The truth of the matter
Life is at times unpredictable. With that being said, things often veer in a different direction every day. Our plans, life style and even the people we know can modify into something better or worse. We can never be quite sure what is drawing near, what the ambiguous future holds for each of us. This is a true story about a friend who was closest to my heart and all that took place in the midst of her early, adolescent years.
First we have to travel back to the beginning to truly capture the whole delineation of this crestfallen saga. The school year for eighth grade was finished, for now until next fall. Summer was in full bloom; thus the first week of vacation had finally had arrived. At that present time most of everyone I knew already had their agenda set. Most of them were going to elaborate camps, or staying at luxurious Walt Disney resorts. At the moment thought i was going to suffer the most unbearable, longest three months of pure monotony I would ever experience at home. Little did I perceive what fate held in store; and the dark,malicious secrets of human nature that these remorseful eyes came to validate.
One day as I was lounging on my futon bed, nonchalantly browsing through an out dated copy of a“National Geographic”magazine, the phone rang. “I’ll get it!” I hollered enthusiastically jumping of the plump mattress; and sprinting into the living room. I picked up the phone and ardently answered.
“Yes, who might this be?” I asked .
“Oh! Eliza this is Jodi Benson, I’m so glad your home I have the greatest news in the world!!” she merrily exclaimed.
“Jodi! Hey, how are you what is this good news you’re talking about!?” I requested excitedly ; pacing back and forth like a restless, wild animal trapped behind bars.
“You’ll never guess!”Jodi exclaimed. I could hear the notes of delight playing in the tone of her voice.
“just tell me already”I said zealously; anticipating the news that was on the verge of being revealed.
Ok! Ok! You are officially invited to come over to my house for the summer! I checked with my mom and she totally agreed! And she said she would love for you to come over!!...isn’t that great or ..what!? she shouted over the telephone.
“But why would I need to come ov----“…. Before I could finish my question, she quickly interrupted me.
“Because, some of my relatives are from Denver, Colorado are flying over to visit us in Massachusetts. Because of my cousin, Jennifer is having her wedding here at Martha’s Vineyard. Any way since we are going to have a full house, my mother asked me if I would like a friend to come. So she said that friend could stay untill the day the ceremony takes place!! Jodi said happily.
“Ok well..When does the wedding start?” I asked.
“not until three full weeks, which gives us plenty of time to have fun!” she said; almost squealing with excitement.
“ oh I see well I’ll ask my mother and see what she has to say about it.” I said a little uncertain . Because I knew at the end of the day she was the one who held the bridle to everything in my life.I had no ida what the answer might be!
Just then my mother, Paige had jogged past me in to the small kitchen in a frenzy. A smokey aroma, then filled the apartment. Paige whizzed to the electric oven and urgently pulled it open.taking out a half charred lump of poultry that was seemingly suppose to be the rotisserie chicken.
“OH! COME ON!!!”Paige cried out in extreme aggravation. Obviously upset that she scorched the main course of that nights dinner.
“Mom it’s ok, don’t worry” I softly commiserated in the most soothing way I could. Trying desperately to calm her down. The last thing I wanted is for the response to the question I had yet to ask; quickly be derived from a rash, retort she could make at this time.
“Well, I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t whip up the sides first, we can save that for another day ..I guess.” Paige said letting a frustrated sigh pass her lips.
“Who wants pizza?” she asked as she flipped out her blackberry; and dialed the local number.
All this time as I was observing the erratic kitchen scene, I almost forgot the white receiver that was I firmly grasping, and the person waiting on the other line. “OH!!” I gasped.
“Sorry, I will have to get back to you now is not a good time! Bye!” I said. Hanging up the phone.
Sinking into the navy, blue ,lazy boy chair, I sat diagonally across from my two siblings. Who seemed to be very occupied by watching a repeat of “Hannah Montana”. Glancing at kendell, who seemed who even more in to this episode. I reached for the remote that laid lifelessly in her lap.
“What do you think you’re doing”? kendell shouted rudely; grabbing the remote away from me before i could touch it.
“Kendell you are not the only one watching TV, did you forget how to share?” I said.
“Who cares what you think you’re not our mother I am going to watch this until it ends if you don’t like it.. ..Oh well!” she stated standing in front of me with her arms crossed; flaring her usual attitude.
