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Liberty Takes a Step Forward
I got out of bed and started to eat breakfast. My name is John Benning. I was going to work at the New York Times. I had loved my new apartment so much until I found out someone I hated lived next door. Their name was William Coon. He had been my roommate in high school and he was so annoying that I had to always sleep in the lounge area! I had always wanted to do what he had always done, but now I just ignore him. I threw some dog food in the bowl and saw Jingle run towards me. “Hi Jingle! Your food is ready. I took one last bite of the Poptart and walked out of the room. I looked at myself in the mirror. My light brown hair was sticking up in the front and I thought about things. I changed quickly and ran out the door with my briefcase.
As soon as I got outside, I felt the fresh, New York City air. I looked at my watch and noticed that it was already 8:00. I ran past a bunch of buildings and then I saw the giant letters: New York Times. When I got inside, I saw a bunch of people were already typing and writing away.
“You’re late!” someone said behind me and I saw it was Jim. I ran into my office and saw Megan Decalfe, the boss following me.
“I’m sorry I was late.” She looked down at the papers on my desk.
“It’s okay, but don’t do it again! I was going to give some things to do, but you already have too many. Get back to work!” I looked over the articles. As soon as the door closed I let out a deep breath. I turned on the radio. The articles were all very good, but I threw one out about spaceships landing in Albany. I put a clip around them and then set them aside. There was a bunch of mail on my computer. The door suddenly opened and I turned off the music. It was Amelia Strantford. She was beautiful, but no one seemed to notice her.
“Hello, John. I was going to give this article, but I just realized it’s way too ridiculous.” Amelia sets the article on my desk. I looked at the title: Jungle Preservations.
“It’s probably not that bad. I’ll get back to you after you read this. I might also need to show this to her.” Megan Decalfe was talking with some people. Amelia smiled at me and left the room. The article started talking about how they need certain kinds of places to live. And then it said that maybe we should let monkeys play in Central Park. I kept reading the article and then it started getting into people becoming monkeys. I tore the bottom half of the article off and threw it in the garbage. I clipped it to the rest of them and put a post-it on it. I walked out of my room and saw that a bunch of people were sleeping. I went into Miss Decalfe’s room and set them on her desk. She must have been in her bathroom. I walked out of the room and Jim walked over to me.
“Hi. Where are we going for lunch?”
“I don’t know. We could just go to that Subway,” I said normally. I walked back into my room and grabbed a cup of coffee. I went back to look at my mail. My office was so nice. The sign that said: Executive Editor- John Benning. I walked over to the window and looked outside. The Statue of Liberty was standing tall. I always wondered why she was the color of shamrock. It was breezy outside, so I shut the windows. I started to pack up and then I saw Amelia coming back inside.
“What did you think of my article?”
“I thought it was great, except the bottom half of it. I tore it off and gave it to Megan.” Amelia looked surprised.
“You were supposed to tell me if any of this happened!” Amelia said throwing her coffee away. “I thought you were going to respect my article.”
“But I could’ve thrown the whole thing out and you wouldn’t have cared.”
“It’s just that fact you tore it in half and I am not going out to lunch with you!” Amelia ran out of the room and slammed the door shut. I could see that Megan was walking over to her. I put my notebook back into my briefcase and walked out of the room. I couldn’t understand why Amelia had hated me tearing it.
Jim and I ate at Subway as we planned.
“Did you write anything of importance today?” Jim asked in between bites.
“You need to remember that I don’t write the articles, but I might want to start.” My sub was delicious. I looked over at the door and I saw another coworker.
“Oh, there’s Jake. He must have had the same idea as us!” I threw the wrapping away and walked out of the Subway with my drink.
“I’ll see you later.” I saw that he was already talking with Jake. I walked home through all of the crowds. I walked over to the phone and noticed there was a message from Amelia. I pressed the button.
“Hello, this is Amelia. I just was going to say that I’m sorry about how I was before. I just want you to tell me when you do something like that. Liberty is power!” I listened to the other messages, but they were all to sell something. I switched into something comfortable and took Jingle for a walk. I thought about what she had said and liberty was power. When we got back, William Coon was waiting at the door.
