Jay and Lu

Submitted into Contest #29 in response to: Write a story about two best friends. ... view prompt

2 comments

General

The smell of tart lemons. Wind rustling through the trees, mingling with the piano notes coming from inside. Laughter and birdsong and wild happiness.

The sun shines brightly in my memory, and the sky is perfectly blue, like an ocean, like a clear, smooth lake, though in reality, it was probably just an ordinary spring day - partially cloudy and a grayish blue sky.

Me and Lu were sitting in the living room, playing Uno with my older brother. My mom was in the kitchen working on lunch for us: mac and cheese, which we had nearly every day.

Lu looked out the window, noticing the lemon tree was full of ripe, juicy lemons.

"We should make lemonade," she said. I nodded in agreement, and we both jumped up and ran outside, leaving our cards scattered on the ground. I remember my brother was disappointed because he was about to win.

He went to practice piano while we picked lemons, clambering up the tree and pulling on them as hard as we could. I figured out that if you twisted them first, they would come off more easily.

When we had enough, we ran inside and into the kitchen, where my mom was spooning our food into bowls. She looked up when she saw us.

"Hey kiddos, what are you up to?" she said, moving into the dining room and putting our bowls onto the table.

"We're making lemonade!" I announced proudly, holding up our lemons. She smiled.

"All right, but lunch first," she said firmly.

"But Mom," I had whined.

"Jay," she said warningly and I sighed, going over to my seat at the table. Lu and I had never eaten lunch so fast.

After, we made our lemonade, adding to much water and not enough sugar. Our mother, taking a big sip, puckering her lips at the sourness, said it was delicious, forcing herself to finish the cup we poured for her.

"Best friends forever!" I said, high fiving Lu, proud of our work.

"Best friends forever," she agreed, grinning at me.

***

We were in eighth grade now, and Lu came to school crying. She went by her full name now - Lucia, but I still called her Lu out of habit.

"What's wrong?" I asked her. Shaking her head, she wiped the tears out of her face.

"It's nothing," she sniffed. "I'm fine."

I knew when to leave her alone, but still, I wanted to know why she was so upset.

"You can tell me anything, you know," I said. She nodded, forcing a weak smile.

"I know," she said.

"Best friends forever?" I said.

"Best friends," she said. She hesitated, and something passed through her eyes, but then she finished. "Forever."

She told me months later that she was moving in a week, though she had known for a long time. I was angry she hadn't told me sooner, but mostly devastated at losing her.

We promised we would keep in touch. Before she got in her car to drive to the airport, she waved.

"Best friends forever!" she shouted as her car sped away.

I said it back, but she didn't hear me, she was already gone.

***

We called every day at first. Then once a week. As time went by, I joined clubs, made friends. My days were full of talking and laughing and rushing from place to place. I no longer had time for Lu.

I texted her a couple times, but mostly ignored the messages she sent me. I was rebuilding my life without her.

Sometimes I felt guilty. Mostly, I was exhausted and stressed out. I had joined the basketball team, and the robotics team, and had started a coding club, and did swimming. I told myself I was enjoying it.

And yet, I missed her.

When my mom told me she was moving back, I was both apprehensive and overjoyed. What if she didn't like me anymore? What if she had moved on the way I had?

I sigh and check my phone. Only five more minutes until she comes.

The doorbell rings.

February 15, 2020 17:19

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2 comments

Anna K Firth
21:21 Feb 24, 2020

I really like your opening paragraphs, but then it feels too rushed from there, and isn't long enough. I love the style of those opening lines though, if you go back and stick to that feeling and write a longer piece, I'd love to read it.

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21:49 Feb 24, 2020

Thanks so much for your feedback! I really appreciate it.

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