this will probably be the longest post ever. sorry!!!! :\ It took such a long time to write!! Please tell me what you think! I really want ur input! even if you say it's the worst thing ever, THANK YOU!! ;] here we go!
“Mama!” It was Thursday. I hadn’t known Beth one week. And she was already my best (only) friend. But tomorrow she would turn 11!! Acckk!! I had to get her something!! “I need to get Beth a birthday present!!!!!!!! Will you take me after school???”
“Oh, Carly, Rose invited you to spend the night tomorrow!! You’ll be going there right after school tomorrow. And yes, I’ll take you after school.” Mama smiled.
“Are you kidding?! So can I pack after we come back??”
“Sure. Now hurry and pack your lunch. The pack of Oreos is in the pantry. I had to hide them from your dad.” She smiled and rolled her eyes. Dad loves Oreos like there’s no tomorrow.
“Thanks! I’ll put them right where they were.”
“Hurry Carly! I’m leaving in 5 minutes!!” Dad called from upstairs. He takes me to school every day. Either Mama picks me up or I go to Dad’s bakery. Normally, it’s Dad’s bakery since Mama is sooo into this book.
“K, Dad!!” I hurried and stuffed the Oreo packet right back behind stacks of peanut butter.
“Kid, you coming to my bakery after school or is your mom comin’ to get you?” Dad totally freaked me out. He was RIGHT behind me!!
“Mama’s comin’” I tried to shut the pantry door. Too late. Dad had seen the Oreos that had been in my hand.
“Where are they?? Is your mama trying to hide them again?” Dad’s eyes twinkled.
“Nate,” Mama to the rescue!! “No Oreos. They are for Carla, not you!” she smiled.
“Man!” Dad was doing that silly act of his. “I really wanted them Oreos.” He hung his head and walked out of the room.
“Hurry now, Carla. We want to do this before you guys leave.” Mama whispered to me as she opened the oven. “Acck! Nate!! I need you!!!” Mama started scurrying around the room while I hid behind the fridge.
“What is it, Iz?” Dad called from another room.
“I need you in the kitchen!!” Mama was a good actress.
“Hmmm…” Dad’s voice trailed off as he walked in the kitchen.
“SURPRISE!!!” Mama, Jess, Caleb, Clarissa, and I said (more like shouted). Did I mention it was Dad’s birthday?? Well, it is!! Mama made him a cake that looked kind of like an Oreo!!! (It was iced)
“Thought you guys forgot! Thanks!! But, now, where did you three come from?” Dad pointed at Jess, Caleb, and Clarissa.
“We camped in the backyard last night. After you went to bed, Izabella let us in while she worked on the cake.”
“Caleb,” Jess looked hard at her husband.
“Kidding, we slept in Jessica’s old room.” Caleb smiled. He could be pretty funny sometimes.
“Happy birthday, Grandpa!” It always made me giggle whenever Clarissa called Dad that. After all, I’m only in 5th grade!
“Delicious! But, sadly, we’ll have to wait for later. C’mon, Carly! To school we go!” Dad walked towards the back. “The other way to school!” He had just walked into the little back room Mama and I call the ‘Shoe Room’. Dad owned every kind of shoe there was! Well, probably. But he immediately walked towards the front.
“Wait up, Dad!” I giggled.
“I walked into my classroom. On my desk was a bright pink and lime green zebra-striped card!! And in brighter yellow letters read:
Well, I knew what that was as soon as I had seen it. Who else knew I loved zebra stripes and bright colors??
It said when, where, what (well, that was kind of obvious), and the RSVP (it said, either tell Beth or email her).
At that exact time, Beth walked in with her motorcycle helmet. Her dad always dropped her off on a motorcycle, that explains this.
“I see you saw. Made it myself. Just like all the others.” Beth took the helmet off, brushed her very short hair out of her face, and put HUGE purple earrings on.
Just then I looked around. Harper, Sharon, Heather, Angela, Briella, Hannah May, Nikki, and Mercy Hope each had an invitation on her desk.
“That’s just this class. There are six girls in the other class. That’ll be 15 girls, well if they all come. Wait, are you coming tomorrow after school?” Beth is amazing at talking.
“Wow. Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m coming. So it’ll be right after school?” Just then Harper and Briella walked in. They were obviously best friends. It was even more obvious that they were surprised to see the invitations.
