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Blue Skye Johnson reached down to tie her running shoes. Her long, straight auburn hair fell in front of her freckled face. She put her hair up in a pony tail and quietly stepped outside so that she wouldn’t wake her mother, Anna Leslie, as she walked through the front door into another misty Maine morning. Her deep blue eyes looked down at her watch. 5:00AM it read in a green glow. She sat down to stretch and couldn’t help but thinking of Emerald. Emerald was her twin sister who had been missing since they were in second grade. She and Emerald had been best friends their whole lives. They played together, laughed together, cooked, swam, and slept in the same room together. Why is she gone? Where is she? Why? Blue thought as she blinked her eyes a couple of times to hold back the tears. She slowly stood up and began to run, and slowly disappeared into the cool mist of the April morning.
Chapter One: Lillian
It was a sunny day in Jensland, Maine. A girl with curly blonde hair in a pink tee-shirt and skirt was waving her hands in the air dramatically and yelling. This girl happened to be Emily Ludlow, dramatic girly girl, and Blue Johnson’s best friend.
“Hey Baby Blue, over here!” Blue ran over and sat down next to her.
“Hey Pretty Pink, where have you been? I haven’t seen you all day?”
“Oh, I was at a dentist appointment. And guess what, he said I don’t need braces!
Yay!” exclaimed Emily in a high pitched voice.
“I like your shirt, is it new?” Emily asked Blue. She looked down at her shirt. It was light blue, slightly baggy, and had a grass stain on it. It said “Save the Whales”.
“Are you kidding me?!” asked Blue
“Well, it’s kind of vintage in a hippy sort of way.” Emily answered. “What do you think of my shirt?” she said, with a slightly crooked but very white smile.
“Well, it sure is pink!” Decided Blue, who personally didn’t really like her shirt that much. “And it looks good on you, too!” she added, which was true.
“I know, right?” answered Emily.
“Oh, I think your shirt is so perfect Emily, especially for a retarded Barbie doll!” said a raspy, chilling voice from behind Blue’s head. She backed away and turned around. It was Lillian Larson, a rude, disgusting eighth grade girl who bullied all the seventh grade girls, especially Emily.
“Oh, and did I mention the retarded Barbie looked extremely overweight in the shirt?” Lillian said, staring directly into Emily’s deep brown eyes.
“I think the retarded eighth grader needs to leave right now. Oh, and did I mention she looks extremely overweight in that shirt?” replied Blue. Lillian stared at Blue with a disgusting look on her face. Then she turned to Emily.
“You suck,” she said to her, “And so does your stupid little bodyguard.” She turned to Blue.
“Your mother must have been mental to name you after a color.” She crinkled her face and walked briskly away, kicking an innocent boy in the shin as she went.
“Her mother must have been mental to have her.” Blue muttered to Emily. Emily smiled at that, but Blue could tell she was feeling down from Lillian’s attack.
“Come on Em, let’s go inside.” Blue grabbed her friends hand to help her up.
Chapter Two: Emily
It was four o’clock in the afternoon and Blue was out on a run. She usually runs one mile down her road and back, but recently she had been running two miles down and back instead. She was training for a 10k race that would be happening this Saturday. She had never raced in a 10k before, and she felt like she was ready, after winning a 5k race she competed in last month at 23 minutes. Suddenly, Lillian popped into her mind and she frowned. Blue knew that Lillian was also a runner, and that there was a good chance that she would enter the competition. Whatever, thought Blue, If anyone beats that nasty person, It’s gonna be me. Pushing Lillian out of her mind, she reached the two mile mark and turned around. I gotta get home, she thought, I have to finish up my social studies project.
When Blue got home, her mom was sitting on the front steps holding the phone in her hand, with a worried look on her face.
“Hey mom, something wrong?” asked Blue as she was catching her breath.
“I’m afraid so.” She answered.
“Emily called and asked you to come over right away. She was crying, Blue.”
“Oh god, hopefully it’s not one of her dramatic spazzes again…” said Blue, but inside felt kind of worried about Emily.
“No Blue, I don’t think it’s like that this time.” Answered her mom. There was an awkward silence.
“Come on mom, let’s go.” said Blue, and 15 minutes later the pulled up into the Ludlow’s driveway.
Chapter Three: The E-Mail
Emily slammed the door closed and locked it behind Blue.
“Oh, Blue!” shouted Emily with a sob as she threw her arms around her best friend. Blue hugged back.