Just then the bell rang and I got up to get the pizza that had been delivered. After I put the pizza on the wooden table I helped my baby sister, Amy get settled in her high chair. Soon everyone was gathered around a cloud of silence hovered over the moment as everyone ate. Since this occasion seemed peacfull enough and my mother looked a lot more relaxed than before; I jumped on my chance to ask her now.
“Mom?” I asked.
“What could it be now?” kendell inquired and laughed. I noticed across from me kendell, my other sister was trying to impersonate me. Kendell was only nine but I think she tries to hard too act like she is older. I don’t know why she chooses too act so obnoxious toward me.I am paige’s eldest daughter; leaving kendell as the middle child and amy well ,she is just the baby of the family being only three years old.
“ Yes?” my mother said . looking toward me expectantly.
“ Jodi called a few moments a go she said Meredith----“again I soon got interrupted.
“Merideth!! Oh how is she? Is she alright?” paige asked with great concern.
You see, not too long ago the mother of my best friend Jodi was diagnosed with lung cancer and two months ago she miraculously became released from the hospital . Meredith and my mother are also good friends, you can say they have somewhat of a history together.
“yes! she is fine mom! She is up making plans and baking and making all sorts of preparations..do you know why? I said smiling.
“mmmmmm…....let me guess, she is having her family from Colorado come for her sister, rebeckah’s daughter’s wedding; and oh! I almost forgot, she invited you to come…now what did you want to ask me? Paige said with a sly smile.
“but how did you……you …you knew all along!!? I asked in disbelief; shocked and happy all at the same time!
“Yes, we had a talk yesterday while you were busy on your last day of school” she said.
“so you know that she wants me to stay until the wedding as a guest……… right??! I said hesitantly.
“mmm-mm!” she said while she took a bite of the delicious, pepperoni pizza.
“Sounds like fun!”she said as she gathered the dirty dishes from the table; putting them in the sink.
“no fair. how come I can’t come!!” said kendell in a whiny voice.
“kendell leave eliza alone, you will go to the wedding but you’re not staying at Meredith’s house that might be too much for her to handle, you running around like Junie. B Jones !”
Kendell gave me a dirty look and jumped up from the table and slammed the door to her room. My mother rolled her eyes at kendell’s immature tantrum. She picked up amy and got her ready for bed.
That night, I was derived from sleep because I shared a room with kendell (I am sure you know how that was); and my mind was filled with excited thoughts about tommoro!!For those of you who are unaware , Jodi, lives in a beautiful spacious home on martha’s vineyard! Her house is fifteen minutes from the ocean! The night flew by quickly, and the day started great. At two ‘ o clock I was picked up by Meredith, who wore countenance of kindness toward me !
“hey, eliza how have you been! She said smiling looking back at us in the mirror.
“fine and you?” I said politely.
“never been better”. She said driving away.
Jodi was sitting next to me glowing with anticipation. “we are gonna have a bomb!” she said
“We sure are”! I replied echoing the same enthusiasm. Sooner than later we arrived at her house. It was was a spanished style home that looked like something from “HGTV”. We walked up the grey, cobble stone patio and stepped up to the wooden porch. Stepping inside her home was breath taking! A narrow hallway greeted me as I walked inside.on the left of the hallway, stairs introduced themselves as the way to second floor. The polished, cherry wood floor shined like a road of gold. Everything was so neat and tidy! Coming out of the hallway the ample living room opened up. The large white couch and the rest of the furniture looked really a la mode. The fluffy white carpet felt like a pillow under my feet. Jodi turned around and ran up the stairs. “Jodi you gatta see my room !!” she said happily. Following her I soon discovered that all the rooms were as big as the master room ( which was meredith’s room). After a while I became acquainted with jodi’s realtives. Who were her aunt rebeckah and her husband Dave and a lot of more uncles and cousins. Also I got to know her neighborhood friends. Who was Tyra, and her older sister Mia the stylish latino sisters. and their older brother Kieth. Then there was Charissa davis. An all American southern girl who was all fun and games. More than any one I couldn’t help but notice how naturally they got along. It wasn’t just that it was like they had a special sisterly bond. It was fun hanging around all of them and we had all kinds of amusing times together. Then like lightning striking the earth in the wink of an eye; something stange occurred.