“Step away, William.”
“I like your dog,” he said surprisingly. I smiled and then he moved away. I walked inside and watched TV until I fell asleep which was very quickly.
The next morning was mostly the same as yesterday, except I found a note outside my door. I opened it up and it said:
You have great editing skills. I was just going to let you know that you can be my assistant. You can promote if you want. I love how you edited that one that Amelia did.
Megan S. Decalfe
I walked to work with a smile on my face. Nothing could stop me from getting to work on time. Nothing could. I walked past the Starbucks which was deserted. As I got about right next to the building, I saw a bunch of people stopping their cars and getting out. Everyone was staring over at the water. I tried to see, but there were too many people. I suddenly saw a giant splash. I didn’t know what was going on until a few people got back inside their cars. In front of me I saw that the Statue of Liberty was missing. The only part that was still there was the building part and everyone could see the empty footholes.
I ran into the New York Times. “The Statue of Liberty is missing! I think it fell over!” Everyone ran over to the glass and looked out the window. I saw that Amelia looked worried and walked back over to her cubicle.
“Well, you were still late!”
“I thought you promoted me and-.” She covered my mouth abruptly. I walked into her office after her.
“Am I not promoted anymore!?”
“John, I can’t show my nice side.”
“You’re so ‘Decalfe’!” I looked back and saw that no one was looking out the window anymore.
“You are fired.”
“You are fired.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I walked into my office and started packing up. I saw the door open.
“What in god’s name is going on?!” Jim said walking over to me.
“I’m fired.” Jim looked surprised. “It’s okay.” I put the notebook back inside the briefcase. I grabbed one last paper and I saw that it was the bottom of the article about Jungle Preservations. I walked out of my office. The only things that were left were the computer and the garbage can. I walked over to Amelia’s desk. “I’m leaving.”
“Okay, bye.” She said without looking up and then I just left. I felt so horrible. As I walked away from the building, I thought I saw the Statue of Liberty’s head pop out of the water, but that didn’t make any sense. I just wished she could help me. I grabbed a taxi, because I didn’t feel like walking back.
“Did you get fired?” the driver asked.
“Yes. I can’t believe Megan!”
“I know. I worked there also. She really does the tricks on you to lose your job. I always wanted to give her a piece of her own medicine.” I smiled thinking that that would be a good idea. When I got home, I saw that William Coon was having a party. I walked inside and saw William Coon talking with some people.
“Hi. I just dropped in.” William turned around. “What? Do you have a nice side you don’t want to show also?” I saw that he looked like he was going to explode. “I’ll just leave then.” I walked out of the room and shut the door. I had gotten friends and lost them. I wanted something to happen that would cure everything. I walked into my apartment and closed the door. I fed Jingle and then we had a party. We watched movies.
The next day, I saw the New York Times in the mailbox and almost threw it out until I saw the picture of the Statue of Liberty missing. I saw that the article was by Amelia Strantford. The title was: The Statue of Liberty is Alive! That was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard, but then I remembered seeing her head but that was an illusion. I opened it up more and saw that the Jungle Preservations article wasn’t inside. What had happened to Megan? She thought the second one was better than the other, but that didn’t make any sense. The letter she sent made no sense with this newspaper. She didn’t even seem to care that the statue was missing! I saw Jake sitting in the back of a taxi. I waved, but he didn’t seem to notice. I walked back inside my apartment building.
As I walked up the stairs, I heard a bunch of rumbling. I knocked on William’s door and didn’t hear anything. He must’ve been gone. I went over to my desk and started to throw out articles. All of a sudden, a dark shadow fell across the room. I looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty’s face.
“Oh my god! You are real! She was right. I had never thought the Statue of Liberty was a real person!” I had rolled my chair back.
“Yes! I woke up, finally!” she said and I could see that a bunch of cars were driving far away from her. Some people were just standing, looking up at her. “I kind of need a place to live and the water isn’t the best.”
“I want to know why you didn’t stay on your building.”
