"Wake up." Came the whisper of the red haired boy.

I opened my eyes and he was standing above me. Wide eyed and concerned. I shook the sleep out of my head. The dreams that danced through were now tumbling around inside. As I stretched I almost forgot he was standing there.

"Come on, you're late." Came the whispering boys voice once more.

"I'm up. What are you doing here?" I said as I threw my legs out of the bed, "Why are you whispering?"

Not that I minded his whispering. It was actually the most beautiful sound. It was almost as if he had no voice at all, only I could understand, his whispered tune. I leaned over to get my glasses off the nightstand. Seeing the time my eyes widened.

"5am?" I yelped as he put his hand on my mouth.

"Hints why I am whispering." He said with a smile.

I looked over to see my sister still sound asleep. I took a sigh of relief then grabbed my velvet robe and matching slippers. He then reached for my hand and pulled me out the window. This wasn't really a surprise. Not after I remembered what day it was and that I was suppose to meet him in the park at 4am.

"Sorry, I fell asleep." I said as I dusted myself off. "That fall keeps getting more dreadful every year."

He didn't say a word. He shook his head and slid his fingers through his hair. Smiling a crooked smile he grabbed my hand and we walked to the bridge. Some of my favorite moments were when he didn't speak. He would just smile that smile or run his fingers through his hair. Some times his pale freckled skin would turn red, which was a sign that he was clueless of what to say.

"Every year Daisy." He said as we reached the bridge.

I smiled at the sound of my name.

"Every year we plan to meet at 4am, every year you over sleep. Ever year I sneak in and drag you out the window." He said sitting down with his legs dangling over the stream below.

"I know." I said slightly embarrassed as I sat down beside him.

The creek was beautiful this time of morning. The moon was falling asleep and the sun was waking up. The animals could be heard running around in the trees and the bushes. The air felt moist and calm. I always loved 5am on my birthday. 5am on May 22.

"Tomorrow you leave for New York." He said with a shaky voice.

"I'll be back."

There was silence.

"It isn't as if I have never left for the summer before."

"It isn't the same and you know it."

"I am still coming back." I leaned my head into his shoulder and he kissed the top of my head.

Simon and I had met in the 3rd grade. He was being beat up by the school bully. I watched as Roger, the bully shoved Simon in the bushes. It was not the first time I had seen Roger do this to someone, but it was the first time I felt I had to do something. I grabbed my book bag and ran over to them. Simon was spitting dirt and leaves out of his mouth. It would have been funny, if I hadn't been so mad.

"Roger!" my heart pounded as I screamed his name.

"Who is this your girlfriend?" the bully scoffed.

"Who are you?" Simon said in a muffled voice.

Roger pulled back his arm to punch Simon one last time and I pulled my book bag up over my shoulder. Before I knew what I was doing I was beating Roger with my book bag. My metal lunch box was inside, making a horrible noise as it hit him. I don't think anyone had seen anything as funny, as a small black haired girl beating a guy twice her size with her pink and purple book bag. Not that year anyway. Simon leaped up from the bushes and ran. There was no thank you, just a smile as he ran straight for his bus. As I saw Simon leap on to his bus I stopped, picked up my bag and ran for home. I heard children cheering, but I never looked back, in fear that I would get slugged. Roger never looked at Simon or me again.

"So how does it feel to be 18?" my red headed friend said with a smile.

"Feels like yesterday."

"That's how I felt."

"I am coming back Simon, you do believe me don't you?"

"I believe you." He exclaimed messing up my hair.

Every year it was the same. We had always planned to meet at the bridge at 4am. I would always over sleep and Simon would always shake me awake at 5am. I would leap to my feet and out the window. We would walk to the bridge and talk as we watched the sunrise. My father's truck would start and scare the birds and then we would walk back to my house. The smell of clean clothes would feel the air as mother did laundry and Becca, my younger sister watched cartoons with us. Around 5pm my father would come home with presents and cake. With a quick breath of air I would blow out the candles and make a wish. Not one had come true. Then I would open my presents. Simons was always last, the best is always last. The last few years the only part that stayed the same was Simon's sweet voice waking me up. The dreadful fall out the window never got any better either.

As the memories of birthday's past filled my mind, Simon pulled something out of his pocket. Before I could see what it was he had leaned in to put it around my neck. I froze as he fastened it around my neck, then I smiled as he whispered into my ear. "Open it." As I looked down I saw a silver heart locket. My name was etched across the front. I looked up at him and his eyes became very wide. I then opened the locket, there was a picture of us from prom night. I giggled as I thought of that night, only a few months before.

