“Wow Amanda does it not feel like school just started?” With a smile on her face “Oh I know Jesse but it feels like we have known each other forever!” “I am so glad you are coming home with me for break! This road trip is going to be great!”As we walked with our suitcases down to the dining hall for one more meal before we left. “Oh hey!” said Amanda to the group of friends from our building. Once we made it to the table, I gave a smile—“Hey where is everyone headed for break?!” “I think I will be sticking around Boston, maybe check out some of the coffee shops, listen to some poetry reading…” Said Otis –Otis is one of the student advisors on my floor in B, he made my first couple days less confusing.
“That sounds great; maybe when I get back I can join you.” I could feel the flush start in my cheeks; it wasn’t a normal feeling to me, but it made me feel good… “Yeah that would be fun, I didn’t know you were into poetry Jesse?” I snapped out of my daydream and noticed Otis was staring at me—“Yeah she is pretty good too” said Amanda. –I gave her a half smile to thank her.
“Maybe before break is over we can get together, and you can show me some of the coffee shops you frequent.” Otis gave a smile. “You got it; I’ll see you when you get back!” With one more glance at Otis, Amanda and I head to the car for our fifteen hour drive to North Carolina.
Music playing, the road ahead looking clear… hardly any snow has fell in Boston yet, which is great it should make for an easier trip back home to Swain County—which is where I am from the population is less than Fifteen hundred. “I can’t wait to show you the view we have in Swain Amanda, of the Mountains you will love them!” As Amanda drove she sang to the radio. “Yeah I can’t wait to see them! I heard the Smokies were a great place to visit with all the wild life and the great national park.” “You will love it Amanda, we can visit the park with my friend Mikey Jay if he’s home for break” —with the look of curiosity on Amanda’s face, I went on telling her all about Mikey Jay-- I have known Mikey forever, he is a cowboy at heart, when we were younger Mikey Jay and I made a pack, that we would be the best of friends and never fall in love with anyone,--“that’s sweet” said Amanda—“Yeah but we were young back then, I bet he doesn’t even remember.” “Tell me about it, we have a long trip ahead of us.” as I looked out the window to remember back then…
“When we were growing up his parents were always fighting…”-- I paused, to look at her facial expression before moving on—“Just let me know if you don’t want to hear anymore, Alright” “Alright.” said Amanda. “Go on.” “Well he and his sister were always hidden away listening to them fight…of course their parents never knew… He told me everything; Mikey Jay told me his deepest secrets. When we were together he felt safe, and I felt like I had my wish at last. –I could see her eye brow raise, as I went on—my wish was for someone to talk to, someone to tell my secrets too and we found each other, for Mikey Jay told me his and I in return told him mine.”
“He sounds like a great friend, Jesse” “He is he’s like an older brother to me, one I never had!”
“At home there is this beautiful Willow tree, it’s out in a big field, private, and no one ever seems to bother us there.” “That picture that is hanging in our room, is that the tree?” “Yeah, that’s it; the picture doesn’t do it justice though, maybe you can see it in early autumn some time.”“That willow tree was our safety net, any time anything happened at home we could always go there knowing everything would be alright.” I could feel a tear trying to escape my eye, lucky it was dark and Amanda was driving, or it would have been a dead giveaway at how much she didn’t know, and I’m not sure I was ready to share it all yet…
“My turn to drive” “Oh thank goodness I was starting to get blurry eyes having to watch the road that long!” we both laughed, as we switched seats, I quickly wiped away the tear. “You can try and sleep if you would like, I should be fine for a couple hours.” “I think I will, wake me if you need help staying awake Jesse” “I will”. “When you wakeup we will stop for some food.” With a yawn—“Alright, sounds good.” I remember those warm summer days we used to sit under the willow tree silently with each other, knowing we didn’t need to speak to know what each other was thinking… One overly warm night with the wind blowing a cool breeze, I saw Mikey Jay running from his house into the dark, I knew of course where he was headed, so I snuck out and followed him to the willow…I saw he was crying…so I slowed, when I reached him I just sat down and looked up at the stars…there was a crescent moon that night, so the starts shown a little brighter… It seemed like forever as we sat there in silence. Then I heard Mikey Jays voice, it broke the silence very quietly, if the night wasn’t so still I might not have heard him at all… He turned to me and said; “Jesse, make me a promise”…I could see into his eyes as we stared at each other even in the dark and I could feel his soul was weak, in need of something I could not quit make out…
“Please” “Alright Mikey” “You will always be my best friend, promise me, and promise me you will never leave me…” “I won’t, I will always be your best friend and you will always be mine” as he looked to the grass and slowly back at me. “Let’s make a pack…” “Okay” “let’s never fall in love with anyone…we have each other and that is enough” for I knew what he was saying, we both saw what happened when you fell in love. “I promise Mikey…”
Heading home brings back the feeling of comfort, feeling of love, love of nature, love of my family, love of the fresh air…which is one thing the city doesn’t have. I can never get sick of those beautiful mountains. Nevertheless home does bring back the memories I left behind…
The reasoning behind why I started to walk on the outskirts of everyone else’s lives to begin with. Winter also brings back the moment in which I came to stop trusting in love, not all love of course but the kind of love you share with another that you trust will be the one, the prince in your fairytale, or the knight that comes to rescue you from the dragon. That kind of love is what I ran away from, I know I am still young I mean really what could I possibly know about relationships right? Well it’s not really that hard to figure out, no matter what age you are. Boy meets girl, they fall in love and they are together forever, not boy meets girl and makes that girl fall in love with them well they are cheating behind her back with another, which is also falling for the lies of the “Prince” that came into their lives… Or better yet the knight that you thought would always be with you, the one that kept you safe and then one night he just walks into the darkness and doesn’t turn back…
“Hey Amanda—as I gave her a couple taps—I’m going to stop for food, are you hungry?” “Mmm…” “Amanda we are here!” “What…” “We are here” “alright” I quickly shake my head, I don’t know how anyone can sleep that well in a car…
“We are only about five hours away now, do you care if I try and rest?” “Not at all, let me see the map again” “Alright well it looks like the next rest stop is a while away” “I’ll take back over once we get to it, and I will drive us the rest of the way” “Yeah that sounds good, I don’t want to get us lost when we are so close” we both laughed as I rolled me eyes.
“We’re here!” As we pulled up to my house, I noticed it didn’t change; the house was made with cedar siding, the shingles were still chipped with the yellow peeking through the white staining. The older six paned windows littered the top sides of the house. The bottom ones were fairly new.
My front door had no windows, but it was solid wood which I painted baby blue a couple years back was still the same , before it was a stained faded brown color, it looked sad, I think my paint job made it seem brighter. Front porch was open, with a porch bench swing hung by a metal chain, a little rusted but still holding strong. “Oh thank goodness, I was getting so tired of the car!” “Me too, Come on I will introduce you to my parents!” I could feel my heart fill will joy; I missed my parents more than I would have thought well I was still at school.
“Hey I’m home –as I yelled into the hall—anyone home?!” “Well I don’t know where they are, let’s head upstairs and put our stuff down” “Lead the way!” Heading up the stairs to the second floor landing the stairs squeaked under our feet, family pictures lined the walls. Once we hit the landing “My door is the second one on the left, the bathroom is right across the hall and the guest bedroom is on the right, to the left of that.” “Alright I’ll put my suitcases in there and meet you back in your room!”
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