Chapter 1I woke up and found myself crying again. Today was the last day I was going to live and sleep in this very room…for now. I walked over to my chair where I had laid out an outfit that I was going to wear today: my favorite pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I took these clothes and went to take a shower. Walking to the shower felt like a death sentence for no apparent reason. It felt like I was walking into a world of hell by leaving Chicago to someplace new. Was my conscience trying to tell me something that couldn’t figure out?
When I was done getting ready, I walked downstairs for breakfast. I expected my mom to be in the kitchen reading the paper but instead I found a vacant kitchen. Just then, I noticed a small note sitting on the kitchen table. It read:
Sweetie, I had to go to work early this morning. I’m sorry I won’t be home when you leave. I'm going to miss you terribly. Call me when you get off the plane so that I know you got there ok. Love you.
I was appalled that she would write that in the note instead of staying home to tell me in person. I knew my mom loved me and was sad that she couldn’t be home to see me leave but at the same time I knew she didn’t want to see my dad. My parents had finalized their divorce the day before yesterday. Since the finalization, my mom allowed my dad to stay in the house till “moving” day. Sadly enough, however, my dad won custody of me. I wasn’t what you would call “thrilled” to be leaving my home town with my dad. For one thing, he’s clueless when it comes to cooking. Chances are I’ll be the cook from now on.
The day the divorce finalized, life seemed treacherous. It happened while I was at school. For some reason, my parents thought it would be better for me to go to school than go to court. I knew how divorce worked; the parents legally separate and then the child(ren) would then go to whichever parent won custody. I just hoped that I would be staying with my mom so could stay in the house I grew up in. Leaving with my dad would mean having to transfer schools in the middle of this school year: my senior year of high school. I knew leaving with my dad meant leaving behind my friends, which are so hard for me to make.
On the day of the divorce, I got the news that I would be leaving with my dad: my worst nightmare. My entire world came crashing down in that instant. I tried to find a compromise to stay with my mom till the summer, but the decision was final. I was to leave with my dad in the next few days.
Waking up this morning, face tear stained, was hard. I cried myself to sleep thinking about nothing but my friends I would be leaving behind. It pained me think about them then and it’s even worse now. I dreamt about going to a new school walking to my classes with every pair of eyes in the room glaring at me. I knew that they were going to torment me until I moved back to where I came from. The taunting got so bad that it actually jolted me awake in tears.
I placed the note my mom wrote back on the table. I knew my mom wished for my dad to leave as soon as the divorce was final but still allowed him to stay until today. Instead of allowing him to stay in the spare room, she made him sleep on the lumpy couch in the living room.
I took myself over to the pantry in search for breakfast even though I knew I would just grab a pop-tart. As I poured a glass of milk into a cup, my dad walked in.
“Morning. How did you sleep?”
“Horrible, my back hurts from sleeping on that couch for the past couple days. I just wish that your mother would have at least let me sleep in the spare room last night,” stalling, “speaking of your mother, where is she?” he asked me.
“Mom left early for work this morning and left a note for me to read when I got up. She said for me to call her when I get off the plane,” I said taking a bite of pop-tart, “Dad, of all the places, why on earth did you decide to move to Bangor, Maine? Maine is all the way across the country. You should have decided to just stay here where I’d much rather be so I can graduate in the house I grew up in.”
“Cadence, I understand you’re not happy about us moving. If we both were able to stay here and you continue to go to school here then we would, but the truth is that we do in fact have to move to Bangor. My job had moved me there by my request….”
“You requested to go to Bangor?! Why would you request move there for work?!” I interrupted.
“Don’t interrupt me when I am talking, Cadence. As I was saying, I asked them to move my job and the only other available position was in Bangor. More importantly, I grew up there when I was younger before I moved here. Just stop complaining about moving away from your friends. You’ll make new ones there eventually,” he assured me.
“Dad, it took me almost three months to become friends with Alex. Three months, Dad, and I’ve known her since middle school. Moving to a new state completely will just make making new friends even harder.”
“Just relax Cadence. You’ll make new friends so stop thinking you won’t. Sit down and finish your breakfast and stop worrying about what you think is a major dilemma. Just get your stuff out to the truck when you’re done while I take a shower. Your plane leaves for Bangor in a few hours and I want to make sure you have enough time to spare so I don’t have to feel rushed getting you there,” said he while walking away. Dad and I had decided that I would take a plane to Bangor with a set of house keys while he drives there with the truck and all our possessions.
After finishing my breakfast, I slowly walked up to my room thinking about what my life will become by moving to Bangor. Maybe my dad’s right; maybe I will make new friends pretty quick. Before I knew it, I was already in front of the doorway to my room. I walked over to my bed where I laid my suitcases and my book bag (which carried every bit of stuff I would need for school). I stalled in my doorway to take a last look at my room for I knew I wouldn’t see it for a while.
Closing the door to all the memories that happened here weighed down on my shoulders. The walk to the truck that should have taken seconds felt like hours as I trudged down through the house. The truck sat in the same place that it has every day ever since could remember; only now it felt more unfamiliar and alien. I rolled my suitcases out the door towards the truck and tossed them in the back and put my book bag in the front seat.
