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Creative Writing Stories

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Post  Loyal Subject Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:03 pm

Okay, so here is the first one I did. It was a three word story where we had to have the three words pie, carton, and box in it. It didn't matter what the story was about but the story was supposed to be 2-3 pages.

The Box From Nowhere

It was early Sunday morning when Karen decided to momentarily awaken from her slumber, one that she planned to have last most of the day, and find herself something to eat for breakfast. Her fridge was bare so she settled for some leftover pie and a carton of milk. There was only one slice left of the pie and the milk, as luck would have it, was expired. So she settled for just the slice of pie.

The doorbell rang just as she was dumping the spoiled milk down the sink. At first, she thought about not answering it. But then it rang again.

There was no one there when she opened the door. But there was a box. It was a fairly large box with the standard post office logo covering all its surfaces. Karen looked up and down the street but there was no sign of anyone. She stared down at the box: it was, indeed, addressed to her. There was no return address.

She thought, perhaps, her grandmother had sent her the package and forgot to leave a return address. Her grandma was always forgetful in that way. So Karen brought the box inside. She grabbed the box cutter from the kitchen drawer where she kept all her miscellaneous things. Perhaps she was too tired to think straight or perhaps she just didn’t care that the package had arrived on a Sunday. Either way, she opened the box.
The box was empty save for a note folded neatly at the bottom. It read “Put something in the box you no longer want and get something of equal value in return. Overnight delivery, provided you put the box where you found it. It’s just easier to track that way. Regards”. There was no signature at the bottom. Clearly, this wasn’t from her grandmother.

Curious, Karen thought of something she could possibly give away. Something that she didn’t want but also wasn’t very valuable. She looked down at her wrist where a hair tie rested. It was pink with sparkles and the elastic had run its course. She didn’t like pink or sparkles that much. Her ex-boyfriend had bought it for her on one of their first dates and pink with sparkles was the only selection in the store unless she had wanted a Dora or Doc McStuffins themed hair tie.

Karen took the hair tie off her wrist and put in the box. She then taped the box shut and put it back in front of her door where she had found it. With the door locked, she went back to the comfort of her bed and fell asleep.

The next day, Karen opened the box to find a new hair tie resting at the bottom. This one was green, her favorite color, and the elastic was tight and new. Karen put her hair up before bringing the box back inside.

She thought about what to put in the box next. There was the camera her ex-boyfriend had gotten her for their one year anniversary. It wasn’t particularly old and worn like the hair tie. But she still didn’t want it. Not anymore. So she put the camera (along with whatever pictures were in the camera) inside the box and left it outside. And she waited.

The new camera was a slightly better model and came in a brand new box with brand new instructions and a completely blank memory card. It was strange; Karen couldn’t even remember what pictures had been in the old camera in the first place. Nor could she recall any memories associated with the pictures. It was one big blank space in her mind. And because of this, she got an idea.

Karen went around the house and collected whatever she could that reminded her of her ex-boyfriend. Pictures, trinkets, clothes, anything and everything. And she put them in the box. The box was nearly full and Karen was afraid she would not be able to fit everything inside it. But it all fit with a small space still left at the top. Karen took the beta-fish on her kitchen counter her boyfriend had won her at the carnival. She had named it Cecil. She couldn’t remember why. She took Cecil in his small fish bowl and placed him safely around some clothes at the top of the box and she left the box outside.

There was no box on her doorstep the next day. She wondered about it, wondered where her things had gone. Although, what things were in the box, she could not remember. But that could be because that very same day she met Tom. They had met while she was running errands. Karen really liked Tom. They went out a few times and she thought, for a moment, that she had never been happier and the memory of the strange box from nowhere gradually vanished.

But as the days went by, Karen started to feel empty. As though there was a part of her life that had gone missing. She had a new camera. But what had happened to her old one? She had an old one, hadn’t she? Where were the pictures from her old camera? And it wasn’t just the camera that was off. There were times where she felt as though things were missing around her house. But what those things were, she didn’t know. And why was the name Cecil stuck in her mind?

