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Honey Coated Pleas
My fingers tremble with excitement as I skim the envelopes hopefully for THE ONE. The letters blur in my mind as I throw the bills absentmindedly on the doorstep. My heart drops as I pass each envelope, knowing that the chances of it being there were getting slimmer and slimmer.
“Christa!” Two voices chime out, barely two seconds apart. Looking up from my hunched position on the concrete, I see Sarah, with her glasses tumbling down her nose at her effort to hurry. Peering closer through her tumble of brown, shiny curls smothering her face, I can see her eyes that are outlined in a raccoon scrawl with eyeliner that looks like the handiwork of a four year old with crayons. Kathy’s long legs were taking huge strides as she power-walked up the driveway from the other side. She dragged along her side, a piece of too clean poster board that was supposed to be her science project.
Groaning at what was coming next, I glance heartlessly at the last envelope in my clammy palms. My heart stopped.
This couldn’t be real. The typewritten sticker of my name. My person address with my own city on it. The address that I had spent countless hours perfectly on my order form was imprinted in gold lettering on the top left-hand corner of the envelope. The stamp was the ordinary, Statue of Liberty one that everyone always used. Gasping for breath, I could hardly believe it. It was finally here.
Tearing open the envelope like a ravenous wolf, I didn’t even try to keep the envelope intact. Two tickets to the Chris Daughtry concert downtown. Third row, smack dab in the middle. Gazing up at the two friends that towered over me, my heart plummeted. Who should I take?
“Christa! My ballet concert stares at seven, I have no sense of style, as you know, can you please help me get ready?” Sarah pleaded, looking as if she was on the brink of tears. “But, my science project is due to tomorrow and my mom’s still making me go to church tonight after dinner. You know if I don’t get it done, what will happen…” Kathy ends with a shudder and a killer, grossed-out expression. There was no time to help both of them when there was only half an hour left to spare. Who should I help?
Stuck and muddled in between who to choose, I knew the terrifying consequences of choosing one over the other. The hate that tunneled between them dug deeper and deeper everyday as Sarah held her math skills superior to Kathy, whose procrastination, held her barely above the margin of…ughh…summer school. Always inches from each other’s throats, I hated that my friendships with them strained to a thin wire. No way would they work together.
“Christa,” Kathy sang out in a sing-songy plea. “I really need your help,” Sarah followed, her voice cracking as her eyes begged mine.
My face heating up, I stared through the window of the house at the screen of CNN. Gas filled the screen as they showed the bone-chilling images of the recent car bomb in Baghdad. Trying to pull myself away from the intensifying awkward silence, I dreaded having to make the decision.
The heat from the afternoon sun began to kick in as a band of sweat dripped down my back, right in between my shoulder blades. I glanced down at the pair of tickers shaking in between my trembling, grubby fingers.
“You know what I just got in the mail today?” I broke the silence with an enthusiastic cheer. Mouths gaping, Kathy and Sarah seemed to be thinking that I was a deranged lunatic. “Tickets to the Chris Daughtry concert! Here you guys can have them!” I handed out the peace offering. Their gloomy faces lit up at the simple mention of the tickers. Watching them rejoice in happiness and thanks, I relaxed as all the tension unraveled. Choosing who to help should be easy now, with both of them so grateful. But, glancing down at the shredded pieces from my excited envelope ripping earlier, missing the concert won’t be so easy.