“I know Maggie and Marta Kim are coming. And Amy might come, if she can catch a ride.” Beth rolled her eyes.
“Ummm, why wouldn’t her mothe…” I didn’t finish my sentence.
“Take her? Well, because her mother has some big concert Saturday.”
“What about her brother, Andy? He can drive, can’t he??”
“You are sooo smart, Carla Jane!!” Beth squealed with delight.
“Thanks Beth.” I said. Everyone was now in the room, but Ms. Watts. She had gone to get something. No idea what.
“Beth, I cannot come to your party, you see, I have this really big game.” Harper did her open mouth, take a breath, breathe words, and close her mouth.
“It’s ok, Harper. Who’s the game against?” Beth said
“Well, now, it’s against the 6th and 7th grade girls. Harper’s team is teamed up with the other 5th grade class and the 4th grade girls.” Briella always spoke for Harper, if she was there, when Harper was through talking.
“What about you, Briella?” Beth asked.
“Uhh, of course I am going to go and see my best friend win against the middle school girls, thank you very much.” She turned away and dragged Harper with her.
Harper was saying, “Bri, you didn’t have to do that to her!”
“Class, time to start.” Ms. Watts walked in the room.
“Bye Beth!! See you first thing tomorrow!!” I said, about to climb in the car.
“Bye Carla Jane!” She got in her car.
“Home-” I always finish this word. Mama pulled out of the parking lot.
“-work. Vocabulary, math, and L.A. What was your favorite subject in school, Mama?” I said, changing this subject.
“L.A. Writing, I am sooo there.” She looked at me and smiled. “Where are we going to get her this present?” Mama nodded to the front where the Keballs’ car was.
“Craft Store. I got an invitation to her birthday party Saturday. It is at the park and we’re going to play loads of games!! Whoo-hoo!!! And it’ll be 10:30-3:00!! That’s soo long!! Right? But it’ll be totally amazing! And there’ll be pizza for lunch.”
I have something to admit. I have never been to a birthday party (again, out of my family). Well, I’ve never had a friend, explanation.
“Oh, we’re here. Do you have any idea what to get her?” Mama said as we got out of the car.
I thought about that until we were inside, then I knew what, kinda’. “Uhhh, she told me she liked making/building crafts.” I shrugged.
“That could be any of this, Carly.” Mama used her warning tone and look.
“I won’t get everything, Mama! Maybe a couple kits??” I pointed at the kit aisle. Mama started to walk down it.
“Hey Carla Jane!” I swung around. I had forgotten that this was Gigi’s, a 4th grader, mom’s store. Don’t get me started, but she’ll talk and talk, and then it’s midnight!! She’s not my friend, I, like, thankfully, never, see her, but that doesn’t stop her.
“Umm, err, hi Gigi. Ummmm, nice…… kits?” I picked one up and did my half smiled, which really is a ‘get-away-before-I-am-really-annoyed’ smile.
“Yep, I helped my mom pick them out. Hey, do you like Star Wars?? I love Star Wars!!! And all that shooting??? Awesome!! Did you see Kyle’s shirt today?? It was soo cute!! If you didn’t see it today, it was blue and orange stripes.” Hmmmmm, you see what I mean. Oh, and it’s pretty clear, to everyone, that she has this thing for Kyle. You know……… Kyle this, Kyle that. UGH!! He’s in Kindergarten for crying out loud!!! He’s ok, but, even Kyle talks too much for his age!! Arrrrghh!!
“Uhhhh, bye Gigi. Hey Mama, wait up!!” I gave Mama a sigh.
“Try listening to her mom for half an hour after asking her if she had ever been to Java.” Mama rolled her eyes.
“Beth also told me she liked little animals. So, building, crafts, little animals. Bingo, how about this??” I picked up a little set where you build little animals and then you paint them and set ‘em up on a shelf or something.
“Sure. You can make her a card at home. And maybe we ca-“ Mama started.
“Mama, may I have a blog??” I blurted.
“Ummm, sure, Carly?? As I was saying,” Mama looked at me hard.
“Sorry, Mama.” I smiled and looked at the ground, but then quickly back at Mama.
“Maybe you could get her, if her parents agree, a baby rabbit.” Mama smiled.
“Seriously?? Where would it come from???” I exclaimed.
