1 - Best Friends
Her cold hands grasp the envelope as her heart nervously pounds in her ear. She is too afraid to break the seal. The icy air hurts her lungs as she takes a deep breath. The extreme cold begins to creep over her as she stands in the street frozen, unable to move in her sleep shorts and snow boots.
Slamming the mailbox shut, she begins to run down the street until she reaches one of the largest houses on the street, four houses away. It is a three-story brick home that almost looks like a small version of a castle. Her best friend since fifth grade, Tucker Lancaster, lives here.
She stops at Tucker’s mailbox and opens it to see if they have already gotten the mail. It is empty! She glances over toward the five-car garage to see if his car is home. She is not sure since it is Saturday. Yes! He is here! His blue Jeep sits parked just outside the garage next to his parent’s two cars. They never park in the garages; those are for Mr. Lancaster’s collector cars.
She runs toward the front door at break neck speed excited to see if Tucker got his letter too. She opens the door and steps inside realizing she forgot to knock. Oh well. She does not care. She is like a sister to Tucker. They had become friends years ago when one of the other kids that lived on their street pushed her down from her bike and Tucker defended her. They had been inseparable since.
She races up the staircase forgetting to shut the door to the outside behind her. She hears Mr. Lancaster’s voice coming from the kitchen. “Shut the door Chasity! What is the rush?”
She quickly turns around to run back down the stairs, noticing she tracked some snow in from her boots. She removes her shoes clumsily as she tries to close the door at the same time. “Sorry. Did Tucker get any mail?”
She sees him smile at her. “I slipped it under his door.”
She throws her shoes down not caring that they are blocking the front door and runs back up the stairs. Bursting into Tucker’s room, she notices he is still sleeping. She can barely see his brown hair peeking out of the covers. “Tucker, wake up!” She bends over picking up his matching envelope feeling excited they both came at the same time.
Tucker grumbles as he stretches in bed. “Why?”
Chasity sits down next to him holding the envelopes next to each other to compare them. “They came. Should we open them?” She feels nervous wondering what their letters say.
She can feel his body warmth as he sits up behind her slightly looking around her arm to see what she is talking about. “No. We should just stare at them all day and wonder if we got in or not.” His breath smells horrible as it reaches her nose.
“Gross, Tuck!” She pushes him with her elbow away from her. “Go brush your teeth, it smells like something died in there.”
His arms wrap around her and suddenly she feels the breeze as her body begins to fall. He has tackled her off his bed and they hit the cold wooden floor as she lets out a small yelp. He blows in her face causing her to almost gag. “Ewe! Get off!” She fights to get out of his arms and he rolls off her laughing. “You’re so nasty.” She gets up finding the two envelopes she dropped during his tackle.
“I’m going to brush them.” She hears Tucker say as he pushes her upper back making her fall face down on his bed. She is so use to him picking on her, she does not even respond to his actions. She just rolls on to her back holding the envelopes above her head so that she can look at them side by side again.
“We totally got in; I don’t know why you are so worried.” She can hear his words through all the toothpaste foaming out of his mouth. She briefly looks over noticing he is shirtless in the door frame of his restroom before resuming to look at the envelopes.
“I hope you're right.” She is so nervous. They had been planning to go to college together since seventh grade. This is the last semester of their senior year of high school and they had been waiting for these letters all year. Florida State was where Chasity’s parents had attended college and her whole life had been surrounded with the idea that it was the only option for her. She and Tucker made a pact to go together.
She hears Tucker spitting and running water, so she knows he is finished. “Which one is mine?” He asks walking toward her.
She sits up and hands him the one with his name. “This one.”
“What is the plan here? Open at the same time?”
“Alright.” She agrees looking nervously into his green eyes before finding the flap of the envelope to open it.
“1. 2. 3.” They both rip open their envelopes and begin to read silently when they pull out their letters.
Chasity begins to feel excited as she notices the first word of her letter.
“I didn’t get in.” Tucker sounds sad as he looks defeated sitting down next to her on the bed.
“What?” She feels shocked and her excitement disappears quickly. She pulls his letter from his hand and reads the first line. It is identical to hers. He begins to laugh and she pushes him as hard as she can, making him fall to the floor. “That wasn’t funny!”
“I told you we would get in.” He stands up from the floor and she can hear him shuffling through a drawer as she reads the letter. “Let’s celebrate.” She looks up at him as he is slipping into a sweatshirt.
“How?” She can’t help but feel so excited about their news.
“We could go play in the snow before it melts.” It had just snowed overnight. They did not often get snow here in North Carolina, but when it did snow it never lasted more than a couple of days. “I don’t think it snows much in Florida, so we better take advantage while we can.”
She smiles thinking about how much she loves the snow. “I have to go change. I was too excited and nervous about the letter that I didn’t even put clothes on yet.” She tugs at the bottom of her extremely short shorts remembering how cold it felt as she ran down the street to his house. She does not even have on a coat, just a long sleeve shirt that does not match her shorts.
