Behind the walls of friendship

Jake is fifteen years old. Lacking a father figure, he places his hopes in young people around his age. When a mysterious, and a seemingly innocent friend arrives, Jake is forced to realize who his true friends are, and just how dangerous fake friends can be.

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1. Before


 

Jake

The day I had met Nick was scary. My mother had made us pack and move all the way from Texas to California. I remember her words the night she told me. She said, “Jake, we need to talk.” I never did anything wrong, I knew I wasn’t in trouble. But the fear of the unknown haunted me and chilled my bones. As I sat at the end of the bed running my mind, thinking of anything she would tell me, I became a bundle of nerves. “Jake, we’re moving soon,” she said. My world didn’t crash as much as most people would expect. I had been homeschooled from the time I was eight, it wasn’t like I had a school I’d miss. But the next flow of questions came. “Why? Where will we go?” I asked. “Jake, we’re going to California.” That’s when the words hit like bricks. California. A new state, a foreign state. “I can’t do Texas anymore” my mother stated. I knew she had been hurting ever since my father had left her. I had a foggy memory of my father. I was a baby when he left, but when I saw pictures I remembered slightly. He had had a quiet tone that could turn sarcastic at any time. My mother went on to say, “We’re going to be in the same town as your cousin. You haven’t met him, he’s five years older than you.” I felt some excitement thinking of seeing a boy that was older and could teach me about driving, school, and friends. I then asked what I knew my mother didn’t want to say. “Will I be in public school?” I asked. My mother looked out my window. She had smiled, a weak smile that held back a flood of tears. The false smile fell to the floor and her eyes returned with tears in them. “I’m sorry Jake. I’m sorry to make you move, but I don’t think Texas is right for you either. If you start a new life, new school, you won’t be the new kid. You’ll start when they start.” My insides burned, but I acted fine for my mother. “Mama, I’ll go. I won’t necessarily like it, but I’ll get used to it” I said. I stopped talking because the tears would have fallen if I continued. Moving was bad enough, but being ripped from the homeschooling and thrown into public school may have stung more. When I first arrived in California, I was torn between being excited and being bitter. Who said California would be better? When we got to our house I loved it immediately. The tan colored house with the green trim along the door. The flat black roof that let the sunshine and the sunset flow through the windows. The tree built in the front yard next to the neighbor’s mustard yellow fence. Then, Nick’s house. Perfectly white house with black window shades around the border and a friendly greeting in front of the house. A driveway perfectly carved to fit two cars and the tree that still had the branches Nick climbed on when he was younger than I was at the time. When I first met Nick I immediately felt that he was going to be someone friendly. He was quiet when I first met him. He didn’t say much, but his green eyes smiled and spoke the word of friendship. As time went by Nick and I started speaking more and more and by the second month of meeting I was at Nick’s house as much as I was on my own. My mother liked Nick, she said he was a good boy who was fun but also knew when to be serious. Nick was quite immature for eighteen years old at times, but other times he was wise beyond his years. Whenever I felt the tension in the house between by grandmother, I would talk to Nick. Nick’s fun smile and laughing eyes lit up the room, leaving the troubles at the doorstep. Not only did Nick let me stay but he was a friend, not just a cousin. As time flew by, we got closer and closer. Trips together, family vacations, school events. Nick was there. And now we had known each other for two and a half years.

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