“Oh Emily, what’s wrong? What’s wrong Emily, you can tell me!” said Blue in a comforting voice. Emily walked to the computer, pressed the monitor button, and turned away. She was crying now.
“Read it!” she yelled, “Just read it, Blue!” Blue walked over and gazed at the screen. It was an email. It read:
You are a b!@#$ and an extremely fat idiot. I hate everything about you and so does everyone else on the whole planet. You suck more than anything, and you are a horrible, terrible, horrifying person. If I was as ugly as you, I would kill myself.
Blue stared at the message and blinked. She looked at the email of the sender. firstname.lastname@example.org it read.
“Oh my God.” breathed Blue, “Is this from Lillian?” Emily was still sniffling. Two tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Who else could it possibly be from?” said Emily, on the verge of crying again. Then she became quiet, and said softly:
“You don’t hate me Blue, do you?” Blue walked over and sat next to Emily.
“Of course I don’t hate you Emily, I love you! Me along with a hundred other people! You’re a great person Emily, don’t let one person who claims they hate you ruin everything!”
“Really?” asked Emily, deep sadness in her eyes.
“That many people actually – love me?”
“I swear they do.” Answered Blue with a smile. Emily smiled back.
Chapter Four: The Project
It was Tuesday morning and Blue was in social studies class. Mr. Lucas was making an announcement.
“Ok, can people who finished their projects a day early please get them out for me so I can check you off for extra credit.” Oh crap, thought Blue, I have to go get my project from my locker. Blue quietly got up to get her project. When she got to her locker, she saw her backpack, lunch box, and a small pile of garbage that had grown over the year, but no project. She looked three more times and didn’t see it. A wave of anxiety rolled over her as she closed her locker.
“Where could it be?” she thought out loud as she walked down the hall.
“Could I have left it at home?” she thought again as she stepped into the classroom.
“Mr. Lucas, I have an issue.”
“And what would that be?” he asked.
“Um, I finished my project, but I think I might have left it at home.”
“I’m sorry that you forgot it.” he answered,
“I guess you’ll just have to forget about the extra credit points.” But I need those extra points! thought Blue. She wanted to improve her grade in Social Studies, which was a B-.
“Um, can I…go call my mom and ask if she could look for it?” she asked, praying he would let her.
“Well, consider yourself lucky. I guess you can go ask the secretary if you can. Don’t make the call any longer than five minutes.” He answered.
“Thanks!” she answered quickly and she ran down the hall to call her mom.
Chapter Five: Emily to the Rescue
“Well, I’m afraid if you don’t hand in a decent project by tomorrow morning, you won’t be able to participate in the 10k race this weekend.” said Mr. Lucas to Blue. She cringed. Blue and her mom were in Mr. Lucas’s room for an emergency meeting. Blue’s mom couldn’t find the project anywhere in the house, after looking for 45 minutes straight. It wasn’t anywhere in the school either.
“I’m afraid you either have to have a miracle send your project back to you, or you’re going to have to skip that race. I’m sorry, Blue.” Mr. Lucas said with a frown. There was silence for what seemed like an hour, and finally Blue’s mom said, “Well, thank you for your help Anthony. I think we should be going now.”
“I have to get home as well. Hope you’re ready for class tomorrow morning, Blue.” said Mr. Lucas as they walked out the door. She didn’t answer.
“Emily, can you come over, like, now? I need a little…help.” Blue told Emily over the phone that evening.
“Sure thing, Baby Blue, I’ll be right over!” she answered in a happy, dramatic voice, a big improvement yesterday.
“Ok, thanks Pretty Pink, see you in a few.” Blue said as she hung up the phone. She wasn’t feeling very happy right now. She was busy re-making her poster. By the time Emily got there, she was still working on her poster.
“Oh God Em, you won’t believe what happened today!” Blue moaned with a frown.
“My social studies project is completely gone! Just gone, and it’s due tomorrow! The poster, the slideshow, the worksheets and activity materials, gone! And the worst part is, if I don’t finish the project by tomorrow, I won’t be able to be in the 10k this Saturday!”
“Don’t worry Baby Blue,” answered Emily, “I’m here to help! It’s gonna be fine, we’re gonna finish that project and knock Mr. Lucas’s socks and shoes off with it! It’s gonna be great Blue! Now, let’s get to work!”
