I watch her slowly tear open the letter, biting her bottom lip so hard I swore she drew blood. The anticipation was heavy, so many emotions rushing around. Watching her amber eyes light up, my mind shoots back to that day in the playground when we were 7.
She said laugh and squealing and the same time, as I chased her around the playground with one of the two matching water guns. Running after her through the jungle gym,
“I got ya’ now!”
Squirting her with streams of water. I loved being with her, my very best friend. Never could I imagine us apart, joined at the hip we were, all the time and I wouldn’t ask for it to be any other way.
After about two hours of playing, we were on our way to my Mum who was in the kitchen, for a sit down, she falls. I run, with no hesitation, I run to her.
“Are ya’ okay Kennie? Don’t cry, please.”
Stiffening up so that tears don’t dare escape because she wouldn’t ever cry, not when people can actually see her.
“I’m fine, NJ, it’s just a little scrape.
She always called me NJ.
“Are you sure? I have to make sure ya’ aren’t hurt.”
Looking at me with the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen, she smiles.
“Are we going to be best friends forever?”
“Of course, how could we not be?”
She sticks out her pinky to me.
“Together forever, you promise?”
I wrap my pinky around hers.
“Ni, did ya’ hear me? I got in!” Her excited cries interrupted my nostalgia. “Tha’ts great Kennie! I’m so happy for you!” In which, I was, don’t get me wrong. She’s finally going to America, for school, something she’s always wanted, to see the rest of the world, what’s outside of Ireland. But, she’s going to America. She won’t be here for me to greet when I come back home on the rare days the boys and I get a break, it won’t be the same, it won’t feel the same. My best friend of 12 years, is leaving me. Listen to me, I sound so selfish, but I can’t help it.
“This is going to be amazing! Now, I get to see what you and the boys are always raving about, and I get to live it! Now, you can come visit ME in America, oh my gosh this is amazing. I have to tell your mum!” She took off, running from my bedroom to the kitchen where my mother was, their bond was unbelievable, you would think she’s my sister. My Mum & I were always there for her, when she didn’t have her own mother to run to, since that’s who she was usually running from.
“Niall, can you believe it? America! I always knew you could do it McKenzie, you’re a brilliant girl.” My proud mother spoke as I joined them in the kitchen. Made my heart glad to see the both of them so happy, so I had no choice but to force a smile myself because, who am I to bring this joy from her? Something I know she hadn’t felt in years. “We have to go shopping now, I can’t go there with the same ol’ clothes I’ve always been wearing!” She beamed with excitement. “Come with me, would ya’ Niall? I’ll need your opinion.” No is the first response that pops in my mind, I refuse to help you out of my life. “Sure, we can go today if ya’ like.” I can’t believe I’m letting her slip away like this, watching her fall out of my grasp in a way, I’ve always protected her, always held her close, always loved her when she couldn’t love herself… Now what’s going to become of this?