Summer

After

Seventh Grade

Chapter : 1 ( Uno )

The First Couple of Days When All a Sudden It Just Kinda Hits You…

June 3, 2010 - Last day of School.

I JUST COULDN'T BELIEVE IT WAS ALL REALLY OVER.

How many times during the year did I just wish it would end? Theclasses, lectures,

thepiles of homework…all of it? And now it was. Wow.

The funny thing is I was so focused on all of my work, that I forgot about what really mattered to me. They're not kidding when talk about taking things for granted,

not one bit.

School is supposed to teach you how to "make it" out in the real world. Effectively relating to, and communicating with others, the whole charade. Great, looks like I already screwed up that fantasy.

Friendship is a self-taught class. Of course it is, how can a class based on opinion, and not fact be taught? Especially when everyone's best friend is different? It makes sense that you're expected to learn this subject from your own life experiences, but just because something makes sense, doesn't make it easily done.

All this happened last year. Sixth grade, everyone's first year in Middle School. Ahhh, but what's the most exciting part of the year? Oh yeah…summer vacation.

Okay, so maybe that made sense too. Everyone needed a break from the hours sitting in school doing work. Summer simply gave them that chance. They might not see their friends everyday like they're used to, but summer wouldn't last forever. It's not like they'd never see their friends again. Everyone would get that chance when fall came around, and Seventh Grade began….everyone,

except me.

It wasn't as if I was moving across the country, or even across town for that matter. Just transferring to the school I'd only been dreaming about going to since fourth grade. With all my dream classes, and nice teachers, Legions Academy (LA for short) was extremely hard to get excepted in to. But most importantly,

it had my best friend.

I had applied too late for enrollment in sixth grade. So I was stuck at George Washington Middle (GWM). The middle school I was zoned for due to distance. I guess I could handle that. I could always send in my application again for seventh grade, when hardly anyone applied. It wasn't like saying goodbye to GWM would be that hard. There weren't as many classes, the teachers weren't horrible (though none screamed friendly), and my best friend didn't go there. Piece-of-Cake, right? Right?

Not exactly the piece of cake I asked for…

I made friends; a lot of friends. And when the time came to say goodbye to them all, only then did I realize just how much it was going to hurt.

But this year it's different. I'm attending my dream school, Legions Academy. I'm not transferring, and I'll see my friends everyday in Eighth Grade.

I'm just notready for it to end.

Why? Life's not the same at your dream school if part of the dream isn't there. And my best friend was gone.

One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

People I Know:

1. Allison - My best friend. One of the nicest, prettiest, kindest, most understanding people you will ever know. She's also one of the least spoiled and most thankful for all the things she has, despite the fact that she comes from a family of wealthy doctors. She's amazing. The only reason you could hate her is for having no reason to hate her.

Wow I'm lucky. (Owner of possible name I'll give my future daughter if I ever decide to get married.) J

August 12, 2009 (Afternoon.)

It's Open House. Unfamiliar students accompanied by parents roam the halls, meeting teachers and acquiring class schedules for the year to come. Electricity hangs in the air as friends excitedly hug for the first time since June. Me? I'm a newcomer. I try to navigate my way through the impossibly large building they call a school.

The tall and wide hallways are partially lighted by skylights and windows so high you'd have to fly to see out of them. The architecture is confusing. All doors look the same. I have to peer through the windows to tell the classrooms apart. I've always been comfortable with my height, but I'm beginning to regret my more-on-the-short-side-stance.

There are three visible stories I'm able to account for, though there appear to more from the outside. There's color - everywhere - bright colors, and life-size sculptures made of translucent tape. This school's known for it's art. And they want to display every piece. Karalee squeezes my hand. I look to see her smiling. She knows I'm nervous...

People I Know: (Continued.)

2. Karalee - (Isn't that a pretty name?) One of my Foster Dad's biological children. I love her so much; no real sister of mine could replace her. She's eleven years older than me, and recently graduated from college. She doesn't live far away, and in many ways is like the mother I never had. Named after her two Grandfathers. Grandpa Karl, and Grandpa Lee. No, it's not pronounced Karlee or Carly. It's K-a-r-a-l-e-e. Like Kara, plus Lee. (Owner of possible name I'll give my future daughter if

I ever decide to get married.)J

August 12, 2009 (Continued.)

My sandy-not-quite-blond-but-not-quite-brown hair is styled the same way I imagine one of my favorite novel character's. I notice it beginning to flop from it's diagonal French braid fashioned by my fingers. Maybe I'd get my hat from the car later.

A girl with reddish curls passes by waving. I return the gesture confused…and then I realize she was a friend of mine back in Elementary School. Geesh, time goes fast. Karalee and I keep moving to avoid being trampled. That's when I see her. I forget what I'm doing. "I'll be right back." I tell Karalee. I'm backtracking, so my sister's not thrilled. Then she spots her too. She lets me go.

Allison is over by the School Store. She's buying a light blue pencil case when I surprise her. "Boo!" I clasp my hands on her shoulders, making her jump. She turns around, sees me, and smiles. Quickly pays for the pencil case, and laughs as I manage to get in an awkward hug. "I've been looking all over for you!"

"Well I just got here. I forgot to pick up a pencil case when we went for school supplies, what about you?"

"Urg… I still haven't gotten that graphing calculator for Algebra 1. We found one at Target, but it was over a hundred dollars! Guess it's time to hit eBay."

"Oh. I got mine. I like your hair like that. It's pretty…"

"Really? Thanks." Allison's hair was perfect of course. It was a rich, shiny chestnut brown that fell past her shoulders in naturally elegant curls. It framed her sweet heart shaped face in such a way she managed looking like she walked out of some picture perfect fairytale everyday. I tugged at my braid again. Yep, definitely getting that hat now.

"Hey, listen, I've got to go, but have you seen what team your assigned to yet?" She's calm and quiet, which is how she acts when she's nervous. I don't notice. I'm too excited to see her.

"Not yet. I was heading over that way with Karalee when I saw you. I really hope we're on the same team! Can you believe we're finally going to school together? I'm so excited!" Nice job, real subtle…

"Summer, I have bad news." She glances at her Mom as if to tell her she'll be right there.

"Wait, what?"

"Summer…I'm really sorry but we're not on the same team. We have different teachers."

"What?" Different teachers. That meant different classes. As in, not together. I really don't know what to say after that.

"Hey, I really have to go now, but I'll see you later, okay?"

"Um…yeah. Wait, what about Algebra?"

"Huh? Oh yeah. At least we'll have that class together. See you at the Pavilion." She tries to give me an encouraging smile. I don't trust my voice.

I'd wave, but she's already gone.

Realization:

It's not like I didn't know something like this might happen. There was only a fifty-fifty chance we'd be on the same team to begin with. And it wasn't like we'd never see each other. We'd have Algebra together, plus the Related Arts classes. You don't have to be on the same team to be in those. So it wouldn't be all bad. Right?

I find Karalee looking at the students list. Sure enough, Allison was right. We're not on the same team. I glance at it to see if I recognize anybody's name. I find three,

different team. I ask to go home.

August 14, 2009: The Not So Happy Ending:

It turns out Allison and I didn't have a single class together. Not even Algebra. Algebra is an honors class - high school level. So we thought there would only be one class, not two. Related Arts Classes? Intermediate Art, another Honors Class. We'd have that together for sure.

First Day of School: "What do you mean there's two?"

The first couple of days, Allison and I did nothing but complain. We were finally going to the same school, and we didn't have a single class together. It didn't seem fair. But after awhile we just let it go. I actually managed to make a couple of nice new friends, so I wasn't completely alone in a sea of students who had been classmates together since kindergarten. And I still saw Allison everyday. We waved to each other in the halls. Sometimes we even ran into each other before school. But most importantly, we still had practice together at the Pavilion. My old friends? My G-W-M pals? I might not get to see them everyday, but we still got to email each other. That was something. Wasn't it?

At least it was better than nothing.

But again, it's different this time. I'm not moving/transferring anywhere, and Allison's not either.

So why do I feel like I'll be going to school without her?

June 3, 2010 (Continued.)

I started to notice it a couple weeks ago. Allison and I no longer saw each other every day. I stopped going to the Pavilion after school. That's where Allison and I met. In a way, it's kind of like our special place. We both ice skate. We're figure skaters. After school, we'd head to the rink at the Pavilion, lace up our boots, and skate. We took lessons there. And we were good.

But I stopped skating. There was an accident with my boots. The heal was beginning to come off. The heal is attached to the blade, and if it came off completely while I was on the ice…I'd be seriously injured. So I had to stop skating until my new skates came in.

May 6, 2010 - June Something or Other

New Skates: They finally come in. They aren't the same as my old ones like I'm used to. But these were cheaper. And the sooner I skate, the better. Carly is another skating friend of mine. We met taking public lessons together. She has these same skates.

She's talented. They worked for her, so maybe they'll work for me.

The Problems We Couldn't Avoid : Somehow the new skates ended up being worse then the bad ones to begin with. It was our first time ordering new skates. We didn't exactly know what we were doing. We ordered them too big. Way…too big.

Skating Again: We ordered them with a little extra room because my Dad's convinced I'm not done growing yet. (Not that a few more inches to my height would be bad or anything…) They're roomy. They hurt. But all new skates do-

That's what I've been told. I'm wearing these really thick wool socks so my feet don't slide everywhere. I've never had to wear them before. Some people wear up to two pairs to keep their feet warm. Me? I've never needed something like that.

More Problems: I continue to skate in them, but they don't get any better. Instead, they get worse. I think I'm getting more used to them. My coach has me start doing double jumps again. When you land a jump, you land on the toe-pick, or the top of the blade. My foot? Back of the boot. I land. Toe-pick hits ice, foots slams down from back of boot and crashes into front. It's hard to clean blood off ice skates.

My Feet: Long. Most five-year-old girls are nicknamed Cupcake. Me? I was Big Foot. Narrow. Some people get blisters from new shoes. Me? Nope.

