Jessica and Hallie's New Friend

April 29, 2008
By Courtney Grubb, Roebling, NJ

Jessica got out of bed and looked at her clock.
“Ten oh five, new record,” Jessica said to her purple painted room and posters of herself and her best friend, Haley, at camp this past summer.

The carpet went in and out in between her toes as she walked downstairs. Then she felt the cold tiles meet with the bottom of her feet. Jessica walked into the kitchen and poured herself a bowl of cereal. She thought it would be nice to have breakfast on the deck. She popped open the door to the deck and walked out onto the soft wood. She plopped down on the couch, sniffed London’s morning air, and began to eat her cereal. The spoon full of cereal stopped at her lips. She heard a rustling sound coming from the bushes down below the deck.
“Hello?” Jessica said with the most worried tone.

Jessica put her cereal bowl down on the table in front of her, walked over to the railing, and looked down at the bush.
“Oh, very funny, Hal!” Jessica shouted down to the bush with relief.

She walked across the deck to the steps. She ran down to the perfectly cut green grass and skipped over to the bush.
“Come on Hal, I know it’s you! Just come …” Jessica was cut off by a muffled sound coming from the bush.

Jessica stood in front of the bush with crinkled eyebrows and her eyes fixed on the bush. She heard the sound again. Jessica crouched down and spread the prickly bush apart with her hands.
“Oh… my...god,” Jessica was in shock she reached in further and grabbed a hold of the furry creature. She stood up and looked at the kitten in awe.
“You are just the cutest thing!”

Jessica hugged the tiger-stripped kitten and ran across the yard. She stopped at her playground, climbed up to her tree house and opened the door. She placed the kitten down on the blanket that was still there from the sleepover with Hallie. After closing the door she climbed back down the tree. She ran towards the steps, skipping every other one and then opened the door to the house. She snatched the phone off the marble stone counter and dialed Hallie’s number; she knew it by heart.

Hello. Parker residence. May I ask who’s calling please?” Hallie’s butler, Ivan, said.

“Hey! Ivan, can you put Hallie on the phone?” Jessica asked.

“Surely, Ms. LeFrancois.”

Jessica waited for about a minute or two and then heard Hallie coming down the stairs.

“Hey, bud!” Hallie said.

“Hey, I need your help!” Jessica said.

“Okay. With what though?”

“I found something and I need you to come over. Run!”
“Oh…” Hallie was cut of by the dial tone. She shrugged and hung up the phone.

She ran upstairs to her sea foam green room and grabbed her ruffled navy blue blouse, black pleated skirt, high blue knee socks, and her black flats. Then she walked over to her vanity and got out her favorite polka dot ribbon. She wrapped her glistening red hair into a bun. She looked at her clock on her nightstand.
“I don’t want to be late,” Hallie sighed.

Jessica did not give her a time to be there exactly, but Hallie always gave herself a time limit to get where she needed to go. She bolted out of her room and went down the steps as fast as she could.
“Ivan, will you tell mother that I went to Jessica’s?” Hallie asked while putting on her lip balm.
“Certainly, Ms. Parker,” Ivan answered.
“Thanks,” Hallie said. She gave Ivan a toothy smile and was out the door.

Hallie ran down the sidewalk towards Jessica’s house. She also loved the smell of London in the morning.

Hallie arrived at Jessica’s after her run turned into a jog then into a walk. She clicked open the white gate and followed the stone walkway to the porch and rang the doorbell. Jessica swung open the door as if she was waiting ever since the second she hung up the phone.
Jessica looking at her watch. “Come on!”
She pulled Hallie inside, through the foyer, living room and then in the kitchen Hallie pulled back.
“Oh my god, Jess!” Hallie said.
“Oh sorry,” she giggled, “I didn’t realize I was pulling you that hard.” Jessica looked at the nail marks on Hallie’s arm.
“It’s ok. Where were you taking me?”

Jessica started walking again. Hallie followed her outside and down the stairs to the playground. They walked up to the clubhouse and Jessica opened the door. The girls went in; Jessica walked over to the fleece blanket and unwrapped the kitten.
“Isn’t she a cutie?!” Jessica squealed with excitement as she turned towards Hallie.

