As my friendship with Elisa continued to progress, my friendship with Mitchi and Alexis didn't dare falter. The summer of 2001 proved that, at the time I was ten, Mitchi twelve, and Alex nine. It was an odd time in our lives. First of all Alex's Zeyda had just passed away, which was extremely difficult for her because she felt closest to him of all her relatives. Mitchi looked completely different, and his voice became much deeper. As for me...well I was a late bloomer, but I knew there was something that was different than Alexis. Mitchi had turned into quite the beautiful young man, and this did not go unnoticed by Alexis. In fact, it was all she talked about that summer.
"Mitchi is really handsome isn't he?"
"Do you think I'll marry Mitchi?"
"Do you think Mitchi loves me"
"Who do you think will have bigger boobs? Me or you? I hope Mitchi likes mine!"
It was constant, and went completely unnoticed by Mitchi much to Alexis' dismay. The worst part about all of this was that I just couldn't feel the same way. I knew Mitchi had grown into a handsome boy, but that was as far as it went. I thought of everyone in the group Alexis was the best looking, and the prettiest girl in school. I told her that once and she just laughed, so I never brought it up again.
We spent our summer days just the three of us. Exploring the breakwater, feeding the seals, and just enjoying each others company. There wasn't a day that we weren't together that summer, it was almost as if we knew that there wasn't a whole lot of time left.
Towards the end of the summer Alexis and I reluctantly left Mitchi and embarked on our yearly visit to Montreal to see our families. Then we headed to Chicago directly afterwards for the wedding of our cousin Todd to his fiance Nicole, who would become such an amazing friend to me as time went on. It was an impressive wedding, and Alex and I both served as junior bridesmaids, and much to the surprise of our parents didn't mess anything up! Like most weddings there was a DJ spinning after dinner, and as usual I shied away from dancing, and Alexis went right up, dancing with everyone. Eventually she ran over to me and grabbed me.
"Come on Chels! Dance with me!" she giggled, and I had to oblige. I spent the rest of the night giggling and twirling with my best friend.
A few short weeks later I watched on TV as The World Trade Center collapsed in New York City. I heard a lot about "ground zero" on the news after that. Little did I know that I would find myself standing in my own ground zero in just a few days.