“Serious as a heart attack! Ms. Beeks’ rabbit, you know, Junie, just had a litter of 4 rabbits. She said we could have first picks, if we wanted any. Your father and I decided to get you one. We’re going there after here.”
“I would love to get one!!! Tell, or I mean, can you ask Mrs. Keball, now, please?”
“Here text her while I check out. I’ll get one, and you’ll say it’s from me and your dad.” Mama winked.
“Thank you, Mama!!” I said taking her phone.
hello mrs. Keball! this is carla jane. can i get beth a bunny 4 her bday?? and plz dont tell her. ~carla jane
I got a reply, like, 10 seconds later. Ok, maybe 60 seconds later.
hey Carla jane! we would <3 it if you got her one!! i suggest getting her a girl. she’ll <3 it!! ~rose
“Mama! She’s ok with Beth having a rabbit!” I rushed to the checkout counter. Thank goodness!!! It was the 16 year-old, Marissa Grace. Neither Gigi or her mom were there. Marissa Grace works after school. Duhhh.
“Great! Thanks Marissa. Sometime soon you’ll go to college!” Mama said, winking.
“Yeah, but that’s, like, 2 years away.” she sighed. “Thanks for coming!”
“Thanks for being here!” I said.
“Anytime after three!” Marissa Grace replied.
“They’re right in here, Izabella. Junie has been hiding them everywhere so I put them in their cage.” Ms. Lily said. She was a wiry woman with long, straight black hair. But was always pinned into some kind of bun.
There was one cage in the room that held five rabbits. There was a full grown one and four mini-rabbits. (I guess those are the babies) I was so going to get the little white rabbit, if it was a girl, with the cutest brown nose and ears for Beth. And I wanted the little black one with white socks.
“Are these two girls, Mama.” I said, pointing at the two. Mama used to work for a pet store filled with rabbits.
Ms. Lily answered first. “I call these two girls, Rosie and Daisy. But at all means change their names if you’d like to!” I have always liked Ms. Lily. I am soooo glad that she’s so young! That way I’ll get to know her for a loooong time! She, like, 24! So, she’ll be young for, like, ever!
“I wanna’ call mine Inky. It looks like someone spilled black ink all over a cute white rabbit and it just didn’t reach the end of her paws.” I said holding the new Inky.
“Wonderful, Carla! Love it!! It’s soo perfect!” Ms. Lily is totally awesome!
“Thanks, Ms. Lily!” I smiled.
“Oh, Carla! For the millionth time, just Lily. Understood?” She smiled.
“Yes, Ms… I, ummm, mean Lily.”
“Good. I have some rabbit food that they’ll eat, Izabella.” Lily said, walking out of the room, Mama following her.
“Inky, you’re mine now. And you, uhh, Rosie are going to be Beth’s.” I picked them up and followed Mama and Lily’s voices.
“Thanks for taking them! I’m sure you’ll love this baby girl!” Lily said, showing us to the door.
“Thank you so much, Lily. It’s such a treat! ‘Bye!” Mama told Ms. Lily, as I headed to the car.
“Yeah, thanks Lily!” I said.
“You two are so welcome!” She waved and then went back inside.
“To home we go. And to another surprise.” Mama said
Grandpa, Gramma, Alex, Rudy (Alex’s husband), Jess, Caleb, Clarissa, Marissa, Jake (her husband), and Jackie (their child)!!! This was the surprise. Dad didn’t even know! It was soooo funny!
“Whoa! A party? And I thought you guys had completelyforgotten all about today!” Dad said, smiling really, really big.
“Well, we didn’t forget, Nate! We’ve been planning this since the beginning of September!” Mama said.
“That would be why the concert scheduled for this week got changed to next week.” Alex, the so-famous singer, said. Oh, but she is an amazing singer!
“And I got the day off. Jackie and I went shopping today, Jake still had to work. Which now that I see it, explains the price tag on Jackie’s hem.” Marissa sighed and then she rolled her eyes.
“Well, thanks to all for the best birthday ever! And to all a good night.” Dad pretended to talk into a microphone.
“Seep now?’ Jackie looked at her mother and then to her father. “Seep?
“No, not yet, Jackie. Come to Great-Gramma!” My Gramma to Jackie.