After a few weeks, Karen stopped seeing Tom. She didn’t know why but she thought it would make her feel better.
The day after she broke up with Tom, a Sunday, the doorbell rang and Karen found a box sitting on her doorstep. There was no return address. Inside, was a beta-fish wrapped safely in clothes and pictures and trinkets looking as though it had not been outside and packaged for more than a few minutes.
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Post  Loyal Subject Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:37 pm

The Whales’ Song

The winter months had been unbearable. It was, as the news often reported, one of the worst winters they had had in the last century. So when the day finally came where there was no snow on the ground, no bitterly cold weather, and a clear, blue sky, Reese practically jumped out of her bed despite it being a school day.

She threw on a pair of old jeans and an old T-shirt, expecting these to get dirty very quickly. She threw on her old, worn out sneakers and brushed her short, messy black hair before running out of her bedroom. Only a few seconds passed before she ran back in, grabbing her backpack that, as society dictated, she would unfortunately need for the rest of the day.

Running outside, she paused to look up at the sky. And she finally saw them after five long months of grey, cloudy skies.

The whales.

There were two humpback whales: a mother and her calf. A few fish swam harmoniously around them but Reese never found fish to be particularly interesting. No, it was always the whales: beautiful and majestic as they filled the sky on sunny days like today. The calf stayed close to its mother, afraid to stray too far. They sang to one another, a sound Reese often heard in the winter days. She would constantly look up at the sky whenever their song filled the air and sometimes she would catch a fin or a tail or a belly. But the winter sky would never let her see the whales in their true glory.

The two were moving on and heading in the opposite direction of the school. Figures. But Reese told herself she would have plenty of time to admire the whales as she sat through Ms. Hutchinson’s math class. So she forced herself along the sidewalk of the quiet suburban town she called home.

“Hey Reeses,” Max, her neighbor, called. He hopped over his fence,donned in a similar outfit, evidently having the same idea she had. Reese glared at him. He scratched his blonde hair sheepishly, his freckled face nearly turning red.

“Stop calling me that,” she insisted. It wasn’t that she had a thing against nicknames: she’d just prefer hers wasn’t after a piece of candy. She needed something way cooler if she was going to make it through the rest of seventh grade.

“Fine. Reese. Whatever.” Max rolled his eyes. “You know, it’s only one extra letter, right?” Her sour expression didn’t change and it was clear it wasn’t going to. She kicked a leftover can from the morning garbage run and sent it flying into the street. A black Firebird honked its horn viciously as it tried to avoid the can. They walked in silence for a few minutes with Max staring in her direction every once in a while.“You wanna play baseball after school today?"

“Glove’s in the bag,” Reese answered, accepting his peace offering. “You got Ms. Hutchinson’s math homework?”

“Yeah, why?”

“I need to copy it.”Max groaned before opening his backpack. They continued to walk down the sidewalk as he fumbled through his things until he finally pulled out a single, crumpled sheet of paper. Reese snatched it out his hands. “Thanks Maximilian.”

“Shut up.”

Shortly after reaching the school, Reese could already tell this day was going to drag longer than usual. But at least now she had her math homework completed. Satisfied with her hard work of finishing the assignment five minutes before school started, Reese rewarded herself by staring out the window not just during Ms. Hutchinson’s class but Mr. Dunlap’s English class as well. She was passing that class with flying colors so she could afford a little daydreaming here or there.

Although she didn’t see any humpback whales, she did manage to catch a pod of orcas. This pod was much bigger than the humpback one she had saw this morning and was clearly on the move for one reason or another. That didn’t stop them from their playful jumps and water spouting from their blowholes. They clicked and chattered amongst one another, swimming across the sky for a good ten minutes before Reese could no longer find them in the horizon. She continued to stare longingly at the sky, hoping a new group would find its way into her sight. But the sky was empty.

If only she could fly out to the sky and swim amongst the whales. Swim on and on and on until she got tired and the sky grew dark. Then she would go to bed and wake up the next morning only to do it all over again. She’d learn the whales’ songs; learn of their stories, their hopes, their dreams. And it was then Reese knew she better start paying attention in class again before she was caught daydreaming.

