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Drama Suspense


I’m poor. Go ahead laugh. Go ahead and shame me, you obnoxious rich people. My family has just enough money to pay for food. We live on the streets because my mom is out of a job and my dad is a janitor who scraps the gunk of school pillars in our town and mops city hall’s floors. I have a sister who was just born. She is my life and I love her. I’d do anything for her like I'd anything for my best friend Fiona. She is the one person I know who doesn’t shame me or my family for our situation at hand. She also teaches me school. She is like my teacher, best friend, and the kindest person I know all wrapped up in one. A shopkeeper told me a way to get my family off the streets though. I don’t think I can do it. It’s a reality show where you answer questions and do dares. The show goes on every year with new contestants and everyone knows that the first question is always, “Tell the world DIRT on your best friend.” So that would mean getting dirt on FIONA. I don’t think I can do that. The only reason I'm even questioning it is that the prize is 10 MILLION DOLLARS! Should I do it? No, I couldn’t. Fiona is the only reason I’m not a random uneducated lonely person. I would be just as bad as the people who shame my family if I did it. But the other side of my head disagreed. So what? You don’t have a best friend anymore, but you would have 10M. No, battled the other side friendship is important! What good is it if you have a mansion but no best friend to share it with? Stop! I screamed internally. You guys can have this discussion later, Fiona is coming over to hangout. We are going to go to the mall. Oh, and brain? did I mention that she is the most generous person on earth and she bought me a phone for my 15th birthday last year! A PHONE! A $400 dollar phone. Of course, her lovely parents pitched in! That was sarcasm. Her parents aren’t lovely and Fiona couldn’t be more different. Well, I guess she was able to afford it with her job her rich parents gave her working for the family business.


“Hi, Alexia! I’m here!” Oh, Fiona’s here! Now brain, you better shut up! “Hi, Fiona! What’s up?” I asked. “Nothing much. I’m ready to go to the mall but let's go to my place first. You can use my shower and you can borrow some of my clothes! Ooh! The outfit I wore last month for my sweet 16 party would look super cute on you!!” “Ok!!” I said. While we were walking to her house I asked, “Hey Fiona? Are your parents gonna be home?” “Oh,” she said. “I didn't think of that. I'll go in first and distract my mom. My dad's still at the office so, you don't need to worry about him. Just go to my room and wait there. No one is gonna come in there because I told my mom I was studying and I snuck out the window.” “Ok, if you're sure that will work?” I asked concerned. “It will work, my mom won't pass up a chance for me to learn how to make her “special tea” that “I love”.” she replied with certainty. “Ok. I'll go after you.” “Ok.” she said.


Fiona walked in and I saw her walk to the stairs then walk to the kitchen. I tiptoed upstairs to her room. I shut the door behind me. 10 minutes later I heard the door open and I ran to her bathroom. I heard a voice saying “Alexia? You there?” I sighed. Thank god it’s Fiona. “Yes,” I replied as I walked out of the bathroom. “Ok!” she said. She handed me a cute top and pants and told me to take a shower. I walked out of the bathroom in my new outfit. “Woah!” exclaimed Fiona. “You look so cute! I was so right! You can have that outfit if you want. I can ask my mom to buy me a new one.” “Ok! Thanks! You really are the best friend ever! I love you!” I replied with a grin. “Aww thanks! Love you too! Ok, ready to head to the mall? She asked. “Yes,” I said. “Ok. I have to tell my mom I'm going to the mall but I won't tell her you are going with me. Ok?” “Yeah sure,” I said. I walked downstairs after Fiona told me the coast was clear. I ran downstairs and waited for her outside in the garden. She joined me 5 minutes later. “Kk!” She said. “Let's go!! I really want to get a golden necklace from a book I read the other day! Oh, I almost forgot. I brought 100 bucks so here is 50.” “Woah,” I said. “I don't need 50 bucks.” “Gosh missy,” said Fiona. “Take the 50!!!” I reluctantly took the 50. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Yes!!! Totally.” She gave me one of her smiles. A wave of warmth rushed through me. I smiled at her. “Ok! Let's go!!” I said. We took the bus to the mall and went to the front entrance of the mall.