“I don’t like it, and this crown is hurting my head.” She took off her crown and hair fell down.
“Here, I think I have a place where you can stay.” I walked into another room and pressed a button. A giant garage door opened and I heard more rumbles. And then I saw her duck down and walk inside.
“How long will I stay here?”
“However long you want. Did you come to me for something?”
“Yes. You look like a successful person.” I smiled thinking how untrue that was, but I needed a friend now.
“Are you hungry? I can get some food.”
“No. I want to change out of this garb.”
“What would you like to wear?”
“A green what do you call it?”
“A dress? Coat?”
“A dress.” I walked out of the room. I didn’t know how the heck to make or find a dress for a giant!
I walked into a clothing store and saw a woman at a desk. “Hi, can I have something done?” The woman looked up.
“What would you like me to do?” I grabbed a green dress for extra large.
“Can I have this twenty times the size it is?” The woman almost threw the dress at me.
“Why would you need such a huge dress?” she asked strangely.
“This sounds ridiculous, but it’s for the Statue of Liberty.” The woman spit out her water.
“That’s not possible.” I heard rumbling and then the woman saw the statue walking across the street.
“There she goes. Anything is possible.” I walked out of that store as the woman’s eyes never closed from shock.
“Liberty! Come back here!” I ran down the sidewalk towards her. She finally turned around. “You need to stay at your place!”
“Is my dress ready?” she asked. I noticed that her torch and book were missing.
“It’s not ready, but what happened to your things?”
“I don’t like wearing these things that-.”
“But you’re the Statue of Liberty. They symbolize you. Here, let’s just go back to my place.” She had a look of dismay on her face. “You need to tell people what is right. You’re Liberty!” I smiled at her and we walked back down the empty street. The construction workers smiled for some odd reason.
I woke up thinking that I should get a new job. I walked over to Jingle’s bed and didn’t see him there. I walked into the other room and saw that Jingle was sleeping contently. Liberty was lying on the ground petting Jingle with one finger. “Liberty!” She released her finger from Jingle and he waked up. He looked around and saw her. He ran quickly out of the room. “You need to remember that you are a giant and people are going to react to you differently.” Her eyes were watery.
“I’m going to go back to sleep.”
“Okay. I’ll be gone for a little while.” I had a bowl of cereal and got ready for the day. I walked out of the door thinking that she was going to do something in her sleep.
I got into a taxi and went off to an interview. I saw a bunch of construction workers working on the road and I thought that was strange. They probably were improving the road. My interview was at Orwell and Company. The building was hidden behind the library. I walked inside and sat at the desk.
“Hello, are you James Connor?” the man asked.
“No. I’m John Benning. My appointment was scheduled for now.”
“Well, I don’t think James is coming so let’s start.” I grabbed a sheet that was sitting in front of me and it said something about teaming up with the New York Times.
“I’m sorry, but this is the wrong place for me.”
“Okay. Well, I’ll be waiting for him.” I walked out of the building and got into a taxi. I drove over to a strip mall to buy some groceries.
When I got there, there she was: Amelia. She was exiting the strip mall and then stopped when I started to walk over to her.
“I want to know what happened. Why weren’t you at work yesterday?”
“Amelia, I was fired for what you have done.” She looked surprised and then we sat down on a bench.
“That isn’t right! I’m going to go over to her right now!” she got up and walked quickly across the parking lot.
“Wait!” she didn’t stop and got into her car. I watched as she drove off.
“You do know that bench just got painted,” the person was pointing at a sign and I saw what it said. I got up quickly and saw I had brown paint on my but.
“Lovely!” I got another taxi and went home. I looked at the roads and saw that the paths were bigger. And then I saw the most wonderful thing for Liberty; in the store window, there were giant clothes. I smiled and paid the driver. When I walked inside my apartment, I walked over to the garage and saw Liberty was wearing a pretty green dress and she was sleeping with a giant wine glass in her hand. I needed to spend more time with her!
I touched her and her eyes opened.
“Do you want to have some fun?” I asked her and she smiled.
“Anything would be fun!” I took the wine glass.
“Where was this from?”
