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A Bracelet’s Promise
Trees are zooming past us, the rain is pattering down on the windows, but none of this seems to matter anymore. I fix the pillow behind me and slowly lay down, feeling the seat-belt buckle dig into my back. I close my eyes and try to sleep but I feel as if there is a brick wall prohibiting me from dozing off. I keep replaying the scene back at my house and every time it shoots into my mind, I want to cry.
The doorbell chimes and crowds of people flee into my house. I see the mob of people hovering over my sister and her suitcases. As I hear all of them weeping, it occurs to me that nothing will ever remain the same anymore. My sister’s friends keep reciting the same 10 words:
“Have fun in the Israeli army. We will miss you!”
I can’t even describe how these words make me feel. As I sit here in the car replaying the scenes where these words were expressed, a blanket of depression shields my soul. I try to ignore it and join my sister in the chanting of her favorite song, but I can’t. I mean how can I ignore the fact that my 17 year old sister is going to be over 5000 miles away from me for 2 years?
“Sarah are you coming?” my mom says with an irritated tone to her voice.
“What? Where am I? What day is it?” I reply unaware of everything around me.
“Sarah! It is August 3rd, 2009. The day your sister leaves for the army. You fell asleep and we are already at the airport. Meghan’s going away ceremony starts in 45 minutes and she still needs to get check in. NOW LET’S GO!” my mom says already walking away from the car. I quickly snatch my hat and shove a tissue into my back pocket. I then dash out of the car so I can catch up with my family. As we approach the big, glass, double doors of JFK airport, a thought shocks my body.
“Stop being so depressed. This is the last hour you are going to be spending with your sister so try to make her happy!” I decide to listen to my conscience and immediately am back to my cheerful, peppy self.
My sister and I start skipping across the airport floor yelping Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. Even as we receive crazy looks, we continue to chant until we finally arrive with her Garin; a group of people who were going to travel to Israel with her. Since they are all boarding the plane together, they are going through security together.
After we cluelessly roam around each floor for 25 minutes, Meghan is ready to fly. Everything is settled and we still have some time on our hands, so we decide to head to the ceremony my mom was talking about earlier. We grab out seats in the 7th row and listen to the group leader explain the routine my sister was about to face. After being bored to death from this mans voice, it was time for Meghan to board the plane.
“Sarah, please start to say your goodbyes,” my mom whispers as tears start to swell up her eyes.
Meghan and I both glance at each other and lock eyes. She takes a step closer, and I take one too until we are face to face. I see the sprinkles of sweat glisten on her forehead, and her lips become dry. I open my arms and right then and there, the waterworks start. Meghan leans in and accepts my hug. I feel the warmth of her skin and her tears on my shoulder. I never want to let go. Being in her arms triggers all our childhood memories together. Summers at the pool, making cakes when mom wasn’t home, trying on Dad’s clothes. All these happy thoughts take over my head, but the one thought of Meghan leaving overrules them all.
“I love you, Sarah, and I will miss you so much,” Meghan murmurs in my ear. This is just too much for me to handle. I nod and say I love you too, as I give her one last hug. After I breathe in her strawberry scent for the last time, I slowly move away so she can say goodbye to our parents. I grab the tissue in my pocket, blow my nose and watch. Nervousness and sadness choke my body when I see she finished her goodbyes. She makes her way towards the plane. I hear the pitter-patter of her footsteps get quieter and quieter and start to tear some more. Then, just as she is about to step foot on the Continental plane, she turns around and waves as a tear trickles down her face.
By now we are all too emotional to think, so we head back to the car. As I walk back to the car, I can’t help but be ashamed. The empty hole in my heart grows bigger and bigger.
“Why didn’t I stop her? If only I told her how bad of a decision this is, she could be here right now? How could I ever have been so stupid?” Now I’m mad but there is nothing I can do. My heart continues to ache, but I slide into the car and get ready for our long journey home. I clutch the bracelet she gave me just weeks before and sight the Hebrew writing that translates:
Friends come and go, but sister’s are forever.
As my pupils spy these words, tears erupt from my eyes once again. I grip the bracelet tighter and tighter hoping these words are a promise Meghan is willing to keep. I lean back, slowly exhale, and gaze out the window.
Trees are zooming past us, the rain is pattering down on the windows, but none of this seems to matter anymore.