The two girls squeezed each other tight, while their tears fell onto the dusty ground. “I’ll miss you so much, Samantha!”
“I’ll miss you more!” cried Samantha. “What will I ever do without you?”
Gwendolyn wiped her tears away, and smiled, trying not to let it quiver. “Nothing. You can do nothing. That’s why you have to call me every night and I’ll call you every night and—”
“Promise?” Samantha interrupted.
“Promise.” Gwen embraced her, securing her into her own arms. “I’ll never forget you, Samantha. When you move to Hawaii, send me pictures, and, uh, emails. Okay?”
Their parents too were hugging and crying and talking all at the same time. Gwen had known Sam for only two years, since first grade. But when their eyes met, they already knew. They knew from the moment their eyes laid on each other, they would become the best friends the world has ever seen. It was hard to leave her. It was hard for all of them. But she trusted Sam. She knew she would write back, and their friendship would never end.
Subject: I miss you!!!!!!!!
Did you arrive in Hawaii yet? Did you go to a lot of beaches? Did you get a lei? Are you doing the hula???? Teach me how!
I miss you so much! You only left for twelve hours, but it seems like a month! I hope you made new friends, but don’t forget me, okay? I know you won’t!
I’m so bored right now. I’m supposed to be calling you to come over so we can paint our nails while we talk about how Mr. Scott drools while he talks and Ms. Winter never showering. But now, I’m painting my nails alone while I think wearily (a new word I learned!) about how I’m going to live my life without being in the same state as you. I’ll miss you so, so, so, so, so, so, much!!!!!!
WBS (write back soon, in case you didn’t know)!
Gwen smiled sadly as she hit send. She hoped she didn’t have to wait long because hearing Samantha’s emails would be like hearing her voice again.
“Mom,” Gwen asked. “When’s Samantha gonna write back?” She paced impatiently back and forth with her foot, tilting her head. “It’s been two whole days.”
Her mother gave her a slight smile of pity. “I’m pretty sure she’s still busy right now,” she answered. “After all, they have moved to another state. They have to get settled in.” She patted Gwendolyn on the head.
Gwen shook her mother’s hand off and sighed. “She better write back soon. I have tons to tell her.”
“She will, baby. She will.”
Subject: You didn’t write for so long!
You haven’t written for sooo long!
Okay, maybe you haven’t written for three days. But that seems like a lot to me. Three whole days without talking to you. It sounds crazy! So crazy, like as if everyone’s heads turned into a pig’s head or something. So crazy!
Please write back. And send me a video on how to do the hula!
PS: My mom said that you’re getting settled in Hawaii. Are you making friends? Tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s been a week. She hasn’t answered. She hasn’t replied. So Gwen decided to give her a quick call to make sure she was alright.
“Mom!” Gwen yelled. “Can I call Samantha right now?” She held the phone eagerly.
“Mom?!” she yelled, louder.
“Sure, sweetie. Just don’t ask too many questions. They are still settling in.”
“Still,” Gwen muttered. She dialed her number, with full certainty that she would answer. She had to wait ten seconds, but after that, the phone answered. Yes!
“Hello?” She asked on the phone. “Samantha?”
“Hello, Gwen!” the voice answered cheerfully. But the problem was, it wasn’t Samantha.
“Hello! I’m truly sorry if you wanted to speak with Samantha right now. She got invited to a birthday party and was so excited, so I had to let her go. After all, it has only been one week!”
Only? Really? Only one week?
“Wow,” Gwen said, not sure what to think. “She had been invited to a party so quickly.”
“Hawaii is so kind,” she said, a smile sitting in her voice. “I will let Samantha know you called. She will definitely call back.”
“I hope so, thank you very much!”
“No problem at all!” Mrs. Bradford hung up. Gwen felt defiant and sanguine (another word she learned). She will definitely call back. Her words echoed in Gwen’s ears.
She will definitely call back.
“Gwen,” her mother told her. “You have to stay buoyant.”
“Buoyant?” Gwen raised an eyebrow. “You say weird words.”
“It means optimistic. Remember I taught you the word sanguine? They are synonyms.”
Her mother sighed. “How about you send her one more email?” she suggested. “If she doesn’t answer that, I’ll let you call her again. But no more calls after that, until she calls you back.”
“What if Sam doesn’t?”
“She will. You were her first-ever friend. She won’t forget you.”
She won’t forget you.
What if she did?
You never called me. You never answered my emails. You never sent me postcards. What was our promise even for, then?
I’m mad at you. I won’t be mad if you give me one email. That’s it. I just want to make sure you’re okay. Please?
If you don’t, I’m gonna fly myself all the way to Hawaii alone. That might be fun, but that also sounds scary. So please answer!
“Gwennie!” her mother shouted. “Gwen!”
Her mother’s voice faded away. Gwen still wanted to sleep. She wanted to fall into her dream again. Her dream was that she sat in an airplane, sitting next to Samantha while they giggled and competed to see who can fit the most marshmallows in their mouths. She ate a chocolate pancake while Samantha ate a maple syrup covered waffle. They both laughed while a puppy licked their ankles. She treasured that dream inside her heart.
“Gwen! Samantha sent you an email!”
Okay, now she was wide awake. “Seriously?” she called back.
