Suddenly.  I was supposed to write something that started with “suddenly”.  I am half way there, only two thousand more words to go.  And I have been on this prompt for two weeks now.  Usually I go home, and pop out a two thousand word essay in the day it was assigned.  It is easy for me, it is my specialty.  But I am introspective. I don’t tell stories through my writing.  Sometimes I allude to my story but I like to be vague.  I like to keep people guessing, and it is easy for me.  It comes naturally.

But suddenly that word just screams action.  And I can’t write it.  I just can’t, so I worked around it.  I was smarter than that, and maybe I am cheating, and as they always say, I am only cheating myself.  But I have been stuck on this prompt for much to long, and I have been waiting and waiting for an idea to come my way to write about but Suddenly has just been sitting there, blocking me from any creative writing or thinking and I have turned to the evil.  I have turned to YouTube.  And texting.  And, at my weakest hour, OneDirection.  Actually, at every hour.  Come on people, lets face it they are way too hot to be ignored.  But this is very unlike me.  I am the girl who manages to still seem cool because I listen to old heavy metal rocker bands and pretend to be a bad ass to try to get around the fact I have no idea who any celebrity is.  But now I know the names of five celebrities, and I didn’t even learn their names in the New York Times.  I am a disgrace to my family, and all because of the word suddenly.

Damn Suddenly! I mean most of the time it only seems sudden to one side of the story.  A woman asks for a divorce, and that seems sudden to the man, but really the woman has been thinking about it for a long time and it has been gnawing on her for forever.  And the is how things happen my life.  They happen slowly, and they start with a slow drip, something so slow I don’t even notice and the ripples are so small that they don’t disrupt me, but they spread infinitely far, and the drip speeds up and it is like the drip on the faucet right next to where I sit in science and i can no longer concentrate on what is important and i start to think about how much water has dripped out in the time I was sitting there, and whether i should go and turn it off, and then I get yelled at by the teacher, and after  all that the dripping still continues.  And then you know that it is real and it is no longer inside of your head and you know that it is only a matter of time before it turns into a torrential downpour and then a hurricane, and then all that is left to do is shut yourself inside of a hotel, hoping that the hurricane you created won’t find you.  And so really nothing is sudden.  At least for me.

And maybe that’s why I can’t write about something being sudden because nothing has ever happened to me that I didn’t know was going to happen.  I knew everything.  Every once in a while an outcome occurred that i hadn’t expected, but I still knew it was a possibility and I had prepared for it.  I remember the first time I thought something was sudden.

I was in sixth grade and I was happy.  I had a best friend.  Her name was Rose she was an odd child, and I looked up to her for that.  She was the kind of girl who would pretend to be a wizard and wear the one of her many rain boots on the days when it wasn’t raining.  And she would do things that she liked because she didn’t care what other people thought and I wasn’t that kind of person.  I was the kind of person who would dance in the rain in my bikini if I knew nobody was watching.  I loved life and I loved experimenting and I loved following my heart wherever it led, but I wasn’t willing to do that in front of people at the time.  I used to sing in my backyard and babysit the girl next door just so I could play in the swing sets.

And Rose taught me how to be like her and I loved her for that.  I remember the day I became her friend.  She was walking up the alleyway in front of me.  She was wearing clear rain boots that had little ice cream cones and hamburgers on them.  She was eating her favorite green coat that I found out she had bought in Seattle the first time she had visited.  She was wearing blue skinny jeans, and she was humming.  I ran to catch up with her, not wanting to waste the opportunity to meet a girl my age who lived on the same street.  And we were friends instantly.  It was like we were in kindergarten again.  She asked me if I wanted to help her fix up a little shed in her backyard into a tree house and I said yes.  I ended up getting home at ten thirty, even though it was a school night and she lived two houses away from me.

She lived in that beautiful house with the spiraling tower at the top for six months.  During that time I spent at least an hour every day at her house, usually after dinner.  I never had a sleepover and I only had dinner there once.  We had boiled Top Ramen because her parents were at church.  It was probably the oddest relationship we ever had.

Then one day I was about to walk to her house and knock on her front door like I always did, and I saw a pile on my front porch.  It consisted of a big wooden basket, a table-cloth, and a huge junior mint book.  The evidence of a friendship.  The wooden basket was the one I made the year before, it held a toy top, a paint scraper, some nails, and the biggest mess of a ball of yarn I had ever seen.  The tablecloth was yellow, we had used it as a wall, since we had run out of paint after only painting three of the four walls in her shed.  And the junior mints book.  It was a party favor, and we had kept a record of our lives in it.  We had assigned jobs, recorded our days, who we liked, who we thought was the hottest guy in our class, and our favorite teachers.  I picked up the book.  We had left the front page blank.  It now wrote in Pink highlighter:

“I am going back to Colorado.  Here are some of your things.  I had fun.”

And the first thing I realized was that she had kept my pink highlighter.

And it seemed sudden then.  And it seemed blunt.  And at first I was just shocked and then I remembered a conversation we had a month before.  She had said she would be leaving to go back to Colorado that summer, but I never imagined it like this.  I thought it would be filled with hugs and tears and I few awkward glances at her parents who I had never said more than the words “is rose home” to.  But it was three short sentences written with my pink highlighter that she never returned.

And so I didn’t cry, and I still haven’t.  I haven’t cried for her yet.  But still two years afterwords I will walk out the front door thinking I am going to her house, but then I keep on walking.  And sometimes I go down to Taylor dock to watch the sunset and sometimes I continue to the Village Green.  And sometimes I take out my phone and start texting someone, asking them if they want to go get some ice cream.  And I know that she isn’t thinking about me because it was probably easier for her.  Because it wasn’t sudden for her.  She had her plane tickets booked back after the first week they got here.  It was a temporary thing.  It was a job in-between two jobs.  They had kept their old house and the pink house with spiraling towers was just a stopping point.  And so it wasn’t sudden for them.  It was only sudden for me.

Like everything there is always two sides of the story.  And it is impossible to have a story that starts with two suddenlys.  And I always like to be the one to know when the surprise is coming.

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