Saying Goodbye

November 20, 2008
By
“BEEP!” went my alarm clock as I woke up and rolled out of bed that Friday morning. It felt like every other morning except for the sadness in the air like a giant weight getting ready to drop. I remember I couldn’t believe I only had one more week in North Carolina before I left for Kansas.

Slowly I got ready and headed off to my middle school where I walked down the halls and greeted all my friends. I eventually got to my locker and started to open it when my friend Michael walked up to talk. At first glance I could tell he was Scrooge that morning. “What’s wrong?” I asked “Nothing. I’m fine!” was his response just like every other teenage guy under the sun would respond. Deciding to ignore him I turned to my best friend, Megan and asked her excitedly if she was as ready as me to go skiing this weekend! She just started laughing hysterically so I yelled “What?” which she replied by saying “I was just picturing you trying to ski down a mountain! Ha! Ha!” As I think about it I would have to agree that it would be pretty funny watching me go down a mountain like a giant snowball.

As the day progressed Megan started to act strange, in fact, she had been acting weird all week. When I would walk up to her and some of my friends they would always look at me and smile or laugh. I started to think about it and it began to “click”, when I first told Megan I was moving to Kansas she said (after crying) “I’m so gonna have to throw you a going-away party!” That was it! I couldn’t tell her I knew because she would be devastated, so being the great friend I am I decided to keep it to myself.

Megan called that night and told me that Briana and her were going to throw me a going-away party next weekend before I left. I was pretty disappointed when she told me, so I just said, “Okay. That’s cool.” Then she told me some more disappointing news; we weren’t going skiing that weekend because her mom was sick. So instead of skiing we decided to just go to the movies and hang out. So it was set! Another movie night with my best friend Megan or so I thought…

When she got to my house about an hour before the movie even started I was surprised and I was even more surprised to see that she was dressed up really cute. I asked her why she was so dressed up and she just said she felt like being cute and I immediately replied “Great!” This meant I had to go upstairs and do my hair, make up and outfit all over again! After I was done getting ready for the second time we had about 10 or 15 minutes to get to the movie which we decided was plenty of time to walk there since we were right in town.

On the way down the street Megan and my mom decided to walk really slow which started to get on my nerves. I kept reminding them that the movie was going to start soon! After looking at a “pretty house” we were finally getting close and started to turn the corner in front of the Methodist Church. I glanced at the church and noticed my friend Kelsey getting out of a car right in front of the building and I remember thinking it was strange since she didn’t go to that church. I still just pushed it out of my head saying that something was probably just going on at the church, until I saw Briana in the church window. I started to shout “No! No way!” as Megan pushed me towards the door on a makeshift yellow brick road they had made. I couldn’t believe all my friends actually pulled “a fast one” on me! As soon as I walked in everyone was there yelling “SURPRISE!” I’d never seen the 2nd story of the church look so pretty. There were so many decorations including my name in huge letters on the back wall, a purple chocolate fountain, streamers, and much more. It was absolutely perfect! As I walked around hugging everyone and trying not to cry I realized why Michael was upset earlier he wasn’t there because he had to go skiing with his family. All the weird things that week started to make since at that moment. As I looked around I realized for the first time how many people really did care about me because there were about forty or fifty of my closest friends surrounding me!

That night we ran around, swung on the swings, sat around and talked, played hide-and-seek and “Dance, Dance Revolution”, ate cake, and had an amazing time! Later on I found out there was even more these great friends of mine had done. While we were all sitting around talking about some of the crazy things we’d done over the past 3 years I noticed a couple of my friends over at another table looking at something. I got up and went over to see what they were looking at and they handed me a plaid scrapbook that exploded with Wizard of Oz decorations. When I opened it I saw pictures of all of my friends including Michael and a couple others who couldn’t make it to the party. Megan started to explain that everyone made a scrapbook page for me with letters and goodbyes written on them.

As I started to turn all these pages the familiar faces and memories played out in a movie in my head. All the good times, bad times, inside jokes, parties, and how we’ve all grown up over the years flew by me. It was then I truly realized how great it was to have lived there with all of those wonderful people. I’ll never forget that night even if I try…I learned a great lesson which is you don’t have to have the same blood to be family.

It has been almost two years that I’ve been gone and I still talk to a lot of those people. Megan is came to visit last summer, which was an amazing experience when she met all of my new friends I've made!
People who read this might think that I’m still stuck in the past and I’m “homesick” but by no means am I. As I read this now it just reminds me that I have two homes with two great groups of friends who all love me the same. I’ve settled down in Kansas and now I consider it my home just as much, if not more, then I consider North Carolina my home. I am truly blessed that God, who is my rock, has given me these experiences to grow and mature on!





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