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The Day My Friend Forgot Her Swimsuit

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“It's not here,” Marcia declared, looking absolutely stricken.
I was too busy getting my own swimsuit out to answer. So after a minute, Marcia looked up at me and repeated, “It's really not here.”
“Look harder,” I told her as I ruffled through my various one-piecers, two-piecers, and my new bikini.
“I have looked harder!” she said. “See?” To prove her point, she lifted up her backpack and dumped everything onto the bed. We searched through it together. There really was no swimsuit there.
“Oh my gosh,” I said, not sure what else to say. “This means!”
“My best suit has vanished!” Marcia added with a slightly hysterical tilt to her voice.
Now, hold on. You probably have no idea what any of this means. Yet. I'll explain everything, don't worry, but—first, how about some introductions?
Hi there! And, welcome. My name is Sheila Amelia van Troubledike, and I'm going to serve as your narrator. Since, well, this story did happen to me, after all. Who else is better to tell it? (Oh, and please make sure that you pronounce my name right. The van part, that is. You say it von. Not van. Thanks.)
And, this here is my best-ever friend. Ever. Best. Ever. Okay, you get the point.
Her name is Marcia Heidi Pickle, and we've known each other since kindergarten. (Oh, and please pronounce her name correctly, too. You say it Marsha instead of Mar-see-a, okay? Thanks.)
As well as being my super-number one best friend ever, Marcia also happens to be the only school friend of mine who knows about the pool in my backyard.
Let's step back to this morning for a minute, shall we?
As my mom drove me to school that morning, she said, “So, honey, did you have anything in mind for this afternoon?” Then, without waiting for my answer, she went ahead and told me her idea first. (She has a bad habit of doing that.) “I wanted to call my boss to see if he could fax me a paper. If he agrees, and if the fax machine doesn't break down, which I strongly hope it doesn't—” she chuckled, then continued, “—then I'm going to be doing some work in my home office. It might take a little while. Actually, it might take a couple of hours. I thought that maybe you wanted to invite a friend over and go swimming. It's going to be a beautiful day, after all.”
I tried not to be annoyed by mom's habit, because honestly I really liked that idea. “Okay,” I told her. “Can I ask Marcia? If she comes over, we won't need to go to her house for a swimsuit.”
“That's right, she takes synchronized swimming, doesn't she?” my mom asked.
“Yeah, so there's a school suit in her locker that she could bring with us.”
“Oh, good. I'm so glad to hear that this will work,” my mom smiled as she pulled into the “student drop off/pick up” space.
I gathered up my backpack, glanced in the mirror and fixed my hair, then leaned over to give my mom a half-hug. Opening the door, I climbed out and said, “See you later Mom!”
My mom blew me a kiss. Just before the door closed I heard her say, “See you girls this afternoon!”
I waved and grinned. Then I turned and followed a stream of other kids into the middle school.
I didn't see Marcia until lunchtime, and by then I was basically bursting with excitement. After I told Marcia, she started bursting with excitement too. We went to our next class, science, and couldn't help passing notes when we were supposed to be memorizing the periodic table.
Finally, the last bell rang. I grabbed all of the necessary stuff out of my locker, slammed it and locked it shut again, after which I dashed down to Marcia's locker. It was about two away from mine.
Marcia pulled out her swimsuit and grinned at me. “All set!” she announced, then closed her locker and slung her backpack over her shoulder.
I eyed the swimsuit, which she still held in her hand. “Um, Marcia? Aren't you going to put that in your backpack too?”
Marcia shook her head, then turned and started walking out of the school. I followed, not wanting to miss what she had to say.
“Nope,” was her answer. “Knowing my luck, my pencil would probably draw all over it. Or something.” Then she winked at me. “Besides, you've never really seen it before! I want to show you all of its cool traits.”
“Okay...” I said. “Cool traits! Um...”
“Come on,” said Marcia, grabbing my hand. “It'll be much easier to show them in the car.”
The ride home was very eventful. Marcia's suit did, in fact, have a whole lot of very cool traits. After pointing out how the straps never tangled and how the color matched with any pair of flip-flops, she leaned over and lowered her voice. “And guess how much it cost.”
To show that I was listening seriously, I leaned forward too.
“$14.99!”
“No way!” I squealed. We hugged each other and started bouncing up and down on the seat. My mom eyed us in the rear view mirror, then shook her head and kept driving.
