Saying ‘aloha’ to new places


Illustration by Victoria Van

Story by Joseph Asher, staff writer

He takes in one final sigh as he looks around his vacant house. As his eyes linger around the rooms, his mind replays memories of the good, the bad and the unforgettable. He lets out one final sigh as he closes the door, ready to embark on a new adventure 3,564 miles across the Pacific.

Sophomore, James Drake, is packing his bags and saying goodbye to T-High and hello to Hawaii. This big move was centered around James’ mother who had to move due to her job.

“My mom got a new job for her work, and they opened a branch in Hawaii,” Drake said. “She is an executive director for home health.”

James was struck with a choice, staying in Texarkana with his father or moving to Hawaii with his mother. A choice that left him baffled for weeks.

“Having to choose was difficult because I’ve only lived with my mom, and since my parents are divorced, my dad has been overseas a lot,” sophomore James Drake said. “So when it came down to the decision, I chose to stick with my mom, which meant having to start all over again and leaving my friends and family.”

James was feeling mixed emotions while moving because he battled with the sadness of leaving his loved ones behind, yet he was excited about the tropical weather and beautiful scenery.

“I didn’t feel too great about moving,” Drake said. “I am now having to find new friends when all my old friends who were like family to me are back in Texarkana, as well as having all my family back home too.”

Although James was reluctant at first to move, he soon noticed how significant it was to his mother.

“I knew my mom would be torn without all of her kids,” Drake said. “My mom has been there for me through everything so I decided to return the favor and show her how much I care about her.”

Sad thoughts aren’t the only things bouncing around in James’s head. There are a few things he is looking forward to in Hawaii.

“I’m really excited about the school year and getting a chance to meet new people,” Drake said. “It’s a chance to make new friends and kind of have a blank page in life. Making new friends is important so I don’t feel like an outcast here. I won’t be that awkward new kid, and I will find a place with people I can fit in with.”

James hopes he will get to come back to Texarkana to enjoy his last two years at Texas High.

“My plan is to hopefully come back Junior year,” Drake said. “I’ll be able to live with my Grandpa, and I will be able to drive and even take care of myself more.”

Getting to move somewhere new can be scary at first but with time it can also be an amazing experience especially if it’s 3,564 miles from where he grew up.

“I think it would be good to start over,” Drake said. “I get a fresh start and although it’s sad, it could be for the better. Getting to meet new people and embrace the move rather than push it away is what’s going to help me cope.”