking lot. I  pointed out which vehicle was mine, and he headed toward it. As he sat me down I put a hand on my Jeep to keep my balance. I thanked him once again. He smiled and said, "You're very welcome, are you going to be okay to drive?" I nodded my head and said, "Yeah, I'll be okay." We said our goodbyes as I got into my Jeep.  He then headed to the trail we had just emerged from; probably to finish his run that I had interrupted.


As I started my Jeep I kicked myself for not getting his phone number. I know I had just met him, but there was just something about him that made me want to know more.


It had been  a few weeks since I had met Tyler, and I had not seen him at all since then. My ankle was all healed up, it was just a sprain. Nothing some ice and ibuprofen  wouldn't fix; I was back to running in no time.
  It was one of my favorite days during the summer: the annual mud run. I loved running this race; it was so much more fun than a normal 5K. I stood there and waited for the bang of the gun that would signal the beginning of the race.  As I looked ahead I swore I saw Tyler. The sound of the gun echoed in my ears and I was running. I had focused in on my running, forgetting about the guy who looked a lot like Tyler. That was until I was side by side with him. He looked over at me and said, "Well, it looks  like you're all healed up." I knew it was him. As we continued to run side by side I smiled up at him and said, "Yep, I am and I plan on staying that way so you won't have to worry about carrying me across the finish line." He laughed and said, "Well good, maybe we can just run together instead." "I'm surprised that you would want to stick around with me. I'll probably hold you back," I teased. He shook his head laughing as we both dived into the mud and crawled under the barbed wire. This is why I love this race -  all the obstacles.


Tyler and I were still running together, and I realized that  this race was even more fun with someone else. I never had the chance to run it with a someone else; not because I didn't have friends, it was just that I was the only one in my friend group that ran. If I asked them to go running with me they would laugh and say something like, "The only way you will see me running is if there is something chasing me."


We were around the end of the second mile which meant only one more to go. We had been up and down hills through the mud and more. Now we were approaching a big pond that we had to swim across. As we approached the water we jumped in without a second thought. The water was frigid and my muscles tensed, but neither of us paid attention to the temperature of the water. We just began swimming as fast as we could. After what felt like a decade we finally made it across the pond, and we were on dry land running.


As we approached the end of the race we saw a giant slip 'n slide leading to a mud hole with a banner that said "Finish" in bold letters. Without even saying anything we simultaneously started to sprint toward the slip' n slide. We dove on to the wet tarp and began to use are our arms to get momentum and try to beat each other to the bottom. Even though Tyler may say otherwise I hit the mud hole first and won.


After catching our breath we took some pictures. In some we were smiling ear to ear while in others we used our serious faces and flexed for the camera.


After the race Tyler and I exchanged phone numbers, admitting that we both kicked ourselves for not doing so after our first encounter.


  A few days after the race we decided to go get something to eat  together. This was the first time that we had hung out and not been drenched in sweat from running. As we talked I learned more and more about him. One of my first questions was,  "Why haven't I seen you around town until just recently? It's a pretty small town you pretty much know everyone." He  told me that he was in the army, so he hadn't been home lately. It seemed like we sat there forever getting to know everything there was to know about each other. Some things that I collected included that he was twenty years old, a medic in the army, he grew up in this area and now lives in Colorado. Knowing that at some point he would leave and head back to Colorado put a frown on my face, but he soon wiped that away with his charm. He said, " Now don't you worry, I won't stop talking to you when I am back in Colorado. I mean, what if I have to come save you again." I laughed and it felt like there were a million butterflies inside of my stomach. I had only known this guy for a short period of time, but I couldn't help feeling like he is perfect. I felt like I could talk to him forever we had so much in common. Other than us both being runners, we were both very interested in the medical field. He told me all about his job as a medic in the army; I could listen to his stories forever.


The summer flew by and I spent most of it with Tyler, trying not to think about how he would have to go back to Colorado at some point. We were inseparable; we would run together, go kayaking together, and on days when I worked at the little ice cream shop in town he would never fail to show up and order a chocolate milk shake. As I handed the shake to him I would say, "Don't you get tired of these things?" He would shake his head and with his crooked little grin say "Not when you're serving it to me."