“Jess, will you help with the dishes? You don’t need to, Mom. In fact, I wouldn’t take you away from you great-grandchildren.” Mama smiled. Gramma was doing Itsy-Bitsy Spider with Jackie (actually, she was doing it for Jackie), and Clarissa watched, fascinated how quickly Gramma moved her fingers and the way that Gramma moved her fingers.
“Carla, are you packed for tomorrow?” Mama asked.
“Pack for what, La?” Oh, I hate it when Alex calls me that!! I don’t care if she’s a singer! She doesn’t call anyone “La”!!!
“I’m going to Beth’s house for a sleepover tomorrow. Right after school.” I tried to smile at her. It’s a little hard when you’re mad at the same person.
“Oh, that’ll be fun! What are you going to do?” Alex’s wavy, black hair swayed from one way to another as she tilted her head.
“I don’t know! But she’s having her birthday party Saturday.” I (really) smiled.
“Carly,” Mama warned.
“Not exactly.” I looked at the floor and then quickly back at Mama.
“Say good-night and go pack, take a very quick shower, work on any homework that’s left. And finally, bed.”
“Yes, Mama. ‘Night Gramma, Grandpa, Alex, Rudy, Jess, Claeb, Marissa, Jake, Clarissa, Jackie, Dad, and Mom. See some of you tomorrow!” I said.
“’Night Carla Jane!” Everyone said at the same time. If I had said that with them, oh man would I have a whole lot of sodas!
I started to climb the stairs. When Mama said, “and bed”, it meant that I would do my bed routine. So I start out reading, then computer, and then I go to sleep. Pretty awesome, right? At the moment, I’m reading Left Behind >The Kids<, by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. I’m only in the 10th book. Yeah, I know, ‘only the 10th book’. There’s, like, 40 books. They’re really good. I mean, really good.
Normally when my “bed” time starts, it’s 9:00. It was already 9:16! Whoa! Ok, I’ll give up reading. That was easy! Reading or computer, hmmm, reading!!!
I very quickly finished packing, took a very fast shower, then grabbed Mama’s computer, and went to my bed where Titi happened to be sleeping.
I very quietly climbed in my bed, not wanting to wake her up.
I checked Mama’s email to see if I had any emails from Beth or my cousins/aunts/uncles etc.
Sure enough Beth had sent one.
cant wait 4 tomorrow! i think everyone is coming, except harper and briella.
:) u know y. ;) c u soon!
<3 Beth <3
cant wait either! lol. gr8! understood. ;) yep, c u soon! ;)
~carla jane~ :)
I quickly got on my mom’s blog account (apparently she has one, just doesn’t use it for its real purpose) and clicked a button that said ‘New Blog’. Excited!
A title… hmmm. Bingo! Typed everything in. Right as I was about to choose the font color, Mama walked in.
“Computer please, Carly.” Mama smiled as she held out her left hand.
“Look Mama! My new blog,” I beamed.
“‘The Crazy Life of Mine’. Wonderful! Oh. What a cute background. Oh and what’s the description say, Carly?” Mama smiled even bigger.
“‘My life is extremely crazy’. The octagons are temporary. Just until I…” I started.
“…find zebra stripes?”
“Yeah,” I smiled.
“Ok, save and go to bed! Let me rephrase that. Go to sleep.” Mama winked as she took the computer away. “‘Night.”
“‘Night , Mama!”
Oh! Accck! Darkness with stripes of light right here and right here, oh, wait, my curls are on the front of my face instead of behind my ears. Pheew!
“Carla Jane! Breakfast!” Mama called from the bottom of the staircase. Titi was at the closed door, she smelled my breakfast.
I quickly threw on my favorite pair of jeans and my ombre-pink shirt. Simply threw my hair back and stuffed a pink headband in, little curls popping out here and there. Put on my tennis shoes. And then raced downstairs, with Titi at my heels.
“Mornin’ Mama and Dad! Pancakes! Yummmmm!”
“Morning Daela. Get a plate and have some. We already took the blueberries out of the fridge.” Mama said.
“30 minutes, Carly.” Dad pointed at his watch.
I nodded. Quickly eating is hard! Especially when blueberry pancakes are your absolute faaavorite!
“Finish?” Mama asked.
“Yes, Mama.” I said as I put my dishes in the soapy water.
“Ready, Dad!” I came down the stairs with everything. “Heading to the car!”
“Lunch, Carly!” Mama simply screamed. She held my zebra-striped lunch box.
“Oh! Thank you Mama!!” I grabbed it and raced out the door.