“Target. I love their stuff!” I walked out of the room holding the giant wine glass. It was so heavy that I had to set it down when I got into the kitchen. I grabbed the sprayer and washed the wine glass. This would be good for any party. After washing it, I opened the giant garage door and walked into the elevator. I heard a bunch of rumbling. I smiled at the woman at the front desk.
“Are you doing something with the statue?”
“She’s not just a statue. She acts like a normal person and it seems like the world is changing all for her.” I walked out the door and followed her down the road.
We walked down Broadway Street and then I saw Jim. He was walking towards me with a present in his hand.
“Oh, hi. It’s my nephew’s birthday. How is it going? Actually I want to know why you haven’t returned any of my calls or communicated.”
“Jim. You didn’t even seem to care when I left. You were so busy talking with Jake!”
“But Jake was new, I had already said goodbye!” he walked past me. “You left a piece of paper in your old office!” I was so surprised that he was talking to me like this. We were supposed to be friends. He seemed to already be used to Liberty walking. I ran over to her.
“Where are we going to go first?” I looked down a street as we passed the sidewalk and saw Amelia. “Okay, run into an alley! She’s coming!” she ran off and the ground rumbled like an earthquake. Amelia looked frightened and then kept talking with her coworker. She saw me.
“Okay, I’ll see you later.” The woman walked off quickly and smiled.
“And there you are again. Did you feel turbulence? It felt like an earthquake.”
“That was strange.”
“Well, what are you going to do with your life now?”
“What happened with your talk with Megan?”
“You know what? She loved it. I have your job now.” I looked disappointingly at her.
“Is this what you wanted? To get my job? Did you try to be my friend for all of that?”
“John!” I ran away from her. I just needed to grab that last piece of paper out of her office. I totally forgot about Liberty.
When I got inside, I noticed that all of the prominent office doors were opened. Megan was walking out of her office with her briefcase.
“Are you picking up that last piece of paper? Can you believe that Amelia got your job?!” I walked into the room and saw a cinnamon roll sitting on the desk. There were a bunch of pictures on the walls. I saw a sign pointed to a green piece of paper and it said: Not Mine. I picked it up and unwrapped it. It said something about a giant party for Independence Day. I threw it in the empty trash bin. I walked out of the New York Times and saw the Statue of Liberty.
“Let’s go see ‘Wicked’!” I smiled at her.
The theatre was very crowded as we walked in. I could see a giant chair in the back.
“That’s for me!” She walked up and sat in the massive chair.
“They just change everything for you!” I sat down on a chair in the back. We sat there for two more minutes and then the curtains opened. The woman playing Glinda flied across the stage inside a hula hoop which was the bubble. I had never seen it before and I was guessing Liberty also. It was a good musical and it told the story before the Wizard of Oz. I almost fell asleep until the woman playing Elphaba popped out of nowhere on a broomstick towards the end.
“You go girl!” Everyone turned around and looked at Liberty. All of a sudden, everyone started clapping and the woman bowed. She went on with her lines. The play finished and everyone clapped. We exited the theatre. I smiled at Liberty.
“You are really different than what you were supposed to be.”
The next day, I walked out of the apartment building and walked towards the movie rental building. I hadn’t rented or bought a movie for a long time. I had been to busy with work and now Amelia had changed that. I looked through all of the recent titles. There was a good movie that had just come out on DVD. It was called “The Independence of the Lifetime”. I had just realized that the title of the movie had symbolized my friendship with Liberty. I paid for the movie and walked outside. There was a slight breeze. I was going to take Jingle for a walk. I suddenly ran right into Amelia. “Amelia, I’m sorry what I said. I just realized that it has helped me. The newspaper was just not for me.”
“Don’t say that! Liberty is power. If it was what you wanted before go back there and tell her!”
“Um, I’ve been hiding something from you.”
“And what could that be?” I noticed that she was wearing a pretty dress. Her dark brown hair was pulled back into a bun.
“Come over here!” the silhouette moved and then a bunch of rumbling occurred. A bunch of cars stopped.
