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Drama Coming of Age Middle School

We all decided it would be fun to create a time capsule and bury it in Katie’s backyard. Not up near the porch where everyone would see but in the back left corner of the lot, underneath the old oak tree that we loved to climb. We would bury it beside the root that used to trip us up all the time. Elizabeth said that was a good place because every time we tripped we would remember the time capsule was there. That way none of us would ever forget. We were supposed to come back here when we were really old, like thirty or forty, and dig it up together, all of us. 

Now we just had to decide what to put in it. Gracie said she was going to put her favorite toy pony from when she was little. It was a replica her dad had made of her actual pony. Katie said she thought she might put a cd in it with some songs from her favorite singer, Katy Perry. Elizabeth said she wasn’t sure. She thought that maybe she would put a copy of her favorite book, Little Women in there. She had read that book at least ten times and would sometimes flit around saying quotes from the book. Me, I had no idea what to put in there. What would be something I would want? Not only me but the other girls to0. Something we remember when we’re old.

Later, on my way home, I wracked my brain trying to come up with an idea for the box. I would have to search my room after dinner and see what I could find. 

I walked in the door forgetting to catch the screen and it slammed shut again. 

“Annabeth!” I heard my mom hollar from the kitchen. “What have I told you about that door?” She came out into the hallway, wiping her hands on her apron.

“I know, Momma. I’m sorry. I just forgot.”

“Well, next time you better not. Now run upstairs and wash your hands and face. Dinner will be ready in ten minutes.”

I ran up the stairs just as I heard her daddy’s pickup pulling into the drive. I raced to wash my face and hands. As an afterthought I ran the brush through my hair and pulled it back into a quick ponytail. Hopping down the stairs I jumped right into Daddy’s arms as he rushed to catch me and spin me around in a hug. 

“How was your day, love bug?”

“It was good, daddy. Elizabeth, Katie, Grace and I are doing a time capsule.” 

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah, we’re going to bury it in Katie’s backyard out by that old oak tree.” I told him as we headed into the dining room. 

“Well, that sounds like a lot of fun!” He tousled my hair and kissed my cheek, his slight five o’clock shadow scratched me. 

“Make sure you ask Katie’s parents before you go digging now.” Momma said as she came into the dining room with us. I watched as daddy’s face lit up and he walked over to her and kissed her on the mouth. 

“Why hello, Mrs. Garrett.”

“Hello yourself, Mr. Garrett.” 

They both grinned at each other, Momma pretended to fuss at him after he swatted her on the behind. They’re playfulness made me grin. Daddy tousled my hair again before heading upstairs to change.

“Set the table, honey and I’ll start bringing the food in.”

I smiled and began setting the plates out. 

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I stretched back on my bed, book in hand, but I didn’t feel much like reading. I thought about the time capsule. I still didn’t know what to put in there. It had to be something special and everything i could think of seemed stupid somehow. I mean this was something their grown-up-selves would look at years down the road and it had to mean something. I looked around my bedroom. There was a shelf full of books, but that was Elizabeth’s thing, and there was a shelf full of dolls and stuffed animals. Nothing on there would have any meaning to any of the other girls and none of them really told a story of me. 

Absentmindedly I picked at a piece of lint from her sweater. 

Memories of the girls started floating back. I remembered, vaguely, days in preschool with them and Mrs. Hash, all of them making a plan for one of them to be the first to grab a Big Wheel. That way they could trade it back and forth and they would all get a turn on it that day. Those things went fast as soon as the teacher opened the door and they were usually too slow. I remembered being at Katie’s birthday party in kindergarten when her parents bought her a wooden kitchen. It was just like the one at preschool that she absolutely loved. I had been jealous of her then but that faded quickly. Katie was forever generous to her besties and they all got to play with it often. 

More memories, this time in third grade when Gracie and I ended up in the same class that year. We got to go on a field trip to the zoo. Gracie had laughed hysterically when the giraffe leaned its long neck over the fence and licked her up the side of the face. I had been horrified at the feel of the wet tongue and the smell of the giraffe’s awful breath! But once the initial shock wore off Gracie and I had laughed so hard we couldn’t even stand up. The teachers couldn’t help themselves and ended up laughing with us, wiping tears from their own eyes. 

There was a sleepover with Elizabeth when we were in fourth grade. It had been an emotional night. Elizabeth’s parents had told her the week before that they were no longer going to be living together. They were getting a divorce and she and her brother would split time between them. 

