The Sunshine's Been Missing

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[Author’s Note: This is a raw, unedited, work in progress. It leaves off in an awkward place (since I’m still working on typing it), and it’s probably not that good. But it’s the first writing I’ve done in months, and the first writing I’ve done (mostly) solo in a long time. I came up with the character of Kate awhile ago with a friend, and while parts of her character/past will remain unchanged, so much will change. Just like I’m working on changing. But here you go, the first bit of writing I’ve done in a long, long time.] 


She used to call me ‘Starshine’ or sometimes just ‘Star’, but regardless of the name, it meant so much more than just the words. I was her Star, and the brightest in her life. Her name was Delaney Evans, and I was hers in a way that I can’t explain. Despite our age difference - me being six years younger than her - we were best friends. Or at least, I thought so. To her, it seemed, she was more of the mothering type. She made sure I was home by curfew, and always knew what I was up to on weekends. At first, I’d resented the overbearing care when all I’d wanted was a friend, but I soon grew to love the way that she took care of my life so that I didn’t have to. It was easy - easier than I’d expected - to just give up control of my life to this girl. After all, she was older, and she seemed to have her shit together. 

I never expected anything bad to happen. I just expected it to be us, a weird duo of sorts that would just be friends forever. But then, it wasn’t like that. She got a boyfriend that seemed to like me - he’d actually dated my friend’s older sister, so I’d known him previously - and then she moved out of her mom’s house and into his apartment in the city, which left me alone and confused in the suburbs. We still talked, sure, but it wasn’t the same. Star faded into just Katie. From Katie to Kate. And so forth until I was nothing special anymore. 

I was barely seventeen when I got the call, four days after it actually happened, where she told me that she and her boyfriend had gotten married. Eloped, of course, because that’s the only way that Will and Delaney would ever do anything. And I was happy for them, truly, I was. But there was still that part of me, deep down, that wanted to scream. I longed for the days when he wasn’t around, because honestly, Delaney was all I had left. 

I’m nineteen now, and things are different. Delaney now has a nearly two-year-old son that I’ve met exactly twice, and a daughter that’s due any month now. Of course, she and Will are happily married. We all knew that would happen, they’d been sweethearts since kindergarten even if they’d never dated. And as much as I wanted to be happy for them, I still felt broken, and I still felt sad about it. So I told Delaney how much I loved her, and how I hoped that one day, we’d be okay again as friends, and I deleted it. 

It had to be as if the friendship had never happened, as if the life I had had never happened. You see, here’s the thing. I’m nineteen. I graduated high school a year ago, and I’m doing nothing with my life. I got accepted to five different Universities (every one I’d applied to) and I turned down every one. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go, I did. But I just, didn’t. I guess I expected someone to swoop in and tell me what path to take. When no one did, I just chose nothing. I wrote to all of the colleges and thanked them for the offer, but that I’d be taking a year off to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

Well, it’s been a year, and I’ve doing nothing. I have a job at a local branch of a department store that gets me a little over minimum wage, but I don’t spend much of it. I pay for my phone, and that’s about it. The rest is stored in a box under my bed, hoping that I come up with some reason to spend it. But thus far, I’ve come up with no such thing. I literally go to work, and then I come home and sleep or read books. Because, well, Delaney was my only real friend, and now she’s gone. 

I’d applied to school again in the fall, one that I’d already technically been accepted to and was far enough away that I wouldn’t be coming home on a regular basis. Or ever, if that was possible. So, since I’d already been accepted, I wasn’t surprised when I got the letter that once again, I’d be welcomed into the college with open arms. 

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