Flat Footed. Extremely flat footed. Despite the fact the rest of my family has arches as tall as Everest, me? No…

New Skates: Huge. Really huge. Even for my feet. And that's saying something…

Narrow. And combined with thick wool socks. Anyone have coupons for band-aids?

Arch; high. Extremely high. Arch Support? They're made to fit in the average shoe.

Not the Average-Top-of-the-Line-Competitive-Figure-Skating-Boot.

Skating: Double Toe loop: Left toe-pick hits ice. Launched into air, rotate two times. Land on opposite foot. Right toe-pick hits ice, foot - back of boot. I land. Flat foot travels from back of boot to front. High arch literally cuts into flat foot as it travels to front of boot.

Blood - really hard to clean off ice skates.

Allison's wiping the ice off her blades as the Zamboni smoothes the ice. It's weird. I haven't talked to her in a while.

"Hey, so how are the new skates coming?"

"Not good. I don't know how Carly can stand them! I think we might have to order new ones again."

"Oh… Well I guess I'll see you in school. Bye."

Next Day at School:

For some reason, I can't stop thinking about talking to Allison again. I look for her all day. I get to school early and wait in the gym with everyone else before school officially starts at eight. I miss her. I look for her between classes. No luck. Sixth period finally comes. I'll catch her coming out of Intermediate Art. I race out of class as soon as the bell rings. At first I don't see her coming with a large group of friends. Then I spot her, I run. "Hey, Ally!" At first I don't think she hears me. "Ally!" I put my hand on her shoulder. Déjà vu… I suddenly realize this was the exact same thing I did to get her attention at the Open House.

"Oh. Hi." She gives me a tentative smile. She's hanging out with a group of friends on the other team. Her team. I don't know them very well. There's one who I don't think likes me, at all. I have no idea about the others. Allison's quiet. She was never a big talker, but something's different. I see her blushing.

Is she…embarrassed?

"Um…are you going to skating today?" It was a stupid question. Ally never missed skating. Ever. And now none of her other friends were saying anything. The one I don't think likes me, frowned. It was almost as if she didn't like being reminded I saw Allison at skating everyday. I tried to ignore it all. I was just being paranoid.

"Uh…yeah. I think so." She answered. Does she not want me here?

"Er, good. Me too. I guess I'll see you then."

Skating:

For once, Ally doesn't show. I try a double. Fall, cut my hand, but I don't feel it. All I can feel is my skates. I can't stand anymore.

"Dad?"

"Yeah?"

"I know I've only been skating for five minutes, but I have to get off."

"Are you joking?" He sees the blood dripping down my hand. I don't cry. I never do, and he knows that. Instead, my face is doing that weird, splotchy thing, which is pretty much as close as I ever get. But then again I never ask to leave skating either. Never. It's only when I brush the hair out of my eyes that I realize how much blood I'm losing. And yet,

I still can't bring myself to care.

We go home.

You can't return skates. Ever. If they just-don't-work-out, too bad. Try selling them on eBay.

Once the blades have been mounted on the boots, their yours. That's why you don't see people bring their own skates to Ice Rinks any more. It's too expensive if they

just-doesn't-work-out…

The next day at school I did the same thing. I talked to Ally coming out of Art.

Again.

And what happened? The silence from her friends, how quiet she was - just like when she's really nervous - and of course, the irrepressible feeling that she was embarrassed by my presence.

Again.

I argued with myself in my head for most of what was left of the day. So much so, that when I was called on for a homework question in Algebra, I had to ask my teacher to repeat it as the rest of the class laughed. I tried to make a show of my participation after that. But of course no one noticed. In the end, I compromised I'd ask Ally about our confrontations at Skating.

And then I remembered I wasn't going to Skating again.

L

Extremely Sad But True Confession

of my Seventh Grade Life

1:

You know your life is really messed up when you suddenly find yourself wishing school would last longer.

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

Murphy's Laws:

1. No matter what, if anything, A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G can go wrong?

It will…

Second New Pair of Skates: Harlicks. The best figure skates in the world…Expensive. Pretty too. And worth it…Custom Boots. Made especially for your feet. If you had a foot that was two inches shorter than the other with a toe growing on the side, they could make a pair for you. Long, narrow, and flat footed. Yes, as manufacturers of Harlicks, we can make the perfect boots for you. Heck, why don't we just send you a foam-mold for your foot so that your skates are made in the exact same shape! Yes, sir, we really can do that… No, it's not April, so this isn't an April Fool's Joke…

No sir! I never said you were a Fool!

Questions: What size shoe do you normally wear? Is your shoe size related to your skate size? Yes. Figure Skates are usually one size smaller than your normal shoe size.

Most of the Time. My shoe size is a seven, I tell her. Thirty minutes later, information for ordering new-new skates complete. Get to go home. Later. Middle of Night. Wake up in cold sweat from nightmare. Did I tell her my normal shoe size is a seven? I meant eight…

The Odd but True Rituals of Breaking in New Skates: Do you have a conventional oven? What's that? It's an oven with a fan in it. Heat makes the leather breathe. You usually heat a conventional oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and put your boots in for a little while to help speed up the breaking-in-process. But if you had one you would probably know because you have to cook food longer than the time usually recommended. Uh huh, sure… So what do I do? The second best thing is to leave a damp wash cloth in each skate to help moisten it, and then heat it up with a hair dryer.

Yeah…that's not weird at all.

"Summer, new skates are supposed to be tight at first. I don't want to have to send the skates back if I don't have to."

"I know Dad, but I don't think they're supposed to be so tight my toes curl under."

"Okay, but it they are too tight, please tell me before we have the blades mounted because you know we can't return them once they are. Okay?"

"Okay. I….think they're too tight."

"You sure?"

"Dad!"

"Okay! I'm sorry…"

Going to Talk With Skating Director:

Run in with Stacy, another Skater. She's here to talk to him too.

"So how are the new skates coming along?"

"Er…not so great?" I grimace. She laughs.

"Yeah…breaking in skates is always hard. But don't worry, you'll be skating in no time."

"I guess…Hey, have you ever had boots that made your toes curl under?"

"Yeah. That's normal. It happens to most skaters at one point or another."

"Really?"

"Yeah. It just means your skates are too small, and it's time for new ones."

Great…

Walk Out From Talk With Skating Director:

Allison's family parked right out front. Allison's two little sisters, Julie and Liddy skate too. As they walk in, Liddy notices me. She waves, I wave back. Allison doesn't notice me at all. And for once…I'm glad.

Facebook:

I hate technology. Or rather, technology hates me. I can never seem to figure out how any of it works. Five seconds it's working perfect for somebody else (usually Emily) and the next, it starts acting up as if it knows that it's me personally whose using it. I went an entire two years without falling in to the Facebook-trap. But then what happened? I wanted to keep in touch with all of my friends, and Allison never checked her email. All she used was Facebook. So I made Emily teach me.

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

People I Know: (Continued)

3. Emily - (Another of my Foster Dad's daughters.)My little sister. The annoying little miracle who I can't help but love, even though she decided to change her name in third grade, despite the fact Emily may be the most beautiful name in the world. She really loves me, but pretends she doesn't because I refuse to call her by her adopted name. (Owner of possible name I'll give my future daughter if I ever decide to get married.) J

(No I will not tell you her new name!)

Back to Facebook Dilemmas:

The downside to asking for my little sister's expertise? In exchange for showing me how to get to my Facebook page and how all of it works, I had to let her know my password. Which, by the way, is the perfect little piece of blackmail if I do anything she doesn't like, because she can write whatever she wants on my wall and make it look like I did it!

Flashback:

"Hey Summer, I was thinking…and I decided that I'm gonna wear your new dress to Allyssa's party Friday night…"

"Are you kidding! It took me forever to save up for that dress, and I don't want you stretching it out!"

"Password…"

Ugh. "Fine."

So I'm logged on to Facebook. I really don't feel like talking to anyone, so when I accidentally click on the "chat tab" I go to close it when I see her on.

Allison.

"Summer, come on in! Dinner's ready!" Dad calls from the kitchen. I freeze, not really sure what to do. I take one last look at the computer screen…and cave.

"Just a minute Dad!"

I click on her name, and type the first thing that pop's into my head.

Me: Hey, how did you do on your Algebra test today?

I wait, thinking she won't answer. I'll just log off. Maybe she won't notice my message.

I'm wrong. A message from her pops up on my screen in two seconds. Can't log off now.

Allison: I think I did good. Wasn't it easy? It wasn't nearly as hard as the study guide.

I don't like this. I was really excited about taking Algebra, only to find out I was bad at it. To me, the test was every bit as hard as the study guide, but I don't tell her that.

Me: Uh, yeah. So how's life?

Allison: Okay. Did you hear they're cutting out the Geometry Course for next year?

Yes…because that's the one math related subject I'm actually good at, so of course they cut it!

Me: Yeah. Budget Cuts. So what are you going to do?

Allison: Well actually we still get to take it. But I hear it's an online class now. That means we get to leave school a whole class period before everyone else, and take it at home!

Me: Yeah… But I don't think I'll be able to do it.

Allison: Why?

Me: My Dad doesn't get off work early enough, and I don't have anyone else to pick me up. With my luck, I'll probably have to take Algebra again instead. (Groan.)

Allison: I hope not!

Me: What about you? Would you take Algebra over again?

Allison: No! Never. There is no way I'm going to take that class over again.

"SUMMER! I called you in to dinner ten minutes ago!" I typed my response as fast as I can.

"Coming!"

Me: Sorry. I've got to go. Talk to you later?

Allison: Okay. See you later.

Computer screen goes dead. I hear Emily and Dad arguing in the kitchen.

I don't bother to referee.

See you later…she had said. Talk to you later? No.

Three O'clock One Random Morning:

Can't sleep. Might as well get my thinking over with…

Allison. I miss her. I pass her everyday in the halls, but I don't bother to say hi anymore. But then again, she doesn't bother either. So she's just as much to blame.

I wonder if she still considers me as a friend. When we're alone, like when we were talking on Facebook the other day, she had absolutely no problem speaking to me. It's just when we're around her other friends that I feel she's holding back.