"Jeff bailed on me." I said wiping the tears from my eyes as Simon entered the room.

"I heard."

"I am such a loser. Even Jeff Burrows has better things to do than take me to prom."

"I hardly call getting food poisoned, better things to do."

"I guess your right. It is still horribly depressing. Don't you think?"

"Lacey canceled, said she had already told someone else she would go with them and forgot." Simon sat down beside me and started laughing, "Our freshman year I remember us saying we would never go to the Prom. We were way to cool for it back then. Now look at us, sitting here in our fancies. No dates."

We sat in the silence until my mother called us down to take pictures. We posed for the pictures and put on our best smiles. I had never felt like such an idiot. Simon and Becca had a bet going on how long it would take me to make my mom mad. I grabbed my leather jacket and placed it upon my shoulders, smashing the pink feather trim on my dress.

"Daisy, you are going to ruin your dress!" Exclaimed mom as she started to remove my jacket only to feel my hand on her wrist.

"I think it will be fine. Leather and pink fur go well together."

"It is so sad that both of your dates dumped you."

"He is sick mom. He didn't dump me." I said rolling my eyes and walking for the door, "Simon is the one who got dumped."

Simon coughed and nodded as we walked out the door, "Thanks for the embarrassment Daisy."

We arrived at the school and watched as everyone went in. We both sighed as we saw our friends walk in the building. Velvet Underground was blasting from the car as we sat in silence. My black dress with pink fur trim was making my itch, and Simon had already changed into his combat boots.

"That liar!" I exclaimed as my prom date walked by the car with a blonde on his arm, "Cheerleader?"

"That asshole." Simon said gripping the steering wheel, "I always hated him."

"Don't look now, but..." The yelling outside the car interrupted me.

Lacey came stomping up to the car and Simon got out. I couldn't hear their words I could only see Lacey waving her arms around and yelling. Simon calmly got back in the car as she walked away.

"Lets go see the Blob. It is playing at drive-in." I suggested.

"Yes please." He sighed.

"It is beautiful." I said with a smile.

"I figured you would like it." He said kissing my forehead.

"Remember going to the drive-in?"

"Yep. To bad they closed that place down. They always played the best B movies."

"Getting our photos taken in the photo booth at the Burger Shack."

"You tearing the pink fur off of your dress. Singing Pretty in Pink until we got kicked out. I'm really going to miss you."

"Simon, I will be back for Spring break. Holidays. You know all the important stuff."

He smiled at me and I knew he was scared.

Simon had been my best friend since we met. I hadn't even thought how life would be without him down the street. I felt guilty for leaving; he needed me more than ever. His dad had died 2 years ago, his mother had become a hermit, and he was left to be the man of the house. We had once planned to go to New York together, now he was staying behind. Part of me was screaming for excitement and the other part was screaming with frustration.

The birds started to scatter and we heard my dad's truck start up. Both of us smiled as we got up and silently walked to the house. I left Simon in the kitchen with Becca as I went to change. The smell of clean linen was already filling the air. I smiled as I saw mom folding the laundry in the living room. As I entered the kitchen Becca leaped from her seat.

"Happy Birthday Daisy." She said as she threw her arms around me. "What is that?"

Her face lit up as she noticed the necklace around my neck. Smiling she opened it and started giggling. Simon's face turned my favorite shade of pink.

"Simon got it for me."

"Duh." The 12-year-old girl smirked. "Mom, Simon got Daisy a necklace!"

My sister ran into the living room and I sat down beside Simon. His face was still pink and his eyes were focusing on the bowl of cereal I had just started finish for Becca. As we sat in silence I felt the tension grow. It had all started a week ago when my mother told me my move to New York was happening sooner than planned. Simon had been trying to tell me something all day, but it was soon swept under the rug.

"Daisy, you know we have known each other most of our lives." Simon said as we sat in the living room watching TV.

"3rd grade."

"Right, we met in 3rd grade. Friends ever since."

"I can't stand the Tom and Jerry's where they are friends." I whined as the cat and mouse ran across the screen. "I mean the fun is Tom chasing Jerry around like a lunatic. At least it isn't the ones where they talk. I mean what a quick way to ruin a classic."

"Daisy, I am trying to talk to you here."