“There’s that turbulence again!” The Statue of Liberty came out of the shadows and walked over to me. “Oh my god! So she is alive! That was just an assumption. You’re my hero!” she smiled down at her. “Let’s go somewhere.” She grabbed her leg.
“She’s not going anywhere.” I grabbed her other leg.
“But she’s my hero! Let’s go.”
“She came to me! I can’t believe you.” We kept arguing and then we finally noticed that she was missing. We walked separate ways to look for her. I just wanted Amelia to be like what she was like when I first met her. That one day, she had walked into my office with a shy expression. I introduced her to the rest of the staff and we had a great time. I couldn’t believe that no one seemed to notice her pretty face. I knew that she hadn’t liked that I had never told her, but she didn’t need to argue with me. I walked past so many streets that I had to sit down on a bench.
“Hi. Aren’t you a friend of Jim’s?” I turned around and saw that it was Jake.
“I used to be. He doesn’t seem to care about me anymore.”
“Even though I’m new here, he doesn’t exactly talk with me anymore. I hope he will change.” I walked back to my apartment and just hoped she would turn up. I really did hope she would turn up.
After my walk with Jingle, I walked back over to the New York Times. As I walked there, I imagined Liberty swimming in the ocean. There were so many things I wanted to happen. I looked around and saw Megan about to exit the building.
“Hello, there’s nothing left in your office so you can just go back to where you came from.”
“Excuse me?!” I turned around and saw Liberty. Megan screamed.
“There she is!”
“Now give my friend his job back or…” Liberty held up her foot right over her.
“Okay! You can have it back and it’s only because of her. Would you really smash me?” She nodded her head. Megan frowned and walked away.
“I thought you ran off and swam in the ocean!”
“Do you really think I would leave you like that? Actually that does sound like a good idea.”
“You can do that. I’ll be moving things inside here.” She smiled and I walked back inside. I tore off the plaque outside my door and saw that mine was right underneath. I walked inside the office and saw that things were already in boxes. She was going to leave. I started moving the boxes over to her old desk. I looked out the window and saw a bunch of splashes coming from the ocean. It was Independence Day tomorrow and I had a great idea for her. I put the last box near her desk and then left the building.
“That was very refreshing!” Liberty said as she walked out of the water.
Later, I watched the movie with Liberty be projecting onto the wall across from the garage. A bunch of other people were coming and watching it. She had loved the movie, because she had a smile on her face for a while. I actually didn’t think it was very good. It finished and the people left.
“This has been so good!” I was confused by what she meant, but I was too tired. I closed the garage door, turned off the projector, and closed the door.
As soon as I got up I wrote a letter and copied it a bunch of times. I put twenty envelopes in the mailbox and put the stick up. There was something special that was going to happen today. I walked my dog and went out to eat with Jake.
“I guess this is just going to be how it is.” I took a bite of my burger and then saw Jim come inside the door.
“Okay? This is kind of strange.”
“Jim, you’ve been ignoring us. Why?” I ate a fry and turned to Jake.
“We want to know why.” Jim sat down and grabbed one of my fries.
“You know what. We should go to that big party. I’ll see you around.” Jim started walking away, but I grabbed his arm.
“First, tell me where you are going.” He turned around and sat down.
“Nowhere.” We finished our meals and left. As I walked outside, I saw another coworker, but she was running quickly down the street with a box of articles.
“What in the world is going on?”
The woman suddenly threw up all of the articles and they went flying everywhere. A bunch of the articles had Liberty crossed out as I was grabbing them. “Who did this?” I walked over to Stacy who was the woman. “Stacy, why did you do this?!” She turned around and looked at me.
“We are starting over after the break. She told us to do this.” She walked away as a bunch of articles flew down the street.
“Megan.” Jim and Jake were already getting into a taxi. I stood and watched as one car drove by. Most people must have stayed home for lunch. I grabbed a few articles and walked down the sidewalk. I saw Amelia putting one last box into her car. “Amelia, you can’t go. They need you there!”
“I want to get out of this place. I was thinking about going to Washington D.C. for some work. Besides, no one seems to care about me here. You don’t seem to.”