When the last school bell finally rang, Reese joined the others in a desperate stampede out of the school and into the warm outdoors. As the crowd dispersed, Reese located Max and the two headed towards the baseball field.
Reese was by no means the best player on the team. But she had her assets. She was one of the better hitters, average in the field. And she could run. When playing rivaling teams, Reese would always be the one to take a man’s place as a runner if they ever needed one. Which surprisingly happened more often than not.

This particular game was just amongst her teammates to keep everyone’s spring fever at bay. Jimmy-John had just sent a line drive passed shortstop and had successfully made it to second base. Reese took a couple of practice swings before stepping up to the plate, the rusted orange dirt beneath her feet.

A shadow suddenly appeared over Pete’s head just as he was about to pitch the ball. A low groan rumbled above. He stopped mid-throw to look up at the sky. Everyone did. No one could resist the sight of a humpback whale and her calf. Mouths agape, the kids stared in awe as they swam across the sky.

“Wow look at them go!” Max, who was playing catcher, exclaimed.

“They’re so big!” Penny said.

But then, a distant hum echoed and the exclaiming and pointing ceased. Reese frantically scanned the sky, hoping she had misheard the faint sound.

Reese hadn’t misheard anything. Two biplanes were hidden amongst the clouds and only now made themselves known. The sound of their propellers and engines increased as they drew closer towards the whales. The whales’ once joyous song ceased for even though they could not see the planes yet, surely, they must have known they were there. But it was too late for them to get away, to swim to freedom.

And then, the first harpoon came.

One of the hunters secured safely to the top wing threw his harpoon as the plane flew alongside the whales. It pierced the mother’s side, a trail of blood filling the once perfectly blue sky. Both whales cried in both agony and fear. Their cries pierced the children’s ears and in response the children yelled and screamed at the hunters from below. Except Reese; Reese remained silent. But the hunters did not hear the children’s cries and would not listen even if they had heard them.The second harpoon came from the second plane and hit the mother on the other side, both planes now on either side of the humpback whale and her calf.

“Hey!” Reese called. She did not yell at the hunters; she yelled at her teammates. The group stopped staring at the sky to look at her. “Are you gonna pitch the ball or what?!”

Pete stared at her, dumbfounded. The rest of the team looked on with equal confusion. But the sour expression on Reese’s face indicated this was no laughing matter, no curveball. It was a serious threat.

“Uhh…yeah,” Pete finally said. He tried to compose himself as the cries of the whales continued above. But he pulled his knee close to his chest, winding up, and pitched the ball.

The crack of the bat echoed. The ball soared high into the sky as if it were trying to touch the clouds above. But it didn’t. It didn’t even come close to the hunters and the whales.

The ball was put into play. But no one went after it because Reese was not running. After she hit the ball, she threw the bat onto the ground and walked off the field. No one tried to stop her, no one called after her. The whales continued to cry, the sky continued to turn red.

The sky was growing dark when Reese entered her room. She threw her backpack and glove on the floor before throwing herself on the bed. The sound of the whales’ cries was long gone. Reese looked out her bedroom window, a pool of red filling the sky in the distance.
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Post  Loyal Subject Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:58 pm

Our Time in the Jungle

We were in a rusty, old jeep that bumped and jerked with every passing moment along the rickety terrain. My sister, mom, and I might normally see this as a hindrance but the bumpiness of the drive only made us more excited. It wasn’t every day that we were able to see an ancient temple, much less one that promised the sight of ancient artifacts and who knew what else. Just moments before, we had been given a dose of the things we would see with a Rotunda Calendar and slabs with petroglyphs on display in the waiting room.

The main temple door opened and we were faced with an additional three doors. The car stuttered a bit, it clearly had seen better days, before continuing on through the middle door that opened for us like magic. The room ahead was lit with what appeared to be hundreds of stars and I knew we had entered the Observatory of the Future. Purples and blacks filled the room as if we were suddenly in the depths of space itself.

“Shut your eyes,” I told my mom and sister before doing so myself. If there were any directions I had listened to before the tour began, it was not to gaze into the eyes of Mara.

“Foolish mortals! You looked into my eyes,” a voice boomed all around us. Evidentially someone in the jeep failed to get the memo. I opened my eyes just in time to see Mara’s face contorting with anger as lightning streaking across the room. “Your path now leads to the Gates of Doom!”

