I have always been a little jealous of Amelia. Her family dynamic has always been something I wish I had. Her parents have always been there for her and her brother Adam. No matter what, they were always there for school plays, games, graduations, everything. But on top of it, they did the same with me. Mr and Mrs. LeBlanc have been more parents to me than my own. Mrs. LeBlanc and Amelia were even there when I got into drugs, my parents were oblivious.
When I was fourteen, my aunt on my moms side passed away from breast cancer. It hit me really hard because I looked up to her growing up. Before I met Amelia and her parents, my aunt was the person I called. She got sick when I turned ten, and got sick very fast. I started smoking weed but it didn't numb the pain enough, so my doctor eventually prescribed me Xanax when I was in the hospital for trying to kill myself. So, for a while from the age of fifteen to sixteen, I was constantly taking Xanax until one day, Mrs. LeBlanc found me passed out on my bathroom floor one night and rushed me to the hospital. Due to my parents hardly being home, I was too high to remember how much I had taken to realize I took too much at once and accidentally overdosed. My doctor immediately took me off of them, but I still have a bottle left. No one knows I still have some left I hide it in a hollowed out book on my book shelf.
Today is the last day of exams, thank god. I finish my English exam with twenty minutes to spare. Once they let us go, I quickly grab my bag and leave. As I'm walking down the hallway, all I can think about is this summer. Amelia and I are going up to my family cottage up north for a week. It's just going to be the two of us this year. We have the whole thing planned like swimming, tanning, kayaking, and all sorts of other things. I'm so excited. I finally get to the big tree outside where Amelia and I agreed to meet.
"I'm surprised I even finished that exam. I just hope to god I don't have to do it next year because I want my ass walking across that stage on Tuesday," Amelia says which makes me laugh.
"Oh trust me, I'm just so happy all this is over," I reply finally getting to her.
"That reminds me, did you finish writing your speech?" She asks.
"Almost. Remind me, how did I get picked for giving this damn speech?" I ask as we get into her car. We both drive, but we do shifts so one person isn't always driving, so I do one week and she does the other. I drive a black 2017 Honda SUV, and she drives a silver 2009 Honda Accord.
"Because you're an amazing writer. I knew the second you did that essay competition you would win," she says turning her car on and pulling out of the lot.
"I'm just so nervous," I say playing with my hands.
"Don't worry you will be amazing. Changing the subject, how did your parents take the idea of you taking the year off?" she asks.
"That involves them coming home and giving a shit about me for once," I say as we head towards Amelia's house. "Fuck, I'm so glad high school is done," I say.
"You and me both. Oh that reminds me, mom and dad are throwing us a surprise party so act surprised when we get to my place," she says.
"Amelia! Why would you ruin it," I say looking at her in disbelief that she ruined their surprise. Big meany.
"What? I heard them talking this morning. I was going to tell you before the exam but I didn't want to give you any distraction going into the exam," she says driving down the street towards her house.
"You're horrible," I say and she just shrugs her shoulders.
Once we pull into Amelia's driveway, we see a lot of cars two blocks down.
" Subtle," I say looking at her which causes us both to laugh.
We get out of the car and head to the door. My heart starts beating faster and my palms start getting clammy. Breathe Karlie, everything is okay. I say to myself and take a deep breathe. Before I know it, Amelia is by my side and grabs my hand. I look up at her and she gives me a small, reassuring smile. We walk up to the front door and we can hear faint whispers and shushing, which makes us laugh.
We open the door and everyone jumps out and yells "surprise!"
I look around and see Amelia's aunts, uncles, all their children and her parents. It doesn't take long before I see a big banner hanging which reads: CONGRATULATIONS AMELIA AND KARLIE!
"What is this?" Amelia asks before I was able to.
"My two babies are graduating on Tuesday, I'm so happy for you two girls. You worked so hard for this," Amelia's mom says enveloping us in a hug.
"Thanks mom," we each say as she hugs us individually.
I look around and I'm caught by surprised when I see not one, but BOTH my parents.
"I hope it's okay they are here baby," Amelia's mom says to me.
"Yeah it's okay, I just didn't expect them to be here," I say looking back at her.
"Go see them, they said they couldn't stay too long today," she replies.
"Shocking," I reply heading to my parents.
"Hey Kar, we are so proud of you," my mom says giving me a hug and I just roll my eyes.
"Here peanut, congratulations," my dad says hugging me then hands me an envelope.
"What's this?" I ask taking the envelope.
"$500 as a congratulations, your dad and I also picked up the dress you wanted at the boutique. It's waiting for you at home," my mom says with a smile on her face that ALMOST feels genuine.
"Whoa, thank you guys. Are you going to be there Tuesday?" I ask.
They don't say anything though, they just look at each other. Yep saw that coming.
"Oh," I say hanging my head.
