She had a family in middle school, a family she didn't want to have but ended up having anyway, one she swore she'd never leave- whenever her mother remarked 'Don't get to attached, dear, they won't matter to you in five years,' she protested violently that she'd never stop being friends with them, and that just because Mum-and-Dad never talked to their middle school friends doesn't mean that she'd ditch them the moment middle school ended. (This argument happened quite frequently, and resulted in many blow up fights, with her locking herself in her room for several "days"- or just until she got hungry) Either way, she felt firmly that these were her friends for life. The day middle school ended she was still certain of that fact, even though Maddie was going to MLS and her and Ben were going to LO while Evan, Jake, and Jenna were going to Wilson, they were still going to be BFFs for life, and they'd arranged every Sunday to meet up at the park. They split up with hugs and had a grainy picture of all of them taken on her cell phone.
Sundays came and went. They'd meet up and talk, all six of them, playing cards for hours and hours, but soon, one of them couldn't come- so six gradually became five became one. She made new fiends. She lost new friends. Sometimes- she's 21 now, in collage- she'd go to that park (it has become a new routine of hers), drive hours to get there and just spends time to miss them in the quiet places at the park, benches and bleak bus stations, tables for six in coffee shops and the old, familiar taste of cappuccinos. She'd always end up taking out her phone and looking at that picture she'd taken in 8th grade; the quality was still as horribly low and grainy as it was when the picture was taken, but whenever she'd look at it, she'd feel the same warmth radiate up at her, and she'd stare at the photo forever, wondering absently why her eyes seem to glow as she looked at Evan in that photo. She reads the newspapers (this has also become routine) everyday, hoping that she'd hear news of someone – and one day she did. Jake- died from a tragic car accident. Jenna; drug overdose, Ben' cancer. She wants to shower for a hundred years, want to trade her skin for a fresh set that make her feel less Ike crawling out of it, and she didn't, couldn't go to the funerals because she finds that she didn't want to hear anything else. she stopped reading the newspapers- she'd rather not know anymore and delusion was just fine with her. Delusion was stunning in fact- and no, something in her chest was defiantly not squeezing at the point of straining. she wonders desperately about their lives, (the few of them that are left; Maddie, Evan, and her) and tries not to. It's not like it's helping anyone.
She still goes to the parks on Sunday, and she waits- and waits some more, making a point of not thinking of what could've happened. Shes 22 now, and 10 years ago, even 6 years ago, it would of made her cry to admit it- that shes not best friends with them anymore- But now? Well, now she'd imagine there are worse things (there was a time, where that sentence would have crushed her- literally, actually crushed her-).One day, Evan shows up at the park, walks past the bench where she is sitting, and freezes; it takes a bit of squinting and digging deep into blurry memories, but soon enough he recognizes the high cheekbones and cloudy gray eyes, and he calls her name. She looks up, and tenses, because while she does know that, yes, this is Evan, but she needs to realine this Evan with the boy she stared at in the middle school photo on her phone, and she does.
"God... How have you been?"
She remembers how much she loves his voice, and doesn't hate herself for being a soppy idiot. She's earned it, she imagines, by this point.
"Great! I've... I missed you a lot." and underneath that is I was worried and below is are you okay?, and much farther down is a silent wordless I need you, don't leave me again
"Damn... I mean, well...You look so different." he said. What he really meant was I don't know you any more.
They talk about the old times, an it makes her smile because he didn't forget; and in the conversation, he doesn't apologize for not coming to the park on Sunday anymore, and she's grateful for that, all in all. She get home late that evening, not able to face her apartment alone after talking (and not talking) with him. She stares at the number scrawled on a napkin he gave her, his address and phone, and the next day she is at his door, and he's forgotten all the languages he knows. He invites her in, orders a pizza; it's such an ordinary day and he's ridiculously grateful that the earth is still going around the sun, and when the delivery boy arrives, and he tips him double because the sun is still shining. They laugh and talk and danced; they danced and it had no music and no magic but she ended up giggling anyway, and unexpectedly, his mouth begins to spill thing without his consent; word and means of expression that he didn't even know he had and they kiss over a stack of boxes and wistful words, were living together within a month.
He marries her, eventually; it's is not the great love from the book she has been reading and waiting for her whole life. It's … comfortable, and she's so very tired; and he is tired too, (just like her, but he won't ever know that) and the thought of being able to call somebody she thought she'd lost her own again is too tempting. She goes to the park on Sundays, the park that had torn her friends apart and put some of them beck together again, and wonders how long was there a possibility of yes between herself and Evan, completely unnoticed and unseen.