There's a monster in the pond where I live. Grownups don't believe me but it's there. I met the pond monster when I was seven and a half so it's been two years since we've known each other. We're friends even if everyone says Jeremy is imaginary. Jeremy is his name, my friend the pond monster. He's got a really long neck and a stubby tail and flippers and he's deep green like swamp water. My dad used to take us boating in swamp water so that's how I know he's the color of swamp water. Jeremy says it helps him blend in so no one can find him. I asked him why once but he wouldn't tell me.

I have to go tell Jeremy I'm leaving and I don't want to. He's been my best friend since we've lived here. My family moves around all the time so I never make any friends but he was my friend. I'm going to miss him. I thought about taking him with me but Jeremy said he couldn't leave his pond. I said that makes sense if you eat fish but we can buy fish. But he said he didn't like dead fish.

So this is how I met Jeremy, with the fish. I went to the pond and I was going to go swimming but the sign said no swimming so I didn't. I just watched the water. It's all murky and dark in the middle but on the edges you can see clear to the bottom where all the rocks shimmer like pretty jewelry and stars. One time I asked Jeremy if he liked how the rocks shined but he didn't know what I was talking about. Anyway, I met Jeremy when I was staring out at the pond water, trying to see the bottom of the middle where the little bridge is. I like that bridge. Sometimes Jeremy jumps over it for fun. It's made out of planks and wires and a lot of the people where I live say it's going to fall over and not to go on it but it's okay because Jeremy won't let it fall over when I'm on it. He said so.

So I was out on the little bridge and trying to see the bottom of the pond because it was real sunny and on sunny days all the rocks shine so pretty and I thought the middle of the pond wouldn't be as hard to see. But it was the same as always with the dark pool in the center just under the bridge and the rest of the water all shiny and sparkling in the sun when it rippled. I got mad because I wanted to see what was on the bottom of the middle of the pond and I got off the little bridge and went out to the edge of the water and I squinted as hard as I could and hoped and hoped I could see the bottom but I never saw the bottom.

There was a bubbling, like when you're making soup but the stove is too hot and even though you're not supposed to let it boil it boils and then your mom gets mad because you ruined dinner again. But there was bubbling and then Jeremy poked his head out from under the water.

I was never afraid of anything but Jeremy scared me. I screamed and I fell and scraped my knee right through my jeans on the rocks by the shore. I really liked those jeans and I guess Jeremy knew because he swam out of the water and he put his snout on my knee and it felt all better just like that. Then I knew he was a friendly monster so I pet him and he made this cute purring noise like a cat but all high pitched and squeaky. He was slimy but I didn't mind. So then I was friends with Jeremy.

I named him Jeremy because my first friend back before I moved here was named Jeremy and he always liked to tell stories about monsters and unicorns and dragons. I moved away and I don't know what happened to the first Jeremy but I always liked him and I like the new Jeremy so I named him Jeremy too.

But anyway my knee was all better and my jeans were looking brand new and Jeremy scooted back into the water and swam away. I looked for him the next day but he wasn't there but I kept looking because I wanted to see him again. One time I threw a rock into the water in the middle where it was dark but then I felt bad because what if I hit Jeremy? So I didn't throw anything in the water after that. There was even one time I found a snapping turtle and I thought it was Jeremy because it had a long neck and a stubby tail but I looked closer and it was too small and it had a shell and Jeremy doesn't have a shell. I asked the snapping turtle to look for Jeremy and say I was looking for him but I don't think the snapping turtle listened to me. I never really liked snapping turtles. They're mean.

So a week later after school on Friday I was happy to get out of class because no one really likes being in class and I went out to the pond because I didn't have any homework and I looked for Jeremy again. This time I just sat there and stared at the middle of the pond where Jeremy was the first time I met him and then after a long time I saw his head poke out of the water. He looked at me and blinked and I waved hello and he swam up to shore and I pet him and he made the cute squeaky cat noise again. So I told him his name was Jeremy because I hadn't had a chance to tell him his name yet until then and he squeaked really happy and loud so I guess he liked his name.

I spent the rest of the spring and summer with Jeremy whenever I could and we were great friends and everybody at school thought I was weird but I knew they just didn't have a Jeremy to play with so they were all just jealous. I tried to take one of my other friends Jamie to meet Jeremy but Jeremy didn't show up that time so then Jamie said I was making things up and we weren't friends any more after that. I didn't mind because I still had Jeremy even if nobody else would talk to me anymore. He would come out and sit on my lap in the sun sometimes when no one else was around and I would scratch his back because I thought if he had flippers he had no way of scratching his own back so I should scratch his back in case he's itchy.

Right now mom is calling me to pack up so we can go look at a different house and I don't want to go look at a stupid house because we already have a house even if it's small and not really a house but an apartment.

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I went with mom to look at the house and it was a nice big house but there wasn't a pond so I know I can't take Jeremy with me. Mom says we're moving in three days and going to look at the house was the best thing she ever did. I don't think it was the best thing she ever did. I think she just doesn't want me to see Jeremy any more. I'm going to miss Jeremy. Mom's telling me to start putting all my toys and clothes and things into boxes. The boxes are already all in my room and put together and everything. They're those folding boxes that you buy at big stores where all the food is twice the size it needs to be. I think giants shop at those stores but I never saw one so I think they have special rooms they go to, to buy things that normal sized people aren't allowed to buy. But anyway mom says pack so I have to pack.

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Today I went to the pond to say goodbye to Jeremy and he wasn't there. I'll try again tomorrow if it isn't raining. Mom says I shouldn't go out near the pond anymore because it's dangerous but no one ever said it was dangerous before so I'm going to go anyway and tell her I'm just going to see my friend Jamie even though she isn't my friend any more.

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Jeremy wasn't there again today so tomorrow I have to make sure to see him because it's the last day I'll be here and Mom says we can't come back to visit after we move. I hope I can see Jeremy before I go and tell him I'm leaving because if I can't then he might wait for me and then I won't ever be there and I don't want him to be mad at me. I never saw Jeremy mad so I don't know if he can even get mad but I don't want him to be mad so I have to try and say goodbye.

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Today, on my last day here, I went over to the pond and Jeremy was there waiting for me. I knew he'd be there to see me off because he's such a good friend but it was nice that he was already ashore waving his flipper at me. I waved back and ran up to him and he put his head on my lap and we sat there for a while and then he nuzzled my tummy and licked my face and he swam away and down into the dark part of the pond and I didn't see him after that. I cried for a while and then I got in the big moving van and Mom told the driver to drive away and we did. I looked back at the pond and I said goodbye again really quiet but I knew Jeremy heard me because he flipped out of the water over the bridge just for me as we turned the corner and drove away.

I hope he finds a new friend to play with soon.