"It's just, we both have big cases right now. I'm leaving tomorrow for LA and your father is going to Vegas tonight for his," my mom says.
"It's fine, thanks you guys. I'm going to get something to eat," I say looking down at the envelope.
"Okay sweetie, we need to head out anyways. Congratulations again," my mom says hugging me and I can feel the tears stinging in my eyes.
Once we say our goodbyes, they head out and I head to the bathroom. I clean up the tears that managed to fall down my face and just look at myself in the mirror. Pathetic. I'm surprised they even came, but a part of me wishes they didn't. I take a few deep breathes to calm myself down a little before heading back out to the party.
"There you are. Where did they go?" Amelia asks as I step out into the hallway startling me a little.
"Where do you think?" I say looking down at my feet.
"I'm sorry," she says but quickly changes the subject. "Well their loss, anyways, mom and dad want to give us our gifts!"
"They got me something?" I ask looking at her.
"Yes of course they did," she says as we head back out to the party.
When we get back out there, everyone is standing around two chairs beautifully decorated. Both have a white cloth, but one chair has a purple sash which is Amelia's favourite colour and the other has a blue sash for me. I'm so lucky to have Amelia and her family in my life. I don't know where I would be without them.
"There's my girls," Amelia's mom says as she drags us to the chairs and Amelia and I sit on our chairs.
Amelia's mom then goes around behind us, and says, "thank you everyone for coming. Today, both my babies closed a chapter in their lives and are moving into the big world. Amelia, Karlie, we are all so proud of you two and how far you two have come. Congratulations. Cheers!"
We all clink glasses to her toast and the kids clink their cups. Mr. LeBlanc then brings over with two little boxes.
"You didn't have to get me anything," I say to him as he hands me my box.
"We insist," he says kissing me on the forehead.
Both Amelia and I look at each other with smiles on our faces, before opening the boxes at the same time. Inside are two keys in each.
"I don't understand. Is this some sort of scavenger hunt?" Amelia asks making her parents laugh.
"No, we all are chipping in and we are going to renovate the basement and make it into an apartment for you two girls," Amelia's mom Sarah says.
"We?" I ask with my eyes practically bugging out of my head.
"Yes, the two of us and your parents," Amelia's dad says. I just look over to Amelia and we jump up and hug each other in excitement before we go and hug her parents thanking them profusely.
"Wait when is this happening?" I ask.
"We are hiring people to do it while you two are up North. Which reminds me, you two need to go for two weeks," Sarah says causing Amelia and I to squeal in excitement.
After her and I calm down a bit, we all have cake and hang out with Amelia's family. I'm so happy they all came. Amelia's parents are very close with their siblings. Sarah has three brothers and a sister; which means there's three nieces and four nephews. Then her dad Allan has two sisters and a brother; which gives him three nephews and two nieces. I've always been jealous of Amelia's family. My parents didn't intend of having children but here I am after a drunken night of celebrating. They met in law school, and have been together since. Their love has always come before me too. If I were to ever have a family I want it to be like Amelia's parents. I want to be with someone who not only loves me for who I am, but wants a family with me and loves them as well.
"Hey sweetheart, how are you doing?" Sarah says sitting next to me bringing me out of my thoughts.
"I'm alright, just a little upset that they won't be coming on Tuesday is all," I say looking down at my hands.
"I know baby, but hey we will be there for you," she says holding my hand.
"Thanks momma," I say looking up at her and give her a small smile.
The party carries on and before I know it, it's time for everyone to go home since the kids need to go to bed. We say our goodbyes and I try to help with the clean up, but it didn't go very far.
"Hey it's your day, you don't need to help," Sarah says taking the plates from my hand. I just roll my eyes and shake my head. There's no use in trying to argue with her.
"Hey, you okay?" I ask Allan who's trying to grab the last of the plates from the table.
"Oh yeah just a leaned on my arm too long it fell asleep a little. Are you staying tonight?" He asks.
"No, I need to start packing and getting ready for grad," I say.
"Okay baby, come back tomorrow for a swim though. You guys deserve it after all the hard work you two have done," he says giving me a kiss on the cheek.
"I will," I say as he heads into the kitchen. I can't help but smile. I'm so lucky I have them in my life. I then head over to Amelia who's sitting in the couch.
"I told you it wasn't going to work," she says not even looking up from her phone.
"Yeah when will I ever learn?" I ask and we both laugh. "Anyways, I'm going to head out. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Oh okay, I'll drive you home," she says trying to get up.
"Don't be silly, I'm going to Uber home don't worry," I say pulling out my phone from my back pocket.
All of a sudden, there's a loud crash and the sound of glass breaking.
"Oh my god, Allan!" Susan screams from the kitchen.
Amelia and I run into the kitchen and see her dad laying on the floor and Sarah on her knees next to him.
"Call 911!" She screams.
I quickly get out my phone while Amelia rushes over to her fathers side. This can't be happening.