Scarlet sat in the darkened room, her eyes scanning around the room. She picked up a photograph in an old-fashioned, gold frame and examined it. She held it tentatively with her fingers, touching it gently to wipe the dust off.
It was a picture of Nick and Scarlet standing during a family vacation. Nick had tagged along when Scarlet’s mom decided to go to Florida during summer, and they had an awesome time there. He was smiling warmly in the picture, their arms around each other as they stared into the camera lens that captured the moment so perfectly and flawlessly.
She inhaled and dropped it into the box she was holding and looked away, moving on to the next item. It was a doll, sitting on top of the shelves after being abandoned by Scarlet years and years ago. It had paint all over its face, its golden locks tangled like a bird’s nest. She smiled at the memories as she remembered giving a makeover to each other’s dolls with Nick. She chuckled as she thought of the action figure she ruined --- he was pretty mad at her for days after that.
Her smile faded when she looked down at the box she was holding. She slipped it into the box soundlessly and threw in a couple of dolls, followed by scrapbooks and photos. Be strong, she told herself, it would be over after this. After you clear him out of your life, she reminded herself. But somehow, she doubted it.
She brushed the doubt aside and sat down on the floor, pulling out a photo album from her drawer. There were pictures of them as babies, children… She flipped through it quickly, but her hands paused and stopped at one page. Her sixteenth birthday. It was last year, three days after Nick had made the team.
They were looking at each other, smiling proudly. Scarlet tried to forget about the promise they made that night, but his voice came echoing inside her head again.
“We’ll be best friends forever. Always by each other’s side.” Nick said and smiled faintly, looking her in the eyes.
“You’re such a kid.”
“Nick! Come on!”
“Yes, pinky swears.”
She felt the tight smile on her face weakened and crumbled into tears. Memories flooded back --- all the laughter and tears. She cried, as hard she could, to her heart’s content. She hugged her knees to her chest, her hands reaching for the necklace again. Holding it tightly in her palms, she realized one thing.
She would never be able to get rid of him in her life. He’s everywhere, in her home, her school, her heart. And she never wanted to. It was like wiping away a huge chunk of her life, simply and absolutely impossible.
And she loved him. So much.
She dumped everything in the box on the floor, running her fingers through them as she glanced around the room. Everywhere she looked, he was there. He was everywhere. Everything single detail of her life reminded her of him.
Nick. Nicholas Anderson, her best friend. How was she going to explain this to him?
There was only one way.
Scarlet ran out into the rain, despite her mom who was yelling on top of her lungs for her to come in. She ignored the thunder and ran across her backyard, gazing into Andersons’ backyard. A flare of light flashed on the pale gate as Scarlet ran into the backyard, sitting down on the steps.
She peered into the house through the windows. There was no sound in the kitchen. Perhaps they were out to dinner. She ran her fingers through her hair and breathlessly fished out a note from her pocket.
It was a folded note. She opened it and read it for the last one time, wiping her tears away with the back of her hand. She touched her necklace and gave it a tug, taking it off from her neck. She gazed at it, tracing her name carved deeply in the necklace with her finger.
She placed it down on the step, along with the note. She stood there for a moment, just staring at them, and opened her mouth. It came out like a whisper, and even though she could barely hear herself over the pouring rain, she didn’t mind.
Then she left.