“It seemed like school would never end!! Right, Carla?” Beth asked as we climbed in her car.
I thought for a moment, like, ‘til we were out on the road. “I felt like I had only been there an hour or two. Not at all would I have thought I had been there 7 hours!!” Mrs. Keball drove right by the highschool. “Do your brothers walk home or something?” I pointed my thumb at the window.
“Nah. On Fridays they go something with their friends. Don’t ask me what, I have noooooo idea.” Beth smiled.
“Carla Jane, what do you want to be when you grow up/get older??” Beth looked right in my eyes.
“I don’t know. Maybe a nurse. Oh! Probably a clothes designer. That’s it!! A famous clothes designer! I can see it now!” I spread my arms out. Then I started nodding, my bottom lip covered the upper. “What? I can dream can’t I? What do you want to be?”
“Cool! I want to be a teacher to a bunch of little Indonesian kids. That would be awesome!”
“Soo, why do you like Indonesia so much, Beth?” Seriously, she talks about this place all the time!
“You haven’t told her, Beth?” Mrs. Keball asked.
“Told me what?”
“I saved it for today! I actually used to live in Indonesia. We lived there until I was 8. Btw, I really did go on that summer trip last year.”
“You lived there?” I was pretty much speechless.
“Yeah, my parents, brothers, sisters-“
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! You have sisters?”
“Yeah, two. Mercy and Faith. Anyway, they all lived there, in Java, way before I was born. Btw, Marcy and Faith are also twins. Mercy’s married. They’re 23.”
“Wowsers! Why were you guys there?”
“My dad was a teacher at an International school. I got to go there for a couple of years. But, for the record, school is better here.”
“Cool, that’s sooo cool!”
“Whoa! Need some help there? Sure looks like it!” Beth asked as I was taking out my school backpack, my other backpack, my pillow, and blanket.
“Yeah, thanks, Beth.” Beth took a backpack and my blanket.
“You’re welcome, Carla!”
“Hey Keball!” A tall, blonde, teen-age looking girl called over the Keballs’ 3’ fence. She spoke with a country accent. “Who’s she?”
“Hey Ada Lynn! This is Carla Jane Napier.” Ada Lynn’s eyes widened.
“You related to Izabella Napier, the famous author?” Ada Lynn looked hard at me.
“Sh-she’s my m-mother.” I stammered.
Ada Lynn started to laugh. “She’s your mother?! I done heard from Drew himself, that Izabella got four girls in their 20s!”
“Drew better speak the truth from now on!” With that Adam arced away and in to her house. “She’s Ada Lynn Taylor. She’s in Andrew’s and Drew’s class. She’s pretty mean. I don’t like her. I just hope neither my brothers do.” She shivered as we climbed the stairs.
“That would be awful! My mom let me get a blog!” I said as we walked in her room. “Could I show you?”
“Be my guest.” I brought it up.
“Oh my gosh! Carla Jane! It’s sooo cute!!! I totally love it!!!! The octagons are really cute! You should totally keep it that way.” I could tell by the look on her face that she liked it.
“You think so? I want to get a zebra-print background.”
“You should totally keep it this way!!!!”
“Beth!!! Someone is on the phone for you!!!” Mrs. Keball called from downstairs.
“Coming Mom!” Beth looked at me.
“Beat you down!” I said.
“I won!” Beth said, as she picked up the phone. “Hi, who is this? Sharon, sorry. Well, why are you calling? [Pause] Ahhh, I see. How late? [Pause] Half an hour? Ok, thanks for calling! Uh-huh, you too. ‘Bye!” Beth hung up. “Sharon is going to be about an hour late tomorrow. Some kind of… something. Now, what’s your pin name and spell it.”
“Ashlynn Baliey. A-S-H-L-Y-N-N.” I said as we climbed the stairs again.
“It’s so cute, Carl- I mean, Ashlynn! I’ve always liked that name.”
“Thanks. Mama always wanted to name one of her girls that. But, then, Dad gets a say in it, I guess.” I rolled my eyes and smiled.
“Want me to teach you some blog techniques ‘til dinner?”
I sighed the word, “Yes,”
“Dinner, girls! Come on down!” I think one of the twins said. Beth obviously read my mind.
