www.whyville.net Sep 19, 2003 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

In The Rain

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A teenage girl slips quietly out of her house. It is a chilly night. The wind, nipping at her ears, whispers teasingly, telling her that summer is drawing to a close.

She brushes her dirty blond hair out of her eyes, and makes up her mind to go to her best friend's house. After three quarters of an hour of walking, covered in puddle water by the inconsiderate people who were too involved in their busy schedules to slow down as they drove through tiny, grimy pools in the road, she knocks on Kellie's door. The dog inside barks madly, the bird chirps wildly, the cat mews for some dinner, and half of Kellie's face appears in a crack as the door opens. Once she sees this girl, this disgusting, filth-covered girl with short straggly hair and tears in her eyes, this girl that was supposed to be her best friend, the visible part of her face screws up in disgust.

"Go away," she hisses, barely audible over the racket of her pets. "I'm busy. I don't want you here. Go home."

With that, Kellie slams the door. Our subject stares, wonderingly, at the white-washed wood, then turns and kicks her way up the street. She is deep in thought, wondering where to go now, as a bell rings into her thoughts. She looks up just in time to jump out of the way of a speeding mountain bike, the rider swearing profoundly at her. Suddenly a white-hot rage overcomes the teenager, and she opens her mouth to scream, scream at everybody who couldn't give her a break, just for once... but she stops. She blinks, looking at a stranger's house. It is a lovely, gingerbread-type house, one that she has seen many times before, but never looked at carefully. She walks slowly up the redwood steps, and knocks lightly on the door. Tap. Tap. Tap.

A small boy answers the door. Before she opens her mouth, he yells, "MEG! YOU HAVE A VISITOR!!"

Looking quite surprised, a girl of about 15 shoves her brother out of the way. Her eyebrows disappear into her chestnut brown hair when she sees the pathetic creature standing on her doorstep. She quickly invites her inside and up into her room.

"Sit down, on my bed, okay? I'll be right back, I just have to put my dog out. D'you want some tea?"

Without waiting for an answer, she disappears. The small boy, about the age of five, appears shyly beside the bed.

"Here," he mumbles, shoving a five dollar bill into her hand. Before she can even cast him a questioning look, he is running back out the door. Meg walks into the room, just as her brother slams the door to his room, holding a tea-tray. Without any questions, the girl explains everything. How her father ignores her, her mother is depressed, her sister tries to change her, her boyfriend left her just as she was falling for him, her best friend is apparently so superficial that when she doesn't look her best, she won't speak to her. Tears begin to stream down her face, and Meg, who accepts her story without questioning her, pulls out her handkerchief, and tells her story, of how the exact same thing happened to her a year ago, except for the fact that her father actually walked out on her. She says that all she had to figure out was that she could decide how her life goes, how everyone treats her. It's her choice whether she's in a good mood, or a bad one.

After two hours of talking fly by, the girl finds herself standing on the doorstep, clutching Meg's phone number, along with the boy's gift, in her hand, saying goodbye.

Just as she turns away, Meg asks, "Why did you come here?" The girl smiles, and tilts her head towards Meg's driveway.

"I had to know who owned that old truck, once I saw the bumper sticker."

"Which one?" Meg asks.

"Somebody Loves You." And with that, the girl turns to go home, running at full speed, her dirty blond hair whipping out behind her.


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