A few days had passed since my breakdown. It was a Tuesday, with a feeling of summer around the corner in the air. Andrew woke me up for school at dawn and we walked down our winding driveway together.
"Are you feeling better today, Ter?" Andrew asked, looking over at me sincerely. I looked up from my untied Converse and into my brother's loving eyes. We held a gaze for a moment until I broke the silence. "Yeah. Yeah I'm fine." Andrew nodded and looked away, but he could tell we were just lying to each other. I really wasn't fine; in fact, I was barely okay. He knew I was on the verge of breaking down, but I couldn't tell him that!
Andrew wrapped his scarf around him once more and held my hand. He gave it a squeeze, saying "Geez! Your hand's really warm! Mine's always cold." I giggled. He always said something like that. So brotherly and heartwarming...
My cold brother and I eventually made it to the bus stop and the yellow bus pulled up. We got onto the school bus and I took a seat by myself, waiting for Bella. Andrew walked towards the back of the bus. "Sure you don't want to sit with your older brother?" Andrew offered, pointing to a seat in the back of the bus. I smiled and shook my head. "Nah, no thanks. Bella's going to be sitting with me today when we get to her stop," I said, letting Andrew go to the back of the bus with his older friends and leaving me alone with my thoughts once again.
Staring out the window has always given me a pleasure that's indescribable. It's not a feeling that can be satisfied by doing anything else. Only staring out the window at cars we pass and trees and farms gives me a feeling of flying. Ever since I can remember, from such a young age, I have always done that. Dad would drive us to the supermarket to buy some eggs for a breakfast, and I would just stare out the window as if in a daydream.
Finally the bus pulled up to Isabella's bus stop. She got on, along with her older brother, and Bella sat down next to Tera. "Hey Terabithia," Bella said, poking her friend in the side. Tera giggled, as she remembered the time in third grade when nerdy Bella had started to call her the title of their favorite book.
I had walked back to my seat from putting away my backpack when I came back and found Bella sitting in it. "Um, excuse me," I started cautiously, "but I think you're sitting in my seat." Bella looked up innocently. "Hm? What? Oh sorr... wait... I don't see your name here anywhere!" "My name's Tera, says so right there," I said, pointing to the nametag that was laminated on the table. "Tera? Like Terabithia?! Oh wow cool! I love that book!" "What? What's Bridge to Terabithia?" I asked. Bella opened up her backpack and whipped out a book, clutching it carefully, as not to crumple the pages from the tight grasp. "Whoa," I breathed. "Yeah. My favorite book, written by Kate DiCamillo. Have you read it?" Bella stated. "Hm, 'fraid not. Doesn't look interesting anyways, but the cover's cool," I said. Bella gasped, as if she was offended greatly. "How dare you say something like that about my favorite book!" "Sorry," I said. "It's okay. Why don't I lend it to you, and then you can decide for yourself if it's not appealing," Bella said, pushing the book towards me. I took it from her with a confused look on my face. "Are you sure...?" "Positive."
"I still have your originally copy, with the signature from Kate DiCamillo and everything. Don't you want it back?" I asked. 13-year-old Bella laughed at the remaining thoughts of 8-year-old Bella. "Don't be silly, of course I don't. I have three other copies back at my house: paperback, hardcover, and a digital copy for my Kindle! Not to mention the movie..." Bella said, counting off her fingers. I threw my head back and laughed, with Bella laughing with me. "Okay okay, I get your point. Might as well keep it."
Bella and I chatted on the rest of the long ride to school. We lived a few miles outside of Cheyenne, and it took a little while to get there. When the bus pulled up to school, Bella and I got out and ran inside.
"Tera? Bella? You're both late," Ms. Goldberg said with no pleasure in her voice.
Bella and I just laughed.
I told Bella about my breakdown on Sunday. "Dude, it might be a sign! What if your parents were thinking about you the same time you were?!" I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, right. That's stupid. It's highly unlikely. Aunt Jen says they're way too involved in their work to think about family." Bella scoffed and took a bite of her sandwich. "Seriously? You're going to listen to that bitch of an aunt?!" she said. I frowned and sipped my Sprite. "Well..." "C'mon Ter. Get real. I'm 182% sure your aunt's lying, and that your parents really were thinking about you," Bella said. Then we changed the topic to Warped Tour. "Yeah, Andrew said he might be able to drive us!" I exclaimed. Bella applauded and whistled loudly, making a ton of noise until the lunch aids came to tell us to be quiet. We snickered for a little while after that.
"Yeah Bella, maybe you're right about my parents..."