Hallie stood there with her mouth wide open and eyes fixed on the kitten.
“Are you trying to catch flies or something?” Jessica snarled. “Close your mouth!”
“Sorry. I’m just…just…just shocked. Where did you find it? It is so cute!” Hallie stuttered.
“Well, I was wondering if we could keep her. I found her in the bushes over there,” Jessica said pointing out of the clubhouse window.
“Yes, I want to keep her. It’s worth a shot asking.”
“Yeah, come on.”
Jessica walked out of the clubhouse and down the tree with the kitten in one hand, close to her chest. Hallie followed after her. They walked across the yard to towards the house. The girls strolled into the kitchen. Like any other day they found Jessica’s mom, Kendra, in the living room reading her weekly magazine.
“You go first,” Jessica whispered.
“No! She’s your mom,” Hallie hissed.
“So? Just go,” Jessica snarled.

Hallie shook her head. Jessica scowled at her and put her foot on Hallie’s back. She kicked her forward into the living room.
“OW!” Hallie wailed.
“Why hello, Hallie,” Kendra said.
“Kendra, darling. How are you this morning?”
“Good and your…” Kendra tried to say but was cut off by Jessica.
“So, Mom, the reason we are here is because… cause we found a cat in the bushes,” Jessica said, going to sit on the couch next to Hallie.
“Well, I didn’t find it. Jess did and she called me over her for ‘help,’” Hallie said with air quotes.
“Well, we will call the pound so they can come pick it up,” Kendra said while getting off the couch and grabbing the phone.
“Wait, but Mom! Please! Look at her, isn’t she cute?” Jessica whined while jumping off the couch.
“I said no and that’s my answer and it won’t change, Jessica.”
“Wait,” Hallie cut in, “let me go ask my parents and if they say no then you can call the pound. Please Kendra?” Hallie said taking the phone from Kendra’s hand.
“Ok, but hurry up,” Kendra replied.
“Yes!” Jessica roared.
Jessica gave Hallie a high five and handed her the kitten.

“Let me go get dressed. Then we will go to your place,” Jessica said.

Jessica darted up the stairs and ran into her room. She threw on some cotton shorts, a graphic tee, slipped on her favorite flip-flops and ran out of her room.

“Ok. Ready?” Hallie asked.

“Yep,” Jessica replied.
“Let’s go!”
They walked out the door and down the stone path. Jessica clicked open the gate.
They got to Hallie’s house and walked in the front door. Ivan was cleaning up after breakfast and Hallie’s mom, Christine, was watching T.V. still in her pajamas.
“I’m home,” Hallie said.
“Hello, Hallie. Hello, Jessica,” Christine said looking at Jessica with confusion as to why she was holding a cat.
“Morning, Christine,” Jessica replied politely.
“Ok. So Mom…” Hallie continued. “I went over Jessica’s because she found a kitten in her bushes out back. I thought that her mother would let her keep it, but however Jess asked and her mother denied her keeping this adorable creature and said she would call the pound. Well, I was pondering in my thoughts and now I’m asking if we can keep her instead?”
“I have always wanted a pet around here…” Christine paused, “I suppose so, but you have to ask your father.”
“Thank you so much mom! I promise I’ll take care of her properly and everything.”
Hallie skipped over and gave her mom a huge bear hug. She ran upstairs and Jessica followed behind her. They walked into Hallie’s dad, Walter’s, office.
“Hello, father,” Haley said.
“Good Morning, girls,” Walter replied.
“Dad, I have a question.”
“Yes, darling?”
“I went over Jessica’s this morning because…” Hallie told him the whole story and her father replied. “Your mother is always talking about having a pet around here that is easy to take care of, so I don’t see why not. I approve and by the look on your faces it seems you have already asked your mother.”
“Thank you!” the two girls cried.
“Anytime, girls,” Walter laughed.
The girls ran back downstairs and told Christine what Hallie’s father had said.
“Ok girls. Let me go get dressed and we can go to the vet. Jessica, call your mother to let her know that we are keeping the kitten and that we are going to the vet,” Christine said. Jessica nodded. She gave the kitten to Hallie and went to the kitchen to find the phone. Hallie heard the buttons on the phone as Jessica dialed her number.
“Hey, Mom, can I go with Mrs. Parker and Hallie to the vet? She is keeping the cat,” Jessica asked.
Hallie stood at the entrance of the kitchen with her fingers crossed looking at Jessica with hope in her eyes. Jessica gave Hallie a thumb up. By now, both girls were jumping up and down.
“Ok. Thanks, Mom! Love you too. Bye,” Jessica said and hung up the phone and put it back onto the counter. The girls hugged but tried not to squish the kitten that was in the middle.

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