As Addison dragged herself down the long hallway of Long Beach High, she had a funny feeling that something life changing was about to happen. She turned the doorknob to the art classroom, still gripping the late slip as if it was her most prized possession. She walked in late only to be scolded by Mr. Cooper, the art teacher. She then rolled her eyes and walked to an empty seat. She plopped her bottom down on the cold seat, away from everyone, and began unpacking her supplies. She drew her long brown hair back into a tight ponytail due to the fact that she didn’t want to be picking paint out of her hair later that night. As she began working, her train of thought was interrupted when the classroom door opened. In came the principal, Mrs. Brown, followed by an unfamiliar face.
“Sorry to interrupt, but it seems we have a new student,” Mrs. Brown, spoke looking at the boy beside her. He had jet black hair and bright blue eyes which drew the whole class in. “Thank you, Mrs. Brown. I can take it from here,” Mr. Cooper reassured her as she nodded back and exited the class. All eyes were on the new kid. “Go ahead and introduce yourself,” Mr. Cooper told the boy. “My name is Ian Carson. I’m from Albany, New York and my mom got a job offer that caused us to move here,” Ian explained as the entire class listened in awe. “Alright that’s enough. Go ahead and sit next to Addison in the back of the class,” Mr. Cooper insisted as Addison waved her hand, grabbing Ian’s attention. Ian hesitantly sat down next to Addison. They didn’t talk the entire class, though she did catch him glancing at her every now and then. As the bell rang and Addison was exiting the class she heard a voice behind her call her name. She was confused and surprised due to the fact that she doesn’t really talk to anyone at Long Beach High. She doesn’t really have any friends there at all. “Hey, Addison?” Ian asked. “Yeah?” Addison replied with paranoia in her voice. “I just wanted to tell you that your work is gorgeous,” Ian replied in excitement. “Thanks,” Addison giggled at him. “What’s so funny?” He asked. “Nothing,” Addison replied hesitantly. As Addison was about walk away Ian grabbed her arm. “Wait. Do you want to have lunch? I’m new and don’t really have any friends, therefore I don’t have anyone to sit with,” he asked continuing to explain. “Yeah, that’d be fine, I guess. I don’t really have anyone to sit with either,” she accepted his offer. I wonder what she meant by that he thought. At lunch Addison and Ian sat by each other and began growing closer through conversation. “Why did you decide to come here and not be homeschooled, especially when there’s only two months of school?” Addison asked. “When my mom got the job offer she thought that it would have been better for me to make friends,” he explained as Addison nodded. “So do you have any friends that you’d usually be having lunch with over me?” Ian asked. “No. Not really,” Addison said looking down at her plate. “What about all of those girls whispering and looking at us?” He asked. “Nope. Not my friends…” Addison drifted off. “Well you are wrong about not having friends,” he stated. “What do you mean?” She asked. “We are friends, aren’t we?” He asked earning a smile out of her. Indeed they were friends and very fast friends. That day Addison went home and for the first time in forever, she was truly happy. Happiness is something that Addison rarely felt, but the fact that she met a new friend, brought it out of her. The next day she was greeted by Ian sitting in the back of art class with two coffees. “Here you go,” Ian spoke, passing Addison a coffee. During that class Addison once again noticed Ian eyeing her painting. He looked as if he was admiring both her and the painting. She was painting a rose. She added small details such as water droplets on the petals of the rose. She painted the red color seeping into a pink color for each petal. She made sure to include the fading green to white in every thorn she painted. She moved her hand across the canvas with grace and ease. “How do you do that?” Ian whispered causing Addison to turn and knock a cup of water on the floor.
“Ms. Rose? Mr. Carson? Is there a problem?” Mr. Cooper asked as the bell rang. “I expect this mess to be cleaned before we get back from lunch,” Mr. Cooper sighed as everyone besides Ian and Addison left the class for lunch. “Addy, I am so sorry,” Ian apologized. “What did you just call me?” Addison asked. “Addy…” Ian drifted off as Addison stared at him with an emotionless face for a solid ten seconds. “What?” Ian asked, breaking the silence. “I like it,” Addison confessed referring to the nickname. “Lets just clean up this mess,” she suggested dodging the tension. When they were done scrubbing the, now tinted, floor they went to lunch. “Do you want to do something later?” Ian hesitantly asked. “Like what?” Addison asked. “I don’t know? Movies, bowling…” Ian asked slowly drifting off. “Sure. Bowling sounds fun,” Addison accepted. “Great. I’ll pick you up at seven?” He asked. “Yeah, that sounds great. See you then,” Addison replied as she began walking away. “Addy, wait,” Ian shouted across the hallway causing everyone to stare as he began to chase after her.
“Addy, I need your number, how else am I supposed to get your address?” Ian asked. “Right, here you go.” Addison said handing him a piece of paper with her number on it. “I’ll see you tonight?” Addison asked receiving a nod from Ian. As she walked away she couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming burst of joy. As no one was in sight, she skipped away towards the bus that took her to her house. Later that night Ian picked up Addison, who was very excited. When they arrived to the bowling alley, the smell of greasy, fried food, bowling shoes, and bowling wax, filled their nostrils. Addison’s eyes moved from the colorful patterned floor, to a few familiar faces. They were a few kids from school. There was Sierra, who was sitting, waiting for her turn to bowl. She had the look of boredom on her face as she watched Cole, who was up and bowling, throw the ball and, surprisingly, knock down all the pins. Sierra and Cole were the only other people in the alley, besides Ian, Addison, and a worker. “Hey, Ian,” Sierra called out in excitement. “Hey, Sierra,” Ian greeted back as he began walking towards them, Addison slowly following. “Hey, man,” Ian greeted Cole as well. “My bad. This is Addison,” Ian introduced as Addison shook hands and fake smiled at the two strangers. “Are you guys ready to play?” Cole asked. “Heck yeah,” Ian replied.
