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“It’s been a while since your head has been in the right place, maybe you need a reset.” Camila sighed. It was all she was herring lately, not that she could oppose, it was the excuse she used everytime she didn’t feel well or was acting down. Now more than ever, it felt like it was happening quite often. Camila was usually down, she hardly felt like herself anymore. “Take a couple days off school, and go home or something, take a break.” Echo pushed on. “You really need it.” Camila shook her head. “I have a lot to do, so no break yet. I have so much work.” Echo gave me a look. “I have a yearbook meeting tomorrow afternoon, it’s a huge deadline. And so many assignments, and, no. I can’t go home right now, I have too much on my plate.” 

“That’s what I mean, you don’t sleep anymore. You. Need. A. Break.” Echo pulled her dark red hair out of the tight high ponytail, and took Camila by the arm and sat her down at the table. “When was the last time you actually ate something properly?” She walked over behind the island and went through her fridge pulling out food. She continued talking as she made the other girl a salad. “You can take a leave you know, put everything on hold for a week or two. Nobody’s going to die. Go home! Take a breather before you get even more burnt out.” Camila stuck a fork in her salad. “I don’t think I have a place at home anyways. I’m better off with no breaks anyways. I’m so lost when I have nothing to do.” Echo was growing frustrated. “And that is what you need to fix. I’m going to drive you home this weekend. Then I want you to visit all the places that make you happy, come back when you're not stressed anymore. Let go of everything.” Camila gave in. “I mean since you're driving, remember is like a three and a half hour long drive.” Camila smiled, matching Echo’s when she agreed. 

It didn't take more than a couple hours for Echo to help Camila get all packed up and hit the road. Echo convinced her to surprise her parents, even though it probably wasn’t the best idea. As they got closer to home, Camila decided she wouldn’t go home right away. “Drop me off at diner. I think I want to stop there, where I used to hang out. I want some nostalgia before anything else. It’s left of Arties Ave, big red sign: Hawley’s,” Echo nodded and turned the corner when she saw the right street name. Once she stopped in front of the little building Camila took out her bag from the trunk and rolled it into her favorite diner as a child. She had considered calling her old friends, the three other people she spent all her time with in this shop, but decided against it. She wouldn’t bother them too. She waved Echo goodbye right after Echo offered to come pick her up whenever she was ready to come back. She entered, the little bell on top of the door ringing like it always did before. “Just like old times,” she whispered, looking around. It had been years since she had last walking into the diner, yet it felt like hardly anything had changed. The red booths, the blue table, chandelier lights above, the milkshake bar, nothing felt better then benign in the room. Even though she was all alone, it still felt natural, until she looked up and saw Booby, who seemed to have aged well. “Is that you Bobby?” she asked, smiling, walking over to the counter. “The one and only” he said back. “What can I get you?” Camila sat down on one of the bar stools, “The usual, Chocolate milkshake with almond milk if you still do it, and a slice of your famous chocolate coconut cream pie,” “Camila!” She nodded. “You’ve changed so much! I miss having you and your friends over everyday after school,” he turned around, mixing the milkshake and pulling out the pie out of the freezer. 

She dug in right away, chatting with Booby talking about all the things she’s done since leaving the small town she used to love. They talked about business, it being more natural now that they were both adults. Camila felt amazing, she had nearly forgotten about all the work she had left behind, all the deadlines, every worry or anxiety she had, she felt it all drip away, feeling lighter and lighter as minutes passed, until it felt like there was absolutely no burden left on her shoulders. She hung out well after she was done with her meal, watching highschool kids pile in with their friends. She remembered coming walking in sitting down at a booth with her group of friends, the last day of high school, the day they graduated, all in fancy dresses and suits, planning out every day of summer before they all went their separate ways. Or the last day of summer before the ninth grade, when they had no idea how close they were going to get. All the birthday lunches they had, all of the celebrations and first dates that happened in this diner. Camila would have done anything to turn back time and celebrate one more time, feel completely free, like she was on top of the world, completely confident. 

“It’s been a while since your head has been in the right place, maybe you need a reset.” Camila sighed. It was all she was herring lately, not that she could oppose, it was the excuse she used everytime she didn’t feel well or was acting down. Now more than ever, it felt like it was happening quite often. Camila was usually down, she hardly felt like herself anymore. “Take a couple days off school, and go home or something, take a break.” Echo pushed on. “You really need it.” Camila shook her head. “I have a lot to do, so no break yet. I have so much work.” Echo gave me a look. “I have a yearbook meeting tomorrow afternoon, it’s a huge deadline. And so many assignments, and, no. I can’t go home right now, I have too much on my plate.” 

