Sadie Jamison was excited. Not only did she just turn 16, she was about to step on the plane from LAX to PDX. She was happy because she grew up in Oregon, loved the great outdoors and the smell of the rain, and she hated Los Angeles. She missed her home in Dallas, Oregon, her friends she had made, and owning a horse on the land the Jamison family had owned. Her father had moved the family to Hollywood when he wrote his first script for the big screen. Her parents seemed to love the life in LA, but Sadie hated it. She missed life when it was simple.
“All passengers get ready to board flight 577 to Portland,” the voice came over the intercom at LAX — Los Angeles International Airport.
Sadie got in line, carrying her backpack, which was her carry-on luggage. She was practically beaming as she stood in line, waiting for her turn to get on the plane. She couldn’t wait to see her Aunt Sarah, whom she was going to visit for 10 days. Aunt Sarah was her mom’s youngest sister.
Good old Polk County, Sadie thought as it was her turn to board the plane. She handed her ticket over and stepped onto the big jet. Her excitement mounted as she found and sat in her seat.
It was a two and a half hour flight and by the time the Alaskan Airlines Boeing 757 had landed at PDX, Sadie was grinning from ear to ear. Her early morning flight landed around 10:30 am. She sauntered behind the line to the front of the big bird and stepped off, smiling at the stewardess. As she walked towards the gate, she felt the cool, damp air seeping through the walls of the airport.
Oregon — where it rains in summer, she thought, giddy with happiness. She walked through the airport as if she was on air and when she saw Aunt Sarah, she greeted her with a big hug.
“Sadie!” Sarah exclaimed, pulling back and looking her over. “My, how you’ve grown!”
Sadie smiled at her aunt. “It’s so good to be back in Oregon,” she replied to her aunt.
Sadie breathed in the cool air as they walked to the car. “It’s rained,” she said, looking at her aunt. “Only in Oregon will it rain in August.” She and Sarah laughed.
The drive on I-5 from Portland down to Salem, the capital, brought back a lot of memories for Sadie. When they reached the Woodburn Outlets, they stopped for shopping and lunch where Sadie used her cell phone to call her mom.
“Mom, I am back in Oregon and loving it,” she exclaimed over the phone. “I don’t think I ever want to come back to LA. Can I stay with Aunt Sarah for a couple of more years, please, Mom? At least until I turn 18…”
Her mom chuckled over the phone. “Your dad and I would miss you,” she replied. “I’m glad you’re having fun, though.”
That evening — after an afternoon of shopping — Sarah and Sadie drove into Dallas, Oregon. As they drove along Highway 22 West, rain started falling again. Sadie inhaled deeply the smell of the misty air. She rolled down the passenger side window and took another breath. Oh, how she missed the rain!
The next day, Sadie woke in the guest room at her aunt’s house. The beautiful, Oregon sunshine streamed through the windows, and she awoke, smiling. Today was the day she would call some of her old friends.
At breakfast, Sarah asked Sadie what she was going to do that day.
“I think I’ll give Andy and Serenity a call.” Andy — short for Andrea — was Sadie’s best friend since 1st grade. Serenity joined them in third grade when her family moved from Salem to Dallas.
“That’s great. Maybe we could all horse-back riding later.”
Sadie took a long shower and got dressed. She chose to wear a camisole with a flannel over it, jeans, and her black uggs. She spent time doing her hair and make-up and when she was done, she picked up her cell. Scrolling through her phone, she landed on ANDREA.
Andrea Vasquez, known by Andy to all her friends, was in her room, trying on a new pair of jeans when her ringtone started going off. She picked it up. Seeing the name — SADIE — on it, she rolled her eyes.
“Hey, why are you doing calling me? I thought you were in LA now with your bigshot folks and high-rolling lifestyle. Since when do you have time for the ‘little people?’” she said in a derogatory tone.
Sadie gasped. Was this the same Andy she had grown up with? The same Andy she played hopscotch and Double Dutch with?
“I was just calling to say I was in town and wanted to hang out,” Sadie replied, “but if you’re too busy”—
“Really? You move out to California with your bigshot parents and come back expecting me to just jump at your beck and call to come hang out with you? You think everything’s still the same?”
“You know, Andy, if you’re going to be so hurtful just because my dad made it big, and your families still struggling”—
“My family is fine, thank you.” Andy pressed END.
Sadie couldn’t believe it. Her “best friend forever” had just hung up on her. Was she really that jealous of her?
Shaking her head, Sadie tried Serenity’s number. She picked up on the first ring.
“Sadie! What’s up?”
“Hey, I’m in town. I wanted to get together with you and Andy”—
“Oh, Andy’s been going through a tough time since you left. I think she feels you’ll replace her easily out in LA. The two of you were super close! She’s just afraid. She thinks she lost her BFF to the big city glamour life.”
Sadie felt sad. “I love you two. You’re the best friends I ever had. I hate Los Angeles. I only moved away last year, but it seems like forever ago.”
“I know. Hey, listen, you in town you said? Let’s meet up. I just got my license and was going to drive into downtown Salem to hang out with some friends. We’ve been doing that since you left. Andy will be there. Maybe you two should talk. I’ll pick you up. You at Aunt Sarah’s?”
“Yeah, that’d be great!”
Andy was waiting for Serenity at the coffee shop in downtown Salem when she and Sadie showed up. Once Andy saw Sadie, she immediately apologized, and the two made up. Sadie moved in with her Aunt Sarah and finished high school in Dallas, Oregon, and she and Andy became dorm partners at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
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