www.whyville.net Nov 2, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

From A Distance: Part 1

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Author's Note: This is the start of a short series, with an undetermined amount of parts. This story is about the life of Derek and Sophie. The story switches point of view so you can see the story from the world of both of them, and get a feel for each of their personalities. In each part there will be some of Derek and some of Sophie. Enjoy!


Sophie gave the best hugs. They were soft and gentle but had enough of a squeeze to know she cared. It was hard to believe this was the last one I'd be getting.

"We'll visit," she managed to squeak out through the sobs, "I promise."

It was so hard to see her like this, tears pouring down her face, harder than the rain. We were soaking wet now, covered in tears and rain, standing in the middle of her driveway, hugging and never wanting to let go. I was trying hard to be the strong one, and not cry, for Sophie. But she made it hard, harder than I ever thought it could be to let her go.

"Soph, you coming?" a shout from her van broke our embrace.

"I love you." A kiss, a figure sprinting toward a white van, a wave goodbye, and that was the last of her. I'm only a seventeen year-old boy, how could I be this in love? I thought she was pretty, I never thought I would end up head over heels in love with her.

That day my first love left me standing in a driveway, disoriented, unable to move. A few minutes after she left I remember getting in my car, but I don't remember where I was going. I found myself at our favorite tree, the one smack dab in the middle of the park that Sophie loved "just because". I sat and cried until the tears could come no more and then suddenly I was home, and Sophie was gone.

She promised she would call, and at first she did, always pressing *67 before dialing so I couldn't call her back. In the back of my mind I knew why, but I just pretended I had no idea, and went along with the polite small talk and awkward silences like it was normal.

We used to talk about everything, there wasn't anything that couldn't be discussed between us. But now, the conversation was forced, we talked about school, the weather, anything that could fill up ten minutes or until one of us "had to go". As fake as they were, I loved those phone calls. I tried to remember her face, her smile and match it with her voice, and sometimes if I closed my eyes it felt like she was there. The phone calls came less and less, and soon not at all. I told myself it was because she knew it wouldn't work out, that she was doing it for me, but it's not always easy to lie to yourself.


"SOPHIE! IT'S DINNER TIME!" I wished people would stop banging on my door and screaming like this.

I pulled my headphones out of my ears and walked slowly down the stairs to that great big bundle of joy I call a family. I hated how cheerful they all were. They all know how unhappy I am here, they all know how stupid this place is. Yet they continue in their cheerfulness, pretending that everything is fine, that I'm fine. My mother is the stupid shrink of the family and my father is the keep the peace man. My sister just sits there smiling like the little girl she is, and crying her little baby tears whenever arguments arise, which is often.

"Sophie," as soon as my mother said my name in that stupid motherly tone of voice, I knew what was coming, "Honey, why are you so upset lately? I just don't think it's good for you to sit in your room and listen to music like that all day. Shouldn't you be getting out, getting some sunshine or something?" I was right, I always am. I heard this speech all the time, and it was getting old. She knew why I was upset, and she knew I wasn't happy here. I wished she would just stop being so annoying and let me live my life. Just like all the other times, I just ate my green beans and pretended not to hear her.

"Honey? If this is about Derek . . . honey . . .? Maybe next summer we can visit. I promise, whatever you want . . . whatever makes you happy." Yeah, whatever makes me happy. If I got whatever made me happy I wouldn't be in Florida in the first place. She just stared at me with those sad eyes, those eyes that made me so angry. Every time I see those eyes I want to punch her, but instead I just yell.

"Mom, this ISN'T about Derek, and there's NOTHING you can do to make me happy, except LEAVE ME ALONE!" I didn't care how mean I sounded, I wanted her to feel the sadness she made me feel when she made me leave Ohio, my home.

These kinds of arguments always happened in my house and we never got anywhere so I didn't know why we kept having them. Soon I would return to my room and drown out my thoughts with loud music and do my homework to pass the time. And everything would be ok, and then we would start all over again tomorrow and have the same "discussion", as my mom liked to call it.

I used to care. Back when we lived in Ohio. I used to be the kind of girl that played soccer and had tons of friends and liked dandelions and dancing in the rain. But then I came here, and I lost Derek. I couldn't imagine life without him. So life as I knew it ended there, and I became the girl that doesn't care.


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