Chapter Six: Why Maine is such an Amazing State
It was 12 o’clock am and Blue was struggling to stay awake. Emily had left at nine o’clock. So far, she and Emily had finished the poster, worksheets, and slideshow. Blue was making the finishing touches to the activity materials. Finally, at 12:15 am, she glued the last box together and collapsed onto her bed.
“Thank God.” she sighed, and within three minutes she was fast asleep.
Blue was so exhausted; she couldn’t wake up to go running the next morning. When she finally did wake up, she was late for school.
“Blue! Blue Skye! You’re late for school, get up sweetie!”
“Oh God,” mumbled Blue as she got up. She threw on some clothes, grabbed her backpack and new project, and ran out the door.
“And that is why Maine is such an amazing state. Thank you for watching and participating in my presentation!” Blue said with a smile as she finished her presentation.
“Thank you, Blue. Now you may all go to your next class.” Mr. Lucas announced. Everyone slowly filtered through the doorway of the classroom. Blue was the last to leave because she had to pick up her project.
“Blue, I have to say, I’m impressed with your work.” Mr. Lucas said to her.
“Thanks, it was pretty hard to do.” She answered.
“I bet. You did well on your presentation, but you were exceptional in making that project in just one night. It shows how much care and appreciation you have towards your schoolwork and self. You should be proud of yourself.”
“Thanks.” Blue said again with a smile, and with a heart full of determination and confidence, she swiftly stepped through the door.
Chapter Seven: The Race
It had been a stressful, exciting, and exhausting week of horrific emails, vanishing projects, and training, and finally it was the big day! The day of the 10k road/trail race! Blue was taking a light run on that cool Saturday morning. She was so excited for the race! A warm breeze was softly blowing through the bright green trees of May. A few minutes later, she arrived home. She had a small, healthful, protein filled snack, and soon she and her mom were in the car driving to Emily’s house. Soon after that, she, her mom, and Emily were in the car driving towards East Jensland, towards the big race.
“Go Blue, go Blue, go, go, go Blue!” Blue could hear her mom and Emily screaming from the sidelines. She took a deep breath. In just three minutes from now, she would have started her first 10k race. She looked across the starting line and saw Lillian doing a last minute stretch. So she did come after all, Blue thought with a frown. Lillian saw her, smirked, and looked away. Once again, Blue took a deep breath.
“Runners, one minute until starting time!” boomed a loudspeaker near by.
“GO BABY BLUE!!!” screamed Emily, jumping up and down. Blue smiled.
“On your marks! Get set!...GO!!!” yelled the loudspeaker and off they went. Lillian darted forward, soon in front of everyone. Blue was near the center of the runners, starting out slowly. She didn’t let Lillian’s quick start bother her, knowing that she would tire out pretty soon. In the back round she could hear her mom cheering and yelling, softly, softer and softer, until the only noise she could hear were the runners footsteps.
The three mile mark, I’m half way done! thought Blue as she came up to the mile marker. She was tiring, but she wasn’t out of energy yet. She kept on running, down roads, over hills, and up a short, rocky mountain trail. Soon she was at the five mile mark.
So close, almost done! thought Blue, who was tiring quickly. That’s when it started to rain. It started as a slow drizzle, but was coming down more steady now. Blue’s tired, heavy feet hit the damp ground. It began to rain even harder. Far in the distance, Blue thought she could see the finish line. Suddenly, she felt something in front of her foot, and before she could think she fell, right in to a large, dirty grey puddle. She heard laughter in the back round, girl laughter. Lillian? She thought, I thought LILLIAN was in front of me!
Chapter Eight: The Finish Line
“Uuuggg” she sighed, and laid even deeper into the puddle. I don’t know if I’ll ever get up again, Blue thought, and she meant it. She laid there for a little while, and then she felt someone grab her hand. She looked up.
“Levanta-te! Levanta-te, e terminar a corrida!” shouted the voice of the person who was grabbing her hand. She allowed herself to be pulled up. The person looked like a South American woman
“Ir! Ir!” she yelled through the rain, and pushed her forward. Blue looked back at the woman.
“Um, thanks.” Answered Blue, and the woman smiled back, motioning for Blue to go in front of her.
Blue was approaching the finish line quickly. She was now running hard, and was so close to the finish line, so close…and then she saw Lillian appear in front of her, and cross the finish line before her. NO! thought Blue as she crossed right after her. How did she get in front of me? I was sure she fell behind me after I started again! Blue sighed and collapsed on a bench.