August first came too fast for my liking. As I got ready to go meet Tyler the smile that he usually had wasn't there. I was just thinking about how this would be; this would be the last time I would see him for I don't know how long. 


We met at the ice cream shop where I had been working all summer. We ordered ice cream, and Tyler got the same chocolate milk shake he always got and I got the same. We walked around town like we would any other day. Neither of us brought up that fact that he would be leaving later that day.


Around noon we headed back to the ice cream shop where our vehicles were parked. On the way we both became tongue tied not knowing what to say. As we reached his truck and my Jeep we just stood there for a minute looking at each other. I could tell neither of us really  wanted to have to say goodbye.


He broke the silence. "Promise if you get clumsy you don't let any other guys heroically carry you out of the woods." I laughed and said, "Oh of course not. I'll tell them to go away and just crawl out of the woods by myself." Smiling that crooked little grin I had become so fond of he said, "Sounds good to me."


Even his little jokes couldn't keep my eyes from filling with tears. He noticed the tears in my eyes and his crooked smile turned into a sad one and he said, "No tears. It's not like we won't see each other again." I wiped my eyes, smiling up at him smiling down at me. We stayed this way for a few minutes until he kissed me. He then pulled away, the crooked grin returning and said, "See you later." I stood in shock for a few seconds then smiled and said, "See you later."


As I watched his truck disappear I waved until I couldn't see it any more. Then I sat down in my Jeep and thought about the words he said. "See you later." Those three simple words calmed me down a little, giving me confidence that I would see him again.


I spent the rest of that day thinking about how Tyler had kissed me. That was the first time that we had ever kissed! While it was exciting and I was happy that he did it, I was also a little bit angry with him. He seriously left without saying anything about the kiss; he is going to hear about this for sure!     

 
Early the next morning I got a text from Tyler saying he had made it back to Colorado. After replying to his text I went and got ready for my  morning run. The run felt very lonely and boring; I had gotten used to having a running partner.


  As I ran I thought back to one of my favorite morning runs that Tyler and I had gone on. Tyler had gotten the bright idea that going on a run at five thirty in the morning sounded fun I protested it, but I caved in after about ten minutes of him whining like a five year old. So the next morning I  pulled myself out of bed, dragging my feet as I headed to the bathroom to get ready.  When I got down stairs I looked at the clock on the stove; it read five twenty-five. I rolled my eyes at the fact I was up at this hour on a Saturday. I laced up my running shoes and walked out the door to see Tyler waiting in the driveway for me. With a big smile he exclaimed, "Good morning!!" I grunted out a "Good Morning" as I began to stretch, wondering how anyone could be so perky this early in the morning. After a few more minutes of stretching we set out on our run. Tyler led the way and I followed, not questioning where we were going. The morning air was  refreshing because the summer heat had not yet set in for the day. After about two miles of running we came to a trail. I had never ran on this trail, which made me very excited; I love to run in new places. The path was like a roller coaster going up and down hills of all sizes. We sat into an uphill grade that seemed to go on forever, and by the time we reached the top I felt like my legs were going to give out. After I caught my breath I looked out ahead to see a perfect view overlooking a forest that seemed to go on forever.


As I was pulled out of my memories I realized that I had ran all the way to the top of the same hill I had just been day dreaming about, and I was face to face with that breathtaking view. Soon I felt my muscles began to tighten up so I turned around and headed  back toward my house.


It had been about a week since Tyler had left. We texted almost every day and talked on the phone one or two days a week. Even with all of this communication we still hadn't talked about the kiss, so I decided that when we next talked on the phone I was going to bring it up.


It was the last week of summer so I spent my day at home relaxing and trying to figure out what I was going to say to Tyler. He was supposed to call me at six when he got home from work, so around five-fifty I began to pace back and forth in my room with my phone in my sweaty palm. Just as the clock turned to six my phone lit up showing Tyler's smiling face letting me know he was calling.


I looked at the picture for a minute remembering when it was taken. It was during one of our many adventures that we had taken over the summer. We were kayaking on the lake that was beside the trail where we had first met. I was trying to take some pictures of the scenery, but Tyler would not let me do so and he kept paddling right in front of my camera.


