So a friend was encouraging me to keep writing fiction last night. This is just a short writing exercise, but here it is:
She had her suitcase packed, she was leaving for good this time. This whole past year had been nothing but an embarrassment for her. She had been too shy, then been too rebellious. Why couldn’t she just relax and be herself? When people knew the real her they liked her, they actually loved her. I know I did. But, I couldn’t tell her to stay. We were both in 8th grade and I obviously also couldn’t let her go, but I had to think of something.
I had seen Carol pack her bags and pretend to run away from home with Bobby in an episode of the Brady Bunch, but I didn’t think that would work with her. What could I say? What could I do?
“Why do you have to leave? If you really want a fresh start, can’t you just change schools?”
“I can’t ask my parents to move so I can switch schools, there’s no way they would go for that.”
“Well… maybe you could pray that they just decide to move on their own,” I suggested. I knew that probably wouldn’t fly that well with her, since she wasn’t into God or prayer, but it was something I believed in, so I had to give it a shot.
“That’s stupid. Why would God care if I run away or switch schools or anything else?”
“You’re right,” I said, “In fact, he probably would just want you to be miserable anyways.” Somehow my reverse psychology/sarcasm could get her thinking sometimes.
“Just give me a week to pray about it, and we can see if your parents want to move or the school spontaneously combusts or something. Can you please make it one more week? You know this week is important to me with the play coming up and all. So you’re just going to feel selfish if you end up ditching me on the biggest week in my middle school life.”
“Fine. One week. One week of me hanging out and talking to you and only you at school. And then, if nothing changes, I will take matters into my own hands.”
That week passed too quickly and too slowly all at the same time. Everyday I was looking for some miracle, something big to happen to let her stay. Not just for her, but for me too. I cared about her a lot, I’m not even sure in which way, but I knew that I would be miserable if she left. Wednesday rolled around and nothing major had happened. Before I knew it it was Thursday evening, the night of my big play. I was a little nervous but also very distracted. What would I do if nothing happened? God had to come through for me or for her in some way. She texted me that she was on her way to the play. I was rehearsing my lines one last time, when suddenly an alarm went off telling everyone to evacuate the school.
We stood in the parking lot having no idea what was going on. There was no way this was a fire drill, not with parents coming so soon to watch the play. A bomb threat maybe?
“Hey what’s going on?” she tapped my shoulder, scaring me out of my thoughts.
“I don’t know, we were just running through our lines when the alarm went off.”
She looked at the ground playing with her feet.
“Sorry for the inconvenience, everyone,” Principal Schultz said. “I was doing our annual inspection of the building, when they told me that we have termites. I asked if we could at least hold off on evacuating the school until tomorrow afternoon, but they said there was no way they could let it go on for two more days without reporting it to the city. So, unfortunately, our school is officially closed for the time being. Classes are cancelled tomorrow – we will update all of your parents as to what you will need to do as soon as we figure it out. For now, please go home.”
A wave of relief washed over me. Termites! It may not have been a spontaneous combustion, but hopefully this would be the answer I was waiting for!