Jan 12, 2021

Friendship Fiction Happy

The gentle breeze picked up its constant pace as I hustled across the lawn, the air smelling of fresh cut grass and earthworms plucked by naked handsโ€ฆ yuck.

I felt the sharp, itchy weeds get stuck between my toes as I went back and forth with my lawn mower in the early morning sun. I took a peek at the ravishing light that illuminated the whole world even when it was thousands of miles away, barely reachable by human kind. The rays were the color of a burning forest as it merged into a yellowish red. Kind of like an over-ripen mango that mom always bought when she visited the supermarket that was located downtown.

I picked up my speed to finish the work quicker, my motive? Having ample time to dog-sit Chloe; Mr. Flenchโ€™s little chihuahua that I adored.ย 

Her wet, hazel eyes would flicker to the slobbery, tennis ball I held in a tight clutch. Her saucer eyes would open wide as she would wag her lengthy tail in every direction, expressing joy and excitement.

โ€œMom, Iโ€™m doneโ€ฆ gotta go,โ€ I left the mower inside our cramped, disorganized garage. I could barely breathe inside the jam packed storage.

โ€œDonโ€™t be late,โ€ The aroma of basil, oregano and cinnamon waver delicately near my nose. I could just imagine sitting near the dusty fireplace, cupping my hands together, rubbing them constantly to keep warm. Drinking dadโ€™s hot cocoa, with momโ€™s homemade vanilla cookies for the dipping as we would be famished from our heavy dinner. I was surprised mom decided to make enchiladas on a Monday night. Usually she would only prepare them on special occasions. I wondered what could possibly be the reason. Not to complainโ€ฆ occasion or notโ€ฆ I loved enchiladas!


โ€œHer foodโ€™s in the pantry, snacks in the basementโ€ฆ my numberโ€™s on the fridge if you need anythingโ€ฆ did I miss something?โ€

I shook my head, cracking a small smile as Chloe wagged her brisk tail with no intention of stopping.

โ€œWell, thanks Kennedy for coming so earlyโ€ฆ I donโ€™t know what Iโ€™d do without you.โ€

I flushed deep crimson, my fingers tapping against the side of my sweats.

โ€œNo... problem.โ€

Mrs. Flench bent down and kissed Chloeโ€™s puckered face as Chloe showered her with kisses, I couldnโ€™t help but admire the bonding between them, feeling like the outsider I was.

โ€œBye honey-bunny, be a good girl,โ€ With that Mrs. Flench closed the door behind her, leaving her heavy perfume still stinging my nose and making me woozy.

I tapped my knees, something that Iโ€™d seen on TV when you wanted your dogs or babies attention in general.

Chloe ran off upstairs, leaving dirty footprints on the carpet.

I sighed, sitting down on the ivory colored sofa, crossing one leg over the other. Browsing youtube on the flat screen TV.

This was life.


I didnโ€™t realize when Iโ€™d closed my eyes until I felt the warm, wet tingle on my leg. Giggling, I woke up to see who ticked me.

โ€œAww girl, sorry if Iโ€™m a bit down, Iโ€ฆ Iโ€™m just nervous for the first day of school,โ€ When have I started to talk with a dog?

Chloe remained unblinking, her fawn colored tail had stopped wagging as if she understood my dilemma.

โ€œIโ€ฆ I donโ€™t know why, I can talk normally to you but to the worldโ€ฆ I canโ€™t,โ€ I fought back the intention of tearing down. Not now, not with Chloe watching.

She whimpered, jumping up to snuggle against me.

โ€œWish youโ€™d come with me,โ€ I ruffled her thin fur, she trembled from my cold touch. Her spine shuddering under my fingertips, I traced the outline of her bone, breathing in the scent of her lunch; bacon and kibble.

She cooed, shutting her eyes droopy.ย 

I did the same.


โ€œKenny, did you pack your bag?โ€

I nodded, my expression filled with worries.