I smiled at the memory and answered the phone. "Hey, how is Colorado?" I listened as he adjusted the phone and then said, "It's pretty good, but it would be better if you were here." I was  thankful that he couldn't  see my face. I could tell it was once again as red as a tomato. I laughed and replied, "Yeah?" not knowing what else to say. Why was I so nervous? I was never nervous when I was talking to Tyler. He returned the laugh and said, "Well, how is Ohio?" I rolled my eyes. He knew how Ohio was, but I humored him with a response. "Boring as ever, but even more boring without you here."  There was a silence as though we were both thinking about what to say. I knew that this would be the perfect time to bring up the kiss, but he beat me to it. "So we should probably talk about what happened before I left." I let go a sigh of relief and said, "Yeah, we probably should." For the second time during the phone call we were trapped in a silence that seem to last forever. This time I broke it. "Why did you have to go and do that right before you left?" He stayed silent for a moment like he wasn't sure how he should respond, so I went on to say, "I'm going to be honest. I'm not upset that you kissed me." He then broke his silence which I was thankful for because I wasn't sure where I was going with this. " I wanted to do it earlier, but I was nervous." I tried to lighten the mood a little by saying "Tyler Owens nervous?? I didn't think that was possible!!" He let out a laugh which helped to calm me down a little bit. After we talked for about an hour we came to the conclusion that the interest in being more than friends was mutual. It was going to be difficult dating while so far apart, but I knew that we could do it.
The week had passed too fast, and it was already Sunday evening and I was now preparing all of my things for my last first day of high school.  I was not ready to return to my old routine that consisted of school and running, after spending a whole summer with Tyler going on what seemed like a new adventure every day.
The next morning I was awakened by the dreaded sound of my alarm screaming in my ear telling me it was time to wake up. After I dragged myself to the bathroom and got organized I emerged  wearing a pair of  jean shorts, a maroon t-shirt, and a towel wrapped around my damp hair. Just as I was about to unwrap my hair I heard my phone buzz on my bedside table. As I picked up my phone I saw that I had a text from Tyler that said Have a good first day of school!!


I laughed because I knew that he was being sarcastic. He knew how much I was dreading it. I replied with a quick Thanks!  I the continued my process of getting ready which included blow drying my hair and applying a little bit of makeup. After I checked my appearance one more time in the mirror I headed down stairs to cook myself breakfast.


As I pulled into a spot in the school parking lot I sat for a minute trying to mentally prepare myself  for the day ahead of me. I could see it now: the girls in the hallways squealing when they see their best friend as if they hadn't spent the entire summer together. Then going to every single class to be asked the same thing: introduce yourself, tell us something about yourself, and what did you do this summer. We are seniors, and I am almost positive after this many years of school together we all know each other.


I walk in to the school and it is just like I expected, glass shattering squeals being all that you can hear throughout the sea of students.  I maneuver my way through all of the people until I come to my group of friends. As I approach them my friend Molly begins to squeal and says, "Oh my gosh we haven't seen you all summer!!" Yes, I know I was just making fun of all the squealing girls, but we really hadn't seen each other all summer. We keep each other company at school, but we don't usually hang out outside of  school. It's not that we didn't enjoy each other's company; it was just that we all had our own lives. Molly, the one who was squealing, is so obsessed with her boyfriend that she won't leave his side. The few time that we have hung out she has brought him with or spent the whole time texting him. Then there was Jill who is even more secluded than I am; she doesn't even like going to school; she misses all of the time.  


The school day was dragging on, and all I could think about was how it was only the first day. As I sat in study hall I became lost in my thoughts since it was the first day and I didn't have any homework to do.  Specifically I was thinking about Tyler and how I would rather be hiking, running or kayaking with him. 


After school I had cross country practice. I was excited for this season, and I was very glad that I had kept up with my summer running schedule; you could always tell who had done that because the first few practices were much easier for them. When we were done running five miles and stretched out I headed home. After I had dinner and showered I headed up to my room. I collapsed onto my bed exhausted from the long day.  As I lay on my bed I felt my phone buzz beside me. I sat up and grabbed it to see that I had a text from Tyler. After texting him for about an hour my eyes grew heavy and I decided that I should probably go to sleep. I texted Tyler  Goodnight and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.


