The glorious sun lifted through the horizon, making sure it was known by everyone in the neighborhood. Rays of liquid sunshine spit through the windows of the sleepy town off the coast of natural land. Major waves kissed the edge of the quarry before sloshing back to great depths, leaving fluffy froth in its path. Slimy, writhing fish flopped helplessly in search of their lifeboat, struggling to extend their lives just a little bit further. Sun rays reflected off of the glassy exterior of recently deceased aquatic animals, making rainbow patterns in the air. Mai Island would soon be awakening to enjoy the spectacular morning array before them. As for Ayanna, she would be packing her heavyweight carry-ons in anguish and defeat. The celebratory ceremonies of the morning would elude her, as she would be leaving the beholder of memories and ghostly spirits of her past.
After shoving the last piece of clothing in the plastic carry-on, Ayanna toted it to the large moving van parked outside her tropical abode. Bringing slender hands to her sunkissed face, wiping away liquid sadness, Ayanna walked back into her house, doing a quick look over making sure she didn’t leave anything forgotten. As Ayanna roamed through each room of the house, she saw remnants of her life, moving around like ghosts. Standing in the room, considered the keeper of dreams, she saw young Ayanna on Christmas day, white earbuds dangling from both ears, iPod Shuffle in hand. The music blasting from the device, she remembered, was the latest Christmas song of the year, played on repeat until she got bored. Hands waving in the air and dancing wildly mimicking the moves of dancers on tv. Small drips of water awakened Ayanna to the present, and she made her way to the bathroom to turn off the leaky faucet to no avail. No matter how many times she adjusted the handle, the sink would always leak. Ayanna smiled at the same leak in the sink, thinking to herself I won’t be stuck with you anymore. The small memories wafting through the house like strong aromas of the past are what pushed her through the sorrowful move. Sitting on the porcelain bowl teenage Ayanna looked down in her undergarments to notice huge splotches of blood. Looking around the room frightful, she screamed for her mother who came rushing to her aide. Chuckling lightly, now knowing the cycles of life, Ayanna moved on to the next room. Swirling in the kitchen with much grace and light, Ayanna’s ghostly mother danced to Islander music, a rubber pink spoon in hand, dripping light batter onto the floor. Ayanna could still hear the bark as Toto, the old Shepard, sprinted from his perch to lap up the circles of delectable food settling to the floor. Turning her back to the kitchen, Ayanna now faced the living room, where her family shared in watching family favorite movies, laughing and indulging in the emotions the fake characters shared. Suddenly in the once forbidden zone for children, Ayanna arrived in her parent’s room where her father poured over websites and websites of glorious houses in the city, leaving the house quiet for hours at a time. The moving truck loomed with great depression shadowing the brightest moments of Ayanna’s life.
With heavy strides, she made her way to the front yard, finding a group of familiar people waiting and watching. “Hey guys,” Ayanna smiled weakly. The 4 teens, similar in age, bombarded Ayanna with hugs of encouragement. Turning towards the now empty house, Ayanna quickly wiped spilling tears with the back of her hand. “I’m going to miss you guys,” was broken up into pieces as gasping sobs broke through each word. The angsty teens lost for words walked to each side of Ayanna and grasped her hands. They formed into a tight circle, putting their heads together and muttering words of endearments and encouragement. “It’s going to be okay,” reassured one of the teens. The onlooking parents of Ayanna couldn’t help but slip a few tears themselves, watching the group of best friends as one of the members was torn apart from them. “Girls, I thought since we have to make several drives Ayanna could stay here for the rest of the day. You guys are going to need the time together after the move,” Ayanna’s mother smiled weakly. “Really,” gasped the group in unison, eyes brightening just a little. Ayanna’s mom gave a confirming nod, the group ran in the direction of the town, sprinting to squeeze in a couple more memories before they would cease altogether.
The disheveled group of distraught teens looked up at their favorite restaurant on the whole island. Lost At Sea beamed bright tropical colors making known to everyone in the flanking towns. Ayanna walked in first, her friends following, as the smells of the local restaurant took over her. Not only did the smells dizzy her but the idea of not being able to come back and make continuing memories weakened Ayanna. Picking a window seat, the group pondered over the menu, aiming to order something extra special for the last visitation period. “What can I get for you regulars,” laughed the waiter who bore a name tag reading Claire. “Well Claire, our friend here is moving away and we need an extra special dinner to share,” sympathetically stated one of the teens. “Awe, I’m so sorry to hear that. I will have the chefs in the back make a very special chef’s dinner. On the house,” granted Claire. “Oh you don’t have to,” interjected Ayanna. Waving a slender hand, Claire made her way back to the front desk. “So I was thinking while we wait, we should describe in great detail our favorite memories from the past several years, instead of moping around and wrestling with the notion that Ayanna is going away,” a teen beamed. “Oh, that’s a great idea, Emily,” burst a black-haired teen.