Thirty minutes into the game Addison soon began to feel frustrated. She was frustrated with Ian for not telling her that other people, who she didn’t know, would be joining them. She thought that it would just be herself and Ian hanging out together as friends. ¨Hey, guys. I think I’m going to go home,”Addison announced, partially trying to get a reaction out of Ian. She wanted to see if he truly cared if she was there or not. “Okay. We’ll see you at school tomorrow,” Ian replied, not taking his eyes of the scoreboard. ¨See you later, Addison,” Cole and Sierra called out laughing, totally disregarding her annoyance with them. Addison rolled her eyes. Addison’s walk home gave her time to think about how she will react. If he was really my friend he wouldn’t have even let me walk home, Addison thought. She began playing out every scenario in her head that has to do with Ian talking to her. She knew how she was going to react and she was annoyed and slightly angry because of the way he acted towards her. Something would happen at school the next day and she knew it.
That next day at Long Beach High there was no trace of Ian anywhere. She dragged herself down the hallway, just like any other day before he came into her life. She walked into Art class only to find him sitting with his two coffees for the both of them. ¨Hey,” Ian greeted her with excitement. Addison decided she would ignore him due to the fact that she didn’t want to say anything that she’d later regret. “What’s wrong?” He asked, his smile quickly turning into a frown. “It’s nothing,” she responded, still not making eye contact with him. “Addy, what is wrong?” He asked again. “I’ll talk to you after class.” Addison quickly told as Mr. Cooper walked into the classroom, leaving Ian high and dry. After art it was time to go home and that’s what Addison was about to do until Ian found her and charged towards her, still wanting to know what was wrong. “Addy? What’s the matter?” Ian asked as Addison turned around angrily. “Do you really care?” Addison asked with anger and hurt in her voice. “What do you mean? Of course I care,” Ian replied sounding hurt. “If you do, maybe you should show it more often,” Addison yelled as people began to stare. “Addison, what did I do?” Ian asked beginning to get angry.
“What did you do? What did you do?’ Addison repeated, fake laughing as she wiped the tears that were running down her face. “If you were my real friend, you wouldn’t have kept it a secret that your friends were coming. You would have told me that you did have friends. You would’ve acknowledge my presence last night. You wouldn’t have let me walk home alone last night,” Addison yelled, tears streaming down her face. “Addy, don’t say that I don’t care about you because, I do,” Ian pleaded as he began to calm down, understanding why Addison was upset. “Maybe you should stop,” Addison suggested, tears pouring out of her swollen eyes. “What?” Ian asked, his heart dropping to his knees. “Stop caring about me…” Addison requested hesitantly drifting off. “Okay, if that’s what you want?” Ian asked with watery eyes. Addison only nodded as tears poured down her red cheeks. She then walked away leaving Ian standing there watching as she was out of sight.
Days of thinking of Ian had soon turned into weeks. What was once weeks turned into two months that seemed to pass within the blink of an eye. It was time to move on. It was the day of graduation. Addison would be graduating to a senior at Long Beach High. After her and Ian said their goodbyes, they’d see each other in art class and give each other friendly smiles in the hallways. For Addison, everything went back to normal. She went back to hardly taking or smiling. Parting from Ian was very hard for her, but she learned something valuable from Ian that she would take with her forever. She learned what true happiness was. She knew their friendship as real when she figured out that he made her the happiest person and the saddest person at one point. There Addison was, standing there, celebrating another year she survived in high school. She then felt a tap on her shoulder and was surprised to see Ian.
“Do you still want me to give you space?” He asked as she stood there staring at him. She stared at him for awhile until she walked towards him and hugged him as she then began to cry. “Why are you crying?” He asked, returning the hug. “I’m really happy to see you,” She admitted. “I’m so sorry for everything. I’m sorry for making a huge deal out of nothing. I’m sorry for accusing you of not caring. The truth is that you are my best friend and you are the only person in this world who taught me what true happiness feels like,” she apologized and admitted as she stopped crying. “It’s okay. I’m sorry too. You should have to even doubt for a second if I care about you or not because I do. You make me really happy too,” Ian smiled. “I’m just happy that we have another year of memories to make before college,” Addison smiled. “Actually…” Ian trembled, his smile fading. “My mom got another job offer,” he admitted. “That’s fantastic. Where?” Addison wondered excitedly. “Back in New York,” Ian muttered, making Addison’s smile drop.
“Oh. That’s fantastic,” she said with a fake smile as Ian looked at her confused. “I know that I might never see you again, but at least I got the honor of knowing you. I’m not going to be sad, I’m going to be happy with you right now while you are still here,” Addison explained as Ian smiled. They both continued to catch up and celebrate, not only the year, but each other. Bad things are bound to happen. If they didn’t, how are you supposed to feel and embrace the good moments? It is better to enjoy the things and people you have because you never know what you truly have until it’s gone.