Nikki’s Message

Alicia Xin
Nikki’s Message I like turtles.

“Violet ran towards her house, crying silently. That was the last time she would probably ever see Nikki in person.”

Violet stared at her screen, sighed, and buried her face in her hands, feeling stuck. What was she going to say to her best friend about the move? She wasn’t even sure what to tell herself. Suddenly, #ultra_giggles sent her an instant message.

“Hi Violet, it’s me, Nikki,” Violet read aloud.

She typed, “Hi, back,” and hit send.

“U have a creative IM name,” came the reply. That was sarcasm, of course. Her IM name was just simply Violet. Violet smiled and changed her IM username to “books4life”. She was the 5th grade’s #1 nerd. Nikki was the most popular, so since Violet was her best friend, it protected her from the usual treatment for nerds. No, Nikki wasn’t just Violet’s friend so that Violet could do her homework. Not once had Nikki asked Violet to do it for her. Instead, she only asked for help and guidance. The other popular girls could never figure it out.

Once, Miranda had complimented Nikki, “That’s smart, now that you have Violet, you don’t have to do school projects anymore.” Nikki had gotten so mad that Miranda isn’t part of the popular group anymore.

Nikki messaged, “So, about the move…😢”

Violet took a deep breath and poured her heart out. “Well, I’m not really sure what to tell myself. I’m mad at my dad for losing his job and getting another in London. He says London is going to be amazing, which is why he got a job there. I can’t believe he did that without even consulting me and mom. I’m afraid to leave my friends, but I guess I really have no choice. I’m afraid that without you, people will do horrible things to me, like what we see when we look at other nerds, who are teased and harassed. I know I’m afraid of a lot of things, but you would be too, if you were in my place. Yes, I also know that it’s not soft on you either because I’m your best friend and I’m moving, but I just hate that we might not ever see each other again.” She pressed send.

“Whoa. These heartfelt things are supposed to be for letters, not IM. And who said I was ur best friend? JK. I am.😄” replied Nikki. It may sound arrogant and annoying for other people, but Violet knew Nikki better than anybody. Nikki was just avoiding her own emotions. She often did this, especially because she liked discussing other people’s emotions rather than hers.

Even though the two friends lived next door, they were using IM just to get into the habit, since this is how they planned to keep in touch.

“Maybe we should text everyday at 4:30 pm so we’re not constantly asking ‘R u there’ and ‘Hello?’ over and over.”

“Now she was avoiding the move topic,” Violet thought. “It’s crazy how if you’re around someone for a long time you develop a sixth sense about what they’re thinking and doing.”

“Okay. Maybe. I still don’t know what my new schedule is, so it’s confusing sometimes. I have to go. See you at 4:30 pm tomorrow. I mean, text you.”

She didn’t really have to go, but Violet needed a break. She felt overwhelmed by the whole thing, even though they didn’t really touch on the main subject at all. She stood up and flopped on her bare bed. She stared at her sky-themed ceiling, the only thing that was the same as before in her room. Everything else was boxed up, ready to be imported to London.

She liked her home here in New York. She closed her eyes and remembered the terrible things she’d yelled at her dad earlier. “You could’ve got a job in New York too, you know!” and “It’s ALL your fault!” coursed through her mind.

She inhaled deeply, and sat up, looking around the room. She stood up and walked across the room and entered the hall. She took a look at the boxes and flew down the stairs, feeling sick of the brown boxes with “To London” scrawled across the tops, reminding her of what was to come, making it impossible to be happy.

She burst out of the front door and slammed it behind her and leaned against it, panting. She laid on the grass, and looked into the robin’s egg sky. Tomorrow, at this time, she would be in London already. Her family was boarding the plane in a few hours.  Just then, Nikki leaned over her vision. “Aaah!” cried Violet, scrambling to her feet. “Nikki! You scared me out of my skin!” she exclaimed.

“Hey, frieeeeeend!” Nikki laughed. “I just wanted to give you this.” She handed Violet a leather-bound book, then watching, amused, as Violet’s face turned from happy to shocked.

“OMG! This is so cool!” Violet hugged Nikki. “I can’t believe it! How did you get everyone’s picture?”

Nikki shrugged. “I know a lot of people.” She blushed. In the book were pictures of everyone Violet knew, reading, just as Violet usually was, with a note and a signature underneath. Nikki had written “U will always be a bookworm in my heart.😀–Nikki XOXO.” Violet smiled.

“I have something to give you, too. Wait here.” Then she ran inside the house and searched the crate of things that weren’t supposed to be packed, like the family’s backpacks, toothbrushes, and a framed picture. Violet took the picture and bolted down the hall and into the front lawn, where Nikki was sitting cross-legged, picking at the grass.

“Here.” She held out the picture frame and then it was her turn to watch Nikki’s reaction.