“Amelia, I do. You just need to-!” the car door shuts and the car drives off. There she went.
I went back home and sat and watched TV with Liberty.
“What are we going to do today?” I was surprised.
“Well, we’ll mostly sleep for now.” She started to fall asleep and I snuck out. William had also snuck out of something. “Hi. Did you sneak out of something also?”
“Yes. My sister came over and was having me doing trivia with a weird book.”
“Would you like to set up for her? I’m sorry about what I said to you earlier.”
“Okay, but what you said earlier was true. I stopped it.” We walked out of the apartment building and into Central Park. Everything turned out so great.
Later, I walked back inside my apartment and called for Liberty. She opened her eyes and opened the giant garage door. I ran into the elevator and went outside. Everyone started cheering for her. Liberty smiled and grabbed her torch and book that were in the back alley.
“Hooray!” she said and kept walking down the street. I walked with all of the people and saw a bunch of people popping out of windows wearing Statue of Liberty costumes. After about a half an hour, we finally entered Central Park where there were food on tables and banners all over the place. I pressed the button on the radio and a fun pledge of aligance started playing and a bunch of people started dancing. “Did you do all of this for me?” Liberty asked as she grabbed a giant hotdog.
“Yes. I’ve noticed you’re wearing your usual outfit again. Did you know this was coming up?” I sat with some old friends and we had fun. Then I noticed that Liberty was walking out of Central Park. “Where are you going?”
“I have to do this.” She kept walking and I walked over to a pavilion. One of the strangest things happened: Amelia was walking towards me with a white dress.
“Amelia!” She grabbed my arms and started dancing with me inside the pavilion. Suddenly, everyone started to notice her and ran over and watched us dance. And then she kissed me. A weird beep occurred.
“I have to go.” She ran out of my arms and I could see her car was a few yards away.
“Wait!” the car drove off and then I ran down the road in the other direction. I could see in the distance, the Statue of Liberty was back on her building and a tear was running down her face. After it fell into the water, she froze.
It was five years later and I had gotten a new apartment and it was even farther away from the Statue of Liberty. I had become the boss of New York Times. I looked over at the Statue of Liberty and remembered when she walked. I had a girlfriend named Lilly Dodder, but I knew if Amelia ever came back, I would drop everything. I had gone to Jim’s wedding yesterday and they flew off to France. I went to a movie with William. Jingle was on his last legs this year. When I got back to my apartment, I heard a knock on the door. It was probably Lilly. I opened the door and one of the most wonderful things happened. Amelia smiled at me and she was even prettier than before.
“I’m staying here. I’ve realized that work isn’t the only thing in the world.” I hugged Amelia tightly and then we sat on the couch. “What has happened here in the last five years?”
“I’ve become the boss of the New York Times! Megan had got in a car accident with another car.”
“Oh, that’s great! I came back for you. I’ve missed you.” All of a sudden I heard the water splashing all around and then we both got up. We walked over to the window. The Statue of Liberty was moving and there was another statue behind her.
“Liberty!” she smiled.
“I am so sorry I caused you trouble. She’s just that one on the pedestal.”
“John, I have someone that you can meet. He came all the way from Brazil!” Liberty walked away and there was the Rio de Janeiro statue of Jesus. “He’s so spiritual!” I smiled.
“Let’s go somewhere,” Jesus said and then Liberty smiled.
“I’d love to.” She waved at us and then all of the rumbling started to happen. I felt like I was going to fall out the window, but I turned around quickly. Jim walked into the door.
“Oh, there you are! Jim, I didn’t know you were coming here too!” I ran over to him.
“I felt that I needed to come back and see Liberty again.”
“She just left with Jesus,” Amelia said accidentally dropping her bag.
“Excuse me?!” I tried to pick up her bag, but then it fell down a hole in the ground.
“What the heck!” I looked down the hole and saw that it had happened in all of the rooms below the one I was in. We ran out of the room and down the stairs.
When we got to the lobby, we saw a giant L on the floor. We smiled out the doorway. In the horizon, you could see the two silhouettes moving off in the distance.