It was an ordinary day we had rode our bikes to the oak Bluffs town beach; which so happened to be a fifteen minute ride from where Jodi lives. We layed on the damp sand and let the tide rush over us as if we had come in from being lost at sea. The sultry sun poured forth sultry rays that made the dry sand feel like hot lava. The cool sensation of the ocean was like paradise compared to the decalescent humidity of that day. Then we heard a shrieking, familiar voice”, Benson , don’t you think this hot weather sucks!”said the voice. Turning around I saw it was just charissa. “Hey” I casually said; squinting from the blinding sun.
“what do you think?” charissa said staring at me.
“I belive today is a world recored compared to all the other summer.” I stated.
“then why don’t you just cool down” Jodi said; splashing water on me playfully.
“Hey! Hey! That’s no fair I think you need some to cool down too!” I said throwing water on her in the same gleeful way. Before I knew it we were all chasing each other and laughing. Then out of now where mia shows up with her sister. “hola, hola chicas” said mia smiling. “ay listen up tonight is my a quinceañera and it’s going to fun because we are throwing a pool party afterward wanna come?” she inquired.
“Sure” me, Jodi and charissa said harmoniously at the same time.
“great come at six’o clock it’s a night pool party, its gonna be so fun, see if your mom will let you come Jodi!” she said excitedly.
“ I’ll be able to go, my mom won’t mind after all we are fifteen…it’s not like we have school.” Jodi said cooly ; flipping her wet blonde hair over her shoulder, like she was a hot shot.( We were all fifteen years old but Keith and was sixteen; just to let you know.)
“It’s gonna be so fun because I get to have two parties one is the traditional, all formal and everything and the second one is going to be at in the afternoon and maybe end late into the night, oh! Almost forgot there is a sleepover!!” she said excitedly.
We all jumped up and down excited, thinking it was going to be great; but what we didn’t look forward too was the unexpected. That very night just as Jodi stated her mother gave her permission to go. With mia living so close we just walked over carrying our sleepover knapsacks. Luckily, tyra was in the front yard swinging on the rocking chair in the front porch. “hey! Come inside!” tyra called to us . She stood up from the rocking chair and greeted us by the door.
“look who is here hermana!! “ beckoned tyra to her sister mia. “come on , I think she is by the pool outsisde.” Tyra said as ahe gave us a detour to their backyard. As we stepped outside in to the warm. I saw the luxurious pool was as ostentatious as the festive décor. Then Mia emerged from the mob of people. “hey I’m so glad you made it!” she said looking at me and Jodi. Everything was fun for a while Jodi and I swam, and danced to the music blasting through the speakers of the stereo. We ate and all kinds of amusing things I can’t remember them all. Yet, what I do remember is we were still outside sitting on the plastic chairs. Then Keith turned up and sat down with us and began to talk. Especially to Jodi. “hey guys” he said casually.
“Hi!” I said Jodi taking a sip of the Pepsi in her hand.
“ did you guys go swimming?” he asked. I could not sure if he was being sarcastic or if he really could not discern why we were wet.
“ No, we just got caught in the sprinklers…duh we went swimiming!” said Jodi laughing like a hyena. Kieth just laughed along and said”okay ,never mind that was a stupid question.” He laughed even harder. Just then Mia came over and pulled up a chair next to us. ‘hey want to play a game?”she said excitedly.
“What?” I said in my uncertainty.
“well why don’t we play dare?” she said.
“it will be a fun game to play…what do you think?” she asked us.
“ depends..what game our you talking about?” Jodi asked cautiously. “well..lets see ..oh I know what about truth or dare?” she asked.
“ok”. Everyone said . “ alright, now Jodi you can go first, truth or dare?” said Mia with a happy twinkle in her eye.
“I pick………a dare.” She said.
“ ok , I dare you to dance with Keith on a slow song.” Mia stated laughing.
“that’s too easy! I’m so gonna win this!” said Jodi. I just shook my head and laughed. “come on Jodi this game is stupid, you can count me out,it’s not like you really win something” I said wisely.
“Actually your wrong the winner will get to pick something from the old junk pile in my room, and I have an old iPod I don’t want anymore, I don’t need two of them.”Mia said sounding too generous. But I have seen Mia’s and Tyra’s room they have all kinds of electronics and cool gadgets. So there was no talking Jodi out of this nonsense game. She was now in it to win.