“That’s what I mean, you don’t sleep anymore. You. Need. A. Break.” Echo pulled her dark red hair out of the tight high ponytail, and took Camila by the arm and sat her down at the table. “When was the last time you actually ate something properly?” She walked over behind the island and went through her fridge pulling out food. She continued talking as she made the other girl a salad. “You can take a leave you know, put everything on hold for a week or two. Nobody’s going to die. Go home! Take a breather before you get even more burnt out.” Camila stuck a fork in her salad. “I don’t think I have a place at home anyways. I’m better off with no breaks anyways. I’m so lost when I have nothing to do.” Echo was growing frustrated. “And that is what you need to fix. I’m going to drive you home this weekend. Then I want you to visit all the places that make you happy, come back when you're not stressed anymore. Let go of everything.” Camila gave in. “I mean since you're driving, remember is like a three and a half hour long drive.” Camila smiled, matching Echo’s when she agreed. 

It didn't take more than a couple hours for Echo to help Camila get all packed up and hit the road. Echo convinced her to surprise her parents, even though it probably wasn’t the best idea. As they got closer to home, Camila decided she wouldn’t go home right away. “Drop me off at diner. I think I want to stop there, where I used to hang out. I want some nostalgia before anything else. It’s left of Arties Ave, big red sign: Hawley’s,” Echo nodded and turned the corner when she saw the right street name. Once she stopped in front of the little building Camila took out her bag from the trunk and rolled it into her favorite diner as a child. She had considered calling her old friends, the three other people she spent all her time with in this shop, but decided against it. She wouldn’t bother them too. She waved Echo goodbye right after Echo offered to come pick her up whenever she was ready to come back. She entered, the little bell on top of the door ringing like it always did before. “Just like old times,” she whispered, looking around. It had been years since she had last walking into the diner, yet it felt like hardly anything had changed. The red booths, the blue table, chandelier lights above, the milkshake bar, nothing felt better then benign in the room. Even though she was all alone, it still felt natural, until she looked up and saw Booby, who seemed to have aged well. “Is that you Bobby?” she asked, smiling, walking over to the counter. “The one and only” he said back. “What can I get you?” Camila sat down on one of the bar stools, “The usual, Chocolate milkshake with almond milk if you still do it, and a slice of your famous chocolate coconut cream pie,” “Camila!” She nodded. “You’ve changed so much! I miss having you and your friends over everyday after school,” he turned around, mixing the milkshake and pulling out the pie out of the freezer. 

She dug in right away, chatting with Booby talking about all the things she’s done since leaving the small town she used to love. They talked about business, it being more natural now that they were both adults. Camila felt amazing, she had nearly forgotten about all the work she had left behind, all the deadlines, every worry or anxiety she had, she felt it all drip away, feeling lighter and lighter as minutes passed, until it felt like there was absolutely no burden left on her shoulders. She hung out well after she was done with her meal, watching highschool kids pile in with their friends. She remembered coming walking in sitting down at a booth with her group of friends, the last day of high school, the day they graduated, all in fancy dresses and suits, planning out every day of summer before they all went their separate ways. Or the last day of summer before the ninth grade, when they had no idea how close they were going to get. All the birthday lunches they had, all of the celebrations and first dates that happened in this diner. Camila would have done anything to turn back time and celebrate one more time, feel completely free, like she was on top of the world, completely confident.  It was getting late, so Camila walked back out walking along the street until she hit a hotel she could crash in for the night. It was the hotel she stayed in on graduation night with her friends. She booked the same room she stayed in all those years ago, and as soon as she was in her room she threw on the bed, and called Echo. 

“Hey, how’s it going?” 

“Great, thanks for forcing me to do this. I’m not going home, but I'm staying at the hotel my friends and I stayed on graduation night. About three months before I met you actually.” 

“That’s good, feeling and more relaxed?” 

“Yea actually, but now that you mention it, am I missing anything back at school?” 

Echo laughed, “Nope, just enjoy, remember to breath, I’ll pick you up soon, Don’t forget your parents, I’m sure their going to want to see when they find out you there.” 

“Yea yea, I'll see them tomorrow, I want to make a couple stops first, Anyways I think I’m going turn in for the night,”

“Of course, call me tomorrow whenever you get the chance. Make sure you have fun. Bye!” 

“Bye!”

July 24, 2020 19:49

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1 comment

Maya W.
00:22 Aug 30, 2020

Nice story!I really liked the character development you were able to pack in. One thing, though - I felt like the paragraphs were a little long. It's not too much of a problem though, and I in general really enjoyed this story! Would you mind checking out some of mine? Thanks!

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