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It was September, the beginning of the school year for the middle school at Suny California. As Carsa walked into the school, she was greeted by several people. But she really only wanted to greet one person, her best friend, Gabe. She likes him, a lot.
As she continued to walk down the hall, she saw Gabe with his friend Josh. Josh was Carsa’s friend, too. Josh likes Carsa, but she doesn’t like him like that. She ran over to them.
“Hi you guys!” Carsa exclaimed.
“Hey Carsa!” Josh said.
“Hi Car.” Gabe looked at her as he said her nickname that only he called her.
“How was your summers?” Carsa asked as they walked to first period homeroom. They were in the same homerooms. There teacher was Mr. Ruberg.
“Eh, same old same old. My mom was wondering where you were,” Gabe chuckled “I guess I forgot to tell her that you were going to a camp.”
Carsa laughed like she always did around them. She missed them. She made new friends at camp but it wasn’t the same. “How about you Josh?”
Josh looked at Carsa. He didn’t know quite what to say, he didn’t want to tell her that he just sat around doing nothing. She would think that he was weird. “Uh, you know, hung out at the mall. Went to the beach, surfed. Nothing to big.”
“That’s amazing! That sounds like more fun than I had.” Carsa giggled.
“Was camp fun Car? Meet any new friends?” Gabe said opening the door. He grabbed a seat and got one for Carsa.
Josh looked at Gabe and grabbed a seat next to Carsa at a different table.
“Yeah, I met a friend. Her name’s Jolie. She’s nice but she lives all the way in Arizona!”
“Holy Cow, what was she doing at your camp?” Josh asked, trying to get her to look at him.
Plan failed. She looked straight ahead at the teacher. He looked happy and cheerful.
“Okay class, my name is Mr. Ruberg. But you can call me Ruberg.” Ruberg said smiling at the class. He walked over to Josh and looked him in the face. “And who might you be?”
Josh looked at him and said “Josh Manwell.”
“Well Josh, I’m afraid that you’re going to have to move to a new seat because you keep looking at Miss Carsa. Please move over there.”
Josh picked up his things and moved.
The school year was flying by, fast. It was almost Christmas time. There was going to be a Winter Dance just for the middle schoolers. Carsa wanted to go with Gabe, but she knew he didn’t like her like that. Josh wanted to go with Carsa.
When they went to homeroom, everyone was given community service papers. Carsa heard that there was a Santa’s Workshop at the near by community center. She called them to sign up to work there. They said it was no problem.
When it came time to do the community service, her other friends, Rob and Jon were also working there. Jon’s mom was on the board of the center.
They all did the same job, but when it was time for break, Carsa and Rob went to the cafeteria the watch the younger kids perform a sing-a-long. Carsa had remember that Josh’s dad was working there as a photographer. When Josh came into the cafeteria, she saw Rob and Carsa. Carsa ran over to Josh and Rob followed. They all said their hello’s and then went to the store where Rob and Carsa were doing community service. Rob and Josh were looking at the slinkies. Carsa bought them both slinkies and she wouldn’t let Josh leave until he took his. He tried to pay her back but she wouldn’t take it.
They went into the other store and Carsa was telling them about one of the bracelets there that she used to have but lost. Josh said he was going to buy it. She gave them a hard time about it. When Carsa and Rob went back to work she showed him a necklace that she really wanted. It was a heart with a rainbow in it, a mood necklace.
When Carsa was with a customer, Josh and Rob come in and say that they’ll take her stuff and put it in a bag for her. “You don’t need to carry it around with you. We’ll put it in a bag for you and all your other stuff.” Josh said taking all of her stuff she got.
“Okay, I guess.” Carsa said uneasy about it. He took her slinky, the perfume Rob got her and a few trinkets.
Rob and Carsa got a picture together taken by Josh’s dad. They finally got Josh to come in a picture with them. When the day was over, before Josh walked out the door, he turned to Cars and said “Don’t forget to take your bag home. It’s over on that shelf.”
Carsa smiled and said “Okay, I won’t.” Josh smiled when he saw her smile.
He loved when she smiled. It brightened up the room.
Rob and Carsa went over to get her bag and when she opened it and saw the necklace, she had tears in her eyes. She turned to Rob and said “Thank you.” And gave him a hug.
She put the necklace on right away and she told Rob that she would wear it everyday. She read the tag and it said ‘To: Carsa From: Josh (With help of Rob)’
She came in the next to school and showed all of her friends the necklace that she was talking about. They all thought that it was a beautiful necklace.
When Gabe saw the necklace, he thought that it was a nice necklace.
She wore it the next day and the next day. Gabe caught up with Josh in the hall and said “Man, she wears that necklace everyday. I wonder where she got it from. I mean she never wears jewelry.”
Josh turned to Gabe and said “Well, maybe someone special to her gave it to her.”
“But she likes me, I didn’t give it to her.” Gabe was so confused.
“That’s because I gave it to her.” Josh was looking down and he walked away.
Gabe stared off after him. Mouth clenched.
Gabe found Carsa in the cafeteria and sat next to her. “Hey Car, listen, that necklace, where’d you get it?”
“Well, to be honest,” she glanced over at Josh “I got it from someone special to me.”
“Okay.” Gabe mumbled.
“Um, so Gabe, are you going to the Winter Dance with anyone?”
Gabe looked at her. “Yeah, I am.”
“Oh.” Was all Carsa could manage.
Carsa ran off into the girls bathroom. One of her friends, Jillian, walked in and saw her. She had tear stained eyes, and a giant gash on her upper arm. “Carsa, oh my God,” She grabbed Carsa “Cars, what have you done? Is this because of Gabe?!”
Carsa shook her head.
Jillian ran out and looked for Josh. She finally found him and told him about Carsa. Jillian told Josh to go into the girl’s bathroom and that she would cover him.
Josh ran into the girl’s bathroom to find Carsa. “Cars, did Gabe make you do this?”
Carsa looked up at him and shook her head with tears rolling down her checks.
“Oh Cars,” Josh held her as she sobbed on his shoulder. She looked up at him and he had tears on his checks, too.
“Why are you crying?” Carsa was confused.
“Because of what Gabe’s done to you and what you’ve done because of him. Cars, He’s not worth it. Come on.”
They walked out and told everyone that she just fell.
Carsa decided to go to the dance with Josh, because she realized, that just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you can’t love another. Of course Carsa will always love Gabe, but she found out that in the meantime, there’s room for more people than just Gabe. Josh was always there for Carsa and she didn’t realize it. Carsa loves Josh, too. She’s glad that she has him in his life.
When they got to the dance, Gabe came over and said that he wanted to dance with Carsa.
“Sorry Gabe, but I’m here with Josh.”
“Car, I like you. Don’t you like me?”
“I do Gabe, but you hurt me. I never hurt you. Just give me time okay? Right now I want to have a good time with Josh. But look around, I’ve loved you forever and just now you realized, once I was over you, that you love me. Something’s wrong there and for once, you didn’t get your way.”
As Carsa and Josh walked away Gabe remembered that old saying that Carsa used to say:
She’ll chase him around for a while. But there will come a day that she will get tired of running in circles around him. She’ll get over him. And that vey moment when she finally gets over him, he’ll wish he had let her catch him.
Gabe never understood it, but now he does.
Don’t look at people for what they look like, look at them for what they are like.
-Don’t Give Up