The friends then began to reminisce about the better times. Various topics ranging from the meeting and forming of the friendship group to laughs and rumors spread about boys and relationships. Hours slowly began to tick by, hour by hour plates getting emptied and glasses getting refilled by the minute. Claire broke into their fun once more bringing upon the commonly asked question regarding the dessert. “That sounds amazing,” Emily broke through the noise. With a smile, Claire returned once more to the front quarters. “I still can’t believe you’re leaving RoseWater. The school is definitely going to miss you. I just don’t understand why you can’t just live out your last year of high school,” Emily frowned. Ayanna shrugged before thanking Claire for the dessert. The whole group began to salivate at the sight of cherry pie alamode, ignoring their stomach full of tropical foods. The smell of freshly baked cherries blessed the noses of the group. The pure vanilla ice cream dripped on the sides when Ayanna cut a small sliver. The group resumed chatter, ignoring the dwindling time, slowly vanishing before their eyes.
The glorious sun inched near but not past the horizon, ending the constant chatter of saddened teens. The group left Lost At Sea with full stomachs and empty hearts, feeling a deeper shade of sadness than when they had arrived. The group had decided they would take a nightly stroll on the beach and watch as the sky took on different colors. The friends left in the directions of their house but returning to the white sandy beaches of Mai.
When arriving at the edge of the water, Ayanna looked out past the low tide admiring the sounds of sea creatures. The wind ruffled her hair, whispering terms of unknown secrets through her mind. As Ayanna waited for everyone to return, she laid down the beach blanket with shells decorating the corners and smoothed the cloth as best as she could. After sitting and admiring the waning sun, the rest of the inseparable group returned. Ayanna realized each person carried some sort of item varying in size. Emily was holding a strand of lights, which Ayanna knew would be set up around the group, illuminating the darkness. “We all prepared a little something for you. A parting gift if you will, so before you interject each of us is going to hand you our handmade items and you will open them,” smiled Emily. “I guess I will start,” Emily added. A brown sack was handed over to Ayanna which she picked up gingerly. When the 2 sides of the bag were peeled back 5 bracelets were settled in the bottom. Each one a different and unique color, they bore the combined initials of the group, along with tropical materials and decorations clung to the woven pieces of art. “I got us all one so that you, and whenever we have to part ways with the island, we will be able to take a piece of each other with us,” cheekily smiled Emily. “Oh my gosh, I love these. This is never leaving my wrist,” Ayanna gushed. “Go ahead and choose one,” instructed Emily. Picking the prettiest of the 5 Ayanna handed it over to Emily who connected the 2 ends of the bracelet around Ayanna’s slender wrist. Without having to ask Ayanna passed the rest of the bracelets amongst the group, each one admiring the craftsmanship. The black-haired girl yielded a singular book, with beautiful calligraphy and art on the front. After receiving the book Ayana read the penmanship carefully digesting each word. In the following pages of this book, I have pictures we have taken throughout our adventures together. This book is so you will never forget the standing and long-lasting memories we all have shared, Love Lillian. Ayanna flipped through the book eagerly tenderly touching each page. When reaching the last plastic page of the album, Ayanna looked at Lillian, “Thank you so much. I will be carrying this with me every place I go.” The blond-haired girl in the group came forth with a small plastic container, holding some of Ayanna’s favorite foods from her favorite restaurants. “How did you even manage to get different restaurants to do this,” laughed Ayanna. “They made an exception,” laughed Maria, the blonde. Ayanna moved to the last present with contempt and overwhelming happiness. Ayanna’s eyes peered upon a beautiful array of different pictures, arranged with great care among a corkboard. Etched on the top board was a quote from the movie Up, “Adventure is out there”. “You know I love that movie,” Ayanna smiled. The friends huddled close together, the heat of their bodies mixing together.
Without uttering any more words, the teens sat in a row, each individual watched as the remnants of the sun disappeared beneath the surface. Hues of red and orange encircled the ocean, turning it pink instead of blue. Everyone admired the colors and the spectacle unfolding before them. The light was quickly snuffed out, by the grim reaper known as mom. Ayanna’s mother tapped her on the shoulder, whispering 4 words in her ear, shattering her sense of security, “It’s time to go.” A feeling of dread dropped through Ayanna’s body at the realization and weight of the problem at hand. The group of teens gathered around Ayanna once more, and the family walked to the lone car in the lot, presents in hand. After stowing the gifts in the car, Ayanna turned to a group of waving people. Ayanna raised a hand in response and climbed into the car. Ayanna watched, as her closest companions disappeared further and further into the distance. Out of sight forever. Looking forward to the road leading to her future, a single tear fell, confirming a continuous waterfall was to be expected.