“Ok, what store do you want to go to?” She asked. “Ummm, let's go to the store you want to go to and I will browse in those stores.” “You sure?” She asked. “Yes I'm sure,” I said. “Ok then let's go!” She said. My mind wandered as I followed Fiona. My head taking part in a never-ending battle about the show. I don’t know what the best thing to do is. We entered a clothing and accessory store. “Ok,” Fiona said snapping my focus back to her. “I’m gonna get the things I came for and you browse around?” “Ok,” I said distracted by the internal debate. I walked around and browsed the clothes and I shoved my thoughts out of my mind. My eye caught a really pretty floral skirt that I picked off the rack. Fiona approached me with a white dress and the gold necklace she wanted. “Hey Lexi, I’m gonna try the dress on in the changing room, do you wanna come?” she asked. “Yeah, I'll come. But first do you see a top that I can get with this skirt? I want to get my mom a skirt and top for her birthday in a few weeks.” “Ooh! That would look good on her! Nice taste Lexi!! I found this black top while I was browsing they would look great together. Do you want me to grab it?” She asked. “Yes please!!” I replied. Fiona speedily ran to the rack a few isles down. “K! I got it! How does this look?” She asked. “I really like that! Ok, the skirt and top are 30 bucks. Let's go to the changing room and you can try on the dress?” “Yeah, ok c’mon.” She said. Fiona walked out of the room and I gasped. “Woah. You look so pretty!! Buy it! It looks stellar!” I said very enthusiastically. “Yeah! I love it too! C’mon let’s go check out.” After Fiona changed back we walked to the checkout counter and we left the mall. “Here is the extra 20,” I said. She didn’t take it. She pushed the money into my hands and said, “Girl, I told you that the money is yours and if you don’t want it give it to your mom? But I’m under no circumstances taking it back.” I put the money in my pocket.


We took the bus back to her house and we walked to where my family “lives” a rickety tent in a park near the farmers market. Fiona came with me when I approached my mom and gave her the clothes. “Oh my!” she exclaimed. “You didn’t! Alexia this is the sweetest thing ever!!” I smiled. “We went to the mall together and I thought of you, so happy early birthday mom!” She hugged me. Fiona checked her watch. “Oh shoot!” she exclaimed. “I told my mom I'd be home by 1 and it's 1:30! Bye Lexi! See you tomorrow? For Math and English? And maybe we can go get a bite to eat after?” “Yeah sure! Come whenever! I'll text you later.” I said. “Ok! Bye Mrs. Maanan! Bye Lexi!” She said. “Bye! my mom and I said together. “Alexia?” My mom asked. “Yes?” I said. “Your dad just got back from work and we have something to tell you.” She said sadly. Dad stepped into the tent and sat down with my mom and I. “Lexi, they are kicking us out of the park. Apparently, we were setting up a tent here illegally. There is a small fine, but we don't have any safe space to set up a tent.” Said my dad. I let it sink in. I begrudgingly asked how much the fine is. “You don't need to worry about it hon.” my Mom said. “But, it's not going fair well for us. Your dad gets a limited amount of salary every week.” I sighed. This was not good. My mind went back to the reality show. I'm gonna have to do it, aren’t I? I sighed. I told my parents about the show but I didn’t tell them about the first question. Unfortunately, my parents said that it was ok for me to enter. Of course, I didn’t tell Fiona. She would know about it, and I’m not betraying her just yet. I signed up on my phone and I packed up my few items for the relocation.


