I usually would listen to music to get over my feelings, but not this time; it wouldn’t do any good. I wanted to, but I was afraid that if I turned on the radio that I’d hear all the songs Sally and I would rock out to on the long, desert dry backroads that reflect the sunlight so much it hurts your eyes. I was afraid that the song Trey and I first danced to would play. I remember that night so well. Under the dark sky, we danced with a thousand stars shining like the twinkle in his eyes. If that song played, I would’ve lost it. I didn’t want to cry, not yet. I wanted to stay strong and get through this on my own since it seems like the people who were close to me didn’t care at all. Sally and Trey only cared about themselves.
Sally wouldn’t have met Trey if I hadn’t dated him. He was all mine--so I thought.
As I rested and dwelled on thoughts that made me want to cry, like the good times the three of us had together, I decided it would be best if I let go. I arose from my spot on my bed and sulked over to my royal blue, worn picture box. I opened the battered lid and rummaged through all the pictures there are of me, Sally, and Trey. I found the one I was looking for and sealed the lid on the box.
I shoved the picture in my pocket and left my room to go find a lighter. I discovered a lighter and some newspaper to start a fire. I’ve built up a fire before, so many times, but this time I was paranoid. It had to be perfect for its purpose.
I patrolled the yard looking for some sticks and dry leaves. When I got enough, I made my way to the pit with the photo still in my pocket. I stacked the leaves and newspaper in the middle and placed the thin, brown sticks around it, teepee style. I then lit the fire.
I stuck my hand under the dry, fried, orange and brown leaves carefully so that I didn’t disturb the twigs. I rolled my thumb over the switch to ignite the lighter, and it clicked. Some of the leaves and newspaper quickly caught, and others slowly burnt, turning black. The fire was started, and I got some bigger logs to stack around the outside of the teepee. Once I prepared the fire, I took a step back and pulled out the photo.
It was the three of us, the most recent picture we took together. Trey was kissing me on the cheek and staring right at the camera with his sapphire blue eyes. They are so bold--I’m going to miss them. I was smiling big. My eyes were shut and slightly blushing; I was acting shy as he kissed me. Sally was to my left, sticking her cow-like tongue out and making the “barf” signal by pointing at her tongue. Her face is all scrunched up and squinty. Behind us the Fourth of July sky is dark with bursts of red, white, and blue fireworks going up in the night sky. I loved this picture when we took it. It was my favorite, but now it was time for me to let go.
I admired the picture one last time, taking long deep breaths to hold back my tears. I didn’t want to let go, but it was the only way I was ever going to be myself again. I couldn’t hold my tears back anymore. I let them roll down my reddened cheeks like rain sliding down a window. I then severed the picture and immediately regretted it. I still cared for them, and I still loved them both.
I reviewed the photo again; it now had a tear down the middle between me and Sally. The tear looked like waves crashing, but not as beautiful. I felt like that symbolized how Sally and I’s friendship was over, because it really was. She had crossed the line. The picture was now bent, and the glossy film coating made it look scaley. I decided not to burn the whole thing. Trey texts me everyday to make sure I’m okay, and I still love him for that.
I flung the side with Sally on it into the fire. I was still crying, because it hurt to let go.
-by Abby Perdue