Struggling to Breathe
Chapter TwoGetting out of the car, I waved goodbye to my mom.
“Good luck, Rose!” She called, and blew a kiss. I smiled, and then turned around so she wouldn’t see the tears gathering in my eyes. I bumped right into Anna Anderstan.
“Hey Rose!” She said, and smiled at me.
“Hey, Anna. Good summer?” I asked with as much enthusiasm as I could muster.
We made small talk for a few moments, until I felt a tug on my backpack. I turned around, and saw it was my best friend, Lauriston. I waved bye to Anna, and then hugged Lauriston.
“Hey! You look soooooo tan!” She said to me with a huge smile.
“Not as tan as you!” I smiled back.
“What have you done all summer, besides missing your best friend in Barbados and neglecting to write her any letters longer than half a page?” She said, laughing.
“Oh, you know, swimming, hanging out, therapist’s offices, hospitals....” I trailed off as I saw her smile disappear.
“Ohmygod, your parents found out?” Lauriston suddenly lost all of her trademark confidence, and she started to look a little different. Her makeup seemed garish, her tan fake, her hair too blonde, her shorts too short, her tank top too tight, and her espadrilles too tall. Right before my eyes, she transformed from my beautiful best friend to a promiscuous girl I didn’t even recognize. But then I blinked, and she returned to her normal self.
“No, of course not!” I replied, and her smile returned.
“Oh, good. No one besides us and McKayla know, right?” She said nervously.
“And Chris,” I reminded her. How could she have forgotten Chris? I certainly hadn’t, as much as I had tried to.
“Oh, and him.” She said.
Just then, the warning bell rang, and we went our separate ways to out lockers. I puzzled over Lauriston reluctance to talk about what had happened. In all the letters I sent saying anything about it, she ignored me entirely and only talked about the, and I quote, “Omg, such hot guys here that are sooo tan and sooo gorgeous!”
Maybe she wasn’t really who I thought she was anymore. Or maybe she had changed over the summer, like I had. But I was sure of one thing. She wasn’t the same Lauriston who was with me that night.