Home > From Friend To Forever

From Friend To Forever
Author: Charlotte Grace


One

 

 

Britt

 

 

Yep, you read that right. My name is Britt. Short for Brittany Johnson, long for B. Don't wear it out, and we'll be pretty good friends. Some may call me stubborn, others are proud, and a tiny sliver of the population… headstrong. But don't take their word for it.

I'm as good-hearted as the next ash-blonde-haired, green-eyed teacher from Suffolk Falls, Montana. And life never felt any better, since spending my time teaching here in Atlanta.

Until, of course, that one particularly gloomy Sunday morning when my phone rings.

"Thank you for calling McDonald's, may I take your order?" I greet.

"Huh? Oh. Sorry, this must be the wrong number. I was looking for Brittany Meadows," says the familiar somber voice of a woman on the phone.

Oh, my goodness... it's my mom!

I stop giggling when I realize who the person is, "Mom? It's me, Britt. Is everything okay?"

"Bri–– what is wrong with you, child? Why would you impersonate a McDonald's employee like that?"

"I'm sorry, Mom, I thought it was going to be one of my friends, the number was unsaved–– you don't sound okay, what's wrong?"

I hear nothing but sobs on the other line. What happened? I'm getting nervous.

A few seconds must have passed before mom finally answers, "It's your father, dear. He's getting worse, and I' m… I'm finding it hard to take care of him alone. Will you please come home? It would undoubtedly lift his spirits when he sees you more often."

The information shocks me, and my heart almost drops to the floor. I'm faced with a crucial decision, leave the comfortable life I already have teaching here in Atlanta, or possibly live in perpetual regret on not being there for the people who raised me.

As if there was ever a choice.

"Of course, mom. I'd be glad to help. I miss hanging out with you crazy guys, too, you know."

"Oh! You will? Your father will be ecstatic, Brittany. We already have your old room ready for you. Come home anytime, preferably as soon as possible. We miss you, dear."

"Awww. See you soon. Bye," I say before mom says goodbye and drops the call.

The things I do for the family.

 

 

A week later, I quit my current job as a public school teacher and haul myself back to Montana. Back to the cold, barren, boring hometown of mine. I'm certainly going to miss the warm Atlanta weather. But blood is thicker than water, of course.

Along the drive back home, I search for teaching vacancies in the town. Unsurprisingly, there's only one. A teaching position for English at Mountain High.

There wasn't even an interview, I was just told to report on Monday. It turns out that the previous teacher just quit, she says that she'd instead teach at hell when it freezes over than in Suffolk Falls.

Memories of my yesteryears creep on the back of my head as I drive. At the same time, snowflakes slowly fall from the sky, an omen of things to come perhaps? But I still press on, nothing is going to stop me from spending time with family, especially if it maybe my dad's …last time.

When I arrive at Suffolk Falls, an immense nostalgic feeling sweeps over me as I pass through the same landmarks I remember when I was still such a young girl. Suffolk Falls is beautiful in the winter, but it's pretty isolated due to the slippery roads and avalanche risks going up here, but summer is where most tourists will flock to this town.

I decide to drive around and appreciate the sights and sounds of my hometown. After eight minutes of enjoying all 0.3 square miles of Suffolk Falls, including the movie theater, the butcher shop, and the Crawford Ranch, I head home.

After leaving this town around twenty years ago, I've now come back from where I began. I had sworn to myself that I'd only ever come back here only when I'm famous and successful.

Yet, here I am, returning empty-handed, and with a heavy heart.

After a few more minutes of driving, I finally reach home. The house is still just as how I remember it before I left.

Mom really did a fantastic job taking care of Dad for all these years without me. I wonder what could have happened that she's now explicitly asking me to come back?

The driveway is covered in snow, I decide to park my car outside my parents' front door. As I approach the door, I see the vast, fluffy pile of snow right where the lawn should be.

Might as well, I say to myself before jumping on the snow and making tiny snow angels as I roll in the snow.

Those are the good, old times. As I close my eyes, my mind wanders to a particular memory.

Dad is teasing me for being a weak swimmer. I tell him that, of course, I'd be a terrible swimmer. We're living in Suffolk Falls, the only body of water here is a vast lake. If I'd wanted to swim in frigid temperatures, I'd have filled up a tub with ice and slept there.

"Brittany?" I hear Mom say as I look up. Her eyes are swollen, but she smiles for me.

"Mom!" I shout as I run to her and give her the biggest hug. "I'm sorry it took me so long to get back."

"Your father and I are happy now that you're here. And get inside, dear, you'll catch a cold sleeping under all that ice."

"Okay! In a minute!" I say as I watch mom get back inside. I take a look around and realize that the neighborhood has not changed one bit. I wonder if he changed?

Then a simple truth dawned on me. He's supposed to be the principal of Suffolk Falls's Primary and Secondary Education schools. Is that why I got the English teaching job so quickly? All the suppressed memories come flooding in, colder than the mild snow shower that greets me back at home.

And yet, in spite of all the discomfort, my mind only wonders at one thing and one thing.

How is William Davis doing?

 

 

Two

 

 

William

 

 

Today isn't the particularly grandest of days. Snow is already falling a few weeks earlier than forecast. There aren't any major school activities to update. And the children outside my office are going home early to beat the cold snap.

Suffolk Falls Elementary is a single institution, but it is the institution that I'm most proud of as the Principal. Many would shun our simple town for being the smallest town in Montana, but that should never mean that the quality of education should deteriorate for future generations. The people of Johnson’s Mountain know the value of education.

How could someone like me ever pay back the love and warmth this small town has given me as I was growing up? Many generations of Davis have been nurtured and developed in this wondrous town. I intend to keep it that way.

I take a sip of the hot green tea that's finally simmered long enough. Five minutes at 132 degrees Celsius. The perfect cup of tea.

"Satisfaction," I say to myself, savoring the smell of the earthy flavor in my mouth. The calming effect of the drink is welcomed, as I'm left teetering on the edge of anxiety at the worrying amount of teachers that I'm losing in my school. I'm disheartened at the fact that the newly built mall can't convince them to believe in my vision of our small town becoming a fully-fledged city.

But these are just mere setbacks. As the latest generation of Davis, it's up to me to bring honor to our name and to our fair town.

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