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'One Summer'

Photographs bring memories back. So do the phone numbers. Phone numbers of people who you haven’t seen in a while and who you miss like anything. You have so much to say to them, so much to tell them how you’ve been. But they have disappeared. They have just faded away from your life. Now, you don’t know where they are, how they are or who they are.

It was the beginning of The New Session. You know, new books, new clothes, new- comers… My mother had asked me to clean my cupboard and make room for my new books. I found things that I didn’t even know I had. I found my old test papers, empty packets and candy-wrappers stored in a corner. I also found a diary…I didn’t even remember if I ever used it. I flipped through its pages. That’s when I found Summer. I mean, Summer’s phone number. Summer was my best friend from my old school. I left that school about eight years ago.
Even after I had left that school, we were in touch for about three years. But only for three years. After that, we almost forgot about each other and got on with our own lives. She was my only friend at that school. When we first met, she was sitting on the window side of the bus. I asked if I could sit next to her. She said,”Sure”. It was her first year too. In the class room, I looked at each person, searching for some indicator that the two of us could be friends. I just didn’t realize that the person sitting next to me was ‘the one’. On the first day of school we got to introduce ourselves. On the second day we got our first assignment for which we had to choose our partners. I obviously chose her. I chose her just because she let me sit next to her in the bus and because she was the only one I waved goodbye to. We barely talked then. But at least we sat together and were there for each other. We gradually became closer— I mean you know how it is—and then we became best friends, BFF whatever. It took us a pretty long time. I think we both were shy. We stood by each other at all times. I stood by her when her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she was there for me when I was going through major depression because of being bullied. She defended me in every possible way. She stood by me even when I was cold on her. I helped her when I found out about her habit of cigarette-smoking. We were always there for each other. But somewhere in between… I had lost her. I had lost her when I moved out of that school.

She was not my best friend anymore. I didn’t know her now. Moreover, I had lost her phone-number. But she never called either. Maybe she was a changed person. But her memories were the same.

When I discovered that diary in my cupboard, I was happy and sad AND ashamed, all at the same time. Ashamed that I didn’t keep up with my childhood friend a little better. Without waiting anymore I dialed her number up. I can’t remember…but the conversation went something like this:

“Hello. Uh, can I talk to Summer, please?”
“May I know who is calling?”
“Yes. This is Addison. I’m an old friend of hers. Can I talk to her?”
“I’m afraid she isn’t home.”
“Oh. Okay, so…when is she going to be back?”
“She passed away, Addison.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“I’m sorry but this is true. I’m her Grandma… Why are you calling now?”
“I’m sorry, I had no idea this happened. It’s just that, she was my old friend. And I left the school a few years ago and…” I was on the verge of breaking down.
“I’m sorry, dear.”
“May I know how this happened?” My voice was shaky.
“She died of cancer. She used to smoke.”

And I hung up the phone. My throat hurt from trying not to cry. I was sorry. Sorry that I couldn’t be a good friend. Sorry that I couldn’t care enough. Sorry that I couldn’t call. If I had been calling her, maybe she wouldn’t die. Maybe she wouldn’t die of cancer. A couple of days ago I didn’t even know if she existed anymore. And now there’s not a moment I let go of without thinking about her. She couldn’t live without me, maybe that’s why she died without me. I never really realized that I could actually lose her. But sometime, I will have to let go of her. But how will ever be able to let go of her memories?

I’m trying not to miss her too much. I’m just trying not trying to regret letting her go. Well… no progress. I’ve been crying myself to sleep since last two nights. When its time to let go, I will let go. And I will be okay.

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CherryPie said...
Jan. 13, 2013 at 1:33 am
*crying* is it true?
cookiemonsterlovespieThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 14, 2013 at 9:17 am
Very true. 
CherryPie replied...
Feb. 17, 2013 at 11:13 am
it's perfect.
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