And what if I'm right? Then what?

I decide Allison's still my friend. How can I not? She was the one who held my hand when I got sick that one night at the Pavilion and an ambulance was came to get me. She was the one who insisted on visiting me later when I was hospitalized. And she was the one who skated with me every day and would joke with me and say she was my unbiological sister.

I can't even believe I thought she was embarrassed to be with me?

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

Here's what I think happened:

1. Allison had friends before she met me.

Of course she did! She's one of the nicest people I know! Anyone would be an idiot not to see that! And who wouldn't want to be her friend? Just because I'd never seen her with any of her other friends before, didn't mean she didn't have any. And just because I didn't find out about it until now, didn't means she thought of me any less.

She was there for me just as much as she always was. I just didn't realize it.

2. Allison is accepting of all kinds of people.

She could find a million good qualities in a person most would find none.

Where some people might find the class clown loud, and obnoxious, she's able to see they're just trying to break the ice in an atmosphere that's usually controlled by learning.

She's able to see something worthy in me of being her friend, even if her other friends don't.

3. She knows that her other friends find me a little strange.

Most of my best friends think I'm strange! It's one of my most endearing qualities!

And last, but not least: She simply knows all of us are good people and doesn't want to play favorites!

Maybe this was the best way to do everything…

As long as I wasn't around her other friends, we couldn't argue. And as long as we didn't argue, then we could all stay…friendly.(ish)

(End of List.)

When I'm done thinking, my alarm clock goes off. Monday. I have a whole week of school ahead of me. I groan. Guess I better get it over with.

Approximately Three to Four Hours Later That Day…

I still want to talk to Allison at school since I'm not going to the Pavilion for awhile.

What do I do? When am I going to see her?

None of this is easy. She doesn't come to school early enough, and we have different lunch times.

I'll just have to see her coming out of Art. Even if she's with her other friends.

I decide to come up with a code for talking to her. The Ally Code…This way I can say hello to her every once in awhile and keep it looking casual…

(Inconspicuous)

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

The Ally Code:

1. Code Orange - If Allison is busy talking to her other group of friends, just send her a wave when they're not looking. L J

2. Code Yellow - If I pass them in the hall, I'll talk to some of my other friends to avoid any awkward silences. L

3. Code Purple - If most of Allison's friends aren't present, slip in a hello and ask how things are at the Pavilion. J (Because I like purple…)

4. Code Red - If Allison doesn't notice me even when I pass her, suddenly take extreme interest in a sloppy painting I pass every day to avoid utter disappointment. L

And 5. Code Green - If Allison is absent, don't jump up and down bobbing my head like a chicken as I scan the halls for her, wondering like a crazy overprotective grizzly bear if she's okay.L

Oh, and keep in mind that no matter what, Allison is my friend. Even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes. J L

(End of List.)

School. My other friends don't bother to talk to me leaving sixth period anymore. They know I'm looking Ally. Of course, this means Code Yellow is impossible now, so there are more awkward silences then I'd like.

Checklist: The Ally Code

1. Code Orange - Her friends never seem to leave. I try waving, but she misses me every time.

2. Code Yellow - If awkward silences were the equivalent to dollar bills? Lets just say I wouldn't be living where I am right now…

3. Code Purple - Has only happened once. Two of her friends were around instead of the usual six. And one of them was the one I don't think likes me. I asked her about skating. She answered. The two friends daggered me with their eyes.

4. Code Red - That sloppy painting is becoming prettier and prettier every day.

5. Code Green - About three or four of these. One time she really was sick, and even though I told myself I wouldn't, I still went into freaked out grizzly mode. The other two or three times? Oh yeah, she and her friends booked it before I could even decide what code it was.

Reminding myself Allison's my friend? Wow. I guess I've been forgetting to do that.

Facebook:

I don't know why I keep logging on. My other friends are worried, though they try not to act it. They just think I miss skating. And it's true. But I'd be lying if I said that was it. I stare at the "chat" icon for five minutes straight. I don't blink. My eyes begin to water.

My face even does its splotchy thing…

But I don't cry. I never cry anymore. Not after She-who-must-not-be-named. Wow.

How did I go from thinking about my friends to her? I shudder…

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

People I Know: (Continued)

4. She-who-must-not-be-named - The person who ruined my life forever. Named after the notorious He-who-must-not-be-named (Lord Voldemort, for those of you non-book-wormers) in the Harry Potter Series, for acts so unspeakable I now fear to speak her name.

Yeah; she's that evil. L

"Summer! I need to get online to check my email! Hurry up!" Emily yells from down the hall. I'm just about to log off when a new message pops up on my screen.

Liddy.

Another One of My Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

People I Know: (Continued.)

5. Liddy - Allison's youngest little sister. Nine years old. Skates at the Pavilion, and is very good for her age. Despite the age difference between us, I still consider her one of my closest friends. Like her older sister, she is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met.J

(Liddy shares a Facebook account with her Mom.)

Liddy: Hey Summer, how are you?

I look at the clock. In the next room over, I hear Emily on the phone. I decide I have time.

Me: I'm good, how are you?

Liddy: Okay. I saw you coming out of the Pavilion the other day. I waved at you, did you see?

Me: I sure did. I waved too, did you see me?

Liddy: Uh-huh. I miss you Summer! (She sends me a frowny-face.)

Why don't you come to the Pavilion anymore?

Me: Well I can't very well skate without my boots, now can I?

Liddy: Well no… But you could come over to see us!

Me: I guess I could. (I send her a smiley face.)

Liddy: Summer, you're not gonna quit are you?

Me: What? Of course not! I would never do such a thing! I love skating, almost as much as I love you, silly girl.

(I send her a heart.) And I would never quit being your friend, now would I?

Liddy: I guess not. Oops, I have to go now. (Frowny Face.)

Me: Liddy, I'll tell you what. I'm gonna see you tomorrow, is that okay?

Liddy: Really?

Me: Yep. I'm not gonna skate, but I'll watch you, is that okay? I just miss you girls too much!

Liddy: Okay! I'll see you later! Bye.

(Your friend Liddy is now offline.)

I send her a good-bye I know she'll never get.

The Next Afternoon:

"Hey! Someone stole my parking spot!", my Dad yells in mock-desperation as we pull into the Pavilion parking lot.

His special spot is the first one you see when you pull in. It's shaded by a nice tree that's just big enough to cover the whole spot, but small enough so that there's no blind spot. Unfortunately it floods easily on rainy days like today.

"Just pull up by the entrance, I can run in." I purposely left my umbrella at home. It had been so long since it rained last. I wanted to feel each separate drop as they fell.

"What time should I pick you up?"

"Er…I'll just give you a call when I'm ready. If worst comes to worst, I can walk home. The rain should let up by then."

"Okay, Sunshine. I'll have my cell phone on." I give him a smile and make a show of almost falling in a puddle. He yells something about getting pneumonia not being allowed, and then he's gone.

I look up at the Pavilion's logo out front. "We're the Coolest Place in Town!" It felt like so long since I'd last seen it. This place was, what? A two-miles walk at the most from my house? You'd have thought I'd pass it more often. A wave of nostalgia washed over me. I walked in, completely drenched.

The automatic-sliding doors greeted me with their usual swish. The place seemed so empty… It didn't seem like so many people would have left by now. I didn't like the thought. It made me feel guilty for not coming in so long.

A familiar face was hiding behind it's usual computer on the other side of the front desk. I smiled. He was a sight for sore-eyes.

"Hey Santa." He lifted his head up in acknowledgement.

"What are you doing here?" He hated the nick-name I'd given him. I watched as he pretended to be sincerely disappointed that I was here.

"What are you doing here?" I countered.

"I'm working." "Really? Because it doesn't look like it…"

"Don't you have somewhere to be or something?"

"Why? Does my presence not simply sprinkle you with happiness?" He doesn't answer. "I'll be in the rink."

"Whatever."

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

People I Know: (Continued)

6. Santa - An employee in his late twenties who works at the Pavilion. His real name is David, but ever since the Christmas Ice Show the Pavilion put on two years ago when he wore a fat-suit and a fake white beard to play the part of the jolly-old-man himself, I have officially dubbed him with the his newly beloved nick-name.

He should be honored… (We have sort of a love/hate relationship due to his unauthorized disliking of my name for him, and the undeniable fact that I'm just one of the world's most amazing people and not even he can deny it…)

The Same Afternoon: (Continued.)

When I first walk in, the first thing that hits me is the cold air from the ice in which I've been longing to feel for so long… A neon-pink flyer pinned to the notice board catches my eye. It announces completion season. So that's why nobody's here…

Ms. Marie is in the middle of coaching Allison for a lesson. She does her Axel over and over again, but she doesn't land it. Carly and one other skater from out of town is there, and that seems to be about it. "Summer!" I look over to see Liddy by the sound booth about to play her CD.

"Hey Liddy." She runs over to me with the long orange program sash trailing behind her like a cape. Liddy's Mom looks over from one of the blenchers in the stands.

"Hey Summer, are you skating today?"

"No. But I thought it was about time I dropped by to see everybody." Liddy hung on to my waist; a prime example. Her Mom gave me a dazzling smile. You could always count on her to give you a warm welcome.

"Summer, I'm going to do my program! Can you press play for me?" I bow down, devoting her my eternal service.

"I sure can, My Lady…" Liddy's program music was a medley of songs from The Sound of Music. She was very entertaining to watch. Even if she messed up, we managed to laugh at how animated she looked each time she looked over her shoulder to make sure we were watching. I wondered what it'd be like to have her as a little sister. To have someone who adored you and looked up to rather than the way Emily seemed to just not care if I was there or not. Don't get me wrong, she fought with her sisters too. And they weren't afraid to express their opinions in public. But you could tell that no matter what they loved each other.

Sometimes I wasn't so sure.

At the end of Liddy's dramatic performance, she bowed like the endearing munchkin she is, and we applauded enthusiastically. Even if Liddy and I did argue, at least there was never a dull moment in her presence.

