“Come on, guys. We’ll be late.” I yelled at my husband and my son as we were leaving to the graduation ceremony of my daughter’s class.
We picked up my father at his house and twenty minutes later, we were looking for seats in the school gym.
They brought in a bunch of white chairs for friends and family. In the middle of the stage, there was a microphone for the school principal. The back of the stage was covered by orange curtains and in front of them there were purple flowers- the school colors.
I had mixed feelings about this event. I was extremely proud of Emmalee, but I was also sad that she is not a kid anymore. After this summer she will be a collage student. Unfortunately she was rejected by the ballet school she was hoping to get into so she will be attending the local community collage – interior design.
I wanted her to get into her dream school, but I’m also relieved that she will study close to home. The ballet school is on the other side of the country which would mean I would see my daughter just a few times a year if I was lucky.
“It’s beginning.” Trevor gently poked my side.
The students entered the stage in their blue graduation gowns and took seats on the right side, ready to receive their diplomas.
The principal called their names one by one. The order was alphabetical which meant my daughter was in the second half of students.
“Emmalee Morrison.” The man said loudly into the microphone.
Emmalee walked closer to the him, shook his hand and accepted the red hard cover that read ‘Diploma of Graduation’.
I jumped up from my chair and clapped vehemently. I was so proud a couple of tears found their way into my eyes.
Trevor, Emmett, his friend Melissa and Nora with Dean, that were sitting next to us, joined me in cheering.
It was a big day for them as well. Their daughter Caroline missed graduation last year for health reasons and they were so relieved she finally made it.
When Caroline’s name was called we cheered just as much. She was a second daughter to us and we were so proud of both of them.
After the ceremony, we ran down the hallway for the last time and it felt bittersweet. I couldn’t believe we are never going to sit in a classroom together. I will miss my classmates a lot. Of course I will see some of them regularly, like Caroline or Caleb and his siblings, but some of them, I probably won’t see at all except for high school reunions.
As soon as we busted through the back door to to field, we took of our graduation caps and tossed them in the air.
Goodbye High School…
We were hanging out around the benches on the front of the school to enjoy the last moments for a little bit longer.
“We should do something special.” Abby said after a while.
“Like what? Group sex?” Daniel mocked her and then came up with a suggestion typical for him.
“Idiot.” Abby replied and rolled her eyes. “How about we burry something that we’ll dig out in like ten or twenty years?”
“Like a time capsule?” Caroline joined her on her idea. “That actually sounds pretty cool. What should it be though?”
“I don’t know…How about predictions? We can all write down where we think we’ll be in twenty years or what do we think we’ll be doing.”
I kind of liked that idea too. It would be fun to see how close or far off we were.
“That’s a great idea, Abby.” I agreed. “Where should we burry it?”
“I know a place.” Elliot said. We grabbed two shovels from the school storage cabinet and followed him on the small green area behind the school.
The guys dug out a hole and we started writing our predictions. When everyone was done, we placed it in a box and put it in the ground.
“I’m gonna miss you guys.” Rose said and started to get a bit emotional.
I didn’t like her very much at the beginning of high school. She has always been my biggest ballet competitor in town, but I soon found out that her ambition is forced on her by her parents and I felt really bad for her. She wasn’t allowed to fail. She was accepted to the ballet school that rejected me and I was actually really happy for her.
“I’ll miss you all too.” I joined her and as we were standing there, I think we all realized that this really is the last chance to say that to each other.
Even the guys softened up for a minute and admitted that it was a hell of a ride…
* EIGHT MONTHS LATER *
“How is college, Em?” Grandpa asked my sister at one of our regular dinners.
“It’s great. I’m actually learning a lot. If you need to redesign your house, let me know.”
He laughed, but I don’t think she was joking. “I’ll think about it, honey.”
“Emmett just sent in his last college application.” Mom informed him.
“I know.” He smiled. “I don’t think he needed to though. I have no doubt he will get into the veterinary school in Summerset.”
It was my dream since I was a kid to help animals get better. The school in Summerset is one of the best in the country and it’s only one hour away from Hillside so I will be able to come for holidays, some weekends or if my parents need me for some reason. I could even commute but I don’t feel like spending two hours a day in a car that I don’t even have yet.
“I think so, too.” Mom agreed with him. “But it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan.”
After we all finished our dinner, my parents started to pick up the dishes to bring them to the kitchen.
Grandpa also got up to help them, but as soon as he stood up, he fell back into his chair and clutched his chest.
“Grandpa!” I yelled, panicked. “Mom! Something’s wrong with him.”
“Oh my God, dad!” Mom quickly dropped the dished in the sink and ran over. “Trevor, I think he’s having a heart attack. We need to take him to the hospital.”
She then dropped on her knees next to him. “Hang on, dad. Everything’s gonna be ok.”
I couldn’t help but see the fear and worry on her face.
My father helped him get up and they walked him to the car.
“We are right behind you.” Emmalee said to mom before she ran out of the house.
I put on my winter jacket, everything was a blur. Seeing my grandfather like this was horrifying.
“Don’t worry, Emmett. Grandpa will be alright.” My sister tried to comfort me from behind the steering wheel of her VW Beetle.
I just nodded. I didn’t feel like talking.
We walked into the hospital and found mom and dad in the waiting room.
“They’re doing a surgery.” Mom answered a question nobody asked. “All we can do is wait now.”
And so we waited…
Four hours later…
A few days after the funeral, there was a knock on my door. I was in my room most of the time and didn’t want to be bothered.
“Can I come in?” I heard Melissa’s voice coming from the hallway.
I sighed. “Sure, come in.”
She walked in and closed the door behind her. “How are you?”
“I’ve been better.” I forced a smile.
“Listen, I know we don’t really talk or hang out since we…kissed, but I know how close you were with your grandpa. I had to come see you. But if you want me to leave, I…”
“It’s ok.” I interrupted her. “I’m glad you came.”
She looked relieved and sat across from me on my bed. “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”
I shook my head. “I don’t think so. I guess I just have to…wait until it stops hurting.”
“I see you have the chess table.” She looked at the table me and my grandpa played many games on. “I think it’s great that you kept it.”
“Chess was our thing.” I smiled sadly and tried my hardest to not let the tears out. “It’s crazy how much I miss him and it’s only been a week.”
Melissa put her hand on my face to comfort me. “I can’t even imagine loosing someone that close to me. I’m so sorry.”
I couldn’t talk about it anymore. I didn’t want to cry in front of my friend so I did something I would normally never do – I kissed her.
I wanted to feel something else than sadness at least for a little while.
Melissa didn’t pull away, instead she moved even closer to me and returned the kisses.
Before I knew it, we were both naked on my bed and, I don’t know how it happened, we had sex.
When we finished, I immediately regretted it. This is not what our first time was supposed to be like. In fact, her first time wasn’t even supposed to be with me and my first time wasn’t supposed to be with her. We were just friends. How did I let this happen?!
She, of course, didn’t share the same feelings.
She cuddled up to me and smiled. “What are you thinking about?”
“Nothing…” I lied.
How am I supposed to tell her now, that it was a mistake and it will never happen again?