โ€œIโ€ฆ I scared.โ€

โ€œKenny,โ€ Mom placed a confident hand on my shoulder, meeting me eye to eye, โ€œI know itโ€™s hard to interact with people but daddy and I arenโ€™t going to protect you forever, you have to learn to get along with everyone.โ€

She placed a quick kiss on my cheek before unlocking the car door.

I could feel momโ€™s pain in her tone, ever since my parents found out I had alexithymia. Something only 1 out of 10 people get.

The reason why I canโ€™t express my emotions to anyone. The reason why I was homeschooled for all my life until now.

The reason why Iโ€™m shivering is not from the cold but agitationโ€ฆ that Iโ€™d be ridiculed for who I was.

โ€œClimb up.โ€

I arranged my messy chocolate brown hair into a ponytail, grabbing my backpack and slinging it over my shoulder, grabbing my shoes from the rack and tying the laces rapid fast.


Mom drove slower than her usual, constantly checking the rearview mirror to see my blanked out expression but she didnโ€™t comment on it.

I saw the blurring trees pass by with a flicker of my eyes. I saw kids of all shapes and sizes walking in groups, chatting happily like they belonged here. Girls swinging their joined arms together, boys messing around with a football. Yet, everyone seemed to have someone to talk to about their feelings. Something I canโ€™t share with anyone. Something I felt was missing from my life.

โ€œHoney?โ€

I looked straight again.

โ€œHave fun, remember Kennyโ€ฆ you got this.โ€

I nodded, biting my lower lip in hesitation to abandon momโ€™s protection shield and go to the unknown.

โ€œB-bye,โ€ I felt momโ€™s warm kiss on my forehead, wrapping me with the love she shore over me all these years.

I grabbed my things, opening the door as I let the cold, autumn air sweep inside the heated car.

The leaves crunched under my shoes, the wind pushed the leaves that made scratching noises, paining my ear.

Hands tucked inside my pocket, I made my way to the office.


โ€œH-hello?โ€ I whispered inaudibly, my voice cracking like fireworks on 4th of July.

โ€œOh hiโ€ฆ may I assist you?โ€ I turned towards the cat-eyed women that stood beside the help desk. Her name tag wrote; Helen Jacy.

Her green tinted hair fell over her golden eyes, she had tattoos covering her arms as much as I could noticeโ€ฆ a dragon, a hat, a lion. I couldnโ€™t see the rest as it was covered by a heavyย 

Adidas sweater.

โ€œIโ€ฆ I new,โ€ I felt my face blush, I hoped Mrs. Helen understood my jibber jabber.

โ€œNew girl?โ€

I nodded.

Mrs. Jacy gave me a thumbs up, running over to the room marked; files as she plucked a red file on top of the file cabinet.

โ€œMrs. Vel?โ€ She asked, glancing at my bio.

Again, I nodded. The bell rang, I knew that school had started, greatโ€ฆ Iโ€™m the new girl and Iโ€™m late on my first day.

โ€œSweetie, hereโ€™s the map of the school and a brand new P.E t-shirtโ€ฆ good luck.โ€

โ€œT-Thanks,โ€ I was going to need all the luck.

Mrs. Jacy went back to typing away on her computer, her nails making click-clacking noises with her long hot pink nails, emblemed with tiny fake jewels.

Sighing, I pushed the heavy door frame to escape the office. I was breathless to see the schoolโ€ฆ my school.

Buildings spread as far as my eyes could see, all in different shapes and colors.ย 

Tardy kids were running around to their homerooms, clutching a tardy slip tightly to their chest. I could feel the breeze pick up, my hair danced around me, insisting I pluck the strands out of my mouth.ย 

I looked down at the paper; number 20. I saw right away, the facade was built for any weather, bricks were still exposed from long ago half-done constructions. Blue graffiti was spilled across the wall.ย 

Taking a deep breath, I stepped forward.ย 

This was a challenge.

And I must overcome it.

I slipped inside before the next gush of wind chilled my bones, turning me into an ice sculpture.

I could feel the faint murmur of the weary class, talking about how their weekend went, the beach party next week, whoโ€™s birthday it wasโ€ฆ I took a peek inside from the small window.