A few hours later my phone dinged. I checked it hoping to see that it was Fiona. But, of course, it wasn't. It was a reality show employee. The email said that I GOT ACCEPTED? And that the competition starts TOMORROW. I texted Fiona, probably for the last time. And I cried myself to sleep. I wanted the night to last for eternity. I woke up early and checked the time, 6:30. I was due at the reality show office at 3. Fiona was coming at 9 for Math and English, and then we were getting lunch at 11:30. I would have to figure out a way to get away from Fiona at 2. I picked up one of the books Fiona lent me and slipped into the world of Oz. I put the book down and checked the time, 8:30. I shook my hair and put it back up. Much better. My Mom and Baby Evie were probably on a walk, and my Dad was at work. “Lexi?” I heard Fiona’s voice as someone unzipped the tent. She saw all the organized belongings and raised her eyes. “What's going on?” She asked. “Ummm we are totally not being kicked out?” I said trying to not think about the show later. “Lexi!! Where are you gonna stay?” “I dunno,” I said. “My parents are figuring it out. Change of subject, let's do Math.” “Ok,” she said. “I’m totally not worried about you.” We worked through Math and English and took talk breaks. We mostly talked about her parents and her morning and mine. It was finally 11:30, I was starving. “Where do you want to go?” Fiona asked. “Do you want to go get sushi? I’ll pay.” “Umm ok,” I said. “If you are sure.” “Yes, I’m sure Lexi. how many times do I have to tell you!” She exclaimed. “Ok. Let’s go.” I said. We took the bus and went to the restaurant. We ordered and chatted about Fiona’s school earlier that week. I checked my phone for the time. 1pm. Ok. “Hey, Fiona? Wanna get ice cream and take a walk in the park? I have to get back for 2pmish though.” “Ok! We will take the bus back in like 30 minutes, but let’s totally get some ice cream!” We got ice cream, (mint chip for me and chocolate for Fiona) and we took a short walk and then we went to the bus stop. I got home and said bye to Fiona.


It was 2:15. I grabbed a small backpack and put my phone, a snack, and tissues. I went to the bus stop and got to the main office for the show. I checked in to make sure my name was on the list and got escorted to the room where all the contestants stay before the show that starts at 3:30. I sat in a chair and texted my mom to tell her I was there. After a bit of solemnly sitting in an uncomfortable chair, they called the contestants backstage. Soon after I walked on stage and sat at the mic with my name in front of it. I waited until my name is called to start freaking out. The host asked the first question. The question I knew was gonna get asked and the question I didn’t want to answer. I took a deep breath, sighed, and opened my mouth to answer this dreaded question.


November 14, 2020 04:55

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18 comments

Keya M.
22:55 Nov 16, 2020

I liked how it seemed like one of those "rich girl" stories but had a deeper meaning. Nice!

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Meera Lakshmi
16:21 Nov 17, 2020

Thank you!

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Madam Goat
01:20 Nov 16, 2020

I love this! I mean, the third line is so funny! I enjoyed this so much! Keep writing and I’ll be your number one fan!

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Meera Lakshmi
01:22 Nov 16, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Julia Boddie
02:03 Dec 04, 2020

I loved this story. My favorite thing about it was all the internal dialogue and struggle. Keep writing and I'll keep reading more of your work!

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Meera Lakshmi
03:24 Dec 04, 2020

Thank you! It means a lot that you enjoy my work! I'll definitely keep writing for sure! I haven't read all of your submissions, but I LOVE the ones I have read! I'll be on the lookout for your stories! Big congratulations on publishing your novel!!!!! Did you work with a company to publish it?

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Julia Boddie
12:33 Dec 04, 2020

Thank you and I published it with Kindle Direct Publishing, which is pretty much a self publishing site.

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Meera Lakshmi
13:16 Dec 04, 2020

That's so cool! I think I'm gonna check it out! I appreciate your feedback on my work, and you are a really amazing writer!

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Julia Boddie
14:35 Dec 04, 2020

Thanks a lot!

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Meera Lakshmi
15:17 Dec 04, 2020

Yeah!!!

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Alya Kaikuahine
14:35 Nov 14, 2020

Such a great story! The internal dialogue at the beginning of the story really shows how the main character is struggling with the idea to enter the competition or not. Great job!

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Meera Lakshmi
14:37 Nov 14, 2020

Thank you!!

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16:27 Mar 24, 2021

You know, I can tell when a story like this is great when it makes me feel guilty enough to change something. I would say that you put a lot of long paragraphs without anything to split them, but that could be fixed with some dialogue to bring the narrator from their head. Great job!

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Meera Lakshmi
16:52 Mar 24, 2021

Thank you Ethan. I am working on that. Just haven't submitted in a while.

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Ana Govindasamy
18:02 Apr 11, 2021

I loved this story! Two things, which are technical which are: - you may want to start a new line per line of dialogue because it can get hard to read - “ But, it's not going fair well for us.” the “fair” should be spelt “fare” Other than that, I loved the story, well done!

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Meera Lakshmi
15:22 Apr 12, 2021

Thanks for the feedback Ana!

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Ana Govindasamy
15:41 Apr 12, 2021

No problem, Meera

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