It has been about three months scene Tyler went back to Colorado. We have tried to text each other every day and talk on the phone at least a few times a week. Even though it is difficult to have a long relationship we seem to be doing pretty well. Neither  of us has really told anyone about our relationship. Both of our parents know that we spent the whole summer together and became really close friends, but that is all that we have told them. My parent really seem to like Tyler; the only thing is that I am not sure how they would feel about the plans Tyler and I have been discussing.


It all began about a month ago when Tyler and I were talking on the phone like we did every Sunday evening. We had gotten into a conversation about the future. I had always had a set-in-stone plan, but with Tyler now in the picture I became less sure if I would follow it. I  had two colleges not far from home that both had nursing programs that I was interested. I had never really thought about leaving home. It was like I thought I was in a bubble that was unescapable; I couldn't dare to step outside of it. The more Tyler and I talked the more we both understood that we didn't want this relationship to end. We didn't know if the long distance could last for the two years I would be in college, and Tyler obviously couldn't leave Colorado, so I decided to do some research about colleges that were near him.  After some research I applied to Front Range Community College, Arapahoe Community College, and Pueblo Community College.  Then Tyler convinced me that I needed to apply to the college near home just in case I changed my mind and didn't want to move away from home.
On a cold February afternoon I walked outside to the mailbox; every breath I took was like a cloud of smoke surrounding me. I had been checking the mail every day, just waiting for some response from one of the many colleges that I had applied to. I wanted to be the one to get the letters from the schools in Colorado because I still hadn't discussed my moving with my parents. I grabbed the mail out of the mailbox and began to flip through each piece of paper until finally I came to a letter that had Front Range Community College printed across the top. I squealed like a little girl as I ran back into the warmth of the house to open it. I laid the other letters on the kitchen table and sprinted up the stairs to my room where I tore into the envelope, unable to wait any longer. I pulled the paper out, carefully unfolding it. As I read the letter my smile grew bigger and bigger. I had been accepted into the nursing program! For a moment the stress of telling my parents disappeared; all I could think about was how much closer I was to my dream of being a nurse being a  reality. The fact that I would be so much closer to Tyler also contributed to the excitement that I was feeling.


  Then I was pulled back into reality as I heard the front door open and  my mom yelling, "Adeline, I'm home." I knew that I couldn't keep up not telling my parents for much longer, so I decided that I would tell them tonight at dinner.


As my mother, father, and I sat around the dinner table eating I tried to figure out how to tell them. Finally the words began to flow out of my mouth like a river. "I got an acceptance letter from a school that I applied to, and it's in Colorado." I let out a long breath. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest. My parents looked at me with a confused look, then it clicked and my mom began speaking. "Is this because of that boy that you met last summer? Is he the reason you want to leave so suddenly? You two are dating aren't you?" Just as I prepared to defend myself she continued, "Have you even thought this through? What if you break up? What are you going to do then? You couldn't leave, you would have to finish college." Then she was quiet as she looked at me awaiting some sort of explanation. So I took a breath and began to talk. "Tyler and I are dating. Also I have thought this through. I know the chance that I am taking, but it is worth it. I am still going to be in a nursing program following my dream, just in a different place." My mom's face was red with anger, and as she was about speak my father cut in; he was the calmer of the two. "I am not saying that I agree with your decision, but you are able to decide for yourself, so if moving to Colorado is what you want to do I won't stop you." My mom looked at him like he was crazy and said, "Have you lost your mind? We are her parents! We can so have a say in what she does!"  My dad looked between my mother and me and said, "We can talk about this more tomorrow. Let's just finish dinner in peace."


After dinner I went to my room so I could text Tyler and tell him that I had told my parents about me moving. A few minutes after texting him my phone lit up with Tyler's face. I answered the phone and said, "Hello." He replied, "Hey so you told them? What do they think?" I let out a long sigh and started to explain, "My mom is not happy with it, but my dad calmed her down. He said that we would talk more tomorrow." Tyler lightened the mood by asking, "So what gave you the confidence to tell your parents?" An enormous smile was on my face as I said, "Well it might have had something to do with the acceptance letter that I got from Front Range Community College." I heard Tyler laugh at my sarcasm then say, "That is great news!" We continued to talk for another hour until we both were exhausted and decided to go to sleep.