Too many people.

I could hear my faint breathing; uneven. My heart was pounding, my head throbbing from a recent headache.

Too many strangers.

I dismissed the thought. The look on momโ€™s face showed she would not be pleased if I fled school like a coward. She would be disappointed in me for giving up without a fair fight.

I was a fool, a weaklingโ€ฆย 

Maybe I could run away to Alaska?

Chloe.

I could almost muster up the courage to face the class. Yesturday I talked my heart out to the dog, why canโ€™t I talk to a few kids my age?

What was the difference?

Chloe wonโ€™t judge me.

They will.

โ€œHello... may I help you? I jerked back, my hands slid from the classroom door that I hadnโ€™t realized Iโ€™d clutched with a tight fist. My eyes fled to the direction of the voice.

โ€œAre you ok?โ€ย 

I managed a small nod. Seeing her name tag; Mrs. Dulce.ย 

I remembered seeing that name.

My teacher.

โ€œAre you supposed to be here?โ€ She asked, a worried expression held her eyebrows arched upward.

Again a nod.

โ€œWellโ€ฆ welcome then dear, come inside and weโ€™ll get you settled in,โ€ I felt a flush when Mrs. Dulce had to hold my hand to lead me inside.ย 

The class was a disaster

Paper airplanes flying from one side of the room to the other, girls painting their toenails, gushing over the colors, flapping their hands frantically for the polish to dry before the teacher could begin her lecture.

โ€œClass,โ€ I could see the kids shuffling back to their assigned seats, crossing their arms or tucking them to their sides. Girls flashed an annoyed look at me while the boys gave me a bewildered expression, some snorted.

โ€œThis isโ€ฆ?โ€ I didnโ€™t realize that Mrs. Dulce was waiting for me to pitch in and introduce myself like any other newbieโ€ฆ only I wasnโ€™t any other newbie.

โ€œKennedy Vel,โ€ I pronounced my name clearer than before yet I could feel the butterflies erupt in my stomach.

Girls around me rolled their eyes, sighing over another boredom school day while boys seemed eager to know more, edging out of their seats. One girlโ€ฆ the only girl that sat at the very end gave me a hesitant smile. Her pink braces showing off.

I felt pressurized but managed to utter a few words about myself that didnโ€™t need any mental breakdowns.

Mrs. Dulce let me slip away when the attention was diverted from me. I settled myself near the window, able to get past the irritated popular girls and look out to see my future.

โ€œHi!โ€ My head abruptly turned to her voice, clear as dayโ€ฆ she didnโ€™t seem to have any problemsโ€ฆ of course.

I managed a fake smile, only I felt it was real this time.

โ€œOhโ€ฆ Iโ€™m Mia,โ€ She held her hand, waiting for me to shake it eagerly.

I nodded again, taking her smooth hand into mine.

โ€œK-Kennedy.โ€

โ€œPleasure to meet you Kennedyโ€ฆ I wish you luck, this class is bonkers,โ€ She chuckled under her breath, making a twirling motion near her head with her other hand.

I faked another smile.

Hands clasped together in an almost prayer pose, I waited for the teacher to begin her lessons.

Maybe this wasnโ€™t so bad.

Maybe.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *ย 

โ€œJunior, Unorthodox is spelled incorrect in your summaryโ€ฆ didnโ€™t you check the word reference I gave you?โ€

It had been only an hour since I had been stuck here with total strangers that looked at me like I was something to chew on.

Shivers ran to my spine.

Spine-tinglingโ€ฆ

โ€œOopsโ€ฆ sorry,โ€ I felt Junior murmur under his breath.

Mrs. Dulce sighed, something she did frequently. Taking a deep breath and a pill that she had ready in her duffel bag she relaxed, her tense face was gone.

โ€œClass, please stop what you are doing and pay attention to the board,โ€ Mrs. Dulce picked up an erasable blue marker, popping the cap off and started to write something with the blunt edge.