"I know sorry. I'll turn it off." I said snapping the TV off.

Simon grabbed my hand and looked at me with such deep eyes. I had never seen him so serious. I thought one of us were dieing for sure. I gasped as I looked into his eyes.

"I 'm sorry, I didn't realize you were so serious." I said tucking my feet under me as I lean back on the couch. Simon took a deep breath and smiled. He rubbed his thumb over the back of my hand and began to speak.

"We have dated other people. We have been friends with other people."

"Right. Are you gay? I mean I sort of thought that…"

"No Daisy. Jeez, listen." He rolled his eyes and finished. "It always ends up here. Us. The others are always left in the dust."

"Uh huh."

About this time my mom burst in the room. Simon and I jumped and my mother ran over to hug me. As I looked at Simon his eyes fell to the floor.

"Mom, what is going on?"

"Your going to New York. The day after your birthday."


"Yes." My mom grabbed on to me and we both squealed.

My eyes fell back on Simon and my happy thoughts diminished. He was sitting awkwardly on the sofa. He stood up and walked towards us. I knew that look. It was the same look he got when Bambi's mother died or when he feared the little fish in Finding Nemo would never make it home.

"That is great Daisy." He said with a very shaky smile, "Promise to write me?"

He hugged me tight as I nodded. Then turned and left. That was the awkward moment that still lingered.

"I really love the necklace." I said looking down at it.

"I knew you would."

"What did you want to talk about the other day, you seemed really upset?"


"It had to have been something. You made me turn off cartoons." I said with a giggle.

Simon closed his eyes and ran a hand threw his hair. I sighed and leaned back in my chair slouching a little more than before. I knew he wasn't going to let me know what was going on. He didn't like to cause a scene or make drama.

"Don't worry I still have another present for you. I know you like to open mine last." He said with a certain glow in his eyes.

The silence was soon filled with Mom and Becca's giggling. They both hovered over me looking at the necklace and commenting on how much girls love jewelry. I rolled my eyes and looked over at Simon who was now playing with a napkin he found on the table.

"Simon, that is a very nice gift." Mom said pouring a glass of tea, "I guess it is a special year for our Daisy isn't it?"

"Some say."

"New York is such a beautiful place. I mean sure it might be a little scary at first, her not knowing anyone, but I am sure she will do just fine. Maybe even meet a boy."

Simon growled at the mention of a boy.

That moment it hit me. It was almost like a swift kick to the ribs. As I watched Simon cringe at the mention of me meeting another boy I realized, he liked me. My face became hot. As I watched my mother speaking, I heard only murmurs. How did I not know this? How could I have missed it?

"Daisy, are you all right?" my mother asked putting her hand on my shoulder.

"Umm…Yeah. I just feel a little over whelmed with all of this New York talk."

"Of course. You will be just fine though. I think this early start is going to help out lots."

"Simon and I need to go pick up something from his house." I said eyeing Simon.

"Oh, yeah. The thing we were talking about?" Simon shrugged as he got up from the table.

"Comeback soon." Mom said as she kissed my forehead, "It isn't everyday my oldest turns 18."

I leaped from the table and grabbed Simon's arm. My hands were sweaty and I suddenly felt self-conscious. As the door shut behind us I realized that I hadn't a clue what to say to him. Did I like him too? Was it okay to be more than friends? We stood in front of my house in silence, until Simon broke it.

"So that thing we are going to get, that was just a way to get out of the house right?" Simon said scratching his head.

"Well yeah, I could tell you were not in the mood to hear my mom ramble on about New York and boys." I said, "I mean not that you haven't heard her talk about boys before, just New York is a touchy subject."

'What am I doing?' I thought to myself, 'Why am I nervous, why am I stumbling over my words. This is Simon.' I stood there waiting for him to speak and all he did was walk to his car. I followed feeling the blazing embarrassment on my cheeks. I didn't know what to do, but things were different. Had things always been this way for him? Was he always awkward and nervous? How long had he liked me? Did he even know he liked me? My thoughts wondered as we reached his car.

"Daisy?" Simon said waving his hand in front of my face.


"I asked if you wanted to go see Molly."

"Sure, lets go see Molly."

"Are you okay, your face is red and you look sweaty."

"I am fine, just overwhelmed by New York." I said as I ducked into the car.

As we drove to see Molly I felt faint. All I knew was, this was going to be a long day. A very long day.