When I woke up that morning I never knew this would be the day that changed my life forever. "I got drafted. I'm running to San Francisco. Come with me Meg" Chris asked me on that warm Philadelphia summer night back in 1966. How could I choose between staying with my family and starting over with Chris? I weighed my options and after to a decision I went to tell my family goodbye. I walked into my house and after sitting my family down I told them I was leaving with Chris. "If you leave don't bother coming back" was my fathers response to my news.
"You don't mean that…."I started
"Yes Meg I do, I can't sit by and let you make a foolish mistake" my father responded harshly
"Alright" I told him simply
I went upstairs to get my things and said my goodbyes to the rest of the family. The hardest to say goodbye to were my little brother Will and my little sister Patty. "Please don't leave Meg" Will cried as I was packing.
"Listen to me" I said to him as we both sat down on my bed
"No matter where I am I will always be with you in your heart and anytime you need me all you have to do is call me Roxanne will have my number" I reassured him
"It won't be the same" Will sniffled as he hugged me
"I know it wont be Will and I'm going to miss you every second of every day" I smiled to him and handed him my favorite stuffed animal Mr. Wiggles
"You're giving me Mr. Wiggles?" Will asked drying his tears
"I sure am and when I can't be here for you he will be" I smiled and hugged him again as we said our goodbyes.
As I walked down the hall I went into Patty's room "So you're just going to leave us? Abandon the family?" Patty asked me visibly hurt
"Yeah I am….this wasn't an easy decision Patty. It truly wasn't" I told her hating that my sister felt this way
"Of course it was. Lets see stay here with your family and have a normal life or run off into the sunset with your boyfriend. You don't care you hurt all you care about is what you want" Patty accused "Do us all a favor don't come back" Patty ordered and walked out of her room as tears fell down my face
After sharing a look with my father I turned my back leaving the safety of my family's home. When I went arrived to meet Chris my best friend Roxanne was already there waiting. Roxanne and I shared a hug as she whispered "You don't have to go". I looked from her to Chris wondering to myself "Have I made the right decision?" I again wondered how I could chose between the life I had and the possibility of a life with Chris.
Time passed and before I knew it I was celebrating Christmas at Berkley with Chris. On Christmas Eve I received a Christmas card from Roxanne with a letter which I eagerly opened knowing that Roxanne would have lots of questions about California, moving to California was her lifelong dream, and give me lots of details on life back home.
How's California life treating you? Is it everything I've dreamed of? Have you met anyone famous yet? Maybe Barbara Eden? Enough questions about California, I'll fill you in on the latest here. Hmm let me see lets start with your family since I'm still over there all the time. Will's doing great he misses his big sister though. Patty told me to tell you she didn't mean what she said. Oh your mom gave me a message too she told me your dad was wrong and that you can come home anytime. She means it Meg she will fix this problem with you and your dad. I think JJ misses you the most though. He's going through such a tough time right now. Beth decided she's not ready to be a mom and left to finish school at Penn State. He's trying to act strong but I know its tough for him raising John. I talked to Sam yesterday. He still loves you Meg. You should call him he has a lot he wants to say to you. Now onto your favorite person…me, I have a great new boyfriend. This could be the one Meg. He has a beautiful little boy too. By now I'm sure your wondering who in the world this boyfriend is. Brace yourself…it's your brother. That's right I'm dating JJ. Well on that shocking note I'm going to end this letter.
Your Best Friend Always,
After I read this letter I was stunned, I couldn't believe it could really be that easy for me to go home. After rereading the part of the letter about Sam I made the decision to call him. After the phone rang for a while Sam finally picked up.
"Hello?" Sam said when he picked up the phone
I smiled thinking about how great it is to hear Sam's voice again and wondered if Roxanne was right about him still loving me.
"Sam it's so great to hear your voice. It's me Meg"
"Meg…I'm so glad to hear from you" Sam said
"I got Roxanne's letter. She said you wanted to talk to me?" I asked
"Yeah, Meg why did you leave like that we hadn't even been broken up a week and you left with Chris" Sam said not letting on about still loving her
"Because I saw a future with Chris. When you decided we needed to break up I thought any chance of a future for me and you was gone" I explained to him "Was it?"
"No it wasn't gone Meg. You want to know the truth if you came back right now we would have that future. I love you" Sam blurted out
I sat there stunned at his declaration even though I already knew he loved me because of the letter. I instantly hung up without saying another word unsure of what to do now.
"How could this have happened? I was so sure I made the right decision leaving Philadelphia with Chris" I thought to myself. I pulled out a photo album of mine that held various pictures of Sam and myself. If Chris ever knew had this he would be furious. He's always been jealous of Sam. "I don't belong in California" I admitted to myself for the first time that night.
As I was bringing my suitcases into the living room that night Chris came into the apartment "Going somewhere?" Chris asked me obviously confused. I sighed as I placed my suitcase down on the couch.
"I'm leaving…I'm going back home for good" I explained to him
"You're leaving?" Chris asked me with a mixture of hurt and surprise
"I'm sorry Chris I wanted this to work it's just I got a letter today from Roxanne that made me realize I belong back in Philadelphia not here" I explained to him
"Oh really and it has nothing to do with Sam?" Chris questioned me knowing what I would say
"No it has nothing to do with him why would you even ask that" I asked him having decided that the less he knew the better
"I don't know just a feeling" Chris responded to me as he noticed the letter I had received from Roxanne and picked it up "And I was right. You're going back because he still loves you aren't you. Don't you get it your dads will never let you be together your white he's black it will never happen" Chris insisted to me as I finally saw him for who he was
"Well at least your finally showing your true colors" I glared at him as I picked up my suitcases "We're finished Chris. I'm out of here"
That was the last time I ever saw Chris. I'm glad things turned out the way they did because it all got me to today my wedding day. That's right I'm marrying Sam. My dad actually took my getting back together with Sam pretty well he's even walking me down the aisle. It took a while but I finally got my happily ever after.