“That was Dad, not either of the boys. They sound totally alike. Oh, and I meant to tell you that Mercy and Faith, plus Mercy’s husband, are joining us for dinner. Faith might be engaged, but I don’t know.” We came to the end of the stairs. “Hey Mercy, Faith, Ryan! This is Carla Jane. One of my great friends. That one is Mercy and that one is Faith. You can just tell who Ryan is.” Beth pointed at each adult and smiled.
Mercy and Faith both had jet-black hair. It went straight down Faith’s back, but stayed curled above Mercy’s shoulders. So, Beth only had to tell me once.
“Well, Beth, been here 1 and 1/2 months and already have more than two friends? That is sooo you.” Mercy winked. “I’m sure Beth has told you everything about me and Faith. But, in case not, I’m 23 and like very girly things-”
“Unlike me. You most likely know that we’re twins from little miss Liz here.”
“Hey, guys, stop it! I would like to be called ‘Beth’ not ‘Liz’.” Beth walked away from her sisters. And I followed. Totally cool!! I couldn’t even do that with my older sister!!
“Hey Mom,” Beth was following her mom around as Mrs. Keball zigzagged all over the kitchen. “Do you want me to get the boys?”
“That would be awesome, Beth,” Mrs. Keball said. “Thanks.”
We trotted up the stairs, then to the end of the hall, where I think a large room was. Well, it had to be large. I was standing in the middle of the hall, to either side of me there were closets that ended with the same wall that the door into the room was on. Confusing? Probably.
“Drrrrew! Why’d you kill me?” someone said inside.
“Uhhh, if you didn’t notice, you killed me first.”
“Well, that’s the 3rd time you’ve killed me!”
My eyes must’ve been huge. They were killing each other? Beth, however, just rolled her eyes.
“It’s time for dinner! Mom said to come downstairs! And you better wash your hands too!”
“Who is that?” someone said from the inside.
“It’s Beth, she’s… how old are you?” The voice all of a sudden got louder. We were in the middle of the hall.
A faint voice said, “All right guys, turn the video game off, Andrew. Let’s go eat.” Ohhhhh.
The door opened at the end of the hall, Beth and I had reached the stairs, but had just stood there. Instead of 2 teens, there were 4.
“Run!” Beth hissed in my ear.
We beat them to the table, pretty obvious, right?
“Andrew! Drew! Who are these 2?” Mercy nodded at their friends.
“Oh, this is Nate an-” Drew began. He had nodded at the freaky -green-haired kid.
“And Dave,” Andrew finished, pointing at – hey! That’s Heather’s brother, Heather’s from my class.
Hmmph! He had been the one to ask, ‘who is that?’. Ok, so he hadn’t seen her, but come on! Andrew and Drew only had 1 younger sister, and Dave didn’t know ‘who?’
“Who’s she? And him and her?” The freak- uhhh, Nate said.
“My name is Mercy. This is my husband, Ryan. And my sis-“ Mercy, obviously, said.
“I’m Faith. And I like to speak for myself, thank you very much!” Faith folded her arms and glared at Mercy.
“Faith, Mercy, let’s eat.” Mr. Keball said, as if his daughters were 10 instead of 23.
Sooo, in the morning I found out that Nate and Dave had spent the night. Seeing Nate first thing in the morning is not exactly wonderful. Green hair is just… plain freaky first thing. Elleck!
“’Morning everybody! How’d you all sleep?” Beth nodded at her brothers and their friends. She was cheerful.
“Fine,” Andrew said. “Why aren’t ya’ll dressed?” All the boys were dressed.
“’Cause we aren’t! Mom?!”
“She’s not up yet. Probably reading.” Drew said.
“Would you rather have cereal or food?” Beth looked at me.
“I’m fine with either. Honest.” I loved cereal; but ‘food’ would be great too.
“Let’s have cereal,” Score! “It’s easier. Did you guys eat all the Life?” Beth looked at her brothers.
“Beth you’ve gone,” Drew twirled his finger right above his ear. “We can’t eat life!” The boys started to laugh.
“Bad joke. Really bad, Drew. The cereal, did you eat all of the cereal?”
“That’s stuff is barf, Beth! We weren’t going to eat it!” Andrew said.
“Hey! I like it! It’s delicious!” Dave said.
“Weird,” I heard Drew say under his breath.
Beth rolled her eyes and grabbed 2 bowls.
“Carla Jane, could you grab a couple spoons? They’re in the last drawer.”
