I leaned in to wedge the dry erase board directly between my video gaming chair and the suitcase grandma gave me for graduation. All had to be readjusted before I could close the trunk. Maybe that’s why I didn’t hear Josie come up behind me.
“Boo,” she giggled. Messy blond strands fluttered across her red punch-stained face. Being the awesome big sister that I am, I faked a startled jump and hit my head on the top of the trunk for real.
The thud made her eyes go wide. “You kay, Sissy?”
“I’m okay,” I said, rubbing my head. “All ready to head off to college.”
Over the last few weeks, many had attempted to prepare me for what I should feel. Excitement. Pride. Anxiousness. Fear. No one mentioned loss.
Josie helped me shut the trunk and hopped into my arms. “I go wiff you.”
“No, no, Josie. You need to stay here. What would Turtle think if you took off?” I patted her ever-present stuffed animal companion on the head. I did so carefully. Turtle was so worn, pieced back together over and over again with nothing but button thread and love.
She brought Turtle up to her ear and nodded. “Turrel says, ‘Coming for you’.”
I laughed. “You don’t have to go with me. Mom and Dad are already there. I’m meeting them.” I dangled the keys in front of her. “They went ahead to clear up all the paperwork on the apartment.”
I kissed her on the cheek and set her on the sidewalk, her pouty lips ready to quiver at any second. Her hands balled into tiny, furious fists.
“Aw, now, Rosie Josie, don’t give me that sad face. I’ll be back here at Halloween to take you trick or treating.” I looked up to see Grandma waving from the porch. “Grandma’s looking for you. See she’s got a super fun day planned for you and Turtle.”
“NO!” she stomped. “THEY are coming for you.”
Thanks for indulging me in this little piece of random writing. Check out more college-bound excerpts from these YA authors. Also, WELCOME BACK MELISSA PEARL – check out her adventures in China!