I tickled the idea for months, but doubts were constantly rearing their evil heads. "What if you can't adjust?" "What if you lose contact with your friends?" "What if you can't make new friends?" "If you hate it you're, stuck there." All of these questions tacked on to one larger question, "Should I move up to Houghton, NY?"
Chelsea Sirigotis, a sixteen-year-old beauty, waltzed into school with her typical grace. She charmed the halls of Timothy Christian School with her bona fide smile and sweet character. She came to my locker with a few minutes to spare before our Homeroom bell rang. "Last night Jeff called, and we talked for like two hours!" She continued, "He's just so," she took a deep breath and sighed her exhale, "dreamy." With her next sentence her facial expression fell from an ecstatic haze to a sudden judgment. "But then again he writes me poems and stuff that freak me…" Suddenly the loud bell over-powered her spunky voice, and she followed me thoughtlessly into our homeroom still going on about her crush of the month.
"Chelsea, listen to me," I apologized, but I had to cut her off. This was big news! "I'm considering moving up to Houghton, NY and going to Houghton Academy."
"What? Well, how far is that?" She asked not knowing the whole of the situation.
"It's about six hours away from here, but-"
"Six hours? Six hours! You cannot possibly live six hours away from me! Why would you do that? You know that I need you here! Six hours? Are you being serious?" She ended her last sentence with her face frozen in the time of her words. Her hands were up, nose scrunched, eyebrows raised, and jaw dropped causing the possibility of her being mistaken for a statue. She was waiting anxiously for me to respond.
I was a bit afraid to respond, "Well, it's not definite yet, but it's looking more and more that way."
As the months went by, I realized I had to make a decision. Time was dwindling.
I called Chelsea one day at home to discuss the matter.
"I need to make a serious decision, Chels. My parents want to move! My dad is commuting two hours every day, and they would like to be able to live in North Jersey. Their leaving depends on my going to Houghton. What should I do?" There was silence on the other line for a few moments, before I heard a deep breath. A breath of thought, and breath that told me what she was going to say next. With best friends you can tell what they are going to say, because of familiar mannerisms.
"Okay. I don't want you to leave me, but I know you should. And because of that, we are going to accept this and just work hard at staying just as close. Got it?" It was as easy as that. I knew we could come through. We could call each other daily and catch up on what the other missed. One day at a time.
The summer came at just the right time for us. We had big plans to spend the sunny days together, at the beach and Six Flags Great Adventure, but the summer left our grip too soon, like sifting sand. Soon enough, it was time for me to head up to Houghton. We spent our last Friday night together exchanging gifts and words. I gave her a photo album filled with 16 of our memories, and she gave me a "Chelsea Original" clock to hang on my wall in my new room. There was a different picture of us at each numerical location, and she decorated it to add a dimension of fun to the modern structure of the clock.
"This is perfect," I said to her through a lump growing in my throat. And it was.
I traveled up to Houghton the following Monday, impatiently awaiting what it had in store for me. I had to take a Math placement test on Tuesday, which I was not looking forward to, but I knew that if I had anything on my mind Chelsea was only a phone call away. Monday came and went, and Tuesday arrived. I felt terrible about how I did on the placement test, and I had a strange feeling that I hadn't belonged in the town of Houghton. I was emotionally high strung and having huge doubts. What else to do than call Chelsea? She was on vacation in Lake George, but I knew she'd want to hear from me.
"Hi," I didn't know what else to say. I felt that the more I spoke the more likely I was to explode with tears.
"Sonja, what's wrong?" She asked. I was so relieved that she could sense my mood; I had to let it out. I started bawling over the phone and babbling worries to her.
"I did terrible on the placement exam!" I paused to let some more tears flow out. "I don't belong here, Chelsea! I need to come back to New Jersey!" I continued to cry, then I realized there was a second person crying on the line. Chelsea was crying too.
"Sonja! You're going to do fine! Everyone will love you!" She continued to encourage me, "You'll enjoy it; you've just got to give it time." When we hung up the phone, I took a few deep breaths, and I knew she was right. And she was. Within a week I had developed quite a few close friendships, and I loved living up in Houghton. I also knew that Chelsea and my friendship could stand through anything, because of our strong desire to do so. Chelsea Sirigotis will forever be my greatest friend.