"So what did you think?"

"You were positively stunning my dear… You could win a gold medal just for being cute."

"Mommy, I did my program, can I take off my skates now?" Her mother looked over from the stands.

"But you didn't have your lesson with Marie yet?"

"I know, but I really don't feel well. Can I do it tomorrow?" Her mother put a hand on her forehead.

"Oh dear, I hope you're not coming down with the same thing Julie has…" Julie!

"Um, yeah. I was wondering where Julie was… Is she okay?" Julie. Liddy's second oldest sister. Age eleven. Stunningly beautiful and kind like the rest of her family. And another one of my closest friends. I hoped she was alright.

"Oh she'll be fine. She just has one of those twenty-four hour viruses. She'll be skating again in no time." Wish I could say the same for myself. "Liddy dear, go ahead and take off your skates. I'll tell Marie you canceled."

"Yeah Summer! Now you can play with me!" She dragged me towards the Pavilion Lobby. Some part of me wanted to stay. I wanted to watch Ally finish her lesson, and tell her she did great. But as she came off the ice with Marie to do her program, a flicker of light illuminated a tear sliding down her face.

Liddy tugged on me again. This time, I didn't hesitate.

Chapter : 2 ( Dos )

If Life Is a Dream, What Happens When You Wake Up?

Stuck at the Pavilion: (I've never had to say that before.)

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

Things About Ally:

1. Ally is strong. It takes a lot to break her down. But when she is broken, she's not afraid to cry. She's not afraid of what others might think if they see her cry. She's brave. The brave know it's better to cry than suffer by holding the pain in. She knows that bravery is not the absent of fear, but rather deciding something is more important than fear. But all though Ally knows all of these things, Ally also knows that the only thing for certain, is that nothing is for certain. And when you're human, sometimes you have to cry. And being brave has nothing to do with it.

I've seen Allison cry before. It's not like it's something new and I have to get over the shock of it all. If that were the case, then number one on my list of Things About Ally, wouldn't exist. Period. But I forgot to put number two on the list. What's number two? Number two is Ally is human. Number two is Ally has emotions. Number two is just because Allison's one of the most amazing people I know, she has flaws too.

Like a Rose.

A Rose is known for it's elegant and timeless beauty. My favorite flower. And in my opinion, the most beautiful of them all. But even the most beautiful flower has one flaw; thorns.

So Ally is a Rose. She's beautiful inside and out. But even she has her prickly-parts. Sometimes being reminded of this is a good thing. A diamond in the rough. She's not perfect. And it's kind of a relief. I'm not constantly having think that I don't deserve her as a friend, or think that she's better than me in any way. But other times, it's kind of a disappointment. Allison was the kind of person who seemed to have a right answer to everything. I valued that. I valued her perspective and thoughts because I thought they could never be wrong.

Allison never cried over physical pain. Ever. I had seen her injure herself so many times skating, but she never cried from physical pain. She was crying today because she loved skating. It's not crazy, it's true! Skating is a hard sport, one where you're constantly trying to defy gravity. And if you make one mistake, you're hurt! But Ally got nervous. When she felt pressured, she over-analyzed everything. And when she did, she fell. Hard. Ally was stressed out by competitive season, and she lost her Axel. The hardest single jump because you have nothing to propel you upwards, and you rotate one and a half times midair instead of just one before landing. As long as she couldn't land a jump, she felt like she wasn't good enough for the sport. And if she wasn't good enough for the sport, she began to wonder if she should quit. She had both the drive, and the love for the sport. I just wished I could get her to see that.

"Summer, can I ask you a question?" I looked up at Liddy, sitting on top of one of the inflatable rides inside the Bounce House at the Pavilion. She was about to come down, sitting perched up as high as she could, giggly and happy. I quickly took the invitation. I wanted to forget Ally's tears.

"Of course Liddy, anything," I prepare myself for the interrogation to come.

"How'd you get your name?" I smiled.

"I was born on the Summer Solstice."

"What's that?"

"Well, Summer days are special. They are longer than days in any other season."

"Really?"

"Uh huh. And the Summer Solstice is the most special."

"Why?"

"Because it's the longest day in the year."

"Wow."

"It is wow."

"But I don't get it?"

"What do you mean?"

"Why is Winter your favorite season?"

"Huh?"

"Your name is Summer, you were born in the Summer, and you're always bright and cheerful."

"Is that a bad thing?"

"No, but you ice skate. That's a winter sport, not Summer." I laughed. It was kind of funny.

"Well, Liddy? Have you ever heard the saying, 'Never take anything for Granted?' "

"Uh huh."

"Well, the seasons are made from magic."

"Magic? Who made them magical?"

"Mother Nature of course." Liddy smiled. She loved my stories. "And a long time ago, there didn't used to be seasons. Instead, there were four different Earths."

"Really?"

"Yep. On the first Earth, it was nothing but Winter all the time. There was snowball fights, and icicles, and everything was covered in a blanket of white. But everyone who lived there, took Winter for granted. On the second Earth, it was nothing but Spring all the time. Flowers were blooming everywhere, plants and animals sprung to life, and everything was a deep, luscious green. But everyone there to Spring for granted too. On the third planet, it was-"

"Summer all the time!" Liddy laughed at her cleverness.

"Correct! So there were camping trips, and swimming, and lazy days with bare feet."

"P.U!"

"But everyone there took Summer for granted." Liddy's face was sad now.

"On the last Earth, it was Autumn all the time. Or Fall, whatever you like to call it."

"Yeah Fall!"

"So all year long, the trees were brightly colored with red, yellow, and orange leaves. There was always a crisp in the air, and it was harvest time. But - can you guess what happened next?"

"Everyone took Fall for granted." She gave me her most pitiful, pouty face.

"And Mother Nature was unhappy too."

"Why?"

"Because she worked hard to make each season, on each Earth! But nobody ever cared! Everyone always assumed that their season would always be there. So do you know what she did?"

"What?"

"She morphed the four Earths into one!"'

"What did everyone think!"

"At first, nobody understood what was going on. Many people were living in a season they had never experienced before. And it scared them. Can you imagine that?"

She laughed. "Who would be afraid of a season?"

"But in the end, they all lived happily ever after."

"What?" She looked sincerely confused.

"Huh?"

"That's not a happy ending! That's the saddest ending I've ever heard!"

"What do you mean?"

"The people from each planet only got to live in their season once a year!" By this time, she had slid down the giant slide, but instead of climbing back up again, she sat with her arms crossed. Defiant.

"But Liddy, they learned their lesson. They never took their season for granted again, isn't that what matters?"

"But what's happy about that?"

"Well, after awhile, everyone got used to the different seasons. They learned to like them. Sure, everyone still had their favorite season, but I bet a few even changed their favorite." Liddy giggled. "But in the end, what's really important is they fell in love with their season all over again. That's why I love Winter too. Winter is a beautiful season, and just because I'm named Summer, doesn't mean I can't enjoy other seasons too. In fact, it actually makes me like Winter more."

"Why?"

"Why? Because Winter lets me see the beauty of those hot, long days by letting me experience the short and cold ones. Besides, if it was Summer all the time, then ice skating probably wouldn't exist, now would it?"

"I guess not. Well, my two favorite seasons are Summer and Winter, because I love to ice skate, and because you were born in the Summer, and if Summer didn't exist you wouldn't have been born! And then I wouldn't have you as one of my best friends!" She climbed back up to the top of the slide, and tumbled back down again. "Yippee! But Summer?"

"Yeah?"

"I promise to never take you for granted." She holds her hand over her heart. "Scout's honor!" She beams, clearly proud of herself. And though I try to hide it, I can't help but beam too.

"Liddy, it's time to go now! You need to rest up so you can do the lesson you missed today!" Her mother called from the Lobby.

"Okay Mommy!" She frowned at first, not wanting to say go. "Hey, I have an idea! Summer, why don't you spend the night with us! Please? You haven't in forever."

"I'm sorry, Little-miss-I'm-too-ill-to-skate-now-that-Summer-is-here, if I die because of whatever disease you and Julie have, I won't be able to come and visit you anymore." She pretends to choke to death and collapses on the floor, twitching every few seconds.

I lung.

"Ha ha ha ha. Hey! Stop…tickling…me! Ha ha ha." I grant her mercy and continues to lie on her back as if to dare me to try tickling me again.

"Liddy! Come on!" Her mother's by the door, tugging Liddy's Zuca Bag (Brand Name Skating Bag) behind her. She looks up at me one last time, pleading.

"Please? Just for tonight?" Liddy is hard to resist. I want to tell her yes, I want to tell her I wouldn't dream of spending my evening anywhere else, but something in my peripheral vision catches my eye. It's Liddy's mother, cradling Allison and stroking her hair as the tears fall.

Things About Ally: (Continued.)

3. The only thing Ally wants when her vulnerability becomes evident, is not to be protected, but to be alone by herself so that none of the people she cares about, become vulnerable too.

And I was willing to bet she didn't want Liddy to see her tears either. The same way a parent doesn't like to cry in front of their children. She wanted to shelter her, even if it meant drowning in her sorrow herself.

I kissed Liddy on the forehead and push her forward, just as Allison and her mother detach from their hug.

Liddy doesn't go at first. But she doesn't have to ask again to know what my answer is this time.

Chapter : 3 ( Tres )

Sometimes We Forget That We Control How Our Own Story Ends.

June 25, 2010

I WAS WORKING ON MY DRAWING WHEN SHE CALLED ME.

The drawing I was making for her. It was kind of funny. Originally, I was really supposed to be cleaning my room. But when I found the drawing, I just couldn't seem to put it down.

It was all roughly drawn out on a piece of graph paper. The markers bleeding through so it's checkered pattern was long past recognizable. It was a geometric pattern. Squares, cubes, triangles, all of it. We had planned it's arrangement together. Constructing it in such a way that it managed to appear somewhat like a blooming flower. But despite my efforts, it was still nowhere near perfect.

Or finished.

"Hello?" she said, just as I put my ear to the speaker. The sound of her voice almost made me squeal with pleasure. I hadn't heard her in so long.