I jerked in my seat as the jeep swerved to the left. It was clearly time to get out of here. Good thing my thirteen-year-old sister was such a good driver.

A large door stood to our right. I could see a foreign residue composed of greens and blues attempting to seep out of the cracks. If it wasn’t for the head of the entire excavation, Dr. Jones, desperately pushing his entire weight against the oozing door, we would all be dead right now.

“Quick, take the stairs to the left, it’s the only way out!” he instructed, pointing to a set of stairs hidden by the darkness. The ooze pushed against the door, jerking him back. But he still fought to keep the door as shut as possible, to give us as much time as possible to make our escape. My sister wasted no time in following directions: she slammed on the gas and pumped us up the stairs. The jeep jerked uncontrollably as we hit each step but there was no time for complaining.

We entered a room with a fiery pit of lava covering the entire floor just below us. Fire rose from nearby statues; it was as if the statues knew we were trying to escape and were very, very angry. Another tourist group crossed a bridge just up ahead and it seemed as though that was our only way out. My sister followed the only path we could take just to the left. Skeletons hung from the walls, lunging towards us; their shrieks echoing in our ears. One skeleton tried to grab my sister. She screamed and swerved the jeep where another then attempted a grab for my mom. But my sister veered again, the skeleton missing my mom by a mere inch.

Suddenly, the headlights died, leaving us in complete and utter darkness. My sister inched the vehicle forward unsure what lay ahead.

“Marin, turn on the lights!” I yelled. My sister fumbled with the controls and the lights began to flicker. The walls were completely black. Something wasn’t right. I looked again and saw the blackness on the walls moving. Beetles swarmed out of the cracks of the ancient temple. I felt a small gust of air hit my face. Unsure if the beetles were deciding to take flight or attempting to squirt us with residue in defense, I knew it was time to leave. “Go Marin, go!”

The jeep lurched forward as we came to the bridge the other tourist had passed. We were almost there. Now that I had the lava and fire as a light source, I looked behind us. The rest of our group appeared to be completely un-phased. Did they not realize there was a chance we might not make it out of this temple alive?

Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes? Across the bridge, they covered the walls and the floors, slithering coyly, perhaps waiting for one of us to fall out of the jeep. But these snakes were nothing compared to what I saw laying ahead of us: a giant, deadly cobra. And when I say giant, I don’t mean it was “kind of sort of a big snake” by our standards, I mean it was about the size of an elephant. We screamed, covering our bodies with whatever of the jeep we could use as a shield as the cobra’s fangs extracted. It lunged forward, attempting to grab us. Luckily, my sister was still moving fast and the cobra slammed its head into the side of the jeep instead. It recoiled before lunging again. This time we weren’t as lucky as the cobra grabbed a passenger in the back row, its fangs piercing into the man’s flesh. The man screamed but it was too late as the cobra pulled his body out of the vehicle and began to swallow him whole. There was no time for remorse: we had to keep moving or else we would all perish.

We spiraled down further into the pits of the temple and I was starting to think perhaps we weren’t close to the exit as I had previously thought. There seemed to be no way out of this intricate maze and no matter where we turned, disaster was sure to strike us.

We jerked forward as the jeep came to a sudden stop. Marin tried to start the car but her efforts appeared to be futile. There was no more juice left. We were now in darkness once again only this time, squeaks and pitter patter came from the floors below us.

“Marin, start the car!” I shouted. I knew I shouldn’t have let her drive.

“I’m trying!” she yelled. As if by magic, the jeep started once again. She floured it just as the rats came into view. A branch was just ahead with an army of them crossing over. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones desperate to get out of here.

“Duck!” We ducked upon my command, our heads just barely missing the branch. I heard screams behind me from a woman followed by the squeaking of rats. Evidentially, someone didn’t duck. I turned around: she was trying to shake the rats off violently as they undoubtedly bit her. She screamed some more before losing her balance and falling out of the jeep, the rats completely engulfing her and her body disappearing into the dark abyss.
Marin slowed down the jeep as she saw what was coming next: a hall of angry statues each facing one other. We had all seen enough adventure movies to know what was coming next. My sister took a deep breath before flooring it. The statues continued to glare at us as darts shot forward, each attempting to kill us with one piercing blow. We shrieked as we ducked for cover. The darts clanged against the jeep, bouncing every which way. One ricocheted off the car, piercing another one of our own in the neck. The teenager didn’t have time to scream due to the shock and merely slumped over in his seat.