โ€œHere is how to spell Unorthodoxโ€ฆ I saw lots of your summaries had spelling mistakes so we will have a review of our vocabulary.โ€

โ€œU-n-o-...โ€ย 

โ€œR-t-h-o-d-o-x,โ€ I finished, almost satisfied to know the spelling by heart.ย 

โ€œKennedy?โ€ I heard Mrs. Dulce called me out, she had stopped writing Unorthodox after o.ย 

I felt my face heat up with embarrassment, Iโ€™d spoken up when it was unnecessary.

โ€œHave you learnt these words before?โ€

I shook my head, โ€œD-Dictionary, I-I look-up words.โ€

โ€œWell, well,โ€ I could feel Mrs. Dulce beaming, โ€œCan I have a word with you after school?โ€

I froze, seeing my classmates fake a cough when in reality they pitied my state, some snickering with a scornful glee behind their teachers back.

Crossing my finger together, I nodded. Something that came naturally to me.

Itโ€™s not like I had any other choice.

โ€œNice knowing you,โ€ Mia whispered, fear tingling her throat.

This was not what I expected.

Not at all.

Detention on my first day.

โ€œKennedy is itโ€ฆ my nieceโ€™s name is Kennedy, what a lovely name,โ€ She gushed.

I looked out the window, seeing kids line up to the school bus. Kids waving bye to each other.

โ€œAh, I was hoping youโ€™d be interested in this,โ€ She handed me a flyer from her desk.

I gave my thanks without looking down at the sheet of paper.

I walked to the parking lot, kids scurrying around me, some getting on late buses while others walking, hand in hand.

I noticed mom leaning against our old, dingy chevy. She looked worried but changed her expression at the sight of me approaching.

โ€œSo?โ€ Mom inquired, her tiny frame shore with pride and an enthusiastic smile pasted on her face.

โ€œIt- wasโ€ฆ ok?โ€ I racked my brain for a vocabulary to impress her that I was learning something all these years but I just canโ€™t say it out loud.

What I should have said.

Disturbing.

Inquisitive.

Engaging?

Nerve Rackingโ€ฆ yes.

Mom parked the car in the sidewalk, opening me door.

โ€œCome insideโ€ฆ I wanna hear all about it.โ€

I groaned inside my head. Talking wasnโ€™t my strong suit.

โ€œWhatโ€™s that youโ€™re holding?โ€

I had been sipping some warm milk to soothe my uplifting nerves, the moisture flooding into my mouth, warming my hands against the toasty ceramic mug mom had made herself at art collage.

#1 Superstar was written in the front.

I shrugged as mom carefully pried my fingers away from my strong grip.

She gasped, her eyes lit with both happiness and discomfort.

โ€œIโ€ฆโ€ I stuttered, her hands found a way to mine, โ€œThis is a great opportunity.โ€

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *ย 

โ€œNo.โ€

โ€œCome on sweetie, think about the future, this could help you get college credit?โ€ Mom asked in a bittersweet tone.

I shook my head, folding my hands.

I was being adamant.

A-D-A-M-A-N-T

And I loved it.

โ€œKennedy,โ€ Dad chided.

I braced myself for the worst.ย 

โ€œKennedy,โ€ Dad tried softer, โ€œYou have a raw talent in you my mihaโ€ฆ donโ€™t let anything stop you, cultivate it before itโ€™s gone.โ€

I didnโ€™t face him.ย 

I couldnโ€™t.

Mom hugged me, her warmth exploded every part of my body with the fragrance of roses and lilacs.

I saw their love shore in their eyes.

They cared for me.

I couldnโ€™t let them down.

Now or ever.

โ€œF-Fine,โ€ I whispered, the word hurt to utter but I did it.

My parents exchanged amused looks but slowly a smile like the crescent moon appeared.

โ€œYouโ€™ll make us proud.โ€

I really hoped so.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

โ€œSpell Thoughtfulness,โ€ I narrowed my eyes to see Miaโ€™s blank expression, she constantly fiddled with her fingers, sweat dripping down her forehead.

