"Go! Go! Go! You have to go now!" I hear over the earpiece hidden cleverly in my diamond ear cuff.
Without thinking I slam my foot on the pedal, and my head propels to the headrest as the car lunges forward.
77. 78. 79. Come on...
I turn my head to see the red Cadillac still following me hot on my tail.
"I'm not going to make it," I yell so the earpiece can hear me over the loud sports car engine, "I won't have enough time, it's already starting to close and I can't get over 80 miles per hour no matter how much I push!"
Beep. Beep bee-beep.
"It's green, you need to go," Charlie, my driving instructor patiently clarifies.
Getting my eyes back in focus I slowly ease my foot onto the pedal to accelerate out of the four-way stoplight. Gripping the wheel, I elegantly turn right onto the main road, as if I've done it a million times before.
"Just drive to the school and then we'll be done for the day," Charlie says, a bit exhausted, but for what reason? All he does is sit in a car all day with teens driving around.
I see my mom waving enthusiastically as I pull into the high school parking lot. I groan inside, knowing she is likely to embarrass me in front of my fourth new driving instructor. I shoot a quick glance of signaling for her to stop now, and to my surprise, she does. Having drivers-ed be my last class of the day is pretty nice because sometimes, I get to drive myself home, but then there are other days like today when my mom picks me up from school, and I get to endure the long, awkward, silence of the car ride home. I throw my backpack into the front seat of the car, plop myself into the passenger seat and close the door.
"So, how was school," my mom asks, trying to strike up a conversation that just won't happen.
"Fine, I guess," I mumble.
"Good good," she says softly in that awkward 'I don't know what to do now' tone.
When we finally arrive home, I race upstairs to my room and shut the door. I flop belly down on my bed and pull my phone out from my back pocket. I open messages to see a new message from Derek:
I know you don't want this, and I don't either. But my parents have decided to move to Arizona. :(
Please say something
Are you there?
We go to different schools so we both get out at different times. In a flurry of mixed emotions, I shoot back:
Moving?! Wdym moving? I thought your parents were going to wait until the end of junior year?!!
You can't leave me, I need you
I turn off my phone and shove my face into a plush pillow on my bed and scream. I hear footsteps racing up the stairs and then my door swinging open within seconds of each other.
"I heard someone scream, is everything okay?!" My mom exclaims, worried.
"Everything's fine mom, go away."
"Okay..." she says hesitantly while closing the door and walking back downstairs.
I'd know that ding if it were mixed in with a thousand other dings and dongs. It was Derek again:
I know I know. I tried to convince them to change their minds, but they wouldn't. I'm so sorry babe. But we both knew this would happen eventually :(
I'm really sorry! Maybe I could pick you up and we can talk about it??
Derek and I have been dating for 7 months now. It all started beginning of July. He had just moved in a few streets away from my house. I saw him babysitting one of my friends' little siblings at the park, so I walked over and said hi, and asked who he was, obviously. He is 3 months older than me and has the coolest matte black Jeep.
Sure. I text back, when?
He instantly replies with: Around sunset?
I tell my mom I'm going on a drive with Derek around sunset and start getting ready.
At 5:23 Derek picks me up and we go for a drive to a small hill that has the most beautiful sunset view. He puts the car into park at the top and reaches into the back seat for a blanket.
Wasting no time I say, more coldly than I should've been, "Why are you moving?"
With a sigh, he responds, "My dad's work wants him back in Arizona."
I think he can see me getting teary-eyed because he wraps the blanket around me and moves the hair off my cheek with his soft warm fingers, making it irresistible to look up at him and smile.
"But you just moved here last summer," I say, choking mid-sentence trying not to cry. Because when I cry, like really cry, I don't pretty cry, and I was about to really cry.
"Hey," he says while embracing my trembling body, "we can still communicate, it's not like I'm going off the grid."
At his last statement, I had no choice but to giggle a little and grin, sniffling a bit while doing so. I lay my head on his shoulder and listen to the radio. The station really couldn't have chosen a better time to play the one song I didn't want to hear right now, Hold On by Chord Overstreet.
'Can you hear me screaming? Please don't leave me'
And with that one line, my brain goes through a flashback of all the memories of me and Derek together over the past 7 months. I'm flooded with a wave of emotions that I just can't hold back as I turn my head and bury myself in Derek's shoulder not allowing myself to let him go.
'I don't wanna let go, I know I'm not that strong'
I grit my teeth to try and mute out the lyrics to the song, but it won't work.
'Saying, "Baby, let's go home". Let's go home. Yeah, I just wanna take you home'
Finally, I'm able to push out the last lines of the song before I become an uncontrollable emotional wreck. After a few minutes of forcing myself to be calm, I manage to speak some words, while still buried in Derek's shoulder.
"Don't leave me," I cry before muttering softly, "please, don't leave me."