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Rosebud (part one)
I slam the door to my room and leap onto my bed. This is so not fair! Of all the days they could have told me that we are moving, they just had to tell me today, a week before my birthday! So now, instead of going to the movies with my friends, we are going to be on a one-way drive from St. Louis to some town in Wisconsin. Of course, my parents are saying exactly what everyone says when they move, with their dumb,
“Oh it will be fun!” or
“Christina, just give it a chance,” and the ever so popular
“You can always make new friends!”
What will my friends say? Being the great friends they are, probably something like “OMG really?” Great friends, right? I lie on my bed, memorizing the crack on my ceiling. My mom knocks on my door.
“Christina, I know you’re upset, but at the new house, there is a girl who lives next door, same age as you.” Yeah… and that makes it all better.
“Please, your father and I just can't afford this house anymore,” I can hear the pleading in her voice, begging me to accept this new change in my life.
“Its ok Mom, I'm just trying to process this.” I can hear her sigh as she leaves the room.
I push myself up into a sitting position and drag myself across my floor to the window. I push it open and breathe in the cool night air. A car turns onto our street, probably coming home from working the night shift. The slight scent of lavender blowing through the window makes up my mind. I turn around, plop myself on the bed, and turn out the lights.
The next morning, I wake up, groggy, and I can't remember what happened last night. It comes back in a flash. I just lie there, processing the knowledge. I walk across the room and open the door. The lights are out, so I get some time before my parents start bugging me for the bathroom. I walk in the bathroom and flip on the lights. Ugh. I must have had a restless night, because my hair is a tangled mess. Normally straight, brown-black hair is so knotted I have to fight with my brush to fix it. I part it to the side, like I always do, and don a t-shirt with some khaki shorts. As I look in the mirror, I notice that my summer tan has almost faded. Sad for St. Louis, but in Wisconsin, I guess everyone will be as pale as snow. I make my way down the hallway, the stairs taunting me to walk down to breakfast. I make my speedy decent, and I turn out of the narrow laundry room into the kitchen.
My dad is drinking a cup of coffee and my mom had the Sunday crossword in her hand. I take a deep breath.
“Well, I'm ready.” My mom lowers her eyes at me and my dad nearly chokes on his coffee.
“What are you ready for?” He sputtered, hastily cleaning spilled coffee from his lap.
“To move to a new home,” I say almost too sweetly.
“Oh, that,” You can practically hear him roll his eyes.
What is wrong with them? Normally they would be jumping up and down, dancing for joy that I finally agreed with them on something, but right now they are sitting there, looking like I just dropped a dead body on the table.
“Well sweetie, we sort of wanted to talk about it last night, but…” My dad’s voice trails off.
“We didn’t want to tell you, not when you were so upset,” My mom chimes in.
“Tell me what?” I ask them, wanting to scream it out.
“Tell me!” I command.
“Tell. ME.” I scream.
“You know what? I’ll tell you. We are moving on your birthday!” My mom screams back at me.
“Whoa ... what do you mean?” I stammer
“We wanted to avoid the subject, at least until you had warmed up to the idea of moving. We were going to tell you soon, but…” My dad attempts to make a recovery.
“But what,” I cut him off, “so you can tell me that we are moving the week before my birthday? Exactly how long have you been planning this anyway?”
“About two months,” My father is practically talking to his shoes.
“Two months. Two whole months. You didn’t tell me two months ago, so you tell me now.” I am completely disgusted.
“I can't stand talking to you guys any more,” I stomp out of the kitchen and throw all my weight down with every stair I climb. When I get to my room, I slam the door shut.
I press my face against the window as the fall countryside flies past. Our entire house is packed into a van driving along behind us. Anything we couldn’t bring with us we sold at a huge last minute garage sale. Has anyone even wished me happy birthday? Of course not. “Sweetie,” My mom calls from the front seat, “Do you want to stop anywhere?” Yes! I want to stop right now, turn the car around and drive back home, but that’s not an option, now is it?
“No.” My voice sounds dead even to me.
“Is something wrong honey?” My dad sounded concerned. Nope, nothing is wrong only the fact that my entire childhood has been ruined because of you and Mom. I waste the next three hours reading, hoping that this was all some cruel joke. After the world’s longest pity party we pulled onto a dirt road. Welcome to Nowhere-ville, Wisconsin.
We drive through a small town, but I wouldn’t even call it that. A gas station and a thrift store isn’t exactly a town by middle school standards. I open my mouth to make a snide comment, but the look I get from my mom stops me cold. We drove down our new street, and I closed my eyes, not wanting to be the first in my family to see the new house. I felt the car slow down as my mom eased off of the gas pedal. The car stopped and I groaned inside. I peeked through my fingers to get a glimpse of the house. Wow. I stared open mouthed, at my new house. It was so old-fashioned, it looked so unique compared to the plain, drab houses next door to us. I flung open the car door, and rushed through the front door, any doubts that life would be boring here were erased from my mind. I raced up the wooden stairs desperate to claim my room first.
There were three doors that I could choose from. Inside the first, there was a plain bed with a walk in closet. It was nice, but it wasn’t the room for me. The next room had color at least. One wall was green, one was red, one was orange, and one was blue. I walked out, thinking it would be perfect, if I was colorblind. I had mixed feelings about the last room, but when I opened the door, I knew it was for me.
The walls were a pearly white, but it was the ceiling that sold me. It was an exact replica of the night sky, with bursting nebulas and exquisite detail. I held my breath as I flicked off the lights. I looked up, transfixed by the glow in the dark galaxy. I flicked on the lights and leapt on the bed. I breathed in the scent of my new room, a mix of wet wood and roses. I got up to go and get my luggage to start to move in, and saw a rose on my bed. I knelt down, gently handling the squashed petals. I turned it over and saw the note-
Dear New Girl,
Congrats on moving in. I live next door, and I am thrilled there will be a girl my age. Don’t mention this note to anyone, because I wasn’t supposed to break in and leave it here. I hope you like the room; it was my favorite, so I thought it would be yours. See you around.
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"Crying? Nah. Lift you head up, princess. Your tiara is falling off."
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"Let's tell young people the best books are yet to be written; the best painting, the best government, the best of everything is yet to be done by them."