Chapter Nine: Emily Errupts
It was a week after the race, and Blue was eating lunch with Emily, thinking about the race. Lillian had won, Blue got second place, and the South American woman got third. Blue knew that she did well in the race, but still couldn’t figure out how Lillian got in front of her at the last minute.
“Blue? Earth to Baby Blue!” Emily said dramatically, waving a manicured hand in front of Blue’s face.
“Oh sorry, what were you saying?” answered Blue, dazed.
“I was saying, I think Lillian cheated in the race.”
“Ha ha, how hilarious! Mommy’s little girl thinks that stupid old Lillian cheated in the race.” said a sickly, cold voice from behind. Lillian had creeped over to them once again. Emily flinched and was shaking slightly at the sight of her.
“You leave us alone, Lillian. We don’t have time for you.” said Blue to Lillian, staring at her with her deep blue eyes.
“You want me to leave, huh?” asked Lillian, raising a fist to Blue.
“STOP!” yelled Emily. Lillian was so shocked at her voice that she pulled back her fist. She turned to Emily.
“You will STOP it right now, Lillian Larson. You have been very mean to me and Blue and that is NOT ok. NO ONE likes to hang out with a bully, Lillian. So just SHUT UP and NEVER talk to me AGAIN!!!” yelled Emily. She was breathing hard and her face was red. They just stared at each other for a while, and then Lillian frowned and looked down. She coughed a couple times, got up, and ran away as fast as she could, never looking back.
Chapter Ten: The Project is Found
“Lillian Larson and Blue Johnson, please follow me.” said the principal, Mrs. Weller, over the loudspeaker. Students in the class began to whisper as they left.
When they got there, she had them sit down. Then she pulled out a big poster, a floppy disk, and a bag.
“Oh my God, Mrs. Weller, where did you find my social studies project?” Blue asked, in shock. Lillian looked like she wanted to hide.
“Mrs. Larson gave it to me this morning. She said she found it under Lillian’s bed.” Lillian looked out the window. Blue’s mouth was open in shock.
“You know what this means, Lillian.” said Mrs. Weller, looking at her stearnly.
“Lillian, look at me!” She turned towards her with an uncomfortable jerk.
“You have violated the school rules, Miss Larson. This means your project grade is automatically a zero.”
“But-“ Lillian started, and then stopped.
“I will speak with you later, Lillian. You may both leave now.”
They both got up and went back to class. Blue knew that Lillian was up to something bad.
Chapter Eleven: The Call
That night, Blue was chatting on the computer with Emily. She had told her how brave she was for standing up to Lillian, and how Lillian had stolen her project. Then the phone rang. Blue picked it up
“Hello, is this Miss Blue Johnson?” said the voice on the other end.
“Yes, this is she.”
“Hi Blue, this is Steven Corbeck, director of the 10k race you recently ran. I have some important news to tell you.”
“It was discovered that the winner of the race, Lillian Larson, cheated. She took a
shortcut that was not part of the race track. This means you legally have won the race. I am calling to ask you what you would like engraved in your trophy.” Blue was in shock.
“Hold on for a moment, please.” Blue said into the phone.
“OHHH MYYY GODDD!” she yelled into the empty house. “Ok, thank you for calling, Mr. Corbeck. Ummm, I think I know what I would like engraved in it.”
“So, after school today, Lillian came up to me, and she was all like, shy and stuff!” said Emily to Blue over the phone.
“Did she say anything to you?”
“Yeah, that’s the best part! She was like, ‘Um, hey Emily! Want to come over to my house on Friday? I was thinking about having a sleepover, and I thought you might wanna come. And Blue can come, too, if you want.’”
“Oh my God, she really said that?!” asked Blue, with immense curiosity.
“Yeah! And I was all like, ‘Sorry, Lillian, that’s real sweet of you, but Blue and I have plans for the weekend.’”
“Woah! That’s a real shocker! Hey, maybe we should go to her house sometime, you know, to be nice.”
“I was thinking about that. But I think she should work for our friendship, after all the bullying, you know?
“Yeah. Well, see you at school tomorrow, Emily!”
“See you later, Baby Blue!” Blue hung up the phone and looked up at her shelf. On it was a gleaming, golden trophy. It read:
FOR EMERALD JOHNSON
For the first time in many years, Blue looked at her sisters name, and smiled.