Three Books, An Umbrella, and Samantha Hinds

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Corri White stared on at her endless sky of blue. No, it wasn't perfect. Clouds aligned everywhere, covering almost anything including her great sun. But that was good enough for her. Today was a perfect day. And no one could take that from her.


"Corri!" her mother yelped. "Corri!"


Corri tried to block out this noise, but she fell into its victim and turned around.


"Don't forget your lunch!" Suzanne White handed Corri a beaten-up tin lunch box. "And it may be cold." Her morhter hugged Corri tight. "And look at these clouds." she straightened up Corri's posture and patted down her jacket. "Bring an umbrella." Suzanne handed Corri a backpack with a retractable umbrella in it, and three books. 'The Hunter, My Son, and She Didn't Know Why.' They were the only three books the White family owned, and Corri was allowed to bring them on her first day of school. "Well, goodbye. Have fun. And learn something!" She called out to Corri.


Corri nodded her head in agreement then headed to the corner of the street to catch the bus.


Corri had long black hair. She had a long face and a small back, with an average figure for an average first-grader. She often dreamed of being like the singers she heard on the radio wiht the blue hair, lots of makeup, and heels that were so high it didn't matter your size. She lived on a farm in south-eastern Texas with her mother and both grandparents.


The farm wa called Strong Perfection. There were few luxuries there, but to the people that lived inside it, it was perfection. And people had been living there for six generations.


"Hello, class. I'm Mrs. Smith."


"Hello, Mrs. Smith," the class echoed.


In that first-grade clas, the first day of school, they sat in a circle and introduced themselves. Te first to speak was a girl names Sady McCeeman.


"I'm Sady."


"Welcome, Sady," the teacher's high-shrilling voice filled the room. "What do you like to do?"


"Sing."


"Nice. Do you have anything else you would like to share?"


"My daddy is a lawyer. We live on a big mansion in uptown!"


The classroom rejoiced with "oo"s and "ah"s.


But Corri was next, and that was the only thing on that little farm-girl's mind.


"And who are you, Dear?"


"Corri. I live at Strong Perfection!"


Some kids yelped, "But Sady lives in a mansion!" Some kids held back smiles. Some kida laughed, and some kids stayed silent.


"Enough with that!" The teacher disciplined. "Beautiful place, my darling. And what do you like to do?"


From the back of the room, a young boy flung up his hand and hollered, "I like to watch TV!"


"I don't have a TV," Corru answered. More laughs from around the room.


Sady smearked. "I have five."


"3!"


"2!"


"1!"


"2!"


"4!"

But no one had zero except Corri. She sank down in her chair.


The rest of the kids were called, each one with a comment about Corri. After a while, the teacher didn't object to them. She even made a few herself. Corri finally gave up. Her perfect day ruined. Now all she had left was her four friends: three books and an umbrella.


"Alright now, children. Recess!" Mrs. Smith flung her arms up in the air, then hurried the children outside. All but Corri. She refused to go outside. She wanted not to be seen.


"But you have to go! All the other kids are. Here! It'll be fun. You'll make new friends!" Mrs. Smith grabbed her hand and tried to lead her outside. But Corri folded her arms toghtly over her chest and shrunk into her chair more.


After several pledding attempts, Corri finally went outside. She sat on the bench, shrunk into that, and folded her arms.


Not long af ter, a teacher came out with another girl by her hand. "Now, you have to come out, but you don't have to play. You can sit on the bench if you like."


The girl, Samantha Hinds, trudged over to the bench where Corri sat. The teacher gracefully walked back to the classroom. The sound of her heels in the cement ringing in both the two girls' ears.


At first, Samantha and Corri didn't talk. But one hting led to another, and before long, they were in a conversation.


The hand that were folded across each girls' chests, were now pressing down on the bench as their bodies had turned so they could talk face to face.


They each leaned that the other also lived on a farm. That neither of them had a TV. And that, most important, they needed a friend.


"That's amazing!" yelped Samantha as Corri told her that they had lived at Strong Perfection for six generations.


"How long as your family been here?"


"We just moved from New York a couple months ago."


"I always wanted to go to New York."


"It's beautiful." As she said that the bell rang. Kids started to run inside.


"I guess that means recess is over."


"Yeah."


"Friends?"


"Friends," Samantha agreed. They reached for each others' hands, and turned around to enjoy the rest of the first day of school.





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