Our breakup was world shattering…
Well, it was as world shattering as it could be for two seven-year-olds. The truth was, we said our devastating goodbyes at the end of every summer vacation, and the summer vacation of '09 was no different.
We took it hard— At least that's how it seemed to me. Now that I think about it, I can't remember how hard it was for him. On my end, there was shouting, tears, and constant begging. I begged his mom to let him stay just one more day. I begged his parents for the same thing every August since they bought the house next door to us.
It was his family's summer vacation home. How fucking boujee was that? My parents worked hard to own one piece of property and his family owned three. His dad was a CEO of some company that caught traction at the turn of the century. It turned out to be a goldmine, especially overseas. His dad took many international trips. I hardly laid eyes on Mr. Harris, but I didn't mind that at all. He was a mean son-of-a-bitch, at least that's what I heard. Drew complained about his father's neglectful and abusive ways all of the time. I honestly felt sorry for Drewey and his mom. I tried to show them love every chance I got.
I used to be obsessed with having sleepovers at the Harris’s. They may have lived right next door to us, but their house was three times the size of ours. I used to imagine I was the princess in an enchanted castle whenever I was there. Drewey would play along, but I could tell he was used to staying in such lavish places. Even with all of their money, they never once acted like they were better than my family. If anything, they welcomed me with open arms. Mrs. Harris took good care of me just like I was her own daughter. I miss her so much, but not as much as I miss her dreamy son.
OK, so I know what you're thinking: Why am I referring to 2009 when it's 2023? And I would answer: That's because of how traumatizing that summer was for me. My life has never been the same since that August. My entire universe came crashing down, and it all started when Mr. Harris’s Beamer pulled out of their driveway and drove away from me forever. Drewey and I waved at each other until his father’s car was out of view. That was the last time I spent a summer with Drew Harris.
I wish I could say our separation was his dad’s fault, but that would be a lie. Actually, it had nothing to do with his father and everything to do with my own. It turned out that my father was a two-timing cheater. My mom found that out the hard way two weeks after Drewey headed back to his private school upstate. A very angry lady popped up at our home towards the end of the summer with a phone full of incriminating text messages and a list full of demands. Evidently, my dear old dad had been sleeping with her since I was around three and she was officially tired of being “the other woman”. She wanted access to dad, his life, and apparently his cash. Unfortunately, dad didn’t have much money. He ended up having less after mom tore him apart in divorce court.
Fast-forward to the following Spring and my parents and I were packing our things to move. Dad was ordered to sell the house and split the money right down the middle with mom. Dad was planning to stay local for work but mom and I were moving four hours away to get a “fresh start”. Of course, I begged for us to stay (because I thought I was so good at it), but that worked just as well as it did every time I begged the Harris’s to let Drewey stay:
Not well at all.
With me being a then eight-year-old kid, I didn’t understand how unbelievably complicated and toxic my parents’ marriage had become. They were no longer married, partners, or even friends. My mom hated dad’s guts, and sadly, I fell into the same hyper-emotional pit as mom. I, too, grew to hate my father.
I wish to God that I never did that.
My dad died when I was 15. It was a complete shock when we got the call. Dad’s car had collided with a brick wall while he was on his way home from work. The police said that dad fell asleep behind the wheel. He was working more hours than he was resting. Allegedly, he struggled to keep a handle on his finances after he and my mom went their separate ways.
Maybe his death could have been prevented if my parents would’ve stayed together.
Drewey was really there for me at that time. The summer after my parents sold the house, I talked to Drewey nearly everyday. His mom would call my mom and they would let us sit on the phone as long as we wanted. Of course, as time went on, our phone calls became limited. He would have to go or I would have to go. Eventually, we both had new playmates that seemed a lot more interesting than the long-distance friends we were forced to become. Even so, Drewey was the only person that had my heart. I wish I could say the same was true for him.
Drewey became a completely different person once he made it to high school. He was always a looker, but by the time he hit puberty he was drop dead gorgeous. His athletic physique did nothing but heighten his desirable physical attributes…
And by the time he became the captain of his school’s track team…
His head was bigger than a hot air balloon.
Drew Harris was the walking definition of a teen heartthrob, and my gosh, he never let you forget it. Don’t get me wrong; when my dad died, Drewey was the first person to call and check on me. We sat on the phone for hours when I could do nothing but cry. He called me everyday after school to try to cheer me up. He and his family couldn’t make it to the funeral, but they consoled my mother and I from afar. He was totally there for me, which of course made me love him even more.
