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Second Chances

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It was a slow, lazy Saturday morning. School had just ended the day before, and I had absolutely nothing to do! I was just stretched out across my bed, listening to my iPod and letting my hand dance freely across the page in my sketch pad, decorating the space around my name. That is until I heard a loud, irritating creak coming from my door. There was only one person I knew in this house that would do that to me.
“I’m busy,” I groaned to my squirt of a little brother. “Leave me alone.”

“Nah… Don’t feel like it,” Bobby retorted annoyingly. “Plus, Mom and Dad want you to be downstairs so that we can talk about our summer plans this year.”

I wasn’t paying any attention to Bobby until he spoke the words “summer plans.” I quickly yanked out my headphones and shoved Bobby onto the floor as I passed him. I quickly flew through the hall and down the stairs taking them two by two.
“Okay! Okay! I’m here! What are the summer plans this year?” I yelled out coming to an immediate stop at the bottom of the stairs.
“It’s nice to see that you’re finally out of your room, Melanie,” my mom laughed. Her voice echoed from the family room.
I joyously ran to the family room to begin discussing our summer plans.
“So? Where are we going to this summer?” I asked anxiously, bouncing up and down. I went over to the empty sofa and laid down thinking about where we might go. After what felt like a long two minutes, Bobby walks into the room with a suspicious grin riding ear to ear.
“Does Melanie know where we’re going yet?” Bobby asked angelically but with a hint of a smirk that only I noticed.
“Not yet but now that we’re all here, we can tell her,” my dad started slowly. “This year we’re going to…”
To?! I screamed inside my head.
“To California–” my mom said, but was cut off by me.
“California! If we’re going to California, then that means that we’re going to Disney Land! Well it’s not as good as Disney World…” I trailed off muttering to myself.
“Um, we’re not going to Disney Land,” my mom interrupted trying hard not to bring me down too much. “We’re actually going there to…”
“To visit our Aunt Mindy and Uncle Paul in Agoura Hills! Doesn’t that sound like fun?” Bobby blurted our sarcastically. His face expression changed into a devilish look.
Angry and disappointed I raised myself off of the sofa and stalked out of the room. Why does it have to be there? I thought angrily. Everyone there is a rich snob! Especially my cousin. She’s probably the most spoiled person in the world! I slammed my door behind me and locked myself inside my room. I snatched my iPod and connected it to its speakers. In one quick, swift movement I turned the volume up loud enough to drown everything else out. Then my body plopped itself onto my bed and I turned to the next page in my sketch pad. Only one person was on my mind as I drew my cousin, Angela Whinner. The last name fits perfectly to her. She constantly whines to get whatever she wants. But there is nothing angelic about Angela. I thought disgusted. We both hated each other since we met when we were only five years old, and now twelve years later we hate each other even more. “And people say that as you grow older, you learn to forgive and forget. But they were so wrong!” I announced out loud to myself, yet barely hearing a word because of the loud music.
An hour later my mom yelled, “Melanie, unlock your door and turn off that loud music!”
I sighed and turned off the speakers. Ruefully, I went over to the door. “Yes, Mother?” I asked sarcastically at the doorway. I turned around and went back to drawing my picture. When I actually looked at it I couldn’t help but to laugh a bit. “Hmm, it looks exactly like her,” I commented on the picture of a voodoo doll with a smirk.
“Melanie, I know that you don’t like Angela, but you have to forgive and forget, and give her a second chance,” my mom told me. “I don’t even understand why you hate her so much!”
“Mom! Nowhere in her heart is there any good. She’s not an angel! She is a two-faced devil!” I screamed trying to make my mom understand. “Ever since we were five she’s bossed me around, made me act like her pack mule, show off, and brag about every single thing that she’s ever had! She always thinks that she’s the best at everything just because she’s rich and gets whatever she wants. Angela is exactly like every other girl that grew up rich, a snob! Even if I do forgive her, which won’t happen, she’ll just go back to doing the same exact things as before.” As I heard myself speak these words, I felt like a seven year old, screaming loudly but never heard.
“There’s nothing we can do now. Everything is set up at your Aunt Mindy’s house and we already have the plane tickets. We’re leaving tomorrow morning,” my mom said in a firm tone.
