“I think I’ve been spending too much time in this town” I told Dakota as I dangled my feet out over the ledge. A few feet down lay the creek we came to occasionally. It was early October, one of those rare warm days when the leaves were crisp and the air was still kind of sweet, trying to hold onto the summer for as long as it can.
“Yeah? I think that any amount of time you’ve spent in this town is too much,” she said dully not even looking up from her drawing, “I mean really Jude what do you expect? There’s nothing here.”
She was right, all we had was this creek and occasionally a house party full of kids in our grade and the grade below ours where the girls pretend to be drunk and guys who pretend to be to cool to care.
“I’m gonna get out of here ya know” I told her.
“I know you are”
“No I really mean it, I can’t end up like them, all stuck and unhappy,” I said before fishing a cigarette out of my backpack. I lit up and took a long drag flicking the ashes into the creek below me.
“You really need to stop that” she said wrinkling her nose.
“Sure, sure I know. I’ll stop when I get out of here” I said taking another drag.
“Did you hear what Benny said last week?” she asked me. Just like that we were off the topic of leaving. I knew my sadness bummed her out but it took everything in me not to let it consume me. By the time she finished her story about Benny and his latest shenanigans I had finished my cigarette and was ready for another one. I held myself back.
“What time is it?” she asked.
“Almost four” I said checking my phone. No messages.
“Wanna get some food before I go to work?” she asked knowing I was going to say yes. We went to the diner closest to her house almost every week, sometimes even more than once.
It was a long walk back to my car and it took her a while to gather up all of her sharpies and sketchbooks.
“What if I die my hair blonde?” I asked her pulling at some split ends.
“I think you’re crazy and you’re about as blonde as I am,” she said shaking a mass of purple hair at me.