“Look on the bright side sweetheart, you’ll get to have two bedrooms and you can decorate them anyway you want. You want a pink Paris room? Fine! You want a teal beach room? Fine! It’s yours! You decide. But the most important thing to remember is…” het father had paused, looking at her mother sadly. “...that your mother and I love you and your brother very much. That will never, ever, ever change.” 

A small gasp had escaped her mother then. Elizabeth had looked over at her mom and saw her face was red and swollen already, tears streaming down her face.

Elizabeth had cried, a lot as she told me this that night. I had done the only thing I knew to do. I had hugged her tight, telling her it was all going to be okay. It had to be right? 

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

Sunlight streaming through woke me the next morning. I stretched and yawned. Sitting up I  realized I must have fallen asleep unknowingly. I was still in my clothes from last night and the book I was going to attempt to read laid beside me on top of the covers. I jumped up, glad it was Saturday. I was going to find her items for the capsule today. I quickly ran a brush through my hair and changed into fresh clothes. 

As I brushed away my stinky morning breath I remembered my thoughts last night. I suddenly  knew what I wanted in the capsule but I was going to need Momma’s help. I rinsed my mouth and raced downstairs. 

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

“Annabeth!” The girls chimed my name in unison as I ran from the back door out to the tree they were all under. 

“Hey everybody!” I said with a smile. 

“I’m so excited about our time capsule. What did everyone bring?” Gracie asked excitedly.

“I got my book!” Elizabeth said. 

“And I made my cd last night. It’s all my favorite Katy Perry songs. I just know they will still be on the radio when we’re old. They are just so good!” Katie hugged the cd close to her. 

“Did you bring your pony, Gracie?” I asked. 

“I sure did!” She pulled it from the bag lying next to her. It was a beautiful pony, white with black speckles and golden yellow mane and tale. You could see the shape of the muscles carved into it, just like the real thing. 

“What did you bring Annabeth?” Gracie asked her.

“Well, it was really hard to come up with something. Everything I thought of seemed so lame. I wanted something that reminded me of us being kids too, something special. So I asked my mom to help me a little. She reached into her bag and pulled out a book. 

“What kind of book did you bring?” asked Katie.

“Well it’s not really a book per say. It’s what my mom calls a scrapbook. It’s a place to save memories that are more than just pictures. She opened the book and slowly showed them each page. 

There was a page from a beach trip that my family and Gracie’s family, before the divorce, had gone on together. The pictures showed smiling faces all around. There was one of Gracie laughing hard, sand stuck to the side of her face. We had been boogie boarding and Gracie had a hard time standing up once on the shore. The waves kept knocking her down and she kept trying to get back up. It had taken several minutes for her to get to stable ground and by then we were all laughing hysterically. A tiny pink sandshell was glued to the page. It had been stuck to the bottom of my foot when I got out of the water. We thought it was so pretty we had to bring it home. 

Another picture showed Katie and I at our first ever music concert. You guessed it, Katy Perry. The look on Katie’s face was priceless, she was so in awe. My ticket stub was attached to the page. 

A memory with Elizabeth was next. The picture was of a day we had spent in her tree house where we had taught each other to make friendship bracelets. Mine was attached to the page. I had dug it out of an old jewelry box on my dresser, surprised that I still had it. 

We turned each page, laughing and giggling as we looked at pictures of field trips and sleepovers, pictures of us pretending to be models as we lounged by Katie’s pool with our big sunglasses and even bigger sun hats. 

There were trips to the park where we created a train for a picture on the slide. Candid ones of us attempting to make it all the way across the monkey bars before our arms gave out and ones of us seeing who could swing the highest on the long swings. 

“Everywhere I have been, everything I have done has been with you girls. You’re my best friends. You feel more like sisters.”

That’s the one thing I wanted to remember about them when I was old.  Looking around at them, I hoped they all remembered it too.  

We sat in silence, taking in the moment. Gracie was the first to speak as she said, “Awwwww! I’ll never forget you guys.” 

Grinning we all wrapped our arms around each other, hugging tightly, knowing we would be friends for life.

October 06, 2020 21:47

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5 comments

E. Jude
20:51 Nov 01, 2020

Nice story! Felt like a feel-good story! Glad I found it! I really liked the beginning. Based on a real experience? I would love it if you could check out my stories too!!! Elsa

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Kristy Reynolds
22:09 Nov 01, 2020

Thank you so much! It had some tidbits from real life in it. :) I will definitely check out yours too.

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Felicity Anne
20:10 Oct 20, 2020

Kristy, I love this story! I really love the names you choose for your characters. You are so talented! Keep up the good work!

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Kristy Reynolds
19:29 Oct 23, 2020

Thank you so much!!

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Felicity Anne
19:37 Oct 23, 2020

No problem! ;)

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