Hasn’t anything I said gone through to her? Nothing is going to change between me and Angela, it’s impossible! I thought.
“Wait,” I said shocked. “Did you just say that we’re leaving tomorrow morning?”
“Yes, we’re going to leave tomorrow, early in the morning. Why? Is there a problem?”
“Well, no. But why does it have to be so soon? There’s barely enough time for me to pack.”
“It was originally planed to be in July. But Angela has become very ill and they don’t know how long it’ll last. So we’re going to help take care of her,” she spoke in a sad, soft voice.
“Great,” I sighed rolling my eyes, “more of a reason for her to boss me around.”
My mom’s voice suddenly changed into a more serious tone as she said, “That’s enough, Melanie. I want you to get your luggage and start packing. We’re leaving tomorrow morning and that is that.” She crossed her arms and I knew that this conversation was officially over.
After an immeasurable amount of silence and glares, she turned her back on me and walked out of my room. I had, apparently, won the glaring contest, but I still had to go to Agoura Hills. “Why am I the last to know everything?” I moaned shaking my head. I turned to look at my clock sitting on of my headrest, three pm. There was still too much time left in the day.
I went across my room, with my sketch pad, and sat in front of my laptop. I looked down at my drawing; I still couldn’t help but laugh at the resemblance at the picture and Angela. I placed the picture on my scanner and hit the “scan” button. I flipped my screen around and clicked on the file for my picture. Then I took the stylus pen from the side of my laptop and went to work.
A knock on my door startled me and messed me up. “Melanie? Are you finished packing yet?” my dad questioned.
“No, not yet,” I replied glancing at the time on my computer, six pm. “Don’t worry, Dad. I’ll bring my stuff down when I’m done.” I looked at my screen and saw that my picture was halfway colored, but I got up from my seat and dug through my closet for my luggage and clothes.
I didn’t bother to check the time after I gave my dad my baggage. I just laid on my bed and closed my eyes, waiting for the long, dramatic day to finally come to the end.
When I woke up, I was in a familiar room, in a house that I hated, Angela’s house, in Agoura Hills, California. I didn’t remember waking up or going on a plane at all. But I decided that it didn’t matter; all that mattered to me now was getting this vacation over with. I took an unnecessarily long shower, trying to procrastinate so that I could put off seeing Angela, but eventually I had to finish up and find something to eat.
As I passed the large, elegant family room and I noticed that my Aunt Mindy and Uncle Paul were being comforted by my parents. “Aunt Mindy… Uncle Paul… What happened?” I nervously asked as I approached them curiously.
“Melanie. Your cousin, Angela, died. Only a couple of hours ago,” my mom explained.
“Angela was always so fond of you, Melanie. She would talk about the things you two did as friends,” Aunt Mindy softly told me.
I stopped, my foot hanging in mid-step and stood frozen in the middle of the room. “Angela was f-fond of me?” I asked confused. Aunt Mindy and Uncle Paul nodded slowly. “Then why would she act so mean to me, always bossing me around, and making fun of me?” I took a few more steps closer, having mixed emotions of sadness, confusion, happiness, regret, and most of all shame.
“She was only jealous of you. She wanted a life like yours, simple and carefree. To have friends that liked her for who she was and not what she had,” Uncle Paul clarified. “You were the one…the one she dreamed of being.”
“She would’ve traded everything that she had to have a life like yours,” Aunt Mindy added.
I fought back the tears that were trying to break out. If only I had forgiven her and gave her a second chance. If only I could talk to her once more, I thought. But I knew that wishing wasn’t going to help. The picture of the voodoo doll… I wasn’t drawing Angela in it; I was drawing me without knowing it! I was so caught up in hating Angela that I didn’t notice what I was doing. I had said so many mean things; Angela only spoke about the good things. I was really the evil one here.
I turned around and headed for the room Bobby was staying in. The door was open and he was sitting on the edge of the bed watching TV. I walked slowly towards him and gave him a big hug, more tears were running down my face.
“What are you doing? Why are you hugging me?!” Bobby screamed.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, still holding onto him. I didn’t want to lose anyone else in my life.
“For what?” he asked truly puzzled.
“For every mean thing that I did to you in the past ten years of your life, I’m so sorry.” I was afraid to let go, afraid that I would lose my little brother if I did. “I promise that things will be different between us.”





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