“You can choose a different cereal if you want.” Beth said.
“I’m good with Life.”
“Good! You have to live it!!” Awful!
“That’s really, really bad, Drew. Like the worst one ever.” Beth looked at me and whispered, “He’s really bad at making up jokes. Hurry!” I followed her upstairs.
“Mom, can we bake the cake?” Beth asked. Wait, the cake wasn’t done yet? It was…… 7:57am! Ok, maybe enough time.
“You may if you hurry. Do the Strawberry Surprise Cake.” Mrs. Keball was filling little bags with goodies (most likely goodie bags).
Suddenly, the boys bounded down the stairs like a herd of elephants with their tails on fire.
“We’re going to Dave’s house. See ya’ll later! Oh, and will be at his house for the party.” Andrew said, holding a bike helmet.
“Ok, see you two later!” Mrs. Keball replied.
“Let’s get the cake done, Carla Jane.” Beth said. Then we slipped into the kitchen.
“Beth! It’s time to go! I’ll get the cake. Grab the Goodie bags!” Mrs. Keball called from downstairs.
“Ok, Mom! Are they – nope. Where are the goodie bags?” Beth called. We raced down the stairs.
“In the laundry room! Hurry! I promised Amy’s mother I’d pick up Amy. Andy couldn’t.”
“Boys,” Beth muttered, rolling her eyes.
“Got ‘em! Wait a minute. Why are they in the laundry room?” Beth asked.
“Well, I went in there to put the laundry in the dryer, but had to come back in here. And I never went back.” Mrs. Keball shrugged. “Well, anywho, put them in the car. Logan! We’re leaving!”
“K, Rose! See you guys later!”
“Bye, Dad!” Beth called, walking out the door.
“Hey Keball! Is Napier still here?” Ada Lynn called in a mocking voice over the fence.
“Yeah, Ada, but we’re leaving now.” Beth and I looked at her, then hopped in the car.
At that exact moment Ada Lynn said, “Good riddance, Keball.” Ada Lynn called.
“Hey Amy! How are you? Glad you could come.” Beth said to the straight-haired Chinese girl who had hopped in the car.
“Hi Beth. I’m great. Happy birthday! Who’s this?” Amy pointed at me.
“I’m, uhhhh, C-carl-la J-j-j-jane, ummmm, N-n-napier.” I forced a smile. Suddenly I was extremely nervous.
“Nice to meet you, Carla.”
“Uhhh, yeah, umm, you t-too.”
“Are you ok?” Amy looked at me.
“Ye-yeah, I’m fine. J-j-just n-nervous.” I twisted a piece of my long, curly hair around and around.
“Are you sure, Carla Jane?” Mrs. Keball looked in the mirror, which, I was exactly in the middle sooo she could see me pret-ty well.
“Yeah, I’m [gulp] f-f-fine.” I managed.
“What games are we gonna’ play, Beth?” Amy asked, thankfully, changing the subject.
“Oh, it’s a surprise! But the games are awesome!! Right Carla Jane?” Beth winked at Amy and then looked at me.
“What? Oh, y-yeah, r-r-r-right. Yeah, uhhhh, I th-think? What a-are the games?” I looked at Beth, who was laughing.
“You’ll see.” She smiled and patted my knee.
We sat in silence (surprisingly) the rest of the way.
“Beth, goodie-bags. Carla Jane, could you grab the bottles of juice, plus the cups? Thanks. Amy, could you grab that backpack there? Great!” Mrs. Keball said, pointing things out.
We carried the stuff to the picnic tables where some girls already were sitting. I did NOT see a lime-green baseball cap, right? Harper went to her game. But, sure enough, it was her. She raced over to us.
“Rain threat.” Harper quickly looked at the sky and then back at Beth. “Briella’s coming too.”
“Great! I mean, great that you could come. Bummer that your game was canceled.” Beth replied.
“Next Saturday.” Harper glared at Beth as if she could see through her.
“Hi Beth! Happy 11th birthday!” Angela said as she came over. “Whoops! Sorry!!” She had tripped over her own foot and narrowly missed the juice.
“Thanks Angela! Hi Nikki!” Beth greeted all the girls that were already there, and then as they arrived.
“Ok, so we are going to start by asking about pizza.” Mrs. Keball quieted the chit-chat. “Raise your hands if you have food allergies.” 4 girls did. And they told Mrs. Keball.
