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American Holiday

Present:

The tears were warm running down Cheyenne's cheeks, the argument still fresh in her head and ears. Closing her eyes, she laid her head down on her soft cotton pillow and clutched her fluffy pink blanket to her chest. Slowly she felt herself slip into a tumultuous kind of sleep.

Dream:

Slamming lockers and squeaky tennis shoes surrounded a very nervous and lost Cheyenne. Although her mother helped her make sure her ponytail was in the perfect spot she had already managed to get it to her shoulders. The jet black curls turning into a matted mess next to her ear. She looked down at her schedule again, then back up to the numbers on the lockers.

Moving across the country in the middle of her sophmore year threw her for a loop. Now, attempting to find her way in a school filled with thousands of strangers she felt so alone.

"Locker 316, I just need to find locker 316," she said to herself. Taking a step forward looking at her schedule again she was jarred as her shoulder came into contact with something solid rather forcefully. "S-s-sorry," she stammered, "I didn't, umm, I wasn't paying attention, I'm sorry."

She quickly bent down to pick up her books that had dropped, attempting to avoid making eye contact. "It's okay," said Johnny from above her. Just as she reached for a book by the stranger's foot his hand beat her to it. Slowly she looked up through her think dark eye lashes and felt herself blush. Looking back at her was a pair of golden brown eyes with a beautiful Cheshire cat like grin underneath. "I'm Johnny," he said handing her the book back.

"Thank you, I'm Cheyenne, I, uh, just moved here." Cheyenne moved the little piece of her hair back behind her ear as it bounced by her cheek.

"Nice to meet you," he said still with a smile. "Candy heart?" Cheyenne looked down at his outstretched hand holding a tiny purple candy heart that read 'Be Mine.'

The next few years would become a beautiful blur. Cheyenne and Johnny would become the best of friends, Cheyenne being the academic of the two helped him with his homework as he helped her with socializing. Johnny was a year ahead of her and one of the lesser known but still highly respected jocks of the school. As summer approached and his graduation neared, they both knew things would change soon. Johnny got accepted to a college the next state over, thinking their time together was quickly coming to an end Johnny invited Cheyenne over for a "goodbye" party with his family. Everyone was cheery, stories of his ups and downs were told, and just a few happy tears were shed.

At the end of the night Johnny offered to drive Cheyenne home. Usually their rides were full of energy and jokes, this ride however had an undertone of sadness. Cheyenne stole a couple glances over at Johnny before their silent car ride came to an end. "I really am going to miss you," she confided as she fidgeted with her hoodie sleeves.

"It's a good thing there are these things called cell phones now, huh," he chuckled. Another moment of awkward silence filled the air as the car came to a hault in Cheyenne's family's driveway.

"True," she said quietly, "about the cellphones." She smiled at him tentatively before opening her car door, "good luck out there." Cheyenne got out of the car, but before she could close the door Johnny hopped out.

"Wait," he said reaching into his pocket. Cheyenne turned around just in time to see him pull out a little box. "Candy heart?" Cheyenne laughed as a small purple heart was poured into her hand, "Be Mine?"

After Johnny left for college the both still talked almost every day, but as classes picked up it became less frequent. Both of them would start to spend more time with other friends, Cheyenne would even follow her boyfriend Paul to a college a few cities away.

Sophmore year of college things began to get real for Cheyenne. Talking to Johnny once every couple of weeks became the only thing she really looked forward to. Although her and Paul were still together they started fighting more and more frequently. Until it finally came to a head.

Cheyenne started getting sick, sometimes in the morning but mostly at night. It became hard to pay attention in her classes as she was always so sleepy. Her homework slipped as she spent most of her time at home sleeping. Work was also becoming difficult as she couldn't find a balance between overly emotional and angry at the world. She associated all of it with her lack of sleep at first. Until she realized she had missed her last two cycles. Again, she had associated that with stress but had not put it all together. Now there she was, in a bathroom stall outside of her first class watching as two blue lines began to dance across the screen on the stick she currently held. The lines began to move faster as the tears in her eyes intensified. Without a thought, she snapped a picture sending it to two people, with the caption of "we need to talk."

That night her and Paul met up, shortly after she arrived the fighting started. Before she knew it plates and food were flying across the room. She couldn't believe what she was hearing and seeing. After a few minutes she took the opportunity to leave, him still yelling at her as she ran out. She didn't know what she would do, but she knew she would love this baby no matter what.

Present:

Cheyenne found herself waking up, nausea rushing over her again as she ran to the bathroom. After everything inside of her plus some found its way into the dormitory bathroom she heard a knock. "Cheyenne, are you okay," asked her roommate who was blissfully unaware of the situation quickly unraveling.

"Yeah, I-I'm fine," she choked out as she wiped some of last night's dinner from the corner of her mouth.

"O-okay, well there's someone here to see you," she said as her footsteps slowly backed away. Cheyenne tried her best to pull herself together, thinking it was Paul coming back to apologize. After pulling her hair back into a ponytail and quickly washing her face, she went out to the living area where she was greeted by a familiar Cheshire like grin, "Candy heart," he offered as he held out a big pink heart shaped pillow. "Be Mine?"

February 12, 2021 19:04

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