Going Back to a Familiar Place

Bernadett Sági

Hi, my name is Allie Owens, and this day is a very important one for me. But let’s just start at the beginning. I’m 15 years old, and I was born in a small town in California. I had a great childhood and the best friends in the whole universe. They were Lucas and Hanna. We did everything together. We went to the same school and lived really close to each other. Hanna was really talkative, brave and maybe a bit crazy too. Although we were so different from each other, I already knew that we were going to get along well when we first met. I have always been the shy girl, but she … she was everything I wasn’t. She stood up for her thoughts, and she didn’t care what other people said. We were there for each other. And then Lucas joined our gang. He was a quiet boy living in the neighborhood. One summer when we became friends he started to become the exact opposite of himself. We realized that he just couldn’t find his place and that’s why he was shy at first. In fact he was a hyperactive boy and he kept on spouting all the time. So that was our team and we had so much fun together.

But then my mom got a really good job offer that she couldn’t reject. I was really happy for her, but the thing was that we had to move to Kansas. And now here I am four years later, living in Kansas. In the first months, Hanna, Lucas and I used to talk with each other daily, but then we just lost contact. We got our own lives and had no time for each other.  But the reason I am excited is that my parents decided to move back to California. And today is the day we go. I sit on the plane and it can start at any minute. I still can’t believe that I will see my friends again after years. I look out the window and see all the memories in front of my eyes. The plane starts to rise and I fall asleep.

My dad wakes me up when we arrive at the airport. On the way home I become nervous. ‘What if I have changed a lot during the years and I’m not good enough for them anymore?’ ‘What if they don’t like my new self?’ My head is full of thoughts like that. ‘No, I have to get rid of these, everything will be fine.’—I try to calm myself down. And then we arrive at our old-new house. I look at the neighborhood. Lucas must be so excited that I have come back. But when I get out of the car I see a young couple coming out of their house. I have no time to think about it because my mom calls me to help her with the bags. It is late evening when we are done with everything. Mom says that she talked with the new neighbors. I get to know that Lucas and his family moved to another city about a year ago because his parents found a better school for him where he would have a better chance of becoming a lawyer. At first I couldn’t believe it. Lucas? Being a lawyer? His parents couldn’t have meant it seriously.  I always thought that he would be at least a rock star and travel around the earth. It makes me sad that I can’t meet him. I have been waiting for it for a long time. I should go to sleep, because if I think about it further, I will become more and more disappointed.

It is the next morning and I can’t get out of bed. Finally I climb out of it and start to get ready for my ‘second’ first day of school. My mom takes me there and I am happy but also a bit scared when I see the familiar stairs in front of that great door. A lot of children walk in small groups, talking and laughing. I remember I was one of them too. I take a deep breath, say goodbye to my mom, and go toward the school. Great memories come into my mind in connection with this building; these memories make me more confident as I open the door. From the outside the school hasn’t changed much, but more on the inside. I remember it to be colorful and special. But now … it is more like a normal and casual school like the other ones. As I walk down the hallways I notice many familiar faces. But at the same time they are not really familiar. And there are a lot of new people as well. A group of girls walk past me. They are the typical ‘famous girls’ of the school; they always have the newest clothes and probably giggle at a boy. It is not really surprising; every school has a group like that, but the fact that there is Hanna walking in the middle of it, wearing fancy clothes and making those ridiculous gestures, leaves me speechless. The Hanna I knew was always a bit different from the others. She didn’t care what they said and wasn’t afraid to say her thoughts out loud even if they were a bit crazy. I loved that Hanna, but the girl I saw just now was so different from my best friend. She is more similar to the girls we laughed at years ago because they looked the same and were so boring. She didn’t even notice me as she passed by.

I was too afraid that people wouldn’t love me the same because I had changed a lot over the years. But what if people have changed around me and I am the one who has stayed the same?