We sat side by side, jeans rolled up past our knees, legs dangling over the dock into the lake. The lake's clear water, for which it was named, swelled due to the amount of traffic, all of the tourists in the area out in their boats, blaring their music loudly. The cacophony of classic rock, ecstatic screams, the splash of water, and motor boats was one I had come to associate with summer weekends at the lake.
She is my best friend, and I couldn't help but think that this would be the last night I would see her for months. We were inseparable, never gone from each other for more than a week, and though I would never admit it, I was afraid - afraid that she would forget me, being as far away as she would soon be.
She kicked my shin under the water and I punched her shoulder as we watched the sun sink down behind the trees, the orange of the sun bleeding out into shades of reds, pinks, and lavender. It was our nonverbal way of telling each other it was going to be all right; we weren't like other girls who hugged each other, giving each other kisses on the cheeks, we didn't gossip about boys incessantly, we didn't have trivial secrets to share (you know the kind - that of the high school variety). She and I were another breed of girl. The kind that hides behind bravado and books, and wields her wit like the sharpest rapier, the kind that uses inappropriate gender labels when excited.
But I couldn't stop thinking of how she would be leaving me 300 miles behind, and though I wouldn't be alone, nothing would be the same. The hole-in-the-wall town we live in would seem gloomy without her to brighten it for me. No one would stay home from school with me when I'm sick, watching bad movies. No one would go on joy-rides with me, singing every song at the top of our lungs, regardless of whether or not the words are known.
I never voiced any of this, only the few I'm-really-going-to-miss-you-man's that were said when I deemed the moment appropriate. She would look at me when I would tell her I would miss her, and she would say a variance of the same, pinning our mantra of "but it's only for three months" to the end.
I didn't want her to feel bad leaving, going to a university that would give her one of the best educations for her field of study. I knew that if I ever said anything that I thought, she would immediately start apologizing, and no one, especially her, should ever apologize for doing what he or she wants to do or for having goals.
Her voice broke through my thoughts, my head snapping up and left to look over at her.
"You'll come uptown and see me off, won't you? I'll need you there..." her voice was small, all the walls she would put up for the world were down, so I pulled my down as well.
"Of course I will," I whispered.
She leaned her head on my shoulder and I covered her hand with mine; for once we were just best friends, showing how much we loved each other.