Be that as it may, that connection between Drewey and I was short-lived, too. Drewey was too popular to let his old childhood crush keep his attention. By the time we were 16, he was dating several girls on his social media’s friend’s list and by graduation, he was seeing one chick exclusively: Brandi “Big Tits” Dempsey…
Literally, that was her name online.
Drew had moved on and completely forgot about me. Outside of him commenting on my social media statuses every once in a while, he and I never talked. Things got worse after he and I went away to college, making the distance between us greater. I barely had time for social media anymore, so I had no idea what was going on with him.
Even if I did have the time, seeing him kissing on that “Big Tits” skank would have definitely made my stomach hurt.
That didn’t mean that I didn’t think about him almost everyday. I texted him a few times, but he hardly replied back. Drewey has had my heart since I was seven, and he may very well have it for the rest of my life. I shouldn’t keep saving myself for a man that clearly wants nothing to do with me, but for some reason, I can’t help it.
I love Drew Harris.
“Oh, Becks… you look terrible,” my mom blurts out as soon as I open my apartment door.
I roll my eyes at her, “Hello to you, too, mother.”
She bumps past me without waiting for me to invite her in. I reluctantly close the door behind her, “I’m serious. How long has it been since you left your place?”
“I went to class yesterday,” I respond while following her towards my small living room sofa. She sets her purse on the coffee table directly in front of it.
“You left the house looking like this?” She proceeds to smooth my unruly curls down with her hands. I dodge her annoying touches.
“Mom, I only went to class so it’s no big deal. Besides, it could've been worse; I could've worn pajamas like 80% of my classmates did.”
My mom shakes her head, “I swear… the youth these days are terrible. I don’t understand why y’all have to broadcast to the world that y’all don’t wash your asses.”
“Mom!” I shout with a giggle. She is always coming for my generation.
She giggles, too, “I’m serious! And honestly, you might be able to find a boyfriend if you took better care of yourself. You’re a beautiful girl, Rebecca, but that’s hard to see when you insist on looking like you beg for change for a living.”
I walk away from my mother before she goes into another irritating spiel about my love life… or lack thereof. Honestly, I have absolutely no interest in entertaining some random guy, especially the ones I run across on a daily basis. Those males can’t hold a candle to Drew Harris.
He is the only man for me.
She follows me into the kitchen, “Don’t tell me you’re still in love with Drew.” I pause awkwardly after she appears to read my mind.
Is my preoccupation with him really that obvious?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I state in an unbelieving tone. She places her hands on her wide hips.
“Mm-hm. I’m sure you don’t.”
“Seriously, mom. Drew and I have grown apart over the years. Not to mention, he’s dating that super busty chick that looks like a cheap internet model. Our Becks and Drewey days are over.”
“Oh, really?” Mom asks amusingly, “Well, I guess you won’t be interested in attending his surprise 21st birthday party, then.”
My eyes light up without my permission, “21st birthday party?! When? Where?”
My mother laughs at my reaction, “Calm down! It’s at their summer house this weekend. His parents asked if we could come down early to help them with the planning and decorating. Drew isn’t scheduled to arrive until Friday evening. That will give us more than enough time to make sure his party is da bomb.”
Da bomb? Really?
The excitement on my face immediately dissipates once I process the location. Not only have I not been to the Harris’s summer home since I was seven, but I haven’t been around Drew in that long, either.
What if he doesn’t remember much about me?
What if I don’t remember how to interact with him?
Things are definitely going to be awkward between us. Plus, I haven’t laid eyes on my childhood house since my dad and mom savagely dismantled our family.
How am I supposed to face that place after everything that has happened?
Better yet, how will my mother take seeing it after being forced to abandon it due to painful circumstances?
She smiles at me warmly when she reads my mind again, "Don't worry about the old house, Becks. Yeah, we had some amazing and not so amazing times there, but that's all in the past now. It's just four walls and a roof; it always has been. Home is wherever we are together."
I produce a fake grin to ease my mom's concerns. I understand what she's saying, even though I know she doesn't fully mean it. Our old house meant a lot to both of us, especially me. It was the place where I was born— spoke my first words— took my first steps; and let's not forget, it was the spot where I encountered the Harris family for the first time— the place where I fell head-over-heels in love with Drew. That home literally represents the foundation of who I am today.
I hug my mother, "You're right; home is wherever we are together, and this weekend, we'll be with the Harris’s for the first time in forever. They have always been an extension of our family. I can't wait to see them."