Just up ahead, Dr. Jones was hanging by a rope from the ceiling. Marin sped towards the archeologist, aligning our jeep just underneath him. I reached my arms out.

“Get in Indy, get in!” I called.

“Get in, hurry! Get in hurry!” Marin and my mom yelled, not knowing how much more precious time we had.

“Give me some light over here,” Indy instructed. My sister turned on the headlights to give us more light. The light shone forward, revealing a giant, perfectly round, boulder. And it was rolling right towards us.

“Oh no,” I heard my mom say.

“Back up, back up, back up,” I added. But my sister didn’t need my directions anymore: she backed up the car. The boulder showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, it looked as though it had picked up momentum and was now hurtling towards us. We weren’t going to make it.

I don’t know what my sister saw or if it was even her but suddenly our jeep was plunging downwards in a chamber below just as the boulder was about to crush us. There was a loud crack from above. And no sign of Dr. Jones.

We rounded the corner and, to our surprise, found the boulder in shambles with Indiana Jones leaning against it. He looked tired and worn out as he wiped the sweat and dirt from his brow.

“Tourists, why’d it have to be tourists?”

We exited the ride, welcoming the sun’s rays after our dark and dangerous ordeal. The jungle’s dirt was still beneath our feet. Tired and famished, we paused.

“That was awesome!” Marin exclaimed. “Can we go on it again later?”

Yes, later. Our day had only just begun and there were still even more adventures awaiting us. The people in our jeep walked passed us, all alive and well, forming paths of their own stories and adventures for the day. Which I imagined would be pretty boring all things considered.

There were only two days. Two days to create a lifelong memory of the Happiest Place on Earth for half of my family. The other half, my other two sisters, had unfortunately been left behind. The original plan had been for them to spend the entire week here, seven days out of the sixteen I could get them in for free. But, like most adventures, things don’t go according to plan. Still, I was determined to make the most of what I was given. Two days. Two days to share the wild stories and adventures of my life at Disneyland. To share what it felt like when you had someone playing along with the magic that I had been given every day for the past two months.

“Well, we should probably go find Peter Pan. He should be out and about any minute,” I said, “and it’s hard to catch him so we better get started.”

And we were off on our next adventure in search of the boy who never grew up. Because as Jack Skellington had told us earlier, somebody needed to tie that little monster down.
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Post  Loyal Subject Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:03 pm

Sunny Disposition
(or the kind of sort of not really RP story)
“There are a few things you need to know about Naomi Kim. First, yes, she’s Asian. Well, half Asian anyway. The second is she may just be the craziest god damn person on the planet. Or, at the very least at Maywood Public High School.

Let me give you some examples as to just how bat-**** she really is. For one, on the first day of freshmen year she wore a Japanese school girl uniform knowing full well it was a public school. When she was called in to the principal’s office due to the length of her skirt, she felt it was perfectly acceptable attire because she was wearing shorts underneath. She was suspended for two days after refusing to change her outfit.

Then there was the school play audition where she felt it was appropriate to sing the male’s audition song instead. When the director asked her why, she simply replied “Because the female roles suck so if I can’t be a boy then there’s no point in being in the play.” Suffice to say she did not get a role that year. Or any year while attending Maywood Public High School for that matter.

When she wasn’t attempting to be a righteous social justice advocate, she was loud, obnoxious and overall an unpleasant person to be around. You would think given her behavior she would have hidden away some tragic back story or family problems but that was all far from the truth. While it was true she lived with her father’s friend and his son, her parents having died in a car accident when she was young, she never seemed phased by this. By the end of freshman year I had been over her house enough times to know they could easily pass off as a family from a sitcom or something.

I don’t know why but I thought perhaps she would be more mature sophomore year. But after only being a couple of weeks in the school year, I could already see this was going to be a bumpy road.

