Jay was walking down the streets of Boston, admiring the giant buildings that seemed to sprout from the earth like enormous plants, when he saw a woman walk by. Jay did not pay much attention to people, but this woman reminded him of someone that was always just a thought away, Ruix.
Ruix was the spring to Jay's step, and had helped him persevere through many losses in his family. Jay was three years old when he lost his mother to cancer, leaving him and his much older sister in the care of their very busy father. Two years later when Jay was five, his sister went out with a group of friends. On their way home, they were hit by a drunk driver. Neither his sister nor any of her friends survived the crash. In two years, Jay's life was turned upside down, leaving him scraping for something to hold on to.
Ruix was Jay's best friend. With her long auburn hair, hazel eyes, and ever so slightly pale skin, Ruix was the kind of person who would stand out in a crowd. However, the thing that set her apart the most was her fiery personality, reckless behavior, and overall happy attitude. Jay was her inverse through is dark brown hair, green eyes, and tannish skin tone. He was always quiet and kept to himself for the most part. What could Jay say, opposites really did attract. So when his world began to crumble, she was the lifeline he grabbed on to.
Every day after school and their chores were done, the two of them would meet up outside a woody area near Little River, which did happen to be a little river. Jay nicknamed this place headquarters because of all the forts they built there and because of how often they went there. Headquarters (or HQ as Ruix called it) was a quiet area outside of town that people usually did not go near, which meant that the two children could be as loud as they wanted and still not bother anyone. Headquarters was not far from Jay's house and Ruix lived even closer to it than he did. When his sister died, Ruix had been one of the few five-year-olds that truly understood what that meant, because her grandfather had died a few months before. So, in order to help cheer Jay up, she had shown him her favorite place to play. They began to build a fort together, and after a few months of work, they found it quite acceptable. From then on they had played more games than either of them could remember such as hide and seek, house, pirates, and people stuck on an island. Pirates was Ruix and Jay's favorite.
Jay was seven and it was a bright sunny day, and after racing home to throw his schoolbag in the house, hightailed it to headquarters. After running down the well-worn trail he had created over the past two years, Jay emerged into the clearing that was home to he and Ruix's fort. "Jay, what took you so long," Ruix asked in a melodramatic tone as she perched on a large log. "I didn't take that long!" Jay said, annoyed that she was saying that he was slow, even though she usually arrived after he did. "I've been waiting at HQ for hours," Ruix complained rolling her eyes. "We just got out of school," Jay said, "Stop pretending!" Ruix looked up and flashed a troublemaker extraordinaire smile and said, "let's play explorers. We can explore the woods around here!" Jay didn't see anything wrong with her idea but told Ruix that they shouldn't go too far or they would get lost. Ruix grudgingly agreed. They set off into the great unknown terrain that was the forest. Jay didn't know how long they were exploring, but time seemed to fly with Ruix shouting, "look over there!" or, "what's that?" Jay usually didn't know what the things Ruix saw were, but when he did, he felt a surge of pride. After a few hours, Jay spotted a ledge that led to higher ground. "Look!" he said as Ruix looked around to see what he was pointing at, "I bet I can beat you to the top!" Jay said to his friend. "No way!" Ruix answered as she saw where he was indicating. The two ran off, and as usual, Jay was in front, until he had to actually climb up the rocks. Jay began to regret making climbing to the top a race as Ruix reached the rock pile a few seconds after him. Ruix was like a monkey when it came to climbing anything, so naturally, she passed Jay up shortly after he began climbing. Ruix pulled herself over the top and shouted down to Jay, "I win!" Jay was annoyed with himself, he had just been beaten by a girl. Jay resolved never to let his classmates know this.
Jay reached the top and looked around. The ledge was about eight feet higher than the forest floor below them. Jay and Ruix stopped to catch their breath after the climb when out nowhere there was a loud BANG! Jay and Ruix both screamed. Jay turned to look at Ruix, but she wasn't there. He looked around him, and then over the ledge, and there she was, lying on the ground, unmoving. "Ruix!" Jay yelled. He scrambled down the cliff and began shaking his best friend. She simply laid there, her no longer bright hazel eyes staring at the sky. In that moment Jay knew in his very soul, Ruix Summers would never again see a bright summers day or the face of her best friend, no matter how hard Jay shook her or shouted her name through tears.
Jay could still see her gravestone back home, in the same clearing where they had played so often, with beautiful irises that surrounded her stone, but never touched it. As the woman disappeared into the crowd of people, he smiled a sad smile, because even after fourteen years, Ruix was still his best friend.