“Whoa. You still have it?” Nikki asked, eyes wide, clutching the picture. Violet shrugged. Nikki had drawn that picture in kindergarten, giving the finished product to Violet, insisting that she keep it, saying that it was the ugliest picture anyone had ever made in the whole wide world. Violet had accepted it, and because she thought it was rather pretty, stuck it on her bookshelf, and it had been there ever since. It consisted of Violet and Nikki in front of the tree they had planted together, all by themselves.

“VIOLET!!” came a voice from the house.

“Oh, that’s my mom,” said Violet, feeling sad that she might have to go.

“VIOLET!!!” the voice called.

“Coming!” Violet called back. “Listen, I have to go. I’ll see you after a few.” Then, she waved and dragged her feet back to the house, through the front door and into the kitchen, where her mom was cleaning out the cabinets.

“You know you can’t just go outside without telling me. That’s dangerous,” her mom said, eyes still trained on her task of packing the plates. The plates were the only things that weren’t packed up, but her mom was almost finished.

“I was only on the front lawn, so I technically wasn’t even off the property. I can take care of myself now, mom. We’re even moving to London.” Violet’s voice broke.

“Are you still mad at dad?”

Violet nodded to her mom’s question.

“Well, we’ll have to forgive him someday, and I’m sorry for you but you know, it’s hard on dad, too.” she gave Violet a hug, and Violet breathed in her mom’s scent deeply.

Then, remembering Nikki’s gift, she said, “Look, mom. Look at what Nikki gave me.” She held out the album and looked through it for a moment with her mom before adding, “And speaking of Nikki, I have to go to her house to say goodbye one more time.”

Her mom smiled sadly. “Alright. You go on then.”

Violet went outside and crossed the street, running up Nikki’s front steps. She had barely rang the doorbell before Nikki flung the front door wide open. She wasn’t smiling, but she wasn’t frowning either. She was there to embrace Violet, and she was there to support her when Violet started crying.  “I’ll miss you.”

“Me too. Work on your English accent for me.” Nikki tried to be firm.

“I will.” Violet’s voice was squeaky, and Nikki had never heard her voice like that before.

“Bye. IM me when you get on the plane. Hopefully there’s Wifi.” Nikki had a determined look on her face, as if she was bent on keeping her eyes dry. Violet nodded, wiping away tears. Nikki hugged Violet tighter.

“You’re hurting me.” Violet whispered.

“Let’s savor our last hug.”

“Okay.”

“I’ll really, really miss you. Don’t ever make another BFF. We have to stay best friends, promise me that.”

“I promise.”

“Good. Now go away before I start crying.”

“Your eyes are glassy.”

“I know.” Nikki smiled. Then she broke the hug and said, “Let’s do our handshake for the last time.” The two girls repeated the handshake that they made on the first day of their friendship, on the first day of preschool. Clap three times. Shake hands while pressing thumbs together. Fist bump. Turnaround and high five.

“Bye, V.” Nikki was crying now.

“Bye.” Violet was crying, too.

“IM me.”

“Okay.”

“Go now.” Nikki pushed Violet away, turning towards her front door.

“Bye, Nikki.”

“Bye.”

Violet ran towards her house, crying silently. That was the last time she would probably ever see Nikki in person. It was so overwhelming.

She skipped up the front steps and flung open her front door, face to face with her father.

Violet pretended not to see him, pushing past him and going up the stairs. Her dad yelled after her, trying to get her attention, but she still made sure to ignore him and slam her bedroom door loud enough to get the message to her father. I hate you. Go away. You ruined everything.

Her phone chimed. “#ultra_giggles has messaged you.” She rushed to her phone.

#ultra_giggles: hi.

books4life: hey.

#ultra_giggles: 😢😢😡😡😔😔

books4life: don’t make it worse.

#ultra_giggles: sry.

books4life: sok.

#ultra_giggles: did u 4give ur dad yet?

Books4life: no.

#ultra_giggles: maybe you should. It’s not his fault he got fired.

Books4life: ya it is. If he didn’t show up late for that conference, we  wouldn’t have to move. So, if he picked his job over a doughnut, we would still be here.

#ultra_giggles: get over it. Accept ur fate. *virtually shakes shoulder*

Books4life: gtg

Conversation ended.

Violet stared. Accept her fate? “Had Nikki already gotten over the fact that I’m moving?” Violet thought. She brushed that away. That’s not possible. Then Nikki must be saying something else. Maybe, she was saying that everything is going to be okay? Or maybe she was saying, since it was already done, there was no use in regretting the past?

She made a mental note to text Nikki, “Whoa. These heartfelt things are supposed to be for letters, not IM,” when she got on the plane. That was what Nikki had said earlier, when Violet had poured her heart out about the move.

Violet plopped on her bed for the second time today. She closed her eyes. She was going to have a new life, that’s for sure.  She could do this positively or negatively, and what Nikki was saying, is that it’s better to do this happily than grumpily. Violet smiled to herself.

She gathered herself up, opened her door, and cheerfully called down the stairs, “Hey dad, when is our flight?”

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