About a year ago, I was getting off the plane from a long flight from Europe, and of course Aerosvit added to uncomfortable flight. What I really needed more than anything else was a nice meal, a shower and normal sleep. New York was my home, and even though I had experienced worse things there I still preferred Brooklyn over Europe any day. I held tightly to my bag and looked over to my brother to make sure we wouldn't get lost. As our stewardess showed us the way to the exit, we saw our mom. She was standing there with balloons in her hand and looked really happy. We ran to hug her and made our way to the taxi. Mom had told us about our new apartment. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, one big living room, and of course a kitchen and the entrance.
To be honest I was really excited until we walked in there. The rooms were bigger than our old cramped apartment but they weren't as big as I expected. My mom exaggerated about it so much that it lead to disappointment, but I didn't dare show her that. It was really nice though. I had the room with three windows which greatly satisfied me. Europe had made me a little claustrophobic and I had no reason to complain about my room. I had a month of summer to go and I was thinking of how everyone would react when they saw me back in school. I can't say I was much of the popular girl. Matter of a fact, I barely had any friends. Those that I knew had left Studio and others just weren't close enough of friends. While I was in Europe, a friend kept me updated about everything.
Although we weren't as close then she still checked up on me more than my own bestfriend. I had know this so called bestfriend since first grade. When I first came to America, I had short hair like a boy and didn't speak. I didn't know english at all. Jackie was very nice to me though. She was the only one that didn't make me feel like an outcast. She introduced me to her friends Nancy and Annie. Nancy was a little pudgy with messy curly hair tied in a ponytail, and she was close friends with Jackie. Annie was an asian girl neatly dressed in a traditional red japanese outfit, and later in middle school, I would hate Annie because she was a bully. We played outside in the courtyard and soon Jackie, Nancy and I became bestfriends.
We had our occasional fights and that's when I realized how much Jackie liked being the center of attention. She liked being in the middle whenever we got together. Whatever was hers, was hers, and she had the upper hand on everything. Jackie was a rich girl. Her father was a business man in Russia and occasionally visited his family and her mother also worked, although I don't remember as what. Her grandmother helped take care of her and her brother, and the house. I remember when I first dragged my mom to meet my best friend's grandmother. Jackie and I planned that because we wanted to go over each other's houses. As far as I can remember Jackie's grandmother was a very nice woman.
When I first learned of her passing, I cried so much. My mother hugged me and she was at loss of words. She wasn't my grandmother, but I felt a sense of distress anyway. When we went over Jackie's house, her mother was sitting at the table with a cup of untouched tea. She had some kind of a small paper that she folded and unfolded with her fingers. I couldn't help but think how much Jackie resembled her mother. In the way she walked, did things and even looked. Her fingers traced the paper the same exact way Jackie would. I sit next to my mother as she offered her condolences to Jackie's mom and told her if she ever needed anything she would be there for her. Jackie and her brother weren't home that night and I don't remember why. I figured they stayed over their second grandmother's house, and that woman was nothing but rotten. I remember how Jackie and I had a heart to heart conversation.
Despite how many times we fought, we were still close no matter what. She told me many things and that night felt hazy. We were sitting across from each other on her red sofas, and no one was home. As Jackie told me things that I never would have figured, she stared without blinking to the side with her finger on the bottom of her cheek, looking almost paralyzed, but she was deep in thought. I learned that night that all that money never really made her happy. What she really wanted was her grandmother back, her father home and her mother's attention.
I remember her saying how her father's mother never really loved her, and only wanted money from her family. Her life was missing something ever since her grandmother's death. I felt her despair and hugged her longer than usual. When I went home, all I thought of was how she looked. Her sadness scared me and her eyes looked dead, and hurt. Had life really treated her that badly? Jackie, the girl that was always full of life and so happy. She would always smile, but now she's growing up, and life isn't the same anymore. Somewhere deep down, I wanted to cry when Jackie told me she was leaving New York. I had left her in middle school, and she was leaving me in high school.
Only a month of summer together before we parted ways. I really missed her when she left. It was almost the same as when she had told me she was going to visit her father in Russia when we were younger, but this time it was permanent. She wasn't coming back. Even though she visited occasionally on weekends, we never really hung out together. She had forgotten me, and probably because I was only one of her bestfriends and we both knew the impact distance had on our friendship. We had grown up together and it wasn't the same when she wasn't there. Whenever I think of her, my childhood comes to mind. Days in elementary school and days where everything was joyful and secure. Sometimes I wish I could rewind to my childhood and relive it.