"Julia?" She laughed.

"The same…"

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

People I Know: (Continued.)

7. Julia - An amazing beautiful friend who included me when nobody else did. She was the very first person to befriend me after I found out Allison and I would be on different teams. We've been inseparable ever since. Oh yeah, and she likes potatoes. (Owner of possible name I'll give my future daughter if I ever decide to get married.) J

I couldn't believe I was actually talking to her. I hadn't heard her voice since the party a few classmates threw after school. And she called me just as I was thinking about her. I thought that only happened in movies! "Julia! I can't believe it's you!" I heard her beautiful laugh just once more. I missed that laugh.

"We'll believe it, because darling…it's me!"

"Hey, what are you doing?"

"Uh…I don't know. Just talking to the most amazing person in the world! Of course…you wouldn't happen to know anything about that… So what about you?"

"Oh! Get this, you'll never believe it, but remember that drawing I was working on the lastday of school?"

"Oh, you mean the one where you denied your artistic awesomeness and I then begged you to let me have it ? Uh, yeah. How could I forget, Luna?" 'Luna' was an inside joke. In the middle of the year, Julia and all our other friends decided to become superheroes who were normal humans by day, and then people with awesome superpowers by night. Once asleep, our superpowers took form, and we flew around the world saving people in our dreams. Of course my superhero name was short for 'Lunatic' but that was beside the point.

"Well Violet…," That was her superhero identity, Violet. For her passionate aura. "I was just finishing it. Can you believe it?"

"Uh, duh. Don't you know that the stars above have destined us to be best friends forever and every time you think about me, I do too, and vice-versa?" I laughed. I loved her positive energy. "Hey listen… So you're not doing anything…"

"That wasn't a question." I was confused... But anything was possible with Julia.

"I know! It just wouldn't be right if somehow you were having the Best-Summer-of-your-Life, and your brilliant, and I mean truly spectacularbest friend just wasn't by your side. Oh, yeah, and the fact that you did pretty much nothing but mope the whole last day of school and tell people you'd miss them kind of tipped me off too." I sighed dramatically. "Oh…you're so modest. It's really a miracle someone so kind and humble like you hasn't become famous yet…" She laughed.

"Yes…you must learn from me. So, was I right, or was I right?"

"I truly don't know what you're talking about…"

"Your Summer? Is it as treacherously boring and torturous as I so wisely predicted?"

I faltered. "Guilty."

"Ha! So I was right?"

"Oh you know you were right! You just want to hear me say it."

"Absolutely. Now say it."

"Dear, magnificent, wondrous, whimsical you. You were right, and someone so pathetically iridescent and unclad such as myself am undeserving of a friend's kindness of your magnitude." I heard her pretend smacking herself in the face.

"What is wrong with you? I take you under my wing and pour all my nobilities into your soul, and despite all my teachings, which by the way will one day be worldly renowned as the "Violet Method",you're still utterly smothered in the unpractical idea that I'm too good a friend for you?" She weeps through the phone, a true dramatic princess. "Where did I go wrong?" I wait. Her crocodile tears don't stop.

"Okay, fine. I take it back! You happy now? Geesh, I swear… There is no pleasing you."

Immediately her sobs are replaced with laughter. "Yay! So, when are you coming over?"

"Huh?"

"You know… When am I finally gonna convince you into dragging your butt over to my house and force some life into you?"

"For what?"

"You know, 'for what'! So we can finally have that sleepover you keep putting off! That's 'for what'!"

"But why a sleepover? It's just so…I don't know. Normal. And you know I hate normal."

"You're right…You're not normal." I feel my jaw drop. She never admits she's wrong. "You're a million times better! Which is why it's the absolute most perfect idea ever!"

Of course. I laugh. "C'mon. Please? You can thank me later…"

"I don't know…My room's kind of messy." She gasps. True Horror.

"No. The OCD Summer I have come to know and love has a messy room? Or are you pulling my leg in a true pathetic attempt to avoid my happy inducing ways?"

"I-am-not-O-C-D!"

"Uh huh…And tell me. How many lists have you made this Season?" Ugh. She got me.

"Fine. I guess…I can vacuum what's left and call it quits. Of course then my Dad will practically force me to go do something social, but you knew that already. Which, I'm willing to bet, is why you called?"

"Ahhh…I've taught you well. So, how's Fourth of July weekend?" I quickly thought it over. The year before, the fireworks display at our neighborhood pool was a disaster. We were sitting as close as possible and one of them fell over and exploded right in front of us. I wasn't planning to go since having to treat those burns. I was stuck. Julia had thought this one out a little too well.

"Hey…, you're not secretly working for my little sister and being paid a million dollars for my convenient disappearance are you? Because believe me, she's tried in the past…"

"No, and even if I was, you'd still be going."

"I knew it! It was my little sister the whole time! Ugh. I'm gonna kill her…"

"Man! Good thing she already paid me. Now, say you'll go." And then it came to me.

"Say…if - emphasis on the if part - if I go, do I have to thank you?"

"Absolutely! That's the best part!"

"You know it's too bad…I just remembered all the laundry I have to do, and-"

"Fine! You win! No thanks necessary. Geesh. But bring your famous homemade cookie cake…"

"Like I said…laundry…"

"Oh, c'mon! Your Dad already said yes, so just get over it and love me again. Please?" Dad. Well, so much for that plan.

"Evil."

"Yay!" I could almost feel her smiling on the other line. "So…,I'll see you then.Oh! And don't forget! You-"

"I'm not thanking you!"

"Urg! I wasn't going to say that."

"Uh-huh. Sure."

She pretended to be mad at me. "Oh you will anyway! I know you will! Now remember; it's a sleepover. As in 'spending the night'. Got that?"

I groaned. "How could I forget?"

"I am such a good friend! Goodbye now. But don't find a way to accidentally kill yourself!"

"Bye Julia."

"I'm serious! No hiking, no climbing trees, don't even read!"

"Bye Julia."

"I mean it! Because if anyone could find a way to bleed to death from a paper cut,

it would be you!"

"Huh. I didn't even think about that…"

"Luna!"

"Okay I was kidding, now goodbye."

"Et-hem!"

Ugh. "Goodbye…Violet."

"Much better…Ta-ta." And the line went dead.

And though I hated to admit it, I was actually looking forward to something for the first time in weeks.

Later:

Despite the fact that I promised to finish my room and pack for Julia's, once I started working on the drawing, I just couldn't seem to stop. I told myself that I would complete at least one Art Project this Summer. I wouldn't be taking Art as an elective in Eighth Grade, and didn't want that to stop me from enjoying it.

Maybe this drawing could be one of them.

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

Different Art Projects:

1. Crochet - Make a blanket from a variety of different yarn so that there's different colors and patterns. There can be a certain base color, like blue, and arrange the blanket from it's different shades, coordinating in some multi-colored yarn here and there.

2. Photography - Take a picture of the things around me. Different tones, black and white, sepia, monotones, etcetera.

Examples: The creek, plants and flowers in our yard. The Earth from up high, like up in the branches of the trees. Sunrise and set, the moon, the perspective of an ant. Lying on my back and then photographing the very top of the tall buildings down town. And clouds. Finding pictures in the clouds, and then tracing over them so everyone else can see them through my eyes.

3. Collages - Buttons. Finding buttons with pictures and quotes on them, and arranging them in different categories. Animals, silliness, nature. These would go great on my back-pack.

4. Design - Drawing different attire for me and my friends depending on our moods and occasion. The patterns and fabric we choose can display a message.

Examples: Cotton for open fields expressing endless possibilities, or silk for self comfort and actuality.

5. Painting - Repainting a familiar scene or photograph with a different set of colors according to their meanings. Examples: orange is the color of listening, black-lies, and purple, passion.

6. Writing - Poetry, short stories, a dream journal, anything. Don't just write in a certain category, show all subjects respect. Write about what you know, or something you've only seen in your dreams. In writing, there is no limitations.

Suggestion: Write a story with a friend. You can right one part, and them, the next. It's fun, and you'll be surprised what you come up with. Or, you can each write something different every week. At the end of the week, swap stories and bask in each other's creativity.

7. Music - Listen to music that inspires you. Try listening to different styles you wouldn't usually give a second thought, and you might surprise yourself and find out you like it. Or, if your ingenuity is bursting at the seams, try writing your own variation on a certain style or composition. If you play an instrument, you can mess around with different melodies, or if you don't, just sing.

Suggestion: Have a couple of friends introduce you to a song you've never heard before, and do the same to them. You'll discover new things about your friend, and new music you wouldn't have been able to find otherwise.

(End of List.)

So far, I hadn't dipped my brush of creativity that far into my Art Projects List. I actually started a couple, but never finished. The rest were just untouched.

I really liked the idea of doing a project with a friend. I thought about it often. But since I didn't live close enough to them, my ideas never really got that far off the ground.

