Chapter 8A Chapter by Laura Ann
Claira peeked out the window. "Hey, Francie, the pizza dude's here. Let's go answer the door before he rings the doorbell!"
The two girls sprinted downstairs, down the hallway, and to the front door. Claira swung open the door just as the pizza guy was about to ring the doorbell. She grabbed one box, and Francie grabbed the other.
"Thanks, pizza dude," Claira told him.
He gave her a weird look, then hopped back into his car and sped away. Francie and Claira burst into laughter.
"'Pizza dude'?" Francie asked, giving Claira a little shove. "Nice going. Now he'll never want to date us."
"Huh?" Claira said, surprised. "Date us?"
"Don't pretend that you don't like him." Francie giggled. "I saw your face turn red when you said 'pizza dude'."
"What?! It did not!" Claira protested. Her hands flew up to cover her face.
"Uh huh," Francie said sarcastically. They laughed, then opened the pizza boxes, grabbed some plates, and started serving themselves slices of pizza.
Claira grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. She set it to a channel that they both liked. They sat there awhile, eating pizza and watching TV, until finally, Claira said, "I'm bored. What about you, Francie?"
Francie nodded her agreement. "TV isn't too exciting."
Claira turned it off and tossed the remote to the side. "We could TP the neighbors' house," she said, with a gleam in her eye.
"WHAT! If my mom caught me doing that, I would be grounded forever!" Francie objected.
"Or...we could just ding-dong-ditch the neighborhood," Claira suggested.
"I'm in," Francie agreed, grinning.
"What're we waiting for? Let's go!" Claira said. The girls put the leftover pizza in the fridge, slipped on their windbreakers and tennis shoes, and were out the door within seconds.
"Who's first?" Francie asked.
Claira pointed to a cream-colored house that was two houses away. "There. It's a bunch of old people whose spouses died at war. And whenever the doorbell rings they think their true love has come back to them. It's so funny."
Francie laughed. "Okay, so where's a good hiding place?"
"How about those bushes by the house next to them?" Claira said.
"Sounds good. Who's ringing the doorbell?" Francie got nervous. She hated ringing the doorbell, but that's what made it fun.
"We can both do it," Claira told her. "C'mon."
The two girls slinked quietly up to the door and they each put a finger on the doorbell. Francie waited for Claira to count quietly to 3.
"1...2...3!" Ding, dong!
They sprinted back behind the shrubs of another nearby house. All of a sudden, elderly voices were heard from inside the building.
"Is that you, my Rose?"
"Charley, you've come back!"
"William, do you still look so handsome?"
The girls suppressed their laughter as they heard a bunch of slow footsteps make their way to the door. A chorus of "I love you"s were heard.
The door slowly creaked open.
The doorway was filled with a bunch of winkled old faces that had smiles on them. The smiles disappeared, however, when they discovered that it was just a prank.
"They must've left already. We didn't come to the door fast enough!" one elderly lady said. The others had sad looks on their faces and the door closed.
Claira and Francie burst into hysterical laughter. "'William, do you still look so handsome?'" Francie mimicked.
"'Is that you, my Rose?'" Claira mocked. They laughed even more. "Let's do the next house."
So, for the next half an hour, the two giggling girls ding-dong-ditched the whole neighborhood. Claira had done it millions of times before, but it had never been this fun.
"Francie makes everything fun," she thought to herself with a smile.
Francie had hardly ever gone ding-dong-ditching at home, because Stacey was always such a chicken. But now that she was ding-dong-ditching with somebody who was braver than Stacey, she found that it was a lot more fun.
"I wish Claira and I really were sisters," Francie thought wistfully. She knew it would never happen, though. Her mom had dated before, so this was no biggie.
After they ding-dong-ditched the very last house, Claira decided to call it quits for the night. "I'm laughing so hard my stomach hurts," she complained.
"Yeah, me too," Francie agreed.
They walked back down the street and into Claira's house. Francie figured that it was probably time for her to set up her sleeping bag.
"Where are we going to be sleeping?" Francie asked.
"In the living room, silly," Claira told her.
Claira grabbed her sleeping bag from her closet, along with her pillow, and set up her stuff next to Francie's, which was in front of the TV.
"Hey, can your phone play music on it?" Claira questioned.
"Yeah, of course, it would suck if it didn't," Francie replied. She pulled out her cell, flipped it open, and looked at the list of songs. She scrolled down and saw the song "Stacey's Mom Has Got It Goin' On".
"Oh my gosh, I just realized that I have to call Stacey!" Francie cried. "I hope she picks up. It's pretty late back home."
She hit the 6 button, and held the phone up to her ear. It was picked up on the first ring.
"Hey, Stace! It's me, Francie. I'm so sorry, I haven't had a chance to call you all day since we got here!"
"It's okay. So how's Christmas Break over in California? Did you meet any new people?"
"Yeah, I did actually. Her name is Claira. She lives right across the street from me. As soon as I moved in she came to my door and she was really friendly and stuff. We went for a bike ride 'cause she loaned me a bike and we went to an awesome spot. Then I came home and I found out that her dad and my mom were going out to dinner tonight! I also found out that we got permission to have a sleepover today! It's so exciting. I just hope that Mom takes this dating more seriously than previous relationships. Maybe Claira and I can be sisters!"
Stacey sighed. "Oh, uh, sounds great."
"I know, isn't it?" Francie was very enthusiastic.
"I hope that you and Claira are having fun."
"Oh, trust me, we are. We ate pizza and went ding-dong-ditching and--wait. You aren't jealous, now are you, Stacey?"
"No," Stacey said, but her voice quivered. She felt a tear trickle down her cheek. Francie was too busy to call her because she was spending all day with her new BFF, Claira, that she had only met this morning. Francie was moving on so quickly, Stacey could hardly believe it.
"Stacey, please don't forget that promise I made before I left for California!" Francie begged. "You'll always be my best friend, even if we are separated."
"I'd like to believe you, but I can't." Stacey's voice was cold. "You said you wouldn't forget me, but if you didn't, then why didn't you call me earlier?"
"I did, but you didn't pick up."
Stacey snorted. "Yeah, right, France."
"Why won't you believe me?" Francie squeaked.
"Why don't you ask Claira? Maybe she would know." Stacey hung up.
Francie stared at the phone that was now slipping out of her hand. Everything went blurry from the hot tears that were streaking down her cheeks.
Claira looked at Francie, and she could already tell what happened. She pulled Francie into a hug. "Don't worry, Francie," she soothed. "You and Stacey will work this out, I'm sure. Don't cry, please don't cry. I hate it when people cry. It makes me cry too." A tear escaped from her eye.
The two of them sat on Claira's living room floor for what seemed like hours. They eventually fell asleep clinging to each other.
© 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..
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