“Yes! Come downstairs if you want to read it!”
She raced out of bed, trying to yawn. Yawns made her tired. She can’t be tired to read an email from Samantha.
She logged into her computer. Going into her mail, she gasped excitedly.
There it was.
Subject: I’m having so much fun!
My mom bought me five new sweaters, two pairs of leggings, and three new pairs of shoes. Isn’t that a “wow” moment? I KNOW, RIGHT???
EVERYTHING IS SO COOL! It’s not a city at all. Like, everyone wanted to hear about the city. They were all like, “I wish I lived there.” It was so fun being the center of attention! And you know how we both used to live in apartments? Well, you still live in one, of course, but I moved to a HOUSE! A huge house! Isn’t that amazing? I KNOW, RIGHT???
I made three awesome friends! One is a boy, he’s really nice. His name is Ashton James, but everyone calls him AJ. There’s also a girl who lived all her life in Hawaii, and she has a super cute Hawaiian name. Her name is Makani. Isn’t that cool??? I also have a friend named Avery, who looks like me! We are twins! Isn’t that awesome? I KNOW, RIGHT???
This is turning out to be super long. I will have to quit writing. I might call you later!
Bye! I love Hawaii! I miss you!
Gwen frowned at the email. There were many things wrong about it. One, she made Gwen jealous. Friends don’t tell each other things that make them jealous. Two, she made new friends. She wanted her to make friends, but she acted like they were her friends her whole life. Three, she wrote, “I might call you later.” She might. She didn’t say she will. She might.
Four, she moved to a “huge” house. While Gwen was stuck inside a stupid, small apartment.
She explained all her reasons and complaints to her mother, who told her, “Honey, she’s excited. She wants to fill you in on everything so you don’t miss out.”
“Miss out? I’m missing out? And besides, she didn’t say sorry.”
“What would dear Samantha have to be sorry about?”
“Sorry about not emailing me for a week! Sorry about not calling me! Sorry about everything!” She stormed away upstairs to her room, wanting to catch a good sleep. Again.
And to catch the same dream.
She didn’t dream this time, though. At least, she didn’t remember. But what she did remember was that she was still mad at Samantha.
Her mother must’ve noticed. “Honey, Samantha may have done quite a few things that have upset you. Maybe you should call her again. Make things right with her. I can’t stand seeing you so angry.”
“I’m not angry.”
“Call her. The phone is waiting.”
Gwen groaned. “She isn’t going to answer,” she murmured.
“Call her,” she repeated, and Gwen rolled her eyes and went toward the phone.
She crossed her fingers, closed her eyes, and wished.
Please, Samantha. Please answer.
Gwen - Hello?
Person on the other end - Hi, Gwen! I miss you so much!”
Gwen - Is that you, Samantha?”
Samantha (laughs) - Of course! Who else would it be?
Gwen - Omg! It’s so nice hearing your voice!
Samantha (stays silent)
Gwen – Samantha?
Samantha (cries) – I’m so sorry. I know that you are mad at me. I read all of your emails that you’ve sent, I haven’t ignored them. I just, I just got mad at my mom and myself for leaving you. I just didn’t want to get sad, so I tried having fun being social and making friends. Besides, I’m not even having too much fun.
Gwen – But you said you bought all those clothes—
Samantha – She chose them all for me. I didn’t even like them.
Gwen – And you are the center of attention—
Samantha – Yeah, but after they heard my story, they pretended like I didn’t exist anymore.
Gwen – And you moved to a house—
Samantha – It’s fun, I guess, but I miss my old home. It’s also very tiring to get around to different places.
Gwen – And you made new friends—
Samantha (huffs) – They just wanted to look cool, saying they are friends with the new girl. Ashton keeps ignoring me and talking to Makani, and Avery has other friends. And we don't look much alike, to be honest.
Gwen (her turn to be silent)
Samantha (explodes into tears) – I miss you so, so, so, much! I love Hawaii and all, but it isn’t the same without my friend. If I had a billion friends in Hawaii, I wouldn’t love any of them the way I love you. You are the best. I miss you. I wish I never left you.
Gwen – Why did you leave in the first place…
Samantha – Because of my dad’s work. It’s hard for him to pay the bills for his own home, and for our house, so we all had to move there.
Gwen – Oh…
Samantha – I have to go. I really miss you. You don’t know how much I miss you. I will call you every single day!
Gwen – I miss you too! I will email you every single day!
Mom (frowns in the background) – No you won’t, lady! That's too many emails!
Gwen and Samantha (giggles)
Gwen – Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll see you later!
Samantha – Bye!!!! And I promise I will never forget you!
Gwen – Same. Bye!!!!!
“So, your call with Samantha went well, didn’t it?” Gwen’s mother asked.
“Yeah. I’m glad we are still best friends.”
She smiled. “I’m glad, too. But I really hope Samantha doesn’t call every day. That’s too much, don’t you think?”
Gwen laughed. “Not too much for me.”
They both smiled at each other and cracked up. “Good night, little Gwennie.”
“Good night Mom. Sweet dreams.”
“Sweet dreams to you too, honey.”
Gwen smiled. She already sensed her sweet dream. Her perfect, sweet dream.