“Thank you girls. So, no pepperoni, correct Kelsey?” Mrs. Keball said.
“And you have your own lunch Briella?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Beth you made the cake with water, right?” Mrs. Keball looked at Beth.
“Great, ok, here is a list of what we are ordering. Under whichever topping you choose, write how many pieces you know you will eat. Everyone got it? Good. Then Beth will tell everyone the first game we are going to play. Here, Carla, you start.” Mrs. Keball handed me a small piece of paper and a pen.
Pepperoni. Cheese. Pineapple and pepperoni. Mushroom and olives.
I quickly wrote ‘3’ under mushroom and olives. Then I handed the list to Beth who was sitting next to me.
“Good choice,” Beth whispered.
Once everyone had written whatever on the piece of paper, Beth stood to talk.
“First game,” Beth started. “Will be my personal favorite. ‘Crocodile, Crocodile,’ It’s really easy. Anyone ever play Rainbow Tag?”
Everyone raised their hand.
“It’s the opposite! If you are wearing the color, you may walk across and the croc, who is in the middle, can’t tag you. But, if you don’t have the color on, RUN!!! And pray that the croc doesn’t catch you!! If she does catch you, you must go to the middle with her and do the same thing she does! Oh, and at the beginning of each round the - uhhh, girls that aren’t crocodiles say, ‘Crocodile, crocodile, may we cross your golden river? If not, why not, choose your favorite color!’
“Then the girl in the middle says the color and you run/walk. Any questions?”
“Let’s start then! Eennie, minnie, minie, mo. Catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers, make him pay $50 everyday. My mama said to pick a number and you. Are. It. Carla Jane’s it!”
All the girls, except me, ran over to one side of the huge cement court. I then faced them in the middle as they said the lines.
“La-lavender!” I shouted, or tried to, when they were finished.
I got 3 girls: Angela, Heather, and Nikki.
“What color now, Carla Jane?” Angela whispered.
“A-a-aquamarine. A-a-a.k.a l-l-l-light t-t-teal. O-only H-harper is w-w-wearing it.” I stammer too much.
Lines are done.
“Aquamarine! A.k.a. light teal!” All 4 of us said at the same time. I might’ve jinxed them if they hadn’t run off so quickly.
I got 1 girl: Hannah Marie.
Angela got Beth and Briella. Heather didn’t get anyone, and neither did Nikki. Gosh, Nikki looked like she had just run a 4,000 mile race!
“They’re…… too……… fast!” Nikki said, between deep breaths.
“You ok, Nikki?” Beth asked.
“I’m… fine…” Nikki was breathing slower now.
“Good. Color, Carla?” Beth suddenly looked at me.
“Uhhhh, do hats count?”
“You can tag Harper with a lime-green hat, she can’t walk.”
“Ok, th-thanks, Beth!”
The girls said their lines.
The girls started to run like crazy!
I got Harper and Kelsey! Beth got Hope Mercy.
“Next color?” Beth asked.
“Gold,” I whispered.
“Hey Sharon! Remember Crocodile, crocodile! Great, that’s what we’re playing now! Go over there with all the other girls!”
Sharon was the athlete in our class. She had long –bright red hair. I mean, real bright! She especially liked swimming, and got good grades. I only know that because Beth told me.
“Gotcha’!” Beth literally screamed the word. She tagged Sharon, who fell on top of me; of course, Beth was headed the same way so she landed on top of us.
“Oh my gosh! Are you ok Sharon and Carla!?” Beth asked, immediately leaping to her feet.
“Fine,” Sharon said.
All I could do was laugh.
“I’ll take that as a yes, Carla.” Beth said.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Honestly. I’m great. That sure was funny. Thanks Sharon.” Sharon had helped me up. Suddenly my eyes widened.
I had just said something without stammering! And around Sharon! To Sharon!
“Are you ok now?” Beth raised an eyebrow.
“W-what? Y-yeah, I’m f-fine.”
“Let’s get started again.” Beth said. And we rushed to the middle.
“Mama, it was the best party ever!!”
“I’m sure!” Mama laughed.
We were on our way home.
“Beth said it was, and would, be the ‘bestest’ party known to mankind!”
Mama laughed even harder.
“I’m sure it was. I’m sure it was” Mama looked at me and grinned.
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