Short Stories,  writing

School Break: A Short Story

I wrote this piece for class as well, but in the end decided to go with a different story I wrote for my final paper, which I shared on here as well…The Artist. Enjoy (It reads like a middle school-er book)

Emma went crashing down the stairs, tossing her book bag in front of her and kicking it down the stairs as she went. Today was the last day of school before Thanksgiving break – and she didn’t feel much like going to school, except last night when she was talking to Mom, her mom gently reminded her that today would be the last day she would see her boyfriend before break, and in the eyes of a middle schooler – Thanksgiving break is a long time to be away from her boyfriend. What if Noah found a new girlfriend? What if he met someone else? Emma had decided as soon as those thoughts crossed her mind that she was going to have to do something special for Noah on their last day, but what?

Emma took a shower last night, and braided her hair before going to sleep, usually this resulted in wavy curls cascading down her back, but today, oh no…she awoke with her hair a tangled mess – it was all she could do to keep it pulled back in a tight pony tail, and try to keep any loose strands from breaking free. As she hit the bottom step, Emma did a quick check of her hair in the tall mirror hanging on the wall to the right of the stairs. Passable, she thought, I am just barely passable – and today being the last day before break! Today was not starting well. Emma spent all night trying to come up with an idea to make today special for her and Noah, but she kept coming up empty – leaving her to wake more tired for her efforts!

“Jill!” Emma screamed at the top of her lungs, “Let’s go! Grandpa’s ready!” Emma and her younger sister Jill hitched a ride from Grandpa in the mornings on their way to school, since mom still had to stay home with their baby brother and dad left for work already.

Jill came racing past, wild and full of mischief she stepped on her sister’s foot as she passed, “Sorry!” She said half heartedly as she headed out the door to catch up with Grandpa. Emma was frustrated, she couldn’t get her hair to work out right today, she was over tired, and now her foot was aching! She still had no idea how to make today special for Noah and herself before the day let out, but she figured she could get some ideas from her friends too. Emma quickly followed her sister out the door, and over to the big blue truck that belonged to their Grandpa. Climbing in, Grandpa asked Emma what took so long, she could only sigh in response. Thankfully Grandpa let the conversation drop, as Jill and Grandpa started singing along with their favorite country song that came over the truck’s radio.

Too annoyed with herself to join in, Emma, just sat looking out the window, trying to think of how to make sure Noah had a special last day to remember her. She thought about the slime she made a few weeks ago for Halloween. She wondered if she offered it to Noah, if he would think that was special. Then she remembered that she already showed the slime to Noah, and he didn’t seem that impressed with it. She would have to think of something else.

She thought of inviting Noah to the movies with her, that would be fun! Then she remembered that Dad told her she wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend yet, and he was definitely not going to be thrilled with her inviting this non-boyfriend on a date to the movies. Her Dad told her she couldn’t date until she was 18. Her Mom always laughed when he said this, so she never took him too seriously.

Emma’s thoughts drifted some more, always thinking up something new only to have the idea squashed in her head a few seconds later by the following thought. This was harder than she thought, Emma was definitely running out of ideas, she was in luck though, because Grandpa pulled up to the school door just then, and Emma could already spot her two besties, June and Brooke, and they would certainly be able to help her come up with an idea!

She hopped down from the truck, yelling bye to Grandpa on the way. Jill followed her out, but Emma didn’t wait to see where she went so intent was she on reaching her friends. As she went inside, she didn’t even realize she walked right by Noah without saying a word, so determined was she to find an answer to her dilemma, how to make today special for Noah and her. So intent was she that she didn’t notice the hurt that crossed Noah’s face when Emma walked by without saying anything.

As Emma reached her friends, she immediately began to tell them about her problem. She explained all the ideas she had come up with already, and all of them were failures. So she explained that she needed help coming up with a new idea. Brooke started thinking in earnest, but before she could say anything June started to speak in a sing-song voice, “Emma and Noah sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…” Emma turned red, she looked around to see if Noah could hear as well, but she couldn’t find him in the hall. He must have gone to class already – thankfully Emma thought!

After getting her friends to stop teasing her, they all three walked into the classroom taking their seats. Emma noticed Noah had his head down on the desk when she came in, and he didn’t seem to see her. Normally he glanced up and waved at her. She was a little downtrodden that he hadn’t glanced her way. Maybe Noah was having an off day, that wasn’t a good way to start her special last day with him.

Emma found she wasn’t able to communicate with, or catch Noah’s eye all through class, but as lunch time came she was sure this was going to be her chance to make a memorable day for them. However, Noah hurried out of the classroom so quickly she wasn’t able to find him again, and he normally ate lunch with her. By now she could tell that Noah was upset with her, but she couldn’t figure out why? What had she done to upset him? If anything she was trying to make this the perfect day and it was all turning into a disaster. Emma felt like crying, but she refused to give into her tears.

As the day progressed and Noah kept avoiding her, she knew that she was going to have to take drastic action once the end of the day came around. How indeed, was she going to get his attention? She knew she had to do something, and it had to be good. She thought back throughout the day, from when she got up, till just now, and suddenly she got an idea. It seems her friends were going to help her accomplish her goal whether they wanted to or not!

Emma knew she was going to have to act fast, when the bell rang she was going to have to quickly follow Noah, so that he wouldn’t run away from her this time without talking to her. She thought about it, and decided to risk passing him a note in class, hoping that he would answer, but it looked like he chose not to even open her letter, instead getting up and throwing it in the trash.

Emma was frustrated. She didn’t want Noah to be upset with her, especially when she didn’t even know why he was upset. She was going to have to catch him after school.

The rest of the class day went by in a blur, with Emma sneaking glances at Noah, and Noah avoiding eye contact with her. Emma had a plan however, and she wasn’t going to let his mood get to her. She knew it had to be some kind of misunderstanding since she clearly wasn’t upset with him too. Again she thought about all the things she could do to get his attention, then she remembered how her mother got her father’s attention.

When the bell rang for the end of the day, Emma had already packed away her belongings trying to keep an eye on Noah, she saw him sneak out the door quickly before she could reach his desk. She grabbed her stuff and hurried after him. Among the sea of people, she had difficulty keeping track of where he was, but then she spotted him just outside the door, standing with his head down, looking sad.

Emma pushed her way through the crowd until she reached the door, pushing her way through the door until she was standing in front of Noah.

“Noah!” She shouted at him, “Have a nice Thanksgiving!” Then she leaned ever so slightly close to his face, and kissed him gently on the cheek. Embarrassed with her gesture, Emma just as abruptly walked away, however, when she got some distance, she looked back, and she noticed that Noah was staring after her. He was no longer downtrodden, but smiling, and when she caught his glance this time, he waved. This is going to be the best Thanksgiving, Emma thought, smiling as she spotted her sister, and the big blue truck pulling into the parking lot to pick them up from school.

Jill ran up to Emma, “I saw that!” she whispered snarkily.

“Don’t tell Dad!” Emma warned Jill.

“I won’t.” Jill promised.

“Get in the truck girls!” Grandpa called, “How was school?”

The girls exchanged smirks before starting to laugh, refusing to answer Grandpa’s question.



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