Checklist: Art Projects

1. Crochet - I actually started working on my blanket idea. Then I ran out of yarn. Dad promised to take me to get more the next day. And then the next day. And then the next day. And then the- well, you get the point. J L

2. Photography - This was one of my favorite ideas. I ended up seeing perfect things to photograph everyday. Camera? None. Dad said he wasn't about to go out and buy another camera when we already had one. Or rather, my little sister had one. Hey Emily, can I borrow your camera just for a couple of minutes? No! Well Thanks Emily… L

3. Collages - I realized it was extremely hard to find the kind of buttons I was looking for. And when I did find them, they were outrageously expensive. Now my backpack for Eighth Grade with go undecorated. L

4. Design - No friends around to design different attire for. The outfits I design for myself look pretty much the same. No one around to inspire me, and the theme of repetitiveness to represent the same boring pattern my life has been taking recently. L

5. Painting - Dad, can I get a paint set? Sure honey. Can I paint inside the house? No honey. But if I can't paint at home, I'd have to lug my art supplies everywhere I want to paint! Huh. I see your point. Then I guess the idea of a paint set is a bad idea. Do something else… J L

6. Writing - Poetry; haven't written any yet. But I've found two poets I like, Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass), and Akiane (A painting prodigy who also writes poetry.) Short Stories; me and a couple of my friends started the idea where we take turns writing parts of the story. It's been really hard to send it to the next person to write when we no longer see each other every day. And Dream Journal; I really loved this idea. Every time I can remember my dreams I write them down in my dream journal. Recently I've started trying to interpret them, based on Fritz Perls' Gestalt Therapy method. And then I realized just how few dreams I actually remember by the time I wake up. J L J L

7. Music - This one was fun. I started listening to music compositions by David Lanz (Cristofori's Dream), Mark Salona (Michelangelo's Poem), Alexandre Desplat (The Meadow), Paul Collier (Air), Yiruma (River Flows In You), Debussy (Clare de Lune), even a little Beethoven. (Yes, I happen to really love piano music. Sue me.) And I discovered a couple of music groups I really liked as well. Examples: Gregory and The Hawk (Boats and Birds) , Blue October (Blue Skies), Vega 4 (Life is Beautiful), Aqua (Cartoon Heroes), Mika (Grace Kelly), and Ingrid Michaelson (Keep Breathing). And even though I can't play an instrument, I've actually written a couple of songs on the piano by ear. They may not be anything close to Mozart, but I've written them for myself and I enjoy them. J L J

Okay…so most of my art projects hadn't turned out the way I'd wanted them too…

But now that I thought about it, I could kind of see why. The drawing, the one I was going to give to Julia, was special. I made it for her, and for her alone. But the others? They were just for my own contentment. And as long as I was somewhat happy, then there was never really a reason for me to finish them.

I spent the rest of my day working on the drawing. Most of it was spent looking for the exact same markers and colored pencils I had used so to begin with. And the rest was spent coloring, and carefully planning what I would do next. I was so afraid that it might not turn out the way I wanted it too. This was for her. Julia. I didn't want to give her anything that wasn't perfect.

By the time I was finished and my Dad asked me how my room was coming, I actually laughed. He was expecting the answer to be yes, and for once, it wasn't! It felt good.

Oh yeah, and just to prove to Julia that I wasn't as clumsy as she so wrongly accusedme of, I spent the rest of the day reading in my favorite tree.

Just because I'm so rebellious like that…

June 21, 2010 - Summer Solstice (My Birthday.)

Traditions of today run through my mind as I walk up the steep hill. They used to be pleasant ones. Now, I'm not so sure. The walkway really isn't a walkway at all. Just a beaten path due to my annual trek up here. This is my special spot.

It's close by a small creek I discovered a while back. I called it my beach, back before the Pavilion discovered it, and decided it was the perfect place for their daycare kids to run around and play by. It shouldn't matter; I was up long before even the earliest bird leaving the nest. This is the only time I can come in full knowledge I will be alone.

The rock on this hill is positioned in such a way that I can still sit in it's shade without it shrouding my view. The trees surrounding provide a protective curtain from the rest of the world. At first glance them have a dark, and even sinister feel to them.

But I will want them when it's time. They contribute to the magic.

Summer Solstice was close. I should be anticipating the beauty of it's arrival. Letting the first rays of sun wash over me in a subtle, but endearing glow. I could usually feel it on my fingertips, the warmth on my tongue...that of a succulent indulgence most can only dream of. The taste…indescribable. Not today.

This is my first time coming up here alone. Okay, that's a lie. I've done it before, but it's different this time. I knew it before it happened. Every time before, there was some scratch of hope. Not like now.

The year we met, Allison and I made a pact. While the rest of the world made a hoorah of our birthdays, we would celebrate them peacefully. Letting the rush of the moment pass us by in a truly spectacular way. That meant watching the sunrise on my birthday - the Summer Solstice - and the sunset on hers.

Skating sessions in the morning became available three years ago at the Pavilion for elite skaters like us. We both started them. It was fun, but neither of our families liked greeting the new day at that hour. I quit. I thought she did too.

June 19, 2008 - Skating.

I was unlacing my boots in attempt to go home. My lesson had gone on longer than expected, and I was behind on homework. "Summer?"

I look over my shoulder, "Um, Allison. What's up?"

"Well I wanted to talk to you about…," she began to whisper, "the Summer Solstice."

"Oh! Of course, aren't you excited?" Summer Solstice, we were looking forward to it. I couldn't believe it was so close by…

"Um, yeah. About that… Okay listen, I don't think I can make it." She did the closest thing to a grimace I'd ever seen on her. I did a double take at her solemnified expression.

Her gorgeous brown eyes stared up at mine. "You know I would come if I could, right?"

"Wait, you're not coming?" My boots just kind of sat there. I didn't bother to finish the job.

"Well…I have a lesson with Ms. Marie that morning, and by the time I'm done, I think it'll be too late."

"Oh." Summer Solstice - by myself - without my best friend, because she's too busy with skating. Urg! I look at her face. So pitiful and sincere it's like a punch in the gut. Grudge gone. "That's…okay. It's not your fault." I try a smile; it's all wrong for what I'm feeling inside. Sadness, pity, hope, and even a mixture of guilt. Things like this happened. She had a life, and it was wrong for me to assume she'd drop everything just for me. I should be the one doing that. Especially when she's done so much for me.

"Oh, Summer!" She leans in a gives me a hug. I'm usually the one to do that. It's a nice change of pace, despite the circumstances. "I'll try my hardest to make it there on time. I really will!" At that point my Dad walks in.

I still don't have my skates off.

June 21, 2010 (Continued.)

That year she never came to my sunrise. I waited long afterwards until my Dad ended up calling, obviously wondering where I was. We never really got around to talking about what happened. By the time I had gone to skating that afternoon, Allison had already left. And it didn't seem like pursuing it was that important.

The next year she made it, though she was late and missed half of it. Every time there had been some small sliver of hope. This time, I didn't even invite her.

It feels like I haven't talked to her all summer. I have, I just can't recall much of it anymore. At first I didn't even try to get in touch with her. If she remembered, she'd call. She had too, that's what friends did… All month of June I waited. She never called. In a last, pitiful attempt of stitching what was left of our relationship back together, I called the night before, hoping to get an answer. House phone - answering machine.

Cell phone - turned off. I'd left messages in the past. They never got checked.

It finally started to happen. The first final rays peeked over the horizon. Soft, and wispy at first; but I knew they'd grow stronger… This wasn't just a tribute to my existence. Not just something that I did for the sake of it. It was so much more. The rest of this world knew. They too were celebrating.

Though chirps of crickets and whispers of the wind accompanied my arrival, all was silent now. The birds, the plants, even the trees stood in a dignified silence almost tangible by touch. I knew they were there. Taking in the abundance of light left by my mother - no our mother - nature herself.

The darkened sky no longer blanketed us. That was one of the ways sunrise was unique. Instead of overcoming the last of night in a final sweeping, it sprouted from different sections, blooming like flowers until their petals were all you could see. The light, a glittering sensation not even heaven's angels could interpret, literally brought the world to life. It's a strange and riveting sensation to realize no one else was seeing what I did. The depths of despair whispered moans of wishing. It ebbed and flowed, my heart beating to it's rhythm.

Where one ends, another must begin. Night and day, still far from exception. The exchange was both harmonious and spectacular, a widespread example of God dipping his paintbrush into the world. While the rest of us slept, the birds, animals, and living creatures basked in amazement. The sun passing over the rough bark of oaks and pines in such a way they managed to shimmer with a serene and natural airbrush. The flowers began to open their petals in award to the new day ahead. The elegance of a new day in which kept life worth living; a one empty and open to endless possibilities, and new mistakes to be made.

Birds of all color sang sweetly in triumph, arousing the last of critters from their slumber. I wondered if they felt cheated from the event now over. Or if all sense of defeat could ever be felt at all for something you'll never experience. The sun was moving at a steady pace now, well visible, but without it's recent brilliance at hand. It'd be another year before I could witness the sacred celestial body capable of life rise again on it's longest day. Only the stars knew the comings for me until then.

The saddest part of it all, was while an example of the Earth's brilliance succumbed us in one of those rare moments you'll remember forever, I'd wasted most of it worrying over the days to come. What problems I'd face, and where Allison and I stood as of now.

If it meant so much to me, why is it I was still unable to shed a single tear? No sign that I actually enjoyed or even acknowledged the event that took place. Was it because I didn't care? Was I simply not human enough to feel that kind of emotion? If I couldn't even cry in a time of sadness, maybe that meant I couldn't love either.

If that was the case, then maybe Allison was right,

in leaving me as a friend.

June 30, 2010 (Four days in counting before Fourth of July Weekend.)

A couple of days later Julia called me again. "Summer?"

"Hey Julia! What's up?"

"The sky…Now listen, there's been just a slight…change in plans…"

"Huh? Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, um… my Mom and brother just kind of got the flu."

"Oh my gosh, are they okay?"

"Sure, they'll be fine. But, you sort of can't come over to my Mom's place on Saturday now…"

"Oh. Well I understand. It's not like you planned this sort of thing…"

"Hey! What's wrong with you? I never said that meant you can't come over at all!"

"What? But I thought-"

"Forget it! You don't really think I'd disappoint you like that? What kind of friend would that make me?" I sighed. She obviously wasn't sick. "I mean can you imagine it? When later we become famous and all of a sudden they find this conversation recorded somewhere and then hate me for being so cruel? No!"

"Okay, I'm officially confused. What dear friend of mine, are we going to do then?"

"Well I talked to my Dad-"

"Julia! Please tell me you didn't beg him to let me come over on his weekend!"

"Of course not… He invited you. And what kind of prudent and selfish daughter would I be to turn his graciously generous invitation down?"

"Gee…let me think, one with a conscience? Did it ever occur to you that I might be…I don't know…imposing? I mean, he only gets to see you every other weekend-"

"Yes. Which is exactly why I didn't ask him…"

"Uh-huh, sure…"

"No seriously! I didn't!"

"Translation; NoI just complained my Dad's ear off until he couldn't take it anymore and the only way he could get me to shut-up was by inviting Summer over."