She gave me a half-hearted smile and gave the audience her correct answer.

The crowd clapped at the final two in the spelling bee.

Mia.

And me.

I couldnโ€™t believe Iโ€™d come so far.

A girl whoโ€™d lost hope since the beginning of her journey was given a second chance.

I couldnโ€™t lose it.

I saw my parents smile like there was no tomorrow, like Iโ€™d just won the olympics. Like I was being a regular girl.

Someone who didnโ€™t need to worry about being the odd man out.

Someone who justโ€ฆ

Belonged in this world.

Miaโ€™s whole family caught my eyes, her three sisters and two brothers cheering her on. Her parents seemed very proud of their daughter, giving her a thumbs up often.ย 

Mia looked almost sad.

It was this one round that will determine the winner.

If I get this correctโ€ฆ I can finally have my place in this world.

โ€œKennedyโ€ฆ please spell affectionateness.โ€

I froze.

This was my ticket to success.

I knew this word by heart.

The words uttered from my mouth, everyone standing up and clapping for me.

I could feel it.

โ€œMy parentโ€™s hope Iโ€™d go to a good college one dayโ€ฆ that Iโ€™d be a role model for my little siblings,โ€ Miaโ€™s words rolled through my brain.

We had become great friends, I was grateful for her to accept me for who I was.

She deserved it more than me.

โ€œA-F-F-E-C-โ€ I could feel everyone gagging at me, their hearts beating but not as fast as mine.

โ€œT-I-O-N-A-T-E-N-E-S.โ€

โ€œThatโ€ฆ is incorrect, the winner is Mia Tardes, congratulations.โ€

I saw Mia give me a huge smile, nodding at everyone who congratulated her, shaking hands, thanking everyone.

She seemed so happy.

I was glad to be the cause.

โ€œKennedy?โ€

I blushed with humiliation.

โ€œYou made us proudโ€ฆ I saw what you did there.โ€

I couldnโ€™t wait, running over to embrace them.

โ€œI lo-veโ€ฆ you mom and dad.โ€

I had finally said it.

The magic word.

Love.



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102 comments

Hi Everyone! I hoped you all like this story:) This took forever to write but finally done. So the main concept is that Kennedy has this disability where she can't really talk about her feelings, especially to people she doesn't know but she finds out her talent but in the end you know what happened. Also to Down-voters. Please stop downvoting me and everyone else on Reedsy. We all are working so hard and it's not fair to anyone. I got downvoted twice this week already. If you need help with upvoting just ask. I'd be happy to help! Anyway, H...

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Kate Reynolds
23:54 Jan 12, 2021

IT IS WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Salma Jarir
22:02 Jan 28, 2021

I just read ur bio so....there's a ๐Ÿช

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Lillian Brooks
22:47 Jan 27, 2021

Such an amazing story, Varsha! I really love the emotion of this story and I think its super sweet. The ending especially was very beautiful and a great note to end on. You're writing was so descriptive, I could see everything perfectly in my mind. -lily

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Lillian Brooks
23:09 Jan 27, 2021

Of course, it was really well written, Varsha!

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15:54 Jan 19, 2021

Hi Varsha! It has been a long time since we talked so I was wondering how you are :)

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Hi Akshaya!!! Yeah, it has been. Im good, how are u? are ur finals over?

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15:58 Jan 19, 2021

I'm fine too! The last one gets over tomorrow (yay!!) Are you going to post any stories this week?

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16:00 Jan 19, 2021

Me too! I might post it tomorrow (I'm almost done but I'm gonna edit it tomorrow)

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Nainika Gupta
17:22 Jan 18, 2021

oooh Varsha - both of us have the same title!! I promise I didn't copy, would you like me to change mine?? this was great!! Loved the idea - used the same prompt with mine!!

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Nainika Gupta
18:20 Jan 18, 2021

I changed it - Silence is Golden and Duct Tape is Silver!!!

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Hi Nainika! WOW, what a coincidence! No, no. I won't mind, you should keep it. Great minds think alike after all :) Thank you so much!