“Hey,” Naomi said one day while we were eating our lunch outside, “why is it no one in this school ever does a senior prank?” Oh god, what the hell was she up to this time?

“I don’t know, I guess they know they’d get in a lot of trouble. Like expelled or something.” Naomi took a sip of her chocolate milk and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

“We should do a senior prank.” The way she said it wasn’t a suggestion. It was a demand. I tried to remain calm as I popped a jalapeño popper in my mouth. But instead I almost choked on it and forced it down my throat in order to avoid a commotion of endless coughing.

“Well call me senior year and I’ll take a look at my schedule.”

“No. It has to be now.” She slammed her Yoohoo on the table but luckily she had drunk enough where there was no spill over.

“I think you’re missing the reason why it’s called ‘senior prank’.” I knew at this point my arguing was pointless. I could see the deviant look in her dark brown eyes. She probably already had this idea long before the conversation even started.

“We need something to test the waters and pave the way for the senior prank. They’d never suspect a sophomore to pull something off.”

“What did you have in mind?” She smiled at me as if she thought I would never ask this question. It was a smile filled with complete and utter mischief.

“Last day of school we do a flash mob in the cafeteria to ‘After Today’ from The Goofy Movie. It’s perfect because no vandalism will occur and when we’re caught we can just argue it was just plain and simple fun.” I was failing to see why she wanted to share this plan with me so early in the school year let alone share it with me at all. Whenever Naomi had a plan or shenanigan in her mind, she was always sure to leave me out of it. Because even though Naomi was god damn crazy, she at least had the decency to respect the fact I never wanted any part in her charades.

“Okay…so just get the theater kids to do it. They’ll eat that stuff up.”

“I want you to be Max.” I nearly sent my mouth full of bottled water across the table. Luckily, I was able to avoid this by once against forcing it down my throat. I could feel the water painfully traveling down to my stomach.

“What!? But I don’t sing!”

For those of you who are ‘uncultured’ or were simply born in the wrong decade, as Naomi would put it, the song “After Today” is a celebration of the last day of school (hence the date Naomi had set for this little show) with Max, Goofy’s son, as the protagonist. In other words, Naomi was telling me I had to be the center of attention for her amusement.

“Well, that’s why we need the whole year. Duh.”

“But—but why don’t you just do it? Or get what’s-his-face? He’s always the lead.” Before Naomi said anything, I could tell she was appalled at the fact I was suggesting she change her plan that was probably contrived the night before. God forbid I ruin a plan that took a whole half hour to spawn from that mind of hers.

“I need someone I can trust if things go sour. I need someone dependable. Brian, I need you.” I could have sworn I heard patriotic music playing in the background as she delivered her mini speech. But I was still unconvinced. “Come on, just this once.”
And so, the last day of school I found myself with a red t-shirt/sweater thing, jeans, and a dark red backpack shoved into my locker. I removed them from the locker as the lunch bell rang and frantically switched them with my regular backpack and schoolbooks. As I shut the locker door, I found Naomi leaning against the lockers.

“You ready?” she asked. She was wearing a baggy sweatshirt with a zipper that concealed her teal shirt and most of her 80’s style shorts for the role of Roxanne. Funny how the one who could sing had chosen to play the silent part of this fiasco. She was currently fiddling with her iPod.

“Yeah, yeah,” I replied as I swung my new bag over my shoulder. I had about five minutes to get to the men’s room and change into my outfit and then get to the cafeteria on time. “What are you listening to anyway?”

“Powerline obviously. I have to get into character.” Powerline was the teen heart throb pop star of the movie.

“Of course.”

“See you there.”

And just like that, she was gone, off to coordinate with the theater kids who had miraculously kept everything silent. I had no idea who was playing what part and I honestly didn’t care at this point. I just wanted this nightmare to come to an end.

