Goodbye To All That
Bosley pulled his car into Meredith's driveway just as he had been doing since the day he got his license. He tooted the car horn and a moment later his friend came trotting out of the house in a replay of what had been taking place between them since the first time he rode his bike to her house when they were eleven to ride bikes together.
"All packed?" Bosley asked when Meredith slipped into the passenger's seat.
"I still don't know what I'm supposed to take," Meredith admitted.
"A picture of me," Bosley joked as he drove them to Johnny C's, one of their favorite hangouts growing up.
"I guess it doesn't matter what I leave behind," Meredith said. "My mom can always send it to me."
"Fed-Ex can get it to you in two days," Bosley said. "Although I still don't know why you decided to go to college in California."
"Stanford, Bose," Meredith laughed. "How could I say no?"
"That's a long way away."
"What do you care?" She frowned. "You joined the Navy. Only God knows where you'll end up."
"If there's a God, California," he smirked.
Bosley pulled the car into the diner's parking lot. "Your Dad still planning on getting you out there in three days?"
"Non-Stop driving," Meredith said, rolling her eyes. "Four way shifts between him, my brother, me, and my Uncle."
"Wish I could go," Bosley sighed.
"You should have pushed your boot camp date back a few weeks," Meredith shrugged.
"I'd lose my A School Seat," Bosley said. "Trust me, if I could I would."
Meredith let out a sigh. "I know," she said with resignation. "I'm just stressing out as departure date gets closer."
"Everything's going to be fine," Bosley assured her as they sat in the car.
"I can't believe it's almost over," Meredith said. "It seems like just yesterday we started middle school together."
"Yeah," Bosley agreed. "Where did our lives go!? We're eighteen and its over!" He said sarcastically.
"Shut up!" She groaned. "You know what I mean."
"That we've gone to the same schools together, lived just a few blocks away from each other, and have been good friends since our 7th grade joint science project together."
"Yes," She said proudly. "A friendship filled with laughter, joy, and happiness." She caught her breath. "And now it's ending."
"Believe me, in this era of internet, e-mail, cell phone, social media, Skype and all the rest of it, it's never over," Bosley laughed. "Come on, let's go inside."
"I'm going to miss this place most of all," Meredith announced as they got out of the car.
"You say that about everyplace we've been to these past few weeks," Bosley noted with an eye roll. The Greenville Cinema. Fontaine's. Donovan's. Sun Rise Lake. Beano Field. The Outdoor. The Pizza House."
"Well!" Meredith moaned. "It's true! I'm going to miss everything within the boundaries of Blue County."
They slid into a booth inside Johnny C's. Sandy, one of the long time regular waitresses, pretty much knew their order before she arrived at the table but she let the two teenagers place their orders anyway - two chocolate milk shakes and a large order of fries.
"I'll eat better when I get out to California," Meredith vowed.
"Birdy Braft was in the Navy, you know," Bosley said.
"Everybody knows that," Meredith told him, gesturing to a forty-year old photo hanging on the wall capturing the image of the then teenager/now current owner with the namesake owner, Johnny C. "Promise you'll come back like he did," she said.
"Are you coming back?" Bosley challenged.
She sighed, knowing the answer was probably no. Who attends Stanford in California and then comes back to Hillsboro?
Meredith wiped a tear from her eye. "I promised myself I wouldn't get emotional about this," She said, her voice twitching.
"Endings are hard," Bosley admitted.
"You just said it will never end!" Meredith protested.
"Our friendship will never end," Bosley stipulated. "But this chapter of our lives is coming to a close. High School's over. We're moving on. College. The Service."
"Don't keep bringing it up," Meredith pleaded.
"We can't deny the reality, Mer," Bosley sighed. "We can't stop progress. The future's coming whether we like it or not."
"We can stop thinking about it," She replied. "Let's not talk about it."
"I'm flattered you're really going to miss me," He grinned.
"Don't be dumb," Meredith requested.
"Well, aside from the leaving for college stuff, how you doing?" Bosley asked.
"How do you think I'm doing?" Meredith groaned. "I'm about to say goodbye to everything I've ever known. I'm going to be three thousand miles from home. I'm leaving my family and my friends."
"And Donald," Bosley added.
"It's over with Donald," Meredith announced with annoyance.
"What?" Bosley said with surprise. "What are you talking about?"
"He's going to Columbia, I'm going to Stanford," she said, rolling her eyes. "We agreed to go our separate ways. You know, Goodbye To All That."
"Wow," a stunned Bosley replied. "I never thought you two would actually break up!"
"He's moving on," she said sarcastically. "Without me. That whole new future chapter bullshit you were just talking about. He just wants the Columbia girls."
Meredith glanced out the window for a moment with a look of sadness, hurt, and rejection on her face.
"Well, I'm sorry," Bosely offered.
"No you're not," Meredith said knowingly. "You always thought he was an asshole."
Bosley couldn't deny her accusation and he felt bad that she looked so pained by the loss. Meredith looked at her friend and shook her head.
"Whatever," She sighed. "It's all in the past now. Can't cry about it forever."
"Yeah I know what you mean," Bosley said as Sandy returned with the shakes and fries.
"Oh God, please don't start pining over Brittany all over again," Meredith groaned.
"You never liked her either," Bosley charged.
"What's to like?" Meredith replied caustically. "She really was a bitch, you know."
"Well, I know it now," Bosley sheepishly admitted. "But you know how blind first love can be when it's all fresh and new and innocent."
"Turned into a story of pain, anger and backstabbing betrayal," Meredith commented.
"I've never been so hurt in my life," he sadly confessed.
"Join the club," Meredith sighed.
"But we'll always have our shake and fries!" Bosley exclaimed with a wide grin, holding up his shake glass triumphantly.
Meredith laughed with delight.