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A Princess in Wegan (chapter 1)

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Welcome to Wegan, New Jersey with a population of 25 people and covering an area of two acres we earn the title of the smallest city in the U. S. A. My name is Sara Victoria Reed and this is where my story begins.
I had always been normal. Not super smart or super pretty. Just normal. There was that small difference in that I was adopted and didn’t know who my birth parents were but that didn’t bother me. I was young and happy. The summer my life had changed started off like any other. Getting ready for my fifteenth birthday party in July, hanging with my three best friends(Sofia, Ricky, and Zack), writing letters to my pen pal, Emmalina ( I call her Emma), in Graz, Tiggar( Ok so get this in Tiggar they don’t have a democracy instead they have a monarchy. So they have a king and queen and stuff. But the coolest part is that Emma works at the castle. Emma insists that working at the castle isn’t fun, but I don’t believe her.) , and doing nothing.
It had been a Thursday afternoon when I got the letter. I was sitting down on the porch eating lunch with the gang and we were trying to decide if we should go fishing or hang out in the tree house we made. We were about to hold a vote when my mom came outside. She handed me a letter and said that it had come for me in the mail that morning and left. Instantly the gang was crowded around me telling me to open it. Finally Ricky put up his hands and said,
“Come on you guys. Back up. Give her some room to breathe. Sara doesn’t have to open the letter now if she doesn’t want to. I mean by the look of that seal on the envelope it looks important and you guys know that as soon as one person knows your business everyone knows.” Sofia and Zack nodded in agreement, because it was true once one person knows everyone knows. It was one of the cons about living in such a small town. But at that moment I wasn’t thinking about the seal that Ricky had mentioned. Even though it took up half the envelope I hadn’t noticed it until Ricky pointed it out. The seal was very odd. It had a picture of tiger that was holding an axe and what looked like a flag in its mouth. It was quiet for a few minutes as they waited to see what I would do then I looked at them and asked,
“Do you guys want me to open it?” and of course they all said yes. So I opened it. This is what it said.
Dear Sara Victoria,
My name is Richard Fenwell. My wife’s name is Victoria. We are the king and queen of Tiggar. Tiggar is a small land locked country in Europe; It boarders Austria, Hungary, and Slovenia. Almost fourteen years ago Tiggar was in a horrible civil war that tore the county apart. During that year my wife and I were blessed with a beautiful daughter, but because of the war we faced a problem. We knew that the war could last for years and we also knew that all of our enemies would be looking for some weakness and even though before her birth we had weakness but she was a weakness that neither of us could ignore. So we sent her away to America. Where we knew she would be safe. We asked the American government to put her up for an adoption. They asked us if we wanted to know who adopted you we said no. But we did ask that they make your and every other girl of your age that was put up for adoption middle name Victoria. ; Your mother’s name. So that’s what they did and of course the week after you had been adopted had the war stopped. Your mother and have been search these last thirteen years for you and now we have found you. Next week Herald (my personal butler and best friend) will come and pick you up. Can’t wait to see you.
Love,
Your Father
We all stared at the letter in utter shock. No one knew what to say. So we just stared. Finally after what seemed like forever my mom came back on the porch to see why it was so quiet. When she saw us staring she simply put out her hand and I speechlessly handed her the letter. As she read it I tried to wrap my mind around the thought that I was a princess. I heard my mother gasp and looked up. She had finished the letter. She looked down at us and said,
“We’re going to town.” On the car ride to town no one spoke. When we got to town we headed for Jerry’s Grill and buffet, because everyone in town eats at Jerry’s for lunch. We all got out of the car and headed in side. It was crowed but we weren’t looking for a seat. My mom went up to the counter and called Jack over.
“Hey you guys. Do you want a table?” He said smiling when he came over.
“No Jack,” Said my mom. “I’m looking for Bridget and Matt Harding. Have you seen them lately?” Jack picked up a glass and started cleaning it. He nodded. “Yeah, there're sitting by the window. Why do you need them?” He asked. My mom looked at me, her eyes asking if it was ok for Jack to know. I nodded. I wasn’t sure if I was able of speech. Mom handed the letter to Jack and told him to bring the letter to the table when he was done. We went over to where the Hardings were sitting and my mom pulled up a chair.
“Hi Sofia,” said Matt to my mom. My mom forced a smile,
“Hey,” Bridget started to speak but Jack came over with the letter. Jack handed the letter back to my mom.
“Is that for real?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” said my mom. “That is what I was about to ask Matt,” she turned to Matt. “Can you tell if this is real or not?” Matt smiled and took the letter,
“Of course I can” he said confidently. Matt’s eyes grew large as he read the letter. He finished it and looked at me with wide eyes “This letter is 100 and 10% real.” Bridget looked from Matt to my mom to me and back again.