He throws a dirty sock in her face making her nose curl up from the smell. “Then hurry up.”
“Why do you always have to be so annoying?” She throws one of the pillows from the bed at him. “Come to my house when you get ready.” She hugs her letter up against her chest as she leaves him to walk back home.
As Tucker walks towards Chasity’s house, he sees a moving truck at the house next to Chasity’s. He wonders who could be moving in because that house had been empty for almost a year. Many of the other houses on their street that had sold over the past few years where purchased by families with young kids. There were few people Chasity and Tucker’s age on their street anymore. As he draws closer, he can see a beautiful blonde girl with a messy bun on top of her head pulling a suitcase behind her toward the house. He feels his heart pumping as he watches her hips in loose fitting jeans sway. She has on a top that barely meets the top of her jeans and her stomach shows slightly as she walks. Is that a bellybutton ring? He cannot help but feel attracted to her. She looks about his age and he wonders if she is a senior too.
He debates on going over to say hi, but he suddenly feels an icy wet burn on his face. He looks over and Chasity’s tangled, stringy brown hair is flying behind her as she runs smiling and making another snowball. He scoops up some snow and runs toward her. She disappears around the side of her house and he knows she is going to the back yard. He turns his direction toward the other side of her house hoping he can run into her in the back yard.
As he peaks around the cold bricks of her house to the back yard, he does not see Chasity anywhere. He knows she should be here by now. He hears snow crunch behind him causing him to abruptly turn around and all he sees is white as he feels the sting of being hit directly in the face. He hates being hit in the face and now she has done it twice. He can hear Chasity’s laugh moving but he cannot see good with all the snow smashed in his eye sockets.
Wiping his eyes, he hears her behind him. He turns around throwing his snowball as hard as he can. It hits her in the back of the head splattering all in her hair causing her to screech. He quickly scoops up another snowball and chases after her.
Chasity slips and falls as she tries to turn the corner of the house hitting the ground face first. It causes them both to laugh and Tucker finally catches up to her as she begs for mercy crawling on her hands and knees trying to get away. “No! Don’t. Please?” He stuffs the snowball down the back of her shirt and she screams before kicking his feet out from underneath him. He falls next to her as they continue to laugh.
“Truce! Truce!” Tucker stands up rubbing his butt from the pain of falling. He notices movement in the corner of his eye and looks next door seeing the blonde girl with the messy bun again through a window. She bends over reaching in a box and her butt looks perfect. He cannot help but feel attracted to her again. He suddenly feels icy cold burn on his back breaking his eyes from the perfect view.
“Hey, I said truce.” He shakes the snow out of the back of his shirt as he turns his eyes back to the blonde’s hips. “Have you met your new neighbors?”
“You mean have I met the new hot blonde you’re checking out right now?”
He looks back at Chasity seeing her brush the snow from her clothes and he smiles. “Yeah. That is what I mean.”
“My parents invited them for dinner last night because they weren’t unpacked yet and mom thought they would starve if we didn’t feed them.”
“Why didn’t you invite me?” He is a little offended.
“I thought you were still dating Marci?”
“No. She was too needy.” Chasity begins to walk towards the back of the house and he follows looking back one more time at the new girl through the window. She is busy unwrapping dishes in the kitchen. Her face turns slightly so he can see it better and her profile is cute. “So, what is her name?”
“Stormy? That is hot. What is she like?”
“Snobby and seemed a little...um what is the word...” She turns facing him as they arrive to the back door. “Oh! Bitchy.” She smiles at him sarcastically. “Perfect for you.”
She never liked his girlfriends. Or any other girls for that fact. Chasity only hung out with guys. No one really thought of her as a girl. She never wore make up and hated dresses and heels. He does not put much faith in her description of Stormy. “Is she a junior?”
“No. She is in our class.”
He gets excited she is a senior too. He hates dating younger girls. “You have to introduce me Monday.”
“Awesome.” Chasity sounds sarcastic. “Can’t wait.” She shoves a Dr. Pepper in his hands from the fridge. “One of these days you will have to get a new system of meeting girls because I can’t keep providing you with your monthly flavors.”
“Monthly flavors?” He does not understand what she means.
“That is what all the guys at school are calling your girls. You have never dated a girl longer than a month and you have had a girlfriend constantly for the past three years.”
“That isn’t true.” He tries to think of the last time he was not seeing a girl and he cannot think of when it was other than this week. “I haven’t had one all week.”
She laughs at him shaking her head. “You’re a dirt bag.” She turns to leave the room.
“So, you will help me, right?” He moves in front of her so she can see his begging face which causes her to stop. “Please?” He can tell she is annoyed as her brown eyes narrow so; he begs more. “Please help your best friend get hooked up with your new hot neighbor?”
She rolls her eyes at him before stepping around him. “Fine. But only if you can beat me.” He smiles at her challenge before following her to the basement to play video games.