I hurriedly changed in the bathroom. I wasn’t entirely sure why we had such a tight time frame when in theory we probably could have started at any time during lunch. All I knew was I was supposed to walk into the cafeteria, wait for my cue (which was someone telling me I had forgotten my lunch), and then the music would start and the gates of hell would

I poked my head into the cafeteria once I had finished changing. No one seemed to pay attention to the semi-ridiculous outfit I was wearing. Still, I cautiously took my first step forward, afraid of the ridicule, the beginning of the end, and everything in between. My heart felt as though it was going to come out of my chest any moment in anticipation. I was suddenly extremely hot and I knew this wasn’t due to the heat. Until finally, I heard my cue.
“Maxey, wait up!” I turned towards the second entrance of the cafeteria where, to my surprise, I saw Bill, Naomi’s caretaker, rushing towards me. Another weird quirk in Naomi’s life: everyone, including his own son, called Bill Bill. Naomi had once said she started the trend after reading To Kill a Mockingbird and finding out everyone called the father figure Atticus. Or, something like that. Anyway, it suddenly donned on me why the time had to be so specific: Naomi had gotten Bill involved. He was probably on his lunch break.

Of course, Bill’s outburst had caused the entire cafeteria to look my way. But it didn’t stop there.

“You forgot your lunch,” Bill said as he handed me a brown paper bag. There was a twinkle in his eye as if he was extremely excited to be a part of this fiasco that was now unfolding before me. “Have a good day,” he continued before kissing me on the cheek. Naomi had forced me to watch this damn musical number enough times for me to know this was in the actual song. I wiped my cheek in disgust as I heard an uproar of laughter ring throughout the cafeteria.

As Bill walked away, having done his part, I noticed the music had already started. And my line was coming up. But I was frozen in place with now the entire cafeteria staring in my direction. I shot a glance at Naomi who could probably see the fear on my face. But instead of a look of comfort or surprise or urgency, she looked absolutely pissed. In this split second of communication, I understood exactly what she was telling me. Start singing the fucking song Brian or I swear to God I’ll kill you.

And so, I somehow managed to force myself to sing. Whether this was out of my own determination to complete this flash mob that Naomi had put together or out of complete and utter fear of Naomi’s wrath, I will never know. But I do know fellow students began to rush to the cafeteria along with teachers, janitors, and the lunch ladies to bear witness to our little stunt. Of course, with so many witnesses there was no escaping the trip to the principal’s office that occurred immediately after. Naomi was willing to take all the blame for what occurred in the cafeteria and to, as she had often done, find a way to leave me completely out of it.

But I didn’t let her do that. Even though Naomi had told me during our months of planning she would take the blame, I couldn’t let her do it alone. Because I learned something that day that no textbooks or teachers can teach you. And that something was sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, sometimes you need a crazy bat-**** sophomore for a friend to get you into trouble and experience this thing we call life. Because if you never step out of your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you can really, truly achieve.”

I watched as Naomi scanned the contents of the college application essay with anticipation. I thought I had done a fairly good job but the look on Naomi’s face suggested otherwise.

“Why’d you have to go and write your damn college essay on me?” Naomi asked as she handed it back.

“I don’t know…it just felt right.” Her annoyance with the whole situation did not waver. She clutched onto the red scarf wrapped around her neck.

“Well, the ending’s really sappy. Fix it.” I didn’t say anything in return as her comment left a resonating sting. “What I mean is, you shouldn’t have to come out and say all that. It should just be clear from the story you’re telling.” She didn’t look at me as she spoke choosing instead to fixate on her now short black hair that she had recently cut. Although she didn’t say it, she had seemed saddened by her choice. But, as she would say, sacrifices had to be made.

“Oh.” She ruffled the top of my head.

“Hey, are you guys ready or what? I’m going to get a parking ticket at this rate,” Ren, Naomi’s boyfriend, called from the front seat. After making her presence clearly known freshman year, Naomi had found herself Ren, a senior at the time and somehow miraculously going strong after four years of dating. Although it had taken him significantly longer to join Naomi’s antics he had finally obtained the rank of getaway driver. His Ford Explorer was also currently serving as our temporary base.

“Hold on, I’m doing the finishing touches on David’s makeup,” Lizzie replied. Over the years we had also gained a band of merry men two of them being David and Lizzie, both in the musical theater productions.

Naomi looked at me, wide-eyed. She had given me the same expression for three years when she was ready to put on the show that would go down in Maywood Public High School’s history.

“Now get ready Eren Yeager. We got some Titans to slay!”
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