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long-distance

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'Hey, what if you stayed with me this weekend?'
The illuminated screen delivered the lovely message that drew me short of breath. The cool black keys of my cell phone concealed my ecstatic reaction beautifully.

'Yeah that'd be fun,' I said, hoping that the person on the other end couldn't see right through my masked response'




Ever since I met Katie at camp redbud going into the 7th grade, I rarely thought of anything else. Naturally, it was only for the week of summer we spent together. For four years our immature one-week summer relationships occurred, always ending with a sad good-bye followed by another week of instant messaging. Then we would wait till the next summer, about a week before we saw each other, and the process started over. This time was different. This time, the instant messaging turned to texting, which turned to talking on the phone, which continued all the way through Christmas break of my sophomore year. We lived about two hours apart, so the prospect of seeing each other crossed my mind, but rarely. Then, out of the blue, she hit me with the question any 15 year old boy would practically faint hearing.



Before I knew it, my mom and I were trekking to the garage through the beautiful yet miserable snow. We crawled into the purple eggplant that is our main mode of transportation, and were on our way to Decatur Indiana, through less than ideal conditions. I was as excited as a fourth grader on Christmas eve, my only regret was that I was only able to stay one night. The two hour drive consisted mostly of my mother babbling on about God knows what, and the occasional silence to listen to the weather reports. Finally, two missed exits later, we drove down a barren road, through stereotypical Indiana, cornfields on both sides. Finally we came to the house, in the middle of nowhere. It had no neighbors, only a friendly welcome rock on the porch and a mailbox in the front. The yard was barren, but my attitude gave the house a shine that would be rivaled by none.

I practically skipped to the door, and it was flung open before I got there. Surprisingly, not by Katie, but by her 8th grade sister, whom I had never really become friends with. She gave me a big hug, one I wasn't exactly expecting. Next in line was Katie's mom, whom I had never met. She was very nice and inviting, and took my jacket and offered me a seat on the couch. Finally, not being able to take it any longer, I asked, 'where's Katie?'

'Oh, she'll be ready in a minute'

Excitement pounded through my veins, I knew she had probably spent hours getting ready for me to get there. Before I knew it, there she was. Adorned in sweat pants, a guys hoodie, and hair messily done up, she almost clumsily, but at least with a little enthusiasm said, 'Hey Christian! Sorry about that, I was just on the phone.'

Not exactly the picture I had painted in my mind, but I wasn't just going to turn away because the first moment didn't live up to my expectations. After a nice hug, we sat down to watch the end of Miss Congeniality, which had been started before I arrived. So, needless to say, the night hadn't started off like I planned. Still, nothing could have prepared me for what I heard next.

'MOM! CAN YOU MAKE US SOME WAFFLES?!?!' The screeching, whiny, piercing voice I heard came from right next to me. I didn't know how to react. Her mom, obviously flustered, came from her bedroom. She shoved the cold eggo waffles into the toaster as I sank down farther and farther into the couch. The face that had just become ugly and contorted in front of my eyes had now been replaced with the one I had fallen head over heels for only a few short months ago. Although the demand was placed for 'us,' I wasn't offered any waffles. Not that I wanted any, but it made the eating in silence about twelve times as awkward. Before the movie had concluded, I made an excuse to go to bed, and surprisingly got to sleep quite easily.

I awoke feeling refreshed, and was served waffles from the same box that had made the night before so dreadful. As I was eating, the sweet mother that had prepared my breakfast called down to her eldest daughter to please come upstairs. 'GOD! I'M COMING!' After a slight jump, she returned to the kitchen, absentmindedly wiping at the counter. After another few minutes, Katie dragged herself up the stairs, and plopped herself down on the wooden chair. All I could think was how glad I was that I was leaving later that day.





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