It all started on the first day of summer. It was a hot June day and the senior's at Morris High School just graduated. Now they were all saying their goodbyes, and I couldn't bear the fact I was leaving. Being the tomboy I am, I decided to skip all the heartfelt, tear jerking goodbyes. Doing so, I ran off to my favorite spot in the entire world. That would be, well, a tree. A beautiful and unique willow tree that stood proudly in the middle of a large field. I threw off my cap and gown and ran across the field in my jean shorts and my gray tank top. I stopped and looked up at the tree. The sun flashed brightly between the beautiful branches and stopped on some flowers that were growing around it. I smiled and placed my hand on the warm trunk, feeling the energy of the tree flow to me.
I must sound like a complete weirdo, talking about being in love with a tree and everything, but this willow tree is my prized possession. It has quite a back-story with me and my best friend Jay. I found this tree when I was 6 years old, just around the time my father grew ill. I ran away, just wanting to be free from my home life. I found this tree when it was just a baby, but much taller than I was at the time. I climbed it, and that's when Jay came along.
"What are you doing?" A boy asked behind me, almost making me fall out of the willow. I turned around startled and stared at the boy.
"What does it look like I'm doing? Baking cookies?" I stuck my tongue out and put my hands behind my head. The boy groaned and leaned against the trunk. I looked at his sand colored hair that fell right before his brown eyes. He was about my height, maybe an inch taller.
"Well, this is my tree, so can you get out?" The boy crossed his arms over his chest defensively. I searched the tree quickly then looked back at him. He had a smudge of dirt on his nose.
"I don't see your name on it! So it's not yours!" I pouted, jumping down and landing on my hands and knees. I poked him hard in the chest and laughed at how scrawny he was.
"How bout we share it then? That way I can keep it, and you can use it when you need to escape. That is why you're here, right?" I frowned and he nodded. "Me too, this willow is my escape. It can be yours too." He stuck out a boney hand and I stared at it, almost as if it came from a different planet.
"Heh, whatever." I sighed, putting my hands with his. "I'm Roselette." The boy shook my hand and he climbed the tree quickly, hanging on the top branch.
"I'm Jason. Call me Jay, I'll call you…" Jay thought for a second. "Lottie!" I rolled my eyes and climbed up near him.
"Okay then. You got a little something right," I hit him where the mud was, "there."
That's how I met Jay…and how our relationship was made. Over this incredible willow tree, that as we grew, grew with us. I slowly slid my palm around the back of the tree until I stopped at the base of the trunk. I smiled and read where it said "Lottie and Jay" in messy letters. Jay and I carved it in there to make sure no one could take this tree from us. I climbed up the tall willow and sat on a branch, overlooking the scenery. The field was bright green, with small purple and yellow flowers dotting across it once and a while. The forest completely surrounded the area, showing no life beyond the tall trees. Jay and I knew how to snake through the trees and make sure we wouldn't be followed when we entered our wonderland.
"What are you doing?" I jumped and turned around. It was the same Jay as always; his light sand colored hair was a bit darker but his brown eyes were still the same. He defiantly grew up though, reaching a towering 5'11 and making me, who was 5'6, look like a midget.
"Baking cookies?" I shrugged, smiling at him. Jay laughed and jumped up into the tree himself. He had taken off his gown and was now wearing his ripped jeans and his black T-shirt. He still wore his blue cap though, making him look like a complete idiot.
"I can't believe we actually graduated!" He exclaimed, looking at me and smiling. I smirked back and looked back out to my surroundings.
"Yeah, it's pretty insane." I mumbled, scratching my head. Jay looked at me and I looked back.
"You missed saying goodbye. I got nervous." I felt my face flush and rolled my eyes.
"I didn't want to deal with all that sappy stuff. Why bother?" Jay's mouth dropped and I laughed, shutting it for him.
"Because it's nice to say bye to your friends who won't be following you through the rest of your life! What if you never saw me-"
"I would see you again!" I slapped him on the arm, "You're my best friend! We grew up together. You're not leaving me!" I felt my face heat and up and Jay shoved his face close to mine. My red hair brushed against his dirty blonde hair.
"Really, Lottie?" Jay's warm breath sent the hairs on the back of my neck up. He began to lean in, closing his eyes softly. Right before our lips touched, I pushed him off the tree, not realizing his hand was attached to mine, we both crashed to the ground. I landed next to him and he looked at me. I laughed as he lifted his head up. Jay had the same dirt on his nose as he did when we were kids.
"Ha! Got you!" I laughed loudly, attempting to sit up but fell back down. I wiped away imaginary tears at the look on his face.
"That hurt!" He accused, punching me in the arm. Jay wasn't the same scrawny boy as when we met. Now he was a strong young man. We've both grown so much, but still had the personalities of 6 years olds when we were together.
"You got a little something right," I flicked him in the nose, "there." Jay laughed and a pink fell onto my cheeks.
"You'll never change Lottie." He leaned in again and I felt myself leaning in too. I closed my eyes and our lips touched, sending adrenaline pumping through my veins. I couldn't believe I was kissing Jay. My best friend for 13 years now, and now what was going to happen? As we parted for air, Jay kept his forehead resting on mine, his eyes staring into mine softly. We stayed like that for a few minutes and I pushed him down.
"Your loss. Catch me if you can!" I yelled and bolted up, running towards the small opening where out gowns laid.
"Bring it on!" Jay yelled back, coming up close behind me. Something's will never change, and sometimes, that's not such a bad thing.