"The point is I got permission! And how pitiful and woe I will be if you turn me down… Especially after all the trouble I went through to arrange it."

"Ha! So you admit it?" No answer from her end of the conversation. "Hey? Remember when we were talking the other day? And I called you evil?"

"I can't imagine why, but yes."

"That still stands!"

"Awwwww! You're so kind!"

L

Extremely Sad But True Confession

of my Seventh Grade Life

2:

When you realize just how effective your means of manipulation are because your best friend starts using them on you.

"Why are you so happy?" Julia was about as far from OCD as you can get. But she was never random. There was always a method to her madness…

"You said yes!"

"What? I did not!"

"Yes you did! You just made my day…"

"Okay, Violet… Let me say this again. I did not say yes!"

"Ahhh, but young grasshopper, you didn't say no either…" Ugh!

"Julia, you know I love you, right?"

"Yep."

"So then you'd completely understand if I had to kill you."

"That wasn't a question." She wasn't confused. Anything was possible with me.

"I know! It just wouldn't be right if somehow you'd become the calmest person on Earth when not even the methods of your brilliant, and I mean truly spectacular best friend's meditation, which will one day be worldly renowned as the "Luna Method" couldn't calm you. Now, was I right, or was I right?"

"You know! You just want to hear me say it…"

"Absolutely."

"Oh magnificent, whimsical you. You're right, and someone so pathetic as me are undeserving of your friendship."

I smacked myself in the face. "Where did I go wrong?"

"Oh! There's no pleasing you!"

"Goodnight now. But don't try and convince me of sleeping over again!"

"Bye Summer."

"I'm serious! No gifts, no bribes, nothing!"

"Bye Summer."

" I mean it! Because if anyone could bribe their friend's parents into letting you kidnap them, it would be you!"

"Huh. I didn't even think of that one…"

"Violet!"

"Kidding. Oh, and tell your Dad he's welcome for the brownies I sent over. He seemed really pleased. P.S., I'll be picking you up." I gave up. "Goodbye."

"Et-hem?"

"Goodbye…Luna."

"Much better." I couldn't stay mad at her. "See you later?"

"See you later."

And the line went dead.

More Facebook Conversations:

Katy, another friend of mine, sends me, Julia, Krissa, and Gabby a video she put to music about our friendship. Each picture shows one or more of us, and our superhero nicknames plastered above our heads like halos.

Another One of my Many Famous OCD-ish Lists:

Superhero Names and Powers:

1. Me (Summer) - Luna. (Means Moon) My superpower is the telepathic connection I have with my friends when they feel extreme pleasure or pain. Oh, and I can see the foreboding future. I'm strongest near ice which is native to my home planet. The Moon!

2. Julia - Violet. Her superpower is her emotions. When she dons one of her emotions it gives her a certain power or characteristic that only comes with that feeling.

3. Krissa - Duplicate. She has the power to appear out of nowhere and do the same with her weapons. She can also duplicate herself so that there's more than one of her in a battle.

4. Gabby - Crystal. She has wings. Not the little fairy tinker bell wings that let her flit and fly about. Nope. She has strong eagle wings which enable her to fly at great speeds and distances.

5. Katy - Thorne. No one's really sure what her power/powers are, but that's what makes her dangerous. None that she has battled have lived to tell the tale. Glad she's on the side of good. For now…

(Don't kill me Thorne!)

Summer: My dangerous sister Thorne made this video. It was sweet... Even if she did use the worst possible pictures of me!

Katy: LOL

Summer: LOL? Is that all you ever give me? One word, one syllable answers?

Katy: yep

Summer: Huh? *GASP* No...

Katy: idiot

Summer: Oh! OKAY! I see how it is...

(WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!)

Katy: idiot

Summer: I am not an "Idiot"! I'm a "LUNA-tic"!

Katy: yep

Summer: And YOU! You are a THORN-e in my side...!

Katy: capitalize the e 2 becuz its THORNE not THORNe

Summer: I know your name is THORNE, but the saying is a THORN in my side, not THORNE, so I left the "E" lowercase like I did with LUNA-tic! Geesh...

Katy: k

Summer: So you're the THORN-e in my side. Get it? Whereas Krissa's mind is almost a DUPLICATE of mine, Julia has a VIOLET aura, and Gabby lets her thoughts be CRYSTAL clear!

Katy: wow

Summer: I know... I'm a genius, right?

Well, either that or a LUNA-tic with too much time...

Katy: crazy

Summer: What is with you and one syllable answers?

Katy: idk

crazy

Summer: OH! OKAY, so I complained about the one syllable comments and you gave me a one syllable INSULT? I know we're sisters and all, but do you have to keep BAGGING on the LUNA-tic?

Katy: yes

Summer: Like I said...a THORN-e in my side...

Katy: k

Summer: THORN-e!

Katy: k

Summer: I'm waiting for you to realize I'm a patient person and that no matter how many times you say "k" I won't REALLY flip out...

Katy: k

Ugh. I log off.

July 1, 2010 (Two days in counting before Fourth of July Weekend.)

I was in Montebello. Gardens everywhere. Flowers, meadows, amazing fountains. And the most beautiful houses in the world. And they were being swallowed up completely. Disappearing forever. And once all of them were gone, and I mean truly gone, then it was my turn. There was fire. Hungry relentless flames whose base was a molten lava swallowing everything in it's path. To outrun it all was like to go without breathing. Even if you managed, it wouldn't completely stop forever. The only way to really escape it all, was death itself. I was alone. There to die with no one by my side. I don't know which was worse; knowing that there was no one there to hear my cries, or that the reason why was because they were probably already dead. The flames licked around me, touching me, and never letting go. The only sense I had that none of it was real, was the lack of pain. There was no sting, and the crippling burn remained absent. In its place was sadness. It surrounded me, engulfed and enveloped me. I was dead, but somehow I wasn't. I ran. The only structure still left standing was an old abandoned tower. It was made of wood, and wood alone; easily the most flammable thing around. And yet it still stood tall. I heard cries from inside, and once those voices were heard, they were all that mattered. Then I was inside. I was at the very top of the tower looking down, There were no rooms, only what was left of a staircase. The hiss and crackle of the flames finally began to submerge the building. I could see them waving through a small hole in the ceiling. I was right underneath it, and I would soon be dead. But the cries pulled me out of my reverie once again, and I looked down. There were two girls hanging what looked like a broken rafter, but was really just the staircase railing, broken, and slowly falling. The oldest of the two hung on tight to the small railing with her left arm. The other, wrapped protectively around the waist of the younger, smaller one. Once the railing broke completely, they would fall down to the fiery bottom. Tears streamed down their faces, slowly tripping down their cheeks and feeding the fire. I was agony though the flames licked me no more. I don't remember who the girls were. Maybe they were my sisters, maybe they were angels, or maybe they were complete strangers who death wouldn't ever effect me had I never met them. But when you are dying, and they are the only living things within your wilting grasp, the only connection to what once was, and never will be again, none of that matters. You must have them by your side as you take your last breath, and they need you too. Just as the railing fell, I reached out to them. Their silent screams piercing me more than any other sound ever could. I grabbed the eldest's wrist just before they too would perish. She looked up at me, into my eyes in such a way that told me she wasn't looking at me at all. She was admiring my soul as if it were more real to her than any physical appearance of mine. And maybe it was, but I saved them. And now we didn't have to be alone, no matter what happened to us.

Though the girl whose wrist was in mine, looked into me, she somehow also managed to look down at the younger girl, her sister, relieved she didn't have to die. The gap, the one in the ceiling revealing the fire, was barely big enough for my hand to fit through. But somehow, we all managed to slide through it, escaping the flames altogether. I was flying. Over the ruins of Montebello where the threat of fire and lava was still very much a reality, free of harm. The girls, my friends, sisters, lifeline; they held onto my waist in a chain, bearing no weight. There was somewhere safe for me, a place I could soar to where the flames couldn't reach me. But I couldn't leave my sisters. We flew for miles. But the next time I looked down to see my sisters, they were gone. Disappeared into the flames below, and I hadn't even noticed. My Dad was there. Not sinking in the torturous flames, but somewhere safe off in the distance. I flew to him, not knowing what else to do. But he wasn't the same. Traumatized, by the fire the followed everyone, and he didn't care. I tried convincing him to go with me when the fire finally reached here, but he wasn't interested. He continued on as though absolutely nothing happened. I had no more family left. I flew back into the fire. My two sisters, the ones I had found in the in the abandoned tower, they told me about a third sister. She was the oldest, my age. They someone was controlling the fire. And we were the only ones who'd be able to stop it. The third sister had gone, risking her life, in order to save them. I was looking for her now. I flew farther in farther, until there was absolutely nothing but a sea of deadly flames. For as long as I'd been traveling, maybe the whole world was covered in fire now. I didn't know. All I did know, was I couldn't fly forever. And forever was coming pretty quick. I finally found them. Amongst the sea of fire there was a small oasis where they battled. I knew her immediately, though I'd never seen her. And again, when there are only a few people left in the world, who've been effected by the same disaster, everyone of them is your family. And I knew she felt the same way as soon as she saw me. I was back on the ground again. I couldn't fly anymore. It wasn't that I was tired, or even forgotten how. But rather, like I'd never been able to fly in the first place. The man she was battling, the one would controlled the fire, he was deadly. He could turn anything into flames as though they were actually made of them. The third sister was distracted by my sudden arrival. In her split second of hesitation, she was wounded. Her back to her enemy. She no longer in any condition to fight him. But she begged me to leave her. She told me her sisters were still alive. They had gone back to the wooden tower, knowing it would take the longest to burn. But they wouldn't be safe for long. She had promised to come back and rescue them after the battle was over. But now that there was another option, she wanted me to save them for her. I didn't have to ask to know she knew she wouldn't survive the battle. By this time, I was burned so badly from the flames, that I could no longer feel the pain. I ran through the flames in severe wanting. I thought the two sisters were dead. And I wanted so badly to believe they weren't. Looking for them was excruciating in the sense that, even if I couldn't feel the flames, they could. And if I didn't find them soon enough, it would be too late. But I found them; running through the flames as the dodged each new threat. They wanted to go back and find their sister. The one who had risked her life, for not only them, but me; a stranger. We went in the direction of my Dad, where hopefully the flames hadn't reached yet, though they didn't realize that. I planned on bringing them to safety before finding out what really happened to her. And if there was still hope, I would go back and try to save her myself.

