I gave my sweet Karen the last hug I could. I cradled her in my arms like it was the first night we met. She reset her head peacefully on my shoulder, as if it was just a normal day. But I could see the tears building up in her eyes. I could see how she had to bottle up every ounce of strength in her body just to fight off the tears. She was trying to be strong for me.
She let go, slowly peeling away from my body. With trembling lips, she whispered, "I love you," in my ear. We knew we shouldn't say good bye. That would only make it harder to let go. Her high heels clicked against the pavement as she made her way back to her car. She hopped in and joined her family. The next thing I knew, they were all waving good bye to me through their rolled down windows.
Then they were gone. My first true love had left me standing here alone. I didn't know what to do. How could she be gone, just like that?
I ran up to my room and slammed the door shut. I opened up the drawer belonging to the nightstand next to my bed. I pulled out a picture of her and held it close to me. I felt like it was all I had left of her.
Instantly, every single memory I had of Karen rushed through my mind. I remembered the countless nights we'd sneak out into the woods behind my house. We'd sit down on two logs I'd arranged just for us. We were always afraid of getting caught. Somehow, we never did.
I used to tell her so many jokes. They weren't really funny, but she'd laugh anyway. We would bring cans of soda and stay up all night out there. We carved things like "Karen and Logan forever," or "Forever young," into those logs.
My Karen was so beautiful. Not only on the outside, but on the inside too. She had a big heart. She was a basketball player for our school team and a pretty good student.
But how could she just be gone? I know I'm only 16, but I can feel something deep between us. It'd been two solid years now that I'd known and loved her. She had meant the world to me.
I remember the night I met her. I was in ninth grade and she was in eighth. Our school was having a Valentine's Day dance. Kids from all over town crowded into the gym that was decorated with red and pink streamers. Music blasted through the air.
I was on the dance floor with a group of my friends. It was getting late and I saw Karen standing alone in the corner. She was texting someone on her phone. I knew I'd seen her at basketball games before.
I wanted to introduce myself, but I was shy. I knew that if I ever wanted to meet her, I'd have to get past it.
With my head tilted down and butterflies in my stomach, I trailed over to Karen. "Hi," I mumbled, trying to force a smile through all the nerves.
"Hey," she said. I could instantly tell she wasn't shy at all. Her sweet smile stretched from cheek to cheek and her eyes sparkled.
I felt a knot growing in my stomach, though. What if she didn't want to dance with me?
"I'm Logan . . ." my voice trailed off.
"I saw you over here alone . . ." I gulped. "Do you want to dance with me?"
The knot inside my stomach grew larger. Her smiled disappeared and she stared at the ground.
"I'm waiting for my friend Alex to get here. He was going to dance with me . . ." She looked at her phone, avoiding any eye contact with me.
I kept telling myself to just say, "Okay." But I couldn't. I might never get this opportunity again with Karen. "Do you want to dance with me until he shows up?" I blurted out.
Her smile came back and the knot in my stomach began to untangle. "Sure." I grabbed her hand and led her to the dance floor.
I can't remember much more about that night. I was so lost in her. When kids started clearing out of the gym, I wrote down my number and gave it to her. I wanted to see her again. I hoped more than anything that she would call.
Now she was moving away from me.
I didn't want to let go of Logan and get in the car. I felt like I was losing everything when I lost Logan.
I didn't want to move to New York. I didn't care whether or not my dad wanted a job there. Let me tell you, we were doing just fine in Virginia.
The whole ride to our new house, I struggled to fight back tears. I took out my iPod and blasted music through my headphones. It didn't help though. All the songs on there were about love. I could relate to them and sing along when I was with Logan. But I hated them now.
I knew I needed to get Logan off my mind. There was nothing I could do to make my parents turn around and drive me back there. I wouldn't be able to see him until next summer. That was almost a whole year away. But how was I supposed to stop thinking about someone who I used to spend every waking moment thinking about?
I still remember the school dance we met at. I'd never really noticed Logan until that night. He seemed like the kind of person that usually fade back into the crowd.
He asked me to dance with him until Alex showed up. Once we started talking, I hoped that Alex wouldn't even come at all. With Logan by my side, I felt like I didn't have a care in the world.
At the end of the night, he gave me his number. I called him the next week. Every day, I dialed his number and tried to press call, but I always pulled myself back. It took me a week to find the courage to call him. Sitting here in the car, I began to wish I'd have just ripped up his number and thrown it away as soon as I got home. If I hadn't of called him, we wouldn't be going through all this pain right now. I wouldn't be missing him so much.
Once we were settled down and moved in to our new house, I spent most of my time alone in my room. My heart hurt too much to do anything else. I would read or draw. Anything to keep my mind off Logan.
Besides, it would be almost a year before I get to see him again. And I would be starting at a new school in just a week. I had other things to worry about.
More than anything, I just wanted to go home. I know my parent say this is our home now, but I don't belong here. I belong back in Virginia. With Logan.