I vaguely heard the rumble of an oncoming car heading my way. I paid no attention to it for I had thought it was one of the neighbors coming home from wherever. The sound of car doors opening played through my ears followed by several pairs of footsteps. I changed my direction of vision towards the sound of people to find my closest friends walking up my drive. I was surprised to see them. Sure it was a Saturday and we didn’t have school, but I half expected that they would be at the mall or someplace other than pulling into my driveway. Alex ran over to me and gave me a sorrowful hug. It took me a few minutes before I realized Ales was in the middle of a sob. She had started crying as she got hold of me. I felt terrible for my friends’ upcoming loss of me moving away.
“I’m going to miss you so much, Cadence. I don’t understand why they decided to give your dad custody and make you move. Don’t your parents know that you have a life here? Well, obviously they don’t because they’re making you move,” Alex sobbed.
I told, “I’m going to miss you, too, Alex. Believe me when I say I don’t want to leave anymore than you guys want me to, but I have no say in the matter, no matter how much I wish I did. You guys know that if I was given the decision I would stay here in a heartbeat.”
As we broke apart, Maggie and Kody walked up towards us. I smiled towards Maggie then Kody, “I’m going to miss all of you guys. It’s going to be hard for me to get used to not being able to see you guys every day.” For fear of crying herself, all Maggie could do was smile and hug me.
I let go and walked over to Kody. could tell he was in a world of hurt because I was moving. It was obvious that he’s liked me for some time now but was too scared to do something about it. Now that I was moving, it’s painfully obvious that it hurt him with the fact that he’ll never get his chance now. He looked at me with saddened eyes. I was clueless on what to do to make him feel better about the outcome so I just smiled. “Kody you’re not supposed to look like that; you’re a guy. You’re not supposed to be upset.”
“But how can I not be upset? You’re moving away and I may never see you again. What am I supposed to do when I need help with homework or when I have nothing to do? We’re still going to stay in contact though, right?”
“Yes, we’ll still stay in contact, I won’t forget about you. Don’t forget that you have other friends other than me so don’t act like you’ll be lonely. Why do you guys think that you’ll never see me again? I will have school vacations you know. My dad can’t keep me there forever I’ll be able to fly back. Besides, I’m sure that I’ll get bored there seeing as how I won’t have any friends there. Stop being worry warts and cheer up,” I retorted. I gave Kody a last farewell hug to cheer him up. Maggie and Alex stood together holding each other while tears ran down their face just as my dad decided to break into our small conversation.
“It’ll be strange not seeing you three around the house almost every day,” he said.
My friends as well as I nearly jumped out of out skins, metaphorically that is, at the sound of my dad’s voice. Everyone, including myself, was so focused on the good-byes that we didn’t even hear my dad approach us. We all turned to find him standing in the doorway holding his suitcases that held the last of his possessions. If he was sad at all then he covered it up well once we looked at him. He could have been sad about anything. He could have been sad about leaving the house or he could even be sad about leaving behind his “friends”, well what he thought were his friends. could tell that whenever my dad was around his “friends”, they weren’t all that thrilled to be around him, but they tried to pretend that they were.
“Hello, Mr. Mitchell, we were just saying bye to Cadence before you guys leave,” said Maggie.
“I see, well take as much time as you guys would like,” he said towards her. Then, to me, “I’ll just be inside making sure I grabbed everything.”
My friends said their last good-byes as I gave them a final farewell hug. I promised once more that I would stay in contact with them as they climbed back into Maggie’s car. As I watched them drive off I waved to them. I stood still for a moment as I took in the impact of what had just happened; that was the last time I would see my friends for a long while. I still couldn’t believe that I would be leaving the one place that I’ve lived at my whole life. Living in a new home just wouldn’t be the same. Looking at the time on my phone I realized that I needed to get my dad in order to leave at the time that he wanted.
I walked up the sidewalk and pushed open the front door. As I walked through the house, I remembered all the good memories that happened during my life. Letting my feet lead the way, I found myself being led towards the backyard. I opened the sliding door that separated myself and my dad.
“Hey dad, it’s getting around that time to leave,” I told him.
“Thanks Cadence. You know I can still remember when you took your first steps here in this very backyard. Hell, you even said your first words here. Your mother and I were very proud of you,” he said, laying his hand on my shoulder.
I smiled up at him as I turned back towards the door to go back inside. He wasn’t far behind as I walked towards the front door. He had stopped at the doorway and looked back at the yard with one last thought before leaving forever. Deciding to give my dad a moment to cherish his memories of this house, I walked towards the truck. My dad followed shortly afterward. couldn’t imagine how difficult this was for him. He had spent nineteen long years here, whereas I had only spent seventeen. Therefore, he’s probably going through tougher times than I am.
He smiled at me as he got into the driver’s seat. His smile still had a hint of sadness as he started the engine. From then on, we took off down the street, on our way to the Chicago airport. It didn’t take long to arrive at our destination. I looked down at the clock and came to find that my plane wasn’t due to take flight for another hour or so. Therefore, I got in line for bag-check to put my suitcases on the plane then walked towards the terminal. After a long wait of sitting in the waiting area and listening to my iPod, the time flew by.
I took out my ear buds just as I heard “Flight to Bangor, Maine now loading.”
I stood up with nothing but my book bag and ticket in hand. I looked at my dad and gave him a farewell hug.
“See you in Bangor Alex,” he said to me in the hug.
“Bye dad, see you there,” I said back.
After standing in line for about ten minutes, I walked onto my designated plane towards my seat. I looked out my window ready for the journey ahead.