When we got to my house, we ran straight up to my room and flopped down on the bed, flopping our backpacks down next to us. Even though Marcia had been here, like, last weekend, she still had to catch up on stuff such as, had I added any new posters or drawings or other things like wallpaper to my room, had I found a new actor or singer to idolize, and, most importantly, how was the cat doing. Then we had to talk about her and her room. Then we had to talk about school and stuff like homework, makeup, homework, and boys. Then finally we started discussing after-school clubs. Then we both remembered that Marcia took synchro. Then we recalled that we were supposed to be going swimming.
“Well, I better get my suit out,” Marcia announced, casually opening her backpack.
“Yeah, me too,” I said, casually going over and opening the dresser drawer that was reserved for my many swimsuits.
After a minute, Marcia looked up. “Sheila?” she asked.
“Um-hm,” I answered.
“Sheila, I can't find it.”
“Find what?” I replied, wondering where I had put my goggles.
“My suit,” Marcia told me. “It's not here.” As she said those words, her face took on a totally stricken look.
I was too busy finding a swimsuit of my own to answer. So after a minute, Marcia started looking at me really hard as she repeated, “It's really not here.”
“Look harder,” I said without turning. I was too busy ruffling through my various one-piecers, two-piecers, and my new bikini to turn around.
“I have looked harder!” she said. “See?” To prove her point, she lifted up her backpack and dumped its entire contents out onto the bed. I sighed, then closed my dresser drawer and came to help her look through it. There really was no swimsuit there.
“Oh my gosh,” I said, not sure what else to say. “This means!”
“My best swimsuit has vanished!” Marcia added with a slightly hysterical tone creeping into her voice.
“Okay, it's got to be here somewhere,” I said, holding out my hands in a motion that really did not help whatsoever. “I mean, it can't have just vanished, right?!”
“That was my best suit!” Marcia wailed. “I'd had it so long! Four weeks! And it cost $14.99!” She grabbed my shoulders. “$14.99, Sheila! That's a whole big $14.99 down the drain!Do you know what can be purchased for $14.99!”
By this time, I was upset too. In fact, I wasn't just upset. I was freaking out. “You can buy the world for $14.99!” I basically screamed.
Marcia and I hugged each other and sobbed loudly and patted each other on the back and didn't actually cry and continued sobbing as we lamented and freaked out. We were so busy lamenting and freaking out, in fact, that we didn't notice my mom's presence until she said rather loudly (okay, very loudly), “Girls?!”
We stopped freaking out and looked over at her.
“I've had to postpone my phone call to my boss!” she declared, throwing her hands in the air. Then with her annoying run-on habit she proclaimed, “What is going on here?!” Then, still using the annoying habit, she said, “Oh, and Marcia, here you are,” and held out Marcia's swimsuit.
Marcia and I looked at each other, then let go of each other and took a couple of steps away from each other.
Marcia pointed at her suit silently for a minute, just holding her finger in the air and indicating the obvious. Then, without moving, without hardly twitching her lips, she spoke in a stage whisper that echoed eerily around the room.
(Well, actually, I think I was hallucinating when I heard that echo. But you get the idea.)
“Where did you find this?” Marcia asked.
“In the car,” my mom answered, handing the suit to my friend. Then, using her annoying habit once again, she said, “I went out there. I had to get my purse. My phone was in my purse. And my boss's fax number was in my phone.”
“Well, thanks for your assistance,” I said, trying to regain my composure after such an event. “Could you please leave while we change, Mom?”
“Sure thing,” my mom smiled. Then she added, “Be more careful with that suit, Marcia. It's quite nice, actually. Throwing it around like that, you might lose it someday.”
“I know,” Marcia said seriously. “You just saved me $14.99.”
My mom's smile got bigger at that, and then she excused herself, saying that her boss was waiting. Marcia went into the bathroom to change. Myself, I had only one problem...now which suit was I supposed to wear?
The End



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Ali.B said...
Nov. 20, 2009 at 4:02 pm:
This was really funny! It is totaly something that would happen to me!
 
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BriarRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 14, 2009 at 8:03 pm:
adorable! i love how your narrator spoke directly to the reader. good stuff; keep writing
 
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