The next morning I woke thankful that my parents had already left for work; that gave me all day to prepare for the conversation I  knew was coming. After getting ready for school, I grabbed an apple and ate it quickly before heading out the door to my Jeep.


The day seemed to drag on forever until I was finally in the last class of the day just waiting for the bell to ring so I could go home. I knew that my parents would be there waiting for me to talk about what I had told them last night at dinner, but it was better than sitting in class.


As I had predicted, when I got home both of my parents were sitting in the living room waiting for me. I laid down my bag, and I sat down in the chair that sat across from the couch where they were sitting. My mom began by saying, "I am still not pleased with the idea of you moving that far away, but I am proud of you for having a plan for college still." I let out a breath that I didn't even realize I was holding in and said, "Thank you trying to understand. I know that I should have told you when I was applying to the colleges." Both of my parents acknowledged my words with a head nod, then my dad said, "All that is really important is that you are still following your dream of being a nurse; it does not really matter where you do it." I was so glad that my parents were at least trying to be accepting of my decision. I knew that they were both still upset about the news, but they weren't going to try and stop me from moving. That night as I lay in bed I was no longer stressing about what my parents thought about me moving. All I could think about was how in just a few months I would me in Colorado with Tyler.


The past few months had seemed to drag along so slowly. However it was finally May which meant summer was just around the corner. Not long after I got the first acceptance letter I received two more, another from a school in Colorado and one from a school in Ohio, but I had already decided that I was going to go to Front Range Community College.


Everything was becoming real as it inched toward summer; I had scheduled my classes that I would be taking in Colorado.


It was a Sunday evening and time to call Tyler. We had been talking on the phone even more lately; we were both really excited to see each other. I sat on my bed holding the phone to my ear as it rang and I heard Tyler's voice. "Hey." I smiled and replied, "Hey, how was your day?" I could hear him moving with the phone then he said, "It was pretty good.  I am going to be  able to come home for a few weeks at the beginning of  June, so if you want we can drive back together." The already giant smile I got from just hearing his voice grew even bigger as I said, "That is great! I was dreading making that long trip on my own!" We continued to talk for hours. He told me that he went to the campus of the college I was going to; he even took pictures of himself all over the campus. He sent them all after we were done talking on the phone. I sat in my room laughing at my goofy boyfriend and  all the different poses that he'd done  around the campus.


After I learned that Tyler would be here on June third I was even more anxious for summer. It was now May eighth, and I was sitting in study hall going over all of my Chemistry notes before the final test I had to take next period. I tried to stay focused, but my mind just kept drifting to the fact that there were two more weeks of school. As I went over the notes one last time the bell rang, signaling that it was time for chemistry; even though I had been studying very hard for this test I was still very nervous. Sitting at my desk I listened as the teacher gave the same speech she always did about not cheating. Then she handed out the tests and I began. As I left chemistry I let out a sigh of relief knowing there was no sense in worrying; I had no control over my grade now.


The rest of my week consisted of going over information for finals and taking finals. Then on Friday all of the teachers handed back  the tests we had been taking all week. In each class I let out a sigh of relief as I saw the grades across the top of the papers; even though I study hard for my tests I always feel like I didn't do well until I have the graded test in my hand.


Over the weekend Molly, Jill, and I went to the mall to shop for dresses for graduation. We didn't hang out too often, but we did end up doing things like this together. As we walked through the mall on Saturday Molly said, "Oh my gosh Adeline, I know this guy and I showed him your picture and he thinks you're really cute!!!" I let out a sigh. Molly was always trying to set me up. A few times I had tried to talk to the guys she picked, but it never worked out; they were always jerks. As we walked into a store I stopped and looked at her and said, "Molly, I thought that we had been over this; you have to stop setting me up." For one, I was going on her track record; the guy wouldn't be worth my time. Then there was Tyler. I hadn't told them about him because they make too big of a deal about everything. Molly let out a huff and said, "That was just this guy is different." I rolled my eyes because this was not the first time that I had heard her say that to me. I gave her a glance and said, "It's not going to happen." She was then quiet; I could tell that she was mad at me. A few minutes after she stopped talking she said, "Oh, Brad is here. I am going to go find him; see you guys later." Brad was her boyfriend; they were inseparable, but that was how she was with all of the boyfriends that she has had.  Jill and I walked around the mall for a little while longer and then realized that we both wanted to head home.
The weekend was now over, and it was May fifteenth which meant that I would graduate in one week! When I got to school I went to the same spot where my friends and I always stood. When I walked up I was not met with the perky greeting Molly always had for me; she acted as if she didn't even notice I was there. She must still be mad because I didn't want to go on a date with the guy she was talking about at the mall.


