Chapter 2 – Absence makes the heart grow fonder

"But you can't go now, we have the Symphony to attend next week" Saydi said one morning in the summer before Elementary school started.

"I have no choice," said Justin frustrated, "my mother said I have to."

His mother had secretly entered him into a boy's school far away from home. (And far away from Saydi.)

"Can't you go later? It's not like they can take away your place, is it?" Saydi was desperate.

"Actually, they can" Justin ran his fingers through his hair. It was dyed blond and cut to less than an inch.

Saydi grabbed her own hair and threw herself into a corner to stop from throwing a tantrum and from crying.

They had saved and made plans for the Symphony performance for months. Now, Justin's mother was putting it all to an end. Like she did to most of their plans. She almost did not let them go to Europe when they were younger.

Saydi started to grind her teeth; this was a bad habit she couldn't avoid.

Justin bent down in front of her. He took her hands and smoothed her short blond hair. She looked at him sadly and then she threw her arms around him and they embraced a last embrace before he had to leave.

From then on, Saydi's strength that she had in Justin was next to nothing. Her school social status fell in the hands of the other schoolgirls. Luckily Saydi was easily accepted because of her looks and intelligence.

Justin went to his school and soon realized that there was more to life that his little girlfriend back home. He never changed his opinion about her. She was still his childhood sweet heart but there in this school there was no talk of that. He learned manly things while Saydi learned all about being a woman. Justin soon became the main man in the school and every one would go to him for guidance.

Every Christmas they'd send gifts and cards and things. They wrote each other letters and talked over the phone whenever they could. In the summer Justin would come back and they'd see each other however briefly. Saydi was part of summer school and charity events, like habitat for humanity exc. The next year it was the same and so more until elementary school was over.

In the last year of Elementary school Saydi changed into a woman. She got her curves and boobs and all. She'd grown her hair to her middle and it naturally became straight.

Justin grew his hair too, to his ears at least. The blond dye had long since grown out and his hair was very dark now.

When Justin came home his parents were at work (as always) so he took a shower and changed his clothes. Then he ran to Saydi's house and noticed that it looked abandoned. He knocked on the door and when no one answered the decided to come back later.

He decided to take a walk on the beach.

He walked around the hill and came to the yellow sandy beach. He took off his shoes and started to wander along the water line. When he came close to the rocky beach he noticed a dog sitting on a rock staring into the water. He walked closer to see what the dog was looking at.

He came close enough to identify the dog as a black Retriever. Then suddenly out of the water came a head. The dog wagged its tail furiously and tried to jump in. The head became a body. A woman stepped out of the water, she had a black bikini on, her skin was wonderfully tanned, her hair (though dripping wet) hung to her waist. The young woman grabbed a towel and started to dry herself. The dog must have noticed Justin walking closer because he went to him.

"Sammy…" she called. The dog nearly knocked him over.

"Sammy!" She called again when she noticed that he was with Justin.

"Come here, Sammy," she called again when she put on her jeans. She didn't bother with a t-shirt she just turned to face Justin who was now at the edge of the rocks.

"Are you lost?" she asked the stranger.

"No," Justin answered, "I live just up there." he pointed to the Pendleton house up on the hill. She looked up and then quickly back at him. She studied him and a smile grew on her face.

"Welcome back Pendleton" she said.

He was confused. He studied her. He had never seen her in his life but she knew him. She laughed.

"Don't remember me? Of course it is understandable. Last time you saw me I was a little girl. I must say you don't look like the Justin I remember – I like you this way."

"Saydi!" Justin studied her with new eyes.

She smiled and asked, " how y' doin' ?"

"I'm back – to stay this time." He said stepping onto the rocks. They felt like strangers now that they had grown up.

"We need to catch up, come on – I'll stick you for a coffee." She grabbed her stuff and walked with Justin back to the road. They climbed in a blue mustang and drove to town.

"So tell me, do you have a girlfriend?' she asked as they waited for the coffees. She explained to him in the car that her father got his own business and became rich more than two years ago.

Justin shook his head.

"Then… how about a boyfriend?" she continued.

Justin nearly choked on his black coffee, " no, never."

Saydi giggled, "I was only joking!"

"How about you? Do you have a boyfriend?" he enquired.

"No! I don't waste my time on little boys and their sticks," she said matter-of-factly. Justin spat out the contents in his mouth – surprised.

They were walking through the park toward the community baseball field. There were people playing a game and Saydi recognised most of them as her school friends.

"Saydi, hi" one of her friends called her over.

"Morning Lex" Saydi greeted.

"Who's your friend?"

"This is Justin Pendleton, remember I told you about him?"

"Oh well, I'm glad to finally meet the infamous Justin. We started to think you didn't really exist" Lex said as he and Justin shook hands.

Justin gave Saydi an unsure look, she just laughed.

"Really Lex, would I lie?" she asked. The other friends were calling Lex back and so he greeted them and went back to the game. The two friends remained watching for a while till half time came.

One of the girls invited Justin to a party that was to happen that night. Saydi was already invited so he agreed to go with her. After the game restarted again he and Saydi left the park.

They ate lunch in the town diner and talked more.

"You remember how much I liked animals? Well when we moved into the house dad gave me Sammy. He was still a puppy back then and so beautiful. He still is beautiful just in a grown up way."

"What did my parents say when you moved out?"

"Not much, they looked disappointed but they actually arranged our house-warming party and since then we were always on their events list."

"Where's your dad now?"

"At the office. My turn – do you think you will miss your friends?"

"Of course, the squad held me a going away party. Luke, he was quite a character. He knows probably everything there is to know about women. He's not gay, he's just obsessed with them."