Lauren came home sobbing. She ran into the house, threw down her bag, and sprinted to her room. She collapsed on her bed moaning,
“Becca, Becca, Becca.” Her mother dashed in. “Honey, whatever is the matter!?” She looked at her mother, her face was red.
“Becca.” Her mother frowned while stroking her hair. “What’s wrong with Becca?” Lauren cried harder. “Becca is gone.” Her mother gasped.
“Oh dear, is she alright.” That made Lauren scream. “BECCA LEFT ME!” The she threw herself on the ground at her mother’s feet. Her mother smiled sadly, and bended down to hand her, her Woody doll.
“Here, Woody will make you feel better.” Now if her mother knew what Lauren’s reaction would have been, and if her mother remembered that Woody just reminded her of Rebecca, then she would take it back in an instant. Becca and Lauren had many ways to show their friendship, including toys. Becca had a Buzz Lightyear, and Lauren a Woody. So, Lauren simply stared at the doll, and chucked it against her sky-blue wall. Woody’s plastic head popped off, and rolled to her feet.
Her mother trying to make things better said,
“Why don’t you look at your daily calendar quote? They always make you happy!” She pulled Lauren to her feet, and lead her over to the calendar on her desk. The quote was a perfect one for the occasion. It read,
“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that." “Oh dear.” Her mother said. Lauren ran downstairs, and strapped on her pink sandals. She then went to her backyard. Next door, where Becca lived, Lauren peered at her treehouse. There sitting in LAUREN’S chair, was Becca’s new friend Emma. Lauren started to silently cry. They were laughing, and eating animal crackers together. Just like Lauren did with Becca a few days ago. Lauren’s brother David ran up. He handed her a toy lightsaber.
“Want to play with me?” Lauren simply stared at the toy, and walked inside. She and Becca had been friends since they were born. She saw her father on the phone. “What do you mean she and Lauren aren’t friends!?”
He bellowed at the phone. “What do you mean Lauren expresses her anger towards Rebecca!” His face was beet red, as he turned to glare at Lauren. She frowned. She could hear Mrs. Brown on the phone saying,
“Lauren said a few not nice things to Becca, and then Becca didn’t want to be friends. Lauren also was not playing the way Becca wanted to, so she started to play with Emma!” Her father hung up. He spun on his heels towards Lauren. She shivered as he stormed over to her.
“I got a phone call from work saying that you were up in your room hooting and hollering, cause Becca’s not your friend!” He said mockingly. “This is your fault Lauren Fisher! I had to leave work for this nonsense! Now you have no friends, boo hoo!” He stormed pass her, shoving her off the chair.
“Oh Mary, please just get her anger issue therapy, or whatever,” he said to his wife. She frowned. “My goodness Fred, she is only 9!” He growled, “She is 8.” Mary Fisher sighed, and wearily rubbed her eyes. Lauren put her shoes on to go outside, away from her father. As she went outside she saw a paper airplane on her doorstep. On the paper airplane read a quote.
“A good name will shine forever.” Lauren ran back inside, into the basement to get string. Lauren loved collecting quotes. In her room, on her walls she had strings full of quotes. She slides the paper airplane onto the new string, and placed it gently on the desk. Lauren smiled for the first time in a week. Who had done such a kind thing to a girl like Lauren? As she went downstairs, her father stopped her, and grabbed her arm.
“You are a very mean girl. Do you understand what a failure you are to this family?” His grip on her arms hurt. “You don’t deserve to even have friends! Rebecca deserves better!” With that he tossed her out the door. Lauren’s arm was red. As Lauren ran to the backyard, she saw Becca in her tree house alone, playing with her Buzz toy. Lauren longed to go and play with her. As Lauren went back inside, she saw the Woody head laying on the carpet. She picked it up, and returned it to its proper place. It popped back into the socket, and Lauren smiled again. The next day at school Lauren walked up to Trinity, Emma, Becca, Hannah, Claire, and Alice.
“Um, can I please sit with you.” Trinity looked at her with disgust. “I would rather sit with a bull,” She sniffed. Lauren growled. “You meanie.” All the girls laughed. “What are you four?” Lauren could feel her anger rising.
“No, I’m nine, and in fourth grade like you! I bet I’m even smarter then you!” She stuck out her tongue. Becca looked at her shoes. She saw kids staring at her. She turned to see Mrs. Stone walk out of her office.
“Let’s go to the office Lauren,” she said through gritted teeth. Lauren sat down in the leather chair, and sighed. The second time this week. Now the principle is going to call her dad, and he is going to complain what a failure she was. The principle picked up the phone. “Hello Mr. Fisher, your daughter was saying some rude things at lunch.”
He dad was screaming through the phone. “What did that bastard say! Expel her, suspend her! Do whatever it takes!” The principle turned to her.
“Ms. Alex is going to bring you to the counselor while I finish this call." What! Not Ms. Alex! She is for special needs kids, and I’m not one! I don’t need her! Lauren thought angrily. “Hi I’m Ms. Alex!” She said, holding out her hand, for Lauren to hold. I’m not four, Lauren grumbled as she took her hand. She could see Trinity and her friends laughing. They walked inside to see Mrs. Monroe. She peered over her rectangle glasses.
“Ah, Lauren. I have heard lots about you!” Lauren sat on the plastic chair. Ms. Alex sat next to her, and patted Lauren’s thigh twice. “How’s everything going at home?” “Um fine?” Tears trickled down her face.
“Oh honey!” Ms. Alex cried hugging her. Lauren pulled away. “I just want to have friends, and a nicer daddy.” Mrs. Monroe smiled sadly. “What’s wrong with your father?” So, Lauren told her everything.
Throughout the “story,” Lauren could hear Ms. Alex gasping, shaking her head, and closing her eyes. Mrs. Monroe’s eyes widen. She heard someone stomping down the hall. She mouthed to Mrs. Monroe, Please don’t tell, its my father. He father banged open the door, and grabbed her by the arm.
“Time to go little bastard!” Lauren started to cry as her father dragged her out of the counselor’s office. As she got home a new quote was on the doorstep. When her father wasn’t looking she snatched up the paper airplane, and read it. “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” Lauren started to cry harder. She ran past her father, and up the stairs to her room. She pulled down the string on the wall. Attached the quote, and prayed. I need Becca. Then just like before, she replaced the doorstep with a new friend. A parcel of paper, with her love in it. She was thankful. So, for the next few weeks, Lauren and the quote giver passed parcels of paper back in fourth. The next day the doorbell rang. Lauren cautiously opened the door, and saw Becca with a huge string full of quote paper airplanes. Lauren then looked at her string of quotes, and cried the happiest tears. Becca smiled sadly and grabbed her hand. She led her to her tree house, and helped Lauren climb up. Becca threw her tan legs over the wooden railings to sit, and gestured for Lauren to sit next to her. As they sat Lauren whispered,
“I’m sorry Becca.” Becca hugged her, and said, “I missed you.” Then they grasped each other’s hands, and let go of the string of paper airplanes. The wind carried them farther then they could see.
“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”