“ok, let’s dance!” said Jodi pulling kieth in to the sea of people. Just then as Keith and Jodi were dancing I heard that loud, familiar voice again. “I didn’t know ya’ll guys would be here! “the southern voice echoed aloud. I turned around and sure enough it was charissa. She sat down in the chair Jodi was sitting in. “where is –“ just then charissa spotted her friend jodi. I watched the smile slowly fade from her face. I saw a glimmer of jealousy flicker in her sad eyes. I’m sure you can imagine what was going through her head at that moment, and from then on everything evolved.
“what’s up with them..I didn’t know they were an item” asked charissa. I could hear the languid chimes of anger hidden in the sarcastic remark.
“there not, it’s just a---“charissa cut in before I could finish.(it was beginning to annoy me the last thing anyone wanted was charissa jumping to conclusions; and assuming false truths). But it was too late,the seed of love that had once been in charissa’s heart,quickly began to turn into hatred. “Well I don’t care if she’s making a stupid fool of herself!” said charissa in a rude manner. Soon Jodi came back and just as soon as she did charissa dramatically up and left. “what’s wrong with her?” Jodi asked concerned.
“she is mad because she thinks your going out with kieth”? I said bluntly.
“ oh, no poor charissa she must of thought that because, oh..I have to fix this!”Jodi said urgently. “honestly, I think you should leave her alone, you should have seen the way she was staring you down and watching your every move”. I said.
“even more reason to straighten this silly mess out!” jodi said. getting up to find charissa. I followed her inside and and she was there lounging on the couch. “charissa I’m so sorry ,it not what you think!” said jodi trying to give charissa hug. Charissa quickly dodged it and pushed jodi away. “leave me alone you good-for –nothing –liar!!, how could you do that, its not like you didn’t know, I actually thought you were my best friend, but I’m sure you never were all along.” Said charissa ,letting hot tears roll down her flushed cheeks. “charissa..” jodi started. But charissa wouldn’t listen. Im not gonna sit hear and listen to your sorry excuses, you’ll pay for what you did.” Charissa shouted before walking out the front door.
The next following days were not as fun, for some reason charissa tried harder to hang out with tyra and her sister. I was smart enough to try to keep jodi away from charissa but every now and then she bumped into her. Charissa would push her around and insult jodi when she got her chance. Jodi insisted she was not afraid and thought this was a phase of charissa being immature. Yet I knew otherwise! That blissfull day finally came and; me and jodi were getting dressed for the wedding that was to take place in a few hours. Meanwhile, Jodi’s mother had sent us to fetch Tyra and Mia who were invited. We walked over unfortunately it had rained the night before making the ground muddy in some places. we knocked on the front door of their home once we arrived. I heard laughing and knocked again thinking mayabe they were watching a showand could not hear us. Then the door opened and to my astonishment it was charissa who answered. “what do you want?” she said. At first I could not recognize her. With the baggy black clothes and the heavy eyeliner. “What happened to you? “asked jodi in disbelief. That was a mistake, because charissa then shoved her, making her loose her balance. “hey stop it!” I screamed. I quickly helped her up and tried to help her escape. But charissa was too fast just as she was strong. “you need go away because they are not home!” charissa shoved jodi again. Then everything went so fast, with every strike; jodi became even more upset and tried her best to retaliate, thus an ugly fight began. I tried to pull jodi out of it I saw she was had a bloody nose and bruises swelled around her arms and face. At that moment I knew I had to get help!! So I ran to merideth and told her all that was happening. Merideth rushed over with me; and she what I saw made me so sad for her mother. There laid jodi, motionless her hair soiled with dirt. I could tell she was severely hurt. Charissa was no where to be found. Today of all days I wish this had not happened. I knelt beside her and wept. Merideth stood speechlessly, letting her own tears fall. She took out her cellphone and called the police. Very soon I was surrounded by flashing blue and red lights, loud noises. It was all blur to me, this was unfortunately reality but my eyes could not accept what they saw.
I was of course sent home and the wedding was called off that day, but Ashley did get married two months later. That year when school started, I found that jodi was much better; and she learned to not handle crazy bullies like that on her own. She and I remained friends untill life made us go our separate ways for collage. Yet, that summer was stained in my rote as much as it has affected her emotionally. Things like that you don’t forget easily and they teach us many things. Things that make us stronger in the chaotic world we live in.