Chapter 2A Chapter by Laura Ann
The next day, Stacey got to school early. It was something that never happened to her because she was almost always late. She knew that Francie would always be early, and she was hoping to talk with her before the bell rang.
Approaching the front of the building, Stacey discovered that she was successful. There, on the steps leading into school, Francie was sitting with her elbow on her knee and her chin in her hand. Her shoulder-length silky dark brown hair was pulled up in a ponytail, something unusual for her. It was always down.
Francie glanced up at Stacey, who was now fifty feet away. She smiled and waved. As soon as Stacey saw Francie grinning and waving, she started running faster towards her friend.
"Hi," Francie said.
"Hey," Stacey replied, panting and clutching her side. "I need to work out more." She smiled.
Francie's grin grew bigger. "Yep." The two friends laughed.
Their laughter faded when Stacey sat down next to Francie and said, "I just can't see how I'll survive when you leave."
Francie looked into Stacey's eyes. "Stace, c'mon. Stop being so pessimistic. You can make friends as fast as your mouth blabs."
"Hey!" Stacey said, hitting Francie playfully.
Francie shrugged. "It's true," she persisted.
Stacey sighed. "I guess you're right," she admitted. "But I don't want to have new friends as long as I have you."
"You won't have me for much longer," Francie told Stacey, as if she needed to be reminded. "So maybe this week you should start making new friends."
"Nah, I don't want to spend all my time with other people," Stacey said. "This is your last week as a fifth grader at Miami Central Elementary School, and I want it to be the best week you've ever had."
Francie smiled. "Thanks, Stacey. You're so thoughtful." She paused a moment, then added, "Sometimes."
"Hey!" Stacey said, even though she knew it was a joke. She poked Francie's side.
Francie jumped up. "Ouch!" she said, rubbing the spot where Stacey's pointer finger had barely nicked her.
Stacey raised her eyebrows. "Well, there's the bell. We'd better get inside before Old Man Howard marks us tardy." She stood up next to Francie. The two giggled at their nickname for their teacher.
As soon as they walked into their fifth grade classroom, they knew that something weird was going on. Balloons and streamers were hung from the ceiling, there was silver string scattered all over the floor, and a big "We'll Miss You, Francie" sign was posted on the whiteboard.
The two friends observed the scene and their eyes filled with tears. Francie's were happy tears, and Stacey's were sad ones.
"This--this is just too much, you guys," Francie said, smiling. She turned to look at her desk and noticed that a big cake rested upon the top of it. Her tears overflowed as she took it all in.
Mr. Howard came up to her. "Francie," he said, "You've always been a good and polite student. We'll all miss you when you move to California."
"How did you find out?" Francie asked, shocked.
Mr. Howard lowered his voice to a whisper. "Your mother told me everything. She was worried that you were getting too depressed about leaving Stacey and she wanted something to cheer you up."
Francie nodded. She knew that Mr. Howard was definitely not one to throw parties, so this would be a huge treat for the class.
"Thanks," she said, turning her attention back to everybody else.
A chorus of "You're welcome"s and "No problem"s and "Oh, it was nothing"s echoed throughout the room.
"Let the darbibas begin!" Mr. Howard announced. The whole class stared at him in bewilderment. Darbibas? What?
Mr. Howard saw everyone's confused expressions and translated, "'Darbibas' is 'activities' in Latin." Everybody looked at each other and rolled their eyes. Mr. Howard was always trying to teach them things in Latin, but he never succeeded.
So, for the rest of the day, the class did 'darbibas'. The 'darbibas' included writing I'll-Miss-You notes to Francie, doing relay races, eating the cake, and playing Hangman to their hearts' content. At 3:30 everyone was sad to go home and leave the 'darbibas' behind.
© 2010 Laura Ann
Book 1: Changes Can Be Good
About“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” “All of humanity's p.. more..