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One Thursday at Four Thirty
I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can go out there. Maybe I should just stay here safe inside? she thought. Wait, she reminded herself. I can do this. Be brave, Stacy, be brave. I can do this. At least I think I can.
The school day has ended at River Valley, and children returned home safely, playing in their yard, full of excitement and laughter as school buses go by, except one yard that didn’t have anyone playing outside. It was a bright yellow house out in the country that was full of beauty. The yard was full of wonderful flowers and plants. The birds were singing loudly for everyone to hear. Inside the yellow house, however, lived a girl all alone. The house was so quite that Stacy could hear her own heartbeat as she sat on her couch with one eye peeking through the blinds of her window. Stacy was silently waiting for someone to come by the house, just like every Thursday of the week. However, she was not waiting for her parents to come home or her friends to come by, but she is waiting for the trash man.
Stacy was 19 years old and a senior at River Valley High, but Stacy was not an average girl; she had a secret that no one knew about that she held deep down inside. Stacy could hear the thoughts of animals. Stacy was a very shy girl because she didn’t want anyone to know her well enough to know her secret. She wanted people to think she was a normal high school student because she was so shy. Stacy was quite lonely at school, but loved being home with her family and pets. Stacy’s best friend was her cat Tom, who she loved to talk to. “Is he here yet, Stacy?” asked Tom.
“No, not yet,” she whispered. Stacy instantly thought about how handsome the trash man the first time she saw him. She could picture him: a tall, skinny, and muscular man with brown hair, and the face of a prince in her mind. I wish I was brave enough to talk to him, she thought. Stacy and her cat waited and waited for the trash man to arrive. Stacy slowly questioned, “Maybe he’s not coming after all?”
“He has come every Thursday at four-thirty for the past year,” Tom snapped. Another five minuets went by. Stacy almost gave up hope when suddenly Tom yelled, “He’s here, he’s here! Stacy, the trash man is here!” With a bright smile on her face, Stacy quickly sat up from lying down on the couch. She peeked out the window and watched the trash man slowly arrive at the house. “Stacy, hurry, go talk to him!” Tom hollered.
Sadly, Stacy answered, “I can’t go out there.”
“Come on, Stacy, don’t be scared. Go out there and talk to him. You can do it,” Tom replied. As Stacy was thinking about going out to talk to the trash man, a nasty fly hovered her head.
“Don’t make me laugh,” chuckled the fly. “You’re not brave enough to go out there and talk to him,” the fly said with a scowl.
“Don’t listen to him, Stacy. Shew, fly, don’t bother us,” Tom demanded. Stacy shewed the hovering fly away, in the motion of a buzzing mosquito.
“I have an idea. Bring some trash out their,” Tom said proudly.
Stacy replied, “I don’t have any trash; I took it all out yesterday.” Tom and Stacy thought quietly for a couple seconds. Then they herd a “Bark, bark.” Stacy and Tom looked up and saw Stacy’s dog Ginger running toward them.
“Look, look what I found,” Ginger barked, carrying an empty cardboard box in her mouth. Ginger mumbled, “Take this out to the trash.”
“Good idea, Ginger,” Tom cheerfully said as Stacy took the box out of the dog’s mouth. Stacy turned to face the door.
“I can do this,” she thought to herself. “I’m going to go out there and finally talk to him. I am going to be brave. You can do it, Stacy,” she told herself. As she started opening the front door, her heart was beating out of her chest. It went even faster as she turned the door knob and stepped out of the house. The trash man started to leave,
“Hurry, stop him,” croaked a frog standing next to her on the porch.
Stacy hollered, “Wait,” as she ran toward the road. The trash man stopped and turned around. Stacy couldn’t believe what she saw. She knew that he was handsome looking, but he was even better up close. He was everything she thought he was: tall, athletic, and muscular. He had a face of the prince she always imagined with great brown hair and amazing green eyes. “Wow,” she silently whispered with out thinking, “I mean….”
“Give him the trash in your hand,” the birds sang in encouragement.
