Back for Good
“You look great! I mean..,you’ve uhm…changed a lot, I didn’t recognize you”, Valerie shuffled her feet uncomfortably
“Yeah, I have. Got rid of all that baby fat, didn’t I? Though, with the hair, I didn’t recognize you either”, Jenny said and an awkward silence ensued.
“I can’t believe you’re back!”, she suddenly burst out and wrapped her arms around Valerie. She smiled broadly as she let go and looked at Valerie expectantly.
“How are you, I mean… what was up with you, why did you leave… why did you come back. Oh my god, I still can’t believe this, I have so many -”
“Jenny!”, Valerie started laughing at Jenny’s outburst, “Breathe. Just for a second.”
Jenny’s shoulders slumped slightly and she sighed.
“You’re right, sorry. You know I keep on babbling and babbling when I’m excited. I’m just happy to see you again, you -”
“Jenny, you’re doing it again”, Valerie grinned. There was a second of silence where they both just stared at each other. Then they both burst out laughing.
“Just like old times”, Jenny exclaimed and Valerie nodded.
“It’s almost like I never left, isn’t it?”
Jenny’s smile faltered. Valerie huffed realizing she had completely ruined the happy mood they had been in.
“Sorry. I was… I’m sorry”, she said in a failed attempt at an explanation. “But hey, I’m back now. That counts for something ,right?”
“You’ve been gone for 5 years, Val”, Jenny simply stated and Valerie knew that tone. Things were about to get ugly.
“You know that we left because of my dad’s work. It wasn’t exactly my plan.”
Valerie’s cautious words didn’t work. Suddenly, Jenny just started spilling everything.
“You could have called! You could have kept in touch! Wrote a letter, anything. Someday, I come to your house and you’re just… UGH”, she yelled and stomped her foot.
“Look, I’m sorry”, Valerie tried to apologize, “You know I’m not good at this social stuff. And I was 13 years old, for crying out loud!”
“What, so this is my fault now? You were my best friend, Val. My only friend… I’ve missed you. “
“I’m sorry, Jen, I really am”, Valerie stared at her feet but then looked up. “We’re not children anymore, but we can be friends again. Or at least try? I’m back for good, I promise!”
Jenny wiped her eyes on her sleeve, then nodded.
“You’re right. I’m sorry, I overreacted. I mean, we were kids. It’s not like you had a choice”, Jenny attempted a smile. “But hey, you’re still coming to the party, aren’t you? A lot has changed, really. I’d really like to catch up. And for you to meet some people.”
“Yeah, I’m still coming, catching up is much needed. Who are some people?”, Valerie raised an eyebrow.
“You’ll see”, Jenny said mysteriously, the smile back on her face.
Next: Chapter 3