Charmed, I'm Sure

Written in response to: Write about a character who lives a seemingly charmed life.... view prompt

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Drama Teens & Young Adult High School

I watched her as she climbed from the back of her parent's SUV.

Chelsea Rivers, with her golden hair, brushed back into a bow, and her blue eyes sparkled. 

She always had the nicest shoes, nicest backpack, nicest…well, everything. Her parents played tennis, and she had an inground pool in her backyard. Her house was huge and always looked like a beautiful painting at Christmas. 

She had a boyfriend who was popular, gorgeous, and nice. Her parents let her go out and do things, unlike mine. She was always going to a concert or for a long weekend at the family's beach house. Let's not forget the humongous cabin in the mountains with its own hot spring at the back of the property. 

This girl had it all. 

Even at school, she was popular and made straight A's. I had never heard anyone say they didn't like her. It was like she had been charmed at birth somehow. 

I glowered in her direction, sure she must be a witch or something. I hoisted my backpack up on my back, wiped the hair off the side of my face that was stuck in my sweat, and pulled my shorts down between my thighs. My thighs must be starving because they were constantly eating my shorts. 

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Sitting in class, I whipped out my hairbrush and swept my messy hair back up into a ponytail. I grabbed a couple of tissues and mopped the sweat off of my forehead, upper lip, and the stream running down my neck. 

I just wanted to go home and shower. 

And then she walked in. 

Not a drop of sweat. 

Perfect hair. 

I hated her. 

She sat down at the desk next to me and smiled. 

"Good morning!" she said in a way too cheerful tone for an early Monday morning. 

God help me. I really did hate her. So why did I smile back and feel like I wasn't an ugly heifer for five seconds?

Class seemed to drone on forever and a day. The teacher's voice was so monotonous I caught my head bobbing more than once. "Please, God, don't let me snore!" I thought as I tried to stretch and wake myself up. 

Suddenly an alarm sounded. The voice of Principal Harlow came over the speaker.

"Students and teachers, we are currently under a tornado watch. Please calmly lead your classes into the hallways to shelter in place. Again, this is a tornado watch. Move to the hallways immediately." 

I looked around the classroom with frightened faces as everyone began packing up their stuff and heading to the door where the teacher stood. 

"Kids, you have been through drills for this. Remember, do not panic. Sit with your backs against the wall and your backpacks and belongings in front of you."

We all shuffled our way out into the hall, trying to act like we were above being scared. One look into our eyes told the true story. 

We all sat down as the school alarm stopped, and we could hear the sirens going off outside. We could hear the wind pick up a bit. Lightning seemed to light up the classrooms behind us incessantly. 

As the rain turned to hail, some girls began sniffling. The guys began drumming their fingers or trying to tell jokes loudly. Boys and their defense mechanisms. 

Chelsea sat next to me, and as I looked over at her, she sat still, her eyes wide as she listened to the hail hitting the roof. The wind started picking up even more, and you could hear the roof creaking a bit. 

Chelsea looked like she may pass out from fear. I tried to distract her. 

"So you live up by the pond on the west side of town, don't you?"

"What? Uh, yeah. Over by the pond."

"Must be nice. I've only driven through that area. All those fancy houses. It kind of makes our double wide look like a dump."

"Don't say that. I'm sure your parents worked hard to buy that home. Being proud of what you have is okay if you work hard for it."

"You're telling me that you would trade all of that in," I motioned in the general direction of her house. "For a double-wide as long as you could pay for it yourself?"

"I mean, I love our house, but just because the house is big or fancy doesn't mean it's well…home."

"What do you mean?" I couldn't possibly follow her train of thought right now. 

"It's just that you can't judge someone's life by what they own. All of that stuff means nothing in the end. It's the memories you make, the people you love, the mark you leave on the world when you're gone."

"Wow. That's kinda deep. And slightly depressing…"

"Yeah, well, it's true. My mom tells me that every day."

"Every day? Why?" I asked incredulously. 

"She wants me to remember it...when she's gone."

"Um…morbid much? Yikes!"

"She has cancer."

I sat stunned for a few minutes, not knowing what to say. 

"I'm so sorry. I had no idea."

"Yeah, the doctors are hopeful she'll still be with us at Christmas, but I don't know. Nobody truly knows. I just know I still need her here. I still need her hugs and her prayers and to hear her laughter."

The tears were really running down her face now. I reached into my bag and grabbed my box of tissues. Handing them to her, I had the urge to hug her, and I did. She hugged me back, squeezing me tightly. 

Apparently, her life wasn't so charmed. 

"No matter what happens, I can tell your mom loves you and wants the best things for you. Make sure you get them, whatever those things are. And if you ever need to talk, I mean, you can always give me a call or shoot me a text. Whatever."

"That would be really nice. Thank you."

We pulled out our phones and exchanged numbers. 

That was when the wind ripped the roof off of the school.

August 30, 2022 23:29

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