“I found some trash at the last second,” she quickly recovered, handing over her single cardboard box. I think I’m going to be sick, she thought.
“Oh, thanks,” the trash man politely replied. He took the box from Stacy and threw it in the back of the truck. There was an awkward silence between them.
“Say something, Stacy,” a chipmunk squeaked in the tree nearby her.
Stacy gracefully said, “Thank you for picking up the trash….”
“Cliff,” the trash man said. Stacy suddenly didn’t know what to say again. She was starting to feel sick to her stomach, and her heart was beating fast again. “What’s your name?” Cliff questioned.
“Stacy,” she answered. They both began talking casually about one another. Stacy couldn’t believe how comfortable she felt talking to him. Five fast minuets went by.
“Well, I have to go back to work and finish picking up trash,” Cliff sadly told Stacy.
“Okay, I guess I will see you next week?” she questioned. They both exchanged their good-byes and slowly walked away from one another. “I can’t believe I talked to him,” she said under her breath.
“Stacy,” Cliff shouted to Stacy’s surprise. She turned around. “When I finish working, can I call you sometime?” he asked, anxiously waiting for her response.
“Yes,” she blurted. Stacy gave him her number and headed back to the house as Cliff walked back to his truck. As soon as Stacy couldn’t hear the truck anymore, she ran as fast as she could back to the house bursting with excitement and sat on the steps leading to the upstairs. Stacy felt like she was floating on the clouds. She didn’t even notice that Tom and Ginger jumped off the couch after watching every second of what had happened outside and ran to her, anxiously waiting for her to tell them every detail of what had happened. “Stacy, Stacy! What happened? What did he say to you?” they both eagerly asked with happy grins. Stacy exploded with excitement.
“He is going to call me tonight!” Stacy and her pets all cheered.
Hours later Stacy’s parents were home watching television and questioning why Stacy was anxiously waiting in her room. It was the longest hours of her life waiting by the telephone, on her bed, to ring. All of a sudden the phone rang, “Ring, ring.”
“Hello,” she answered nervously
“Hi, Stacy…” the conversation started. Cliff and Stacy talked for hours on the phone about one another. They felt like they had known each other for years. In just a week of hours on the phone, they knew they both loved each other. The two of them did everything with one another: watched movies, went to the beach, went for walks by the park, spent time with family and friends, and enjoyed each others’ company for an amazing year.
One night Tom suggested, “You should really tell him about your secret.”
“I know, but I am afraid of what he’ll say. I’ll tell him soon,” she answered.
About a year after Tom’s suggestion to Stacy, Cliff realized the happiest time of his life was with Stacy, and he wouldn’t be able to find anyone like her. He asked Stacy to marry him. She of course was thrilled and happily said, “Yes, of course, but I have a secret I need to share with you.”
“A secret? Well, don’t worry I have one too,” Cliff added, without listening.
“Let me go first,” she demanded, afraid of what he would think of and what he would say. “I can read animals thoughts,” she quickly blurted. Unexpecting Stacy’s secret, Cliff was shocked but accepted her secret.
“I have one as well, Stacy. I’m not really a trash man,” Cliff said. Stacy had a confused look on her face. “I am actually a prince. I chose to be a trash man to cover my real identity, so I could find my true love that loved me for myself and not the fact that I am a prince. I have to return to my kingdom in England and receive my crown as king.” Stacy was shocked and didn’t know if it was real. She was silent for a few minuets.
As Cliff was getting nervous about Stacy being silent, she happily replied, “Even if you weren’t a prince, I would still love you as a trash man.”
Stacy broke the news to her parent, nervous about what they might say. Her parent were thrilled and loved Cliff as a their own son. They were sad to hear she had to leave her family behind; however, they couldn’t be happier for their daughter. With the promise to come back and visit, the prince and Stacy left to return to his kingdom, along with her cat Tom. Stacy was sad to leave all her animal friends at home after all the years of being friends and their encouragement to be brave, but Stacy was extremely happy to be with Cliff and to finally live happily ever after.