chapter thirty five

10 months later...

I never quite understood why I left this place to begin with. Sand Diego had been my home for a long time; I had a life here, complete with friends and family. Everything that made me who I was today had come from this beautiful city. It was good to be home.

Breathing in the salty air, I smiled inwardly and dug my feet deeper into the warm sand. Down the coast, my dad and his girlfriend, Jenna, walked hand in hand, stopping occasionally to playfully splash eachother.

On the other side of the coast, Charlie lay on the sand, forever surrounded by people. She had only been here two months, and already she knew this place just as well as I did, if not better. Upon being accepted into the SDSU Business program, she packed up her life in brown shipping boxes and made the move West. She now lived with me in a small beachfront apartment in Pacific Beach. She was well on her way to becoming a successful Business Administrator, and we couldnít be prouder. Even my dad, who was in no way related to Charlie, was always speaking highly of her to his friends and the rest of his family. The girl had a bright future ahead of her.

Soon after my homecoming, I got a call from an old, good friend, telling me I had a job waiting for me at the radio station where I had been doing an internship for six months before I left for Orlando. Within the week, I was a part of the wonderful crew at 91X. Not only were they my co workers, but they were also my High School friends. Cliff, Marc, Hillary, Robin, Dave, Tom and I had gone through four years of school together, and we had all reunited in the end, just like we had planned years before. I had gone back to my original musical preferences, as well. 91X specialized in classic 80ís music, alternative, rock and metal. Life was good, and I was happy.

Not that I didnít like living in Orlando. When I had originally left that city to come here, the only things I missed were my mother and our house. This time, however I had a slew of things and people to miss terribly.

My sister, for example. Every other day we made phone calls to each other, informing the other of what was happening on either side of the country. I learned a lot of things from her of how things had been after I left nine months ago.

I had lasted only a month after my stay in the hospital before I had found myself in desperate need of a change in lifestyle. While I never discussed my intentions to leave with anyone, I had a feeling that deep down, they knew what was coming. So I didnít bother giving an official notice, or saying goodbye; Iíd be back to visit.

Keri had been promoted to Set Director a few months back, after Gina received an excellent job offer in New York. My sister couldnít be happier. I smiled at the thought of the morning crew having to answer to my sister nowadays; Iím sure they watched themselves a lot more now.

The guys had finished writing, recording and had released their most impressive work to date, and, after another successful tour, they had returned home only three days ago. Whatever it was that had inspired them to write those beautiful tracks, Iím grateful for it. They had truly outdone themselves.

Marissa, no longer an intern, took over my old job and was now Jayís partner in the afternoon show. Well, not only in the afternoon show. One day, while I listened to them online, they spontaneously announced their engagement to their listeners. I was the first of them to call in with my congratulations. I had just enjoyed a week of Marissaís company myself. She had chosen to spend her vacation here in San Diego, and the reunion was a great one for me.

No matter how much I enjoyed hearing about everyone, I always longed for news on my mother. She was doing great, despite the fact that Charlie was over here with me. Her and my stepdad were living a wonderful life together with Sammy, my half brother. I missed the little stinker; his baby talk, the way he smiled at me, how he tried to outsmart me the way only one year olds know how. I missed the way his grubby little handprints would be on my clothes after holding him, the way his little arms wrapped around my neck when he hugged me, always followed by a kiss and, ďLove you, bye.Ē

I missed everyone, everything, in Orlando. I always told my sister Iíd return for visits, but in the back of my mind, the uncertainty of the fact plagued me at all hours of the day. Could I really ever go back, after everything I had gone through?

[chapter 34 | chapter index | chapter 36]