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A Brief Moment Between Alice B. Daft and Justin Case
It’s a clear, brisk afternoon in November at The Out-of-Door Academy; where a cool breeze glided through the air, and the trees swayed in harmony to the singing of the birds migrating to a warmer climate. The golden light was shining between the few clouds onto two people sitting at the center of the Quad, still green in the surreal Florida weather.
“Alice,” Justin said with a tone of enthusiasm, “could you imagine a day any more beautiful than this? Why, I feel so happy and alive!”
“Me too!” replied Alice, matching his energy. “I agree; this is my favorite kind of weather.”
Alice motioned to stand up, so she could take in more fresh air, but quickly sat down again out of embarrassment and frustration. “Oh man!” exclaimed Alice.
“I have a horrible dirt stain on my new white skirt. Do you think it’ll wash out? My Mama’s not going to be happy.”
“It’s alright Alice, don’t worry, they come out. You probably got it since the grass is so thin,” reassured Justin.
“Oh, okay,” then after a short pause of thinking she continued, “I wish the school would put in St. Augustine grass instead. It’s so much softer, thicker, and it even smells good. There’s almost a refreshing cucumber and woodsy scent to it.” Alice smiled reminiscing the good times she had there with her family.
“Interesting, but that’s as likely to happen as a seventh grade boy putting on deodorant,” joked Justin. Alice laughed aloud melodically. He went on, “But speaking of smells, it would be nice for the upcoming holidays, to have cinnamon brooms within classrooms, and hot chocolate mornings for students who miss breakfast. Hot chocolate… that’s got to be the best smell.”
“Cinnanannanamonnan is my favorite smell,” warmly stated Alice.
“What did you just say?”
“Cinnanannanamonnan is– ”
“Cinna–, hold on, I’ll say it, um…”
Justin doubled over in a childish nasally laughter, trying to hold back from possibly insulting her, but Alice in good spirits, laughed with him. He scooted closer to her and put his hand underneath her jaw. “Now say the word in parts. Ready?”
Alice nodded. “Okay.”
“Cinn–a–mon,” he stated slowly.
Then she repeated, “Cinn–a–mon.” He took his hand away and she said it correctly several times after. They rejoiced in her accomplishment by laughing and dancing around on the out door stage at the head of the Quad. As they danced, the afternoon light was on the verge of dimming when Justin inquired, “So what were we talking about earlier?”
“Changes we’d make to the school, and we last talked about smell,” recalled Alice.
“Right, nice memory! So what other changes would you make?”
“Hmmm, I’d probably change the dress code to be simpler. Everyone should just come dressed in casual professional attire, and shorts should be no more than five inches above the knee for extra room just in case, you know? And boys should have stricter policies about letting their shorts come down because there are way too many guys who get away with showing their boxers or undies. I really don’t need to see that. Also when girl’s shirts are like super ooooo-ber tight,” shaking her head she continued, “don’t want to be seeing that either. Because as a girl in the back of my head I think, ‘My G-d, what’s her problem? She has to show off like that? Doesn’t she know guys are going to stare at her there? Could she be screaming ‘look at me!’ any louder? Ugh!’”
Gently pinching her cheek Justin heartily and adoringly replied, “You’re adorable; such a sheyn-meydl! Anything else you’d like to change?”
“Well, if they could only keep the arts building open twenty four hours a day, then we could be in the dance studio dancing just as we are now!”
“Alice, there is no dance studio. It’s not finished yet.”
“But if there were, that would be spectacular!”
“Have you thought about other things about O.D.A. that could be changed?”
“You pretty much said it all.”
“Why, what would you do differently?”
All of a sudden there was a noise, almost like water running through – BAM! The sprinklers came on out of nowhere, soaking Alice and Justin with smelly sulfur-water. Immediately they stopped dancing and ran in opposite directions. From across the quad, they stared at each other hysterically laughing in harmony at the unexpected sloshing.
“Timing, that would be the only thing I’d change!” shouted Justin from afar.