Tuesday morning was the same as the day before, Molly did not acknowledge my existence. I tried to talk to her, but she just ignored me. This was just making me even more ready for the school year to be over. When I got home from school I decide that I would text Molly. I asked her if something was wrong, but she said she was fine.


By Wednesday I was over trying to make amends with Molly. I had decided that I was going to focus on the fact that I would be graduating on Friday. When I walked in to the school I walked up to the group of girls I always stood with, and I ignored Molly's glares while I talked to Jill.  The day seemed to drag on and on; we were not really doing anything in any of my classes because we had taken our finals last week.


On Thursday we had to practice for the graduation ceremony which took up most of the day. Molly and I still weren't talking; I do not understand why she was so mad about this. After graduation practice I headed home. When I got home I decide to go for a run. Running was the only thing that really calmed me down when I was upset about something.


It was finally here. May nineteenth, and the day that I graduate. I walked down stairs to find no one was home, so I grabbed an apple from the fruit basket on the counter and headed to the living room to watch television. I just lay around the house. Around one in the afternoon I finally pulled myself off the couch. I went to the kitchen and made myself a salad for lunch. Then I began the process of getting ready for graduation. After getting a quick shower, I wrapped a towel around myself and walked into my room. I put on the dress that I had bought last weekend at the mall, blow dried my hair, and left it in its naturally curly state. After I was finished putting on my makeup it was around three-thirty. I was supposed to be at the school at four, so I headed to my Jeep where I had already put my cap and gown to ensure that I did not forget it. The school was not too far from my house, so I  was pulling into the parking lot by three forty-five. As I drove through the parking lot I saw my friend Jill's car and pulled in beside it. As I pulled into the parking spot Jill looked up from her phone and waved. We both got out of our vehicles, got what we needed, and headed toward the building. After entering the front doors we headed toward the area we were told to meet; as we walked we both talked about how excited we were. Soon we came to a group of seniors all putting on their gowns, so we followed their lead and did the same.


After being shuffled into order we all stood in a line watching as each person walked across the stage. The closer I came too being called the more nervous I became; I did not like having attention put on me. The line inched forward as peoples' names were called; then all at once the name of the girl in front of me was called and I was next. As my name was called a smile spread across my face as I ascended the small staircase and made my way across the stage; it all happened very quickly: I was handed my diploma, my hand was shaken, and I was suddenly making my way off the stage. As I did so I caught a glimpse of a crooked grin that I could pick out of any crowd. What was Tyler doing here? He was not supposed to be here until the beginning of June. As I sat in my seat watching the rest of the senior class walk across the stage one by one I  could think about nothing except how much I wanted to just stand up go to Tyler. The last person crossed the stage which sent a jolt of excitement through me, but it was short lived as I remembered that we now had to listen to some people talk. It felt like an eternity, but finally everyone was finished talking and we were being shuffled out of the building. I wanted so badly to find Tyler, but there were too many people. I would have to wait until I was outside to look for him. Finally I made it to the door and as I walked out I was engulfed by the fresh air as the giant group of people began to disburse into smaller groups. I looked around until I finally spotted him. I walked over to where he was standing and wrapped him in a giant hug. A few moments later I broke away and said, "I didn't think that you were going to be here for a few more weeks." He had a mischievous look and said, "Well I wanted to surprise you." All I could do was smile; I was snapped out of my trance as my parents approached us. They both smiled at me and I could tell that they had been in on this. So I said, "You knew about this didn't you?" They laughed and shook their heads yes. I was so glad that they were making an attempt to accept my choices. After taking some pictures with my family and friends Tyler and I went to get some food. We sat in the restaurant talking for what seemed like forever; it was so nice to actually see Tyler while we talked instead of just hearing his voice. We sat in the restaurant talking until it closed.