“What does it say?” she finally asked. Matt put down the letter and said in a low voice “It says that Sara’s a princess.” The whole restaurant went silent and everyone turned to look at me and that is the first time I ever fainted.


When I woke up I was in a hospital bed and I could hear arguing coming from outside in the hall. I tried to sit up but felt woozy and lay back down.
“You’re finally up,” said a voice from the corner of the room. I turned my head to see Ricky sitting in plastic chair. “I was starting to get worried.” I smiled,
“You were,” He laughed and shook his head no. He stood and walked over to the bed and sat on the edge and said “But no seriously I was getting kind of worried. Are you ok?” I nodded.
“I was kind of shocked you fainted,” He said. “Usually it’s Sof who does that kind of thing.” I nodded again then asked
“Where are they? Sofia and Zack I mean.”
“What,” said Ricky putting his hands up, “having me here isn’t good enough for you? You have to have all three of us.” I laugh and said
“Not really all three of you. ; Just Sofia. In fact if she’s outside then you can go get her and I’ll be happy.” He smiled
“You wish I’d go and do that. Not that I could any way, she and Zack aren’t here. Now would you like to know what happened after you fainted or would you like it to remain a mystery?”
I sighed and listen to the arguing in the hall, “All right.”
Ricky got comfortable and began. “Well immediately after you fainted your mom called the hospital and got you here right away. By the time you were set up in here everyone in town knew about the letter and everyone was here and asking your mom questions. While this was going on Zack, Sofia, and I decided that they would go to the tree house and I would stay here and wait till you woke up. After they left I stayed in the waiting room and listened to the conversation and from my attentive listening I learned that they, meaning the whole town, don’t plan to let you go.”
He sighed “And after they made that decision the conversion got boring so I snuck in here. I’ve been watching you sleep for the past,” paused to look at a clock, “25 minutes.” I tried not to blush and asked him if he had enjoyed himself. He smiled “That’s for me to know and for you to never to find out.” I took it as a yes.
“Come on” I said throwing the blanket off me “Let's go to the tree house.” Ricky stood and rubbed his hands together,
“Alright how do we get you out of here?” He looked at me “You got any ideas.” I looked around the room.
“How about the window?” He dropped his hands to his sides,
“I thought of that of that I just wanted to let you point it out.” He said walking over to the window.
I sighed, “Of course you did Ricky.” I said as I joined him at the window. Together we pushed open the window and climbed out. Ricky who could climb any tree, building, or rock on the planet landed on his feet. I on the other hand was blessed with far less agility. So of course to Ricky’s enjoyment I landed on my butt. I picked myself, wiped off my pants and said, “Let’s race to the tree house. Ready. Set. Go.” We shot off into the woods surrounding town. As we got closer to the tree house Ricky started to get ahead. I laughed as he tripped on a stick. “Come on Ricky” I said turning around to run backward so I could see him. “If you don’t get up I’m going to beat you.” Ricky laughed as he stood up.
“You wish” was all he said and suddenly I was losing and we were at the tree house. He smiled at me as he started to climb the ladder. “What was that about you winning?” I didn’t say anything as I started to climb the ladder but when I was half way up I decided to ask him if he had his key. Naturally he didn’t, so I had to give him mine. The four of us decide to put a lock on the tree house so it would be private and people like our parents and Zack’s sister couldn’t get in without permission from one of us.
When I got into the tree house Sofia was on her lap top with Zack and Ricky watching the screen over her shoulder. “What are guys looking at?” I asked locking the door again.
“We’re looking up stuff about Tiggar” said Zack.
“Oh” I went over to see.
“It seems to me that Tiggar is as much of a country as we are a town,” said Sofia scrolling down the page of information. “I mean the population is 150 people. That’s even smaller than Luxemburg. Apparently they used to belong to Austria but when Hitler took over they wanted no part in it so they fought for their freedom and won, every since then they been their own country. It says here that is a monarchy, which we already knew but it also says that mostly children our age and older work at the palace. Look here’s a picture of the staff.” Sofia clicked on the link to the picture. We were all staring at the picture of the staff when Zack pointed at the picture and asked me if that was Emma my pen pal. I looked at the girl he was pointing to and gasped,
“You’re right that is Emma. How did you-” but I stopped myself because I knew it just him using his photographic memory.”
“I guess that means you know more about this country than we thought,” Sofia said absently.
“I guess it does,” I said as I sat down on one of the many bean bags we had. It was silent while.
“You think they’ll let you go?” Ricky wondered aloud. He looked around at the three of us, “I mean from what I heard when I was sitting in the waiting room they aren’t going to let you go easily.”
“I don