Chapter 1: This is not Goodbye
"Promise me you will visit me at Yale?" Bailey's eyes had a clear, thin layer of tears, just waiting to run down her soft cheeks.
"I promise," I nodded. "I've got an admissions guy I want to talk to." She smiled. I searched her blue eyes.
"I love you." The words came out of me without any control. I couldn't keep it inside. I had to tell her before we were apart for a rather lengthy period of time. She was searching my face.
"I love you squared." Her hands touched my face and she kissed me. Possibly the best kisses I have ever been given. I'm going to miss her so much, it will be unbearable. I watched her leave, and my heart hurt, knowing that I'm not going to leave the boat with her.
I was running like a maniac around the boat. I had to find Maya before I might never see her again. I love her. I was just too stupid to not realize it until now. I frantically searched the halls, the Sky Deck, the lobby, and she was nowhere to be found. As I turned around, I nearly collided with London.
"London! Have you seen Maya?!" I probably sounded like a complete nut that had lost my mind.
"She just got off the boat... Why?"
Forgetting to thank London, I ran towards the railing of the boat, yelling back to London, "I need to tell her I'm sorry, that I don't want her to leave, and that I love her!"
I felt the trail of tears drying on my cheeks, as I reached up to wipe them away. I was leaving without Cody, and it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I'm the one going to live our dream, the one we shared together. That was the dream that we were going to pursue together. Over and over again in my head, I was going over all the possible reasons for why Cody didn't get in. Suddenly, everything was very surreal. I'm doing this all on my own. And I felt guilty, very guilty. I got in, and Cody didn't. But how?! It was a question I wasn't going to know the answer to. We got the same final scores, same grade point averages, same SAT scores… So how did he not get in?!
I swore I heard Zack yelling my name. I turned around, looked one last time at the boat, holding so many memories, and then I heard my name again. Then again. And again. Then I saw Zack, waving his arms, running down the gangplank. I turned around and stopped.
"Zack, What are you doing?" I quietly said aloud, as I smiled and shook my head. But then reality hit me, and I felt the need to cry. Seconds later, Zack was standing in front of me, out of breath.
"Zack, what are you doing?" I asked him again, holding back tears, looking at the cement beneath us. He took my hands, moved closer to me and pushed a loose tendril of my brown, somewhat curly hair out of my eyes as he lifted my chin to look in his eyes.
"Maya," he said catching his breath. "Maya, I can't let you leave. Look, I'm sorry about what I said after the conversation we had at dinner last night. I don't want you to leave. I would be miserable without you, and you can't be replaced. Maya, I love you, and I can't let you leave without me saying it." I searched his eyes. He was tearing up. No one had ever seen Zack genuinely cry before, and because of that, I felt a tear fall. He wiped the tear from my cheek.
"Maya, please. Please, don't leave me." He whispered softly. I bit my lip, I knew what we both wanted, but I could not see how on earth we could make it work. A long distance relationship seemed impossible.
"Zack," I then began to choke up. I was trying my hardest not to cry. "I don't see how it will work. It's not fair to you or me." I whispered. He lifted my chin again and laid his forehead as he looked in my eyes.
"Then we will make it work. I will write you, I will call you, and anytime I can see you, I will." I kissed him, and instantly I felt relieved. I opened my eyes, and I saw the smile I missed so dearly.
"Okay." I whispered.
I pulled out the key, stuck it in the lock, twisted it to the right, and opened the door to my dorm. The yellow walls were empty, waiting for me to make the room mine. I set my bags down, and took a deep breath. The room smelled of new paint job, and clean carpets. It smelled clean and new, symbolizing a new chapter in my life. I opened the boxes and began to unpack. I pulled out a picture of London, Cody, Zack, Maya, Woody and I when we were docked in Hawaii. I missed them all so much, even London! It's been 4 months since we graduated, but it seems like it's been forever. I put the picture on the nightstand beside the bed. I then heard a knock on the door. I turned to answer it. It was a tall young man, with brown hair, and soft brown eyes.
"Miss Pickett?" He said, looking at me. He had a smile across his face. His pearly white straight smile was enough to knock out a kid in a cornfield in the middle of a thunderstorm. His hair was messed up just perfect, and his brown eyes were twinkling. His long eyelashes made me go weak in the knees for a minute. But then, I saw Cody in my mind. AAH! I have a fella, I have a fella. I kept repeating to myself.
"Uhm, y-yes? I'm Bailey..."