We couldn't run from the flames forever.

Then I woke up. Saturday was the day of the sleepover, but I didn't think about that.

I never did save the third sister.

July 1, 2010 (Continued.)

For the first time, I didn't write my remembered dream down in my journal. I dream vividly. Extremely vivid. And I didn't want to watch the sisters burn over and over again. In my world, nobody noticed. Instead, they showered me affectionately until the dream was all but forgotten. The reality? My Dad did notice. And I ended up telling him everything. He was fascinated by it. Every detail had to be exact for his pleasure. The detail I left out? The identity of the three sisters. In my world, the three sisters were my own; Debbie, Karalee, and Emily. I really wanted to believe it was them. I really wanted to think I had simply dreamed of their unconditional love and kindness. But the reality? The three sisters were someone different.

Because just two nights before I'd be spending the day with Julia,

I dreamt about Ally and her sisters.

I-Don't-Even-Care-What-Time-it-is-O'clock:

I'm pulling them out one by one, skimming the title, and then tossing them to the ground. No, that's not right… Forcefully wrenching them to the ground as my angered rampage through the bookcase continued. The images still flared fresh in my mind. The flames, the tower, everything. I couldn't sleep. I had literally spent the last couple of hours with my eyes peeled, staring at the ceiling. This hadn't been the first time I'd been afraid to go asleep.

Yeah, ha-ha-ha. I was like a little baby, too afraid to go to sleep incase the boogey man came to get her. It wasn't funny. I was ready to about rip the head off the first person to do so much as chuckle. Anything to stop the stupid fire from burning me from the inside out.

I try doing this little chant thing inside my head one of my friends taught me. To occupy myself. It didn't work.

I'm just about to scream out in frustration when I see it. The last book still crammed into the tiny shelves. I grab it and frantically start flipping through the pages until I find what I'm looking for. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies; by Sonya Sones. Page eighty one; I start reading in the middle of it.

Then she shows us this video

of Fritz doing this therapy on one of his patients.

In the film, the patient is telling Fritz

about a dream that he had the night before,

a dream about being at a train station.

And the patient says that in this dream

he's watching all these people climbing up a big staircase.

And then Fritz interrupts him

and tells him he should be the stairs,

that he should talk as if he is the stairs.

So the guy looks at Fritz like he thinks

the idea of being the stairs is way idiotic,

but he starts talking anyway.

And he says, "I am the stairs.

People walk on me."

And Fritz says, "Go on."

And so the guy says, "People walk all over me.

People walk all over me to get to the top."

And then he starts bawling like a little kid

and saying that he hadn't realized until this very minute

that he's been letting people walk all over him

his whole entire life,

that he's been letting them use him

and abuse him and it's been making him

angry and resentful and sad.

And I'm watching this film

and I'm really getting into it

because it is sort of amazing to see this guy

have this major epiphany about himself

just from one measly dream.

And I don't know, I guess it feels good

to wrap my mind around some new ideas for a change.

Maybe it would feel good. I close the book, and grab a piece of paper and pen. There's no sense in trying to go back to sleep now.

I-Still-Neither-Know-Nor-Care-What-Time-it-May-be:

Fire. I am fire.

Maybe this is a stupid idea. I mean I got it from a book, for crying out loud!

Fire…like love I burn with passion…like pain I burn with the most treacherous agony…

Maybe I'm just a nutcase trying to stay inside a broken shell. But what would it feel like to live outside this shell? To be considered something more than a nut?

When I'm angry, I just burn. I always burn. I can't cry, because that would put me out…So I never cry. I just burn.

Fritz? Help me!

Fire…like all living creatures, I need oxygen to burn…I need oxygen to breathe…I'm just fire. I do not live. Maybe I don't deserve to…I merely exist. That's all… I want to live…I want the chance to start over. To stop burning everyone. I don't know how.

Maybe this is good… You know, for the long run. Maybe it's just time to face the music-

I can't exist on my own. Never. I'm never the one to start the burning…someone has to light me first. I need a person who can get close to me without being burned, someone without emotions.

Oh my gosh… Am I burning because of her?

Someone who knows how to control me, to ignite my true potential inside…

To continue the vicious burning cycle. Because they had to burn once too.

My breathing turns heavy as my words dart across the page. I could stop if I wanted to, but I can't bring myself to do it. I need the truth. I need answers. Let the burning begin.

I'm afraid to get close enough to someone to be lit. I don't like the flames. Where flames there is burning. The burning hurts.

Flames…images rush through my head with dangerous intentions…I can't take the heat…

No tears…If I cry, then I'm weak. If I cry, I'll burn out. But I don't want to burn out.

I want to save others from burning when they don't deserve to. If I burn out, I can't do that. But if I go out, I stop the burning cycle. I want it to stop. Just not this way…

The flames…the fire…everything. I'm worried. I'm actually wishing to cry. I've never wanted something like that. But I want to cry right now; more than ever before. But I still can't cry. I'm still burning…

I don't want to exist alone. But I can't get too close to anyone. If I do, then they burn too. The burning's always there. I can't make it go away. Even when I'm a single flame…I can never forget the roar that once was. I can never forget I'm not allowed to cry. I can never forget what I really am.

Maybe it's not the major epiphany I wanted…but it was close enough.

And it sure as heck scared the crap out of me. Maybe the reason I really can't cry is despite the fact I'm told it's nothing to be ashamed off, I'm afraid people already see me as broken because of She-who-must-not-be-named, and that crying will confirm my weakness. Wait a second…Someone without emotions who can control me…to ignite my true potential inside and continue the burning cycle. Because she had to burn once too-

The vicious cycle…as in abuse? I can't believe it…I was actually dreaming about her…

But then why were Allison and her sisters there?

I don't want to exist alone. But I can't get too close to anyone. If I do, then they burn too. The burning's always there. I can't make it go away. Even when I'm a single flame…I can never forget the roar that once was. I can never forget I'm not allowed to cry. I can never forget what I really am…Fire. I am fire.

Does that mean, I'm afraid to make friends because I'm afraid I'll hurt them like She-who-must-not-be-named did?That even though we're living in the present, I can't change the past, and therefore live in fear of it?

Then maybe it Allison wasn't the one, pushing our friendship apart. Maybe it was me.

Chapter : 4 ( Cuatro )

Be Sure To Thank Your Lucky Stars…

They Keep The Moon Company At Night.

June 3, 2010 - Last day of School (Continued.)

Summer's Facebook Status: Today was the last day of Seventh Grade! That means I'm an EIGHTH GRADER now, which means that year after that I'll be in HIGH SCHOOL, and then I won't be able to see all my friends who go to DIFFERENT SCHOOLS possibly ever AGAIN! Spazzing out... Please comfort...

Something bad just hit me; something scary. What if I'm not on the same team as all of my friends next year? Like Julia, Katy, Krissa, Gabby…all of them? Will it be a repeat of Ally and me this year? I don't want that, not again.

I'm an overachiever. Yeah…I'm never tardy, I always turn in my assignments on time, oh, and on top of my slight Obsessive-Compulsiveness, you can probably see why I signed up for all the advanced classes. (Including Algebra…Ugh.)

In Eighth Grade, you're eligible to sign up for year long related arts courses. (With the appropriate grades of course…) Related Arts is your only chance to hang out with friends if they're not on your team. I'm signed up for two year long courses. That's it. Oh yeah, and only about a third of my friends are in them. So if they're not on my team, and not in my advisory…then seventh grade was pretty much all the time we had to spend together.

Because none of us are going to the same high school.

At first, weird visions of all our lives ten years from now flashed through my mind. Nightmares of us separated, and barely remembering each others names, nonetheless calling each other up every other day. I hated it. I didn't want to be one of those girls who promised their friends they'd find a way to keep in touch and never do. I didn't want to leave them, and I certainly didn't want to forget the memories we shared.

So I decided not to, simple as that.

I was skimming through my emails the other day when it struck me. I have absolutely nothing to do this summer. Nothing!

So why not spend it reliving all the times I've had with my friends? I'm not gonna let myself forget them. If it turns out none of us remember each other in the next a couple of years? Fine. But it won't be because I gave up.

I'm going to read every single email over again.

So take that world.

July 3, 2010 - Fourth of July Weekend

I never expected for the few couple of days leading up to now to stretch on so long. And yet despite that, I still wasn't completely packed when the doorbell rang. Go figure.

I was more excited than Emily's Boston Terrier Beth (who will literally lick your face off if you're not careful…) when I realized Julia was at the door. My Dad mumbled something about opening the door before Beth went berserk as I scrambled to stuff my night clothes and toothbrush into my bag. "Coming!" I was still piling my stuff in, when I couldn't take it anymore. I dropped everything, and ran to the door; Julia patiently awaiting my arrival.

In many ways Julia was just the exact opposite of Allison. Being far from shy and obsessed with

was the taller of the two of us, with her not quite shoulder length brown hair swinging wherever she went. Julia's beauty was more plain with her Earthy tones, giving her a lovably believable and natural spark, something I hadn't seen on a person before. It was far from the walked-right-out-of-a-magazine persona that seemed to follow Ally everyone (despite her attempts to downplay it) but in a way, just as memorable. Things… we know

8:06pmMe

Ahhh... The sweet smell of flaming hot cheetos...

8:08pmMe

Ha ha. Bye.

8:08pmCaleb

heyy i hate flaming hot cheetos!

8:08pmMe

That's the point!

8:09pmCaleb

hahahha

8:09pmMe

Sorry... Little sister away for the day, and I needed to get my Daily Evil Deed in...

All that is hideous and heinous.