The whole weekend flew by quickly, and I had spent most of it with Tyler. Now it is Monday and I have to begin packing my things. Tyler and I are leaving on Friday, but tomorrow a moving truck is coming to pick up all of my things. My room was jam packed with boxes. I was trying to figure out what I was going to ship off and what I was taking with me. About half way through packing Tyler showed up to help, and within the next hour all of my things were packed away in boxes and ready to be shipped away tomorrow. As I stood in the middle of the sea of boxes, the fact that I was leaving home hit me; I was both excited and a little upset.


The next day the moving truck showed up and we began to pack in all of the boxes. After we were done we watched as the truck drove off into the distance.


The week went by quickly, it was Thursday evening, and Tyler's family and my family were having dinner together. Everyone seemed to get along very well. We spent the whole evening laughing and telling stories. The stories mostly consisted of embarrassing things that had happened in the past.


The next morning I woke up early and got ready for Tyler to pick me up. I put on comfortable clothes and braided my hair. I then grabbed the few things that I didn't put in the moving truck, and I went downstairs to wait for Tyler to get here. About fifteen minutes later I saw headlights shining in the window that told me it was time to go. I grabbed my things and walked out the door, looking back at the house once more before getting in the truck. As I settled into my seat I said, "Morning." Tyler also muttered, "Morning." We pulled out of the driveway and sat in silence; the only sound was the soft hum of the radio.


Not too long after getting in the car I was asleep. When I woke up it was eight in the morning; we were about half way through Indiana. We stopped at a rest area to stretch our legs. As we walked through the parking lot back to Tyler's truck I asked, "Do you want me to drive so you can get some sleep?" He shook his head no and said, "It's fine, I can drive." I rolled my eyes at his stubborn ways and said, "You are not fine. Let me drive until the next rest stop." After  a little more convincing I was sitting in the driver's seat preparing to pull out of the parking spot. Tyler tried to stay awake and talk to me for a while after we started driving, but he drifted off to sleep about ten minutes after leaving the rest stop.  As I drove the long stretch of road I drummed my finger on the steering wheel along to the music.  Around eleven we were exiting Indiana and entering Missouri. Not too long after that we came to a rest area where I woke up Tyler. We got some food from the vending machines, and then we got back out on the road. Now that Tyler had slept for a while he offered to drive. I had never driven for that long before, and I was not a fan of it.


I had never gone on a this long of a road trip. It was about five-thirty and we were just getting to Kansas. Tyler and I had alternated between the two of us driving every time we stopped. We decided that we were going to drive until we got to Colorado, so we still had about nine more hours to go. Around ten we came to another rest area which I was thankful for because I don't know how much longer I could have driven. After we stretched our legs for a few minutes we were once again back on the road. As soon as I hit the passenger seat my eyes grew heavy and I was out in no time.  I woke up to Tyler lightly shaking me; I peeled my eyes open slowly just in time to see a sign fly by that said 'Welcome to Colorado.' Tyler said, "We have about thirty more minutes and we will be home." A smile spread across my face when he said home. I rolled down the window so I could feel the crisp morning air on my skin.


Thirty minutes later we were pulling into the driveway of a house. As Tyler shut off the truck we both got out and headed toward the front door. The only thing on our mind was going to sleep; I followed Tyler to the bedroom where we both collapsed on to the bed.


I woke up in the bed by myself around eight-thirty in the morning. I ventured out of the room into the unfamiliar house. I found Tyler sitting in the kitchen.  He smiled and said, "I don't really have any food. So do you want to go somewhere and get breakfast?"  I shook my head yes and said, "Yeah, I'm starving."


All of my things that I had in the moving truck were in the living room, so I went and searched until I found a box labeled clothes. After I got dressed Tyler and I headed out for breakfast.


So here I am sitting shotgun in his Chevy truck with the windows down, I watching as my phone blew up with texts from everyone in my contacts. To sum it up most of the texts consisted of Where the heck are you , Did you seriously drop everything and leave?!?, and some Did you lose your freaking mind!?! After reading a few more I shut my phone off because none of that is important right now. Sometimes you just have to stop trying to live up to everyone's expectations, and do what makes you happy.
                                                            

 

              
    
         






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