It’s been 15 years since I've been to my hometown in Stonedale, California. It's a small town, with the population being roughly around 8 thousand people. So, as you can assume, everyone knows each other.
Living here had always been boring because it was the same routine every day, same school, same people, same stores, same everything. The only thing that made our town interesting was the rumors and leaking everyone's business- especially mine.
You see, my family and I were the social pariahs of this town. My mother was drug addict who was sent to rehab, my father left the picture before I was ever born, and I was the girl who was antisocial, awkward, and estranged from both parents and left to live with my grandparents who were seen as eccentric and out of place. Our family never caught a break for a moment. We remained the laughingstock of our town, so we kept to ourselves, which meant that I never had friends. The only thing to call my friends were loneliness and my romance novels.
I always had dreams of leaving the god forsaken place because I had nothing going for me here. But that all changed when I met June Fernsby, the girl who changed my life. In fact, she's the reason I came back I just needed to visit her once more because it's been so long since the last.
I remember the day she came like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my usual seat in the back of the class with of course, no one sitting next to me, from either side. Our seventh-grade teacher Mrs. Vecelo had told us that we had a new student coming and to give her nothing but respect. She hadn't been introduced yet but immediately, I was unimpressed. I figured that she'd be just like bimbos and idiots in my class and become brainwashed within the first couple of seconds. So, I put my head down assuming to expect the worse when she finally came to be introduced.
When she entered, I heard gasps and murmurs wander the room. This reaction was no shock, so I kept my head down. I hadn't paid attention much to what Mrs. Vecelo was saying only that the girl's name was June Fernsby which was very peculiar to me. The names in our town were as basic as can be, my name was Phoebe, nothing special. Although intrigued, I kept my head down, that is until I heard a soft, but friendly voice speak towards where I was sitting.
"Hi, I'm June, do you mind if I sit here?"
For the first time, I look up to see a cheery, green haired girl with very noticeable freckles, standing inches away from me with a wide smile on her face. I stare in awe for a moment before I tell her yes trying not to make a complete fool of myself. The girls at my school were very beautiful but they couldn't compare to June, she had a different kind of beauty, one I had never seen before. So unintentionally, I stole glances at her, hoping she didn't notice until she'd catch my stare and I'd quickly look away.
When class was over it was time for lunch, and I went to sit at my usual lunch table alone. I was about to get started on my lunch of shame when I noticed June coming over, the same bright smile from before. This time without asking, she sat down and asked me why I sat alone, and I explained nobody liked me and that I had no friends. For a moment, she gave me sad look, but then said, "You have a friend now". I was shocked by this because nobody dared to acknowledge me even breathing let alone being my friend. I asked her why she chose to sit with me, and she explained that everyone was the same, but I intrigued her because I was a rose among thorns. I blushed slightly but brushed it off with a smile.
June and I became hanging out together every day, and I was no longer alone. June had brought out a side of me that I never knew I had, and I became the happiest that I'd ever been. I wasn't seen as this weird girl anymore but the girl who was best friends with the fun green haired girl.
Soon, our days of friendship turned into years and we were entering high school. After some time, I'd began realizing that I was developing feelings for June. It scared me because I didn't want to ruin our friendship and it was the first moment, I realized that I was gay. Even though I was scared, I mustered up the courage and told June of my true feelings. And her reaction was something I didn't expect. She had told that she felt the same and happiness flooded over me. We began dating shortly after even though we got stares all the time.
It didn't bother June, so I followed too. She had really changed me for the best and I loved her for it. June was so down to earth and mellow. I doubted myself on how I could be so lucky to have her, but she was always quick to tell me otherwise. I remember one day asking about her name and why her parents named her it and she told me it was her grandmother's name. She told me that the name meant laughter, joy, and excitement. I told her that name suited her well and told her I'd never really liked my name. She disagreed and told me that my name was beautiful and that it meant bright. I smiled at her ,gave her a kiss, and told her how happy she made me. She responded with saying how brighter I had made her life and how she was grateful that she met me. We smiled at each other then watched the sunset.
A few days later, June explained to me that she had to go visit her grandfather because he had fallen sick, and she'd be back later to spend the rest of day with me. I smiled and told her that I'd miss her, and she told me that she wouldn't be gone too long. Then she left and told me that she loved me. And that was the last time I saw her.
June never made it to grandfather's house. On her way over, on the opposite side of the road, a drunk driver collided into her car killing her instantly. When I heard the news, I grew into depression and heartbreak. I couldn't believe she was gone. One moment she was there, then the next just gone. Forever.
When I went back to school, to my surprise everyone wasn't their gossipy selves. They were sad for me and gave me support. It was nice, but like before I kept to myself again, it was pity after all. But because I knew June would want me to, I tried to make other friends for her sake. I did but the bond never compared.
Graduation came and I left without turning back. I fulfilled my dream of becoming a novelist and became quite famous. Even with everything going well for me, I never forgot about her. She'd never left my thoughts, in fact her wisdom and love kept me going.
It's been 15 years since June died and my love for her has never left. Today I'm here for the anniversary of the day she walked into my life. She's gone but not forgotten. Because of her, I made it my mission to make sure people saw the light that June did in me and I'm forever grateful.
I love you June Fernsby, my first everything, may your love and essence be spread over a world who needs it. You will forever be in my heart.