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Nainika Gupta
18:50 Jan 18, 2021

Of course!! And great minds do think alike!!

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Aaron Caicedo
02:47 Jan 18, 2021

This was great! Kennedy was such a wonderful character, and it was an utter delight to see her grow and overcome her fears, as well as show empathy and understanding towards those around. Plus, it was refreshing to read something from the perspective of someone dealing with something so rarely represented. Awesome job!

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Rachel Smith
19:59 Jan 17, 2021

What a lovely story and nice twist at the end letting Mia win.

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Ivy Hatherall
06:57 Jan 16, 2021

This nearly made me cry: I love the way you wrote this, and how you conveyed her having difficulty with noting her emotions. Great story! Would you mind reading my story, "A Coward's Guide to Accepting Remorse"? I worked really hard on it and would love it if you checked it out!

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Ivy Hatherall
21:00 Jan 16, 2021

:)

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18:59 Jan 15, 2021

First of all, I LOVED this story. It was so catching and I felt like I was really there the more I read it. Some constructive feedback: I generally like stories with imagery because it gives me an insight on what I should be feeling, or thinking really, but I think you kind of used too much of it. For example, at the very beginning you describe the sun and I don't think that part was necessary. My last bit of feedback is that it was a little wordy and it took a lot of focus to read. Other than that, this was an amazing story and I'm heading ...

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Hi Cookie! Thank you so much!!! Yeah I totally agree with that. Maybe got a little carried away :) Yay! Thx so much!

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Melissa Abbott
10:46 Jan 15, 2021

Loved reading this! And the ending,how exciting to read! Great work

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Aw this was very heartwarming! I loved it! I love how you describe scenery and feelings, its all very nice and came together full heartedly. The ending was bittersweet but more sweet! One thing I will say is that when you switch time...specifically here---> I gave my thanks without looking down at the sheet of paper. โ€œSo?โ€ Mom inquired, her tiny frame shore with pride and an enthusiastic smile pasted on her face. I think it would have flowed better if you showed her walking to her mother not just a random poof! I saw you did that for like ...

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Hi Ugochi!!!! Thank you so much for reading! This means so much to me :D I made some minor corrections based on what you said. Again thx so much!

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Follow Account
22:14 Jan 14, 2021

I love this story the emotions and the descriptions it was just so- I have no words good job ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Follow Account
22:21 Jan 14, 2021

you're welcome

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Echo Sundar
17:16 Jan 13, 2021

Wow. Such a beautiful story. Great job. Very fun to read!

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Radhika Diksha
14:12 Jan 17, 2021

Best story. Well driven plot with well-driven characters. Nice story keep writing.

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Maya Emerson
00:58 Jan 17, 2021

This was such a touching and beautiful story, Varsha! The main characters' thoughts and emotions were portrayed extremely well. From the beginning, the reader was able to connect with Kennedy and imagine the story as if they were right there in the scene. The imagery was unique and the words painted a stunning scene. I really enjoyed reading this! Amazing job! :D

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Radhika Diksha
14:17 Jan 16, 2021

hi, Varsha thank you for joining the OASIS. Please do read the guidelines before on my bio or on the story OASIS. Do check out the writers that we have mentioned and do give criticism to other members of the story.

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Radhika Diksha
14:20 Jan 16, 2021

And please do mention the writers that we have chosen on your bio too. That's what oasis is created for.

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Hi Thank you Radhika! Yes, I added the authors in my bio. I will check their stories out as well. Who are the other members?

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Radhika Diksha
14:25 Jan 16, 2021

Abby, me, kate, Ezra, and you. I will mention their names in my story oasis itself.

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Ok, mind giving me their links(except kate chause I follow and read all her stories)?

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Radhika Diksha
14:38 Jan 16, 2021

I HAVE MENTIONED THEIR LINKS IN MY STORY OASIS.

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Coco Longstaff
22:59 Jan 15, 2021

Really good, and the details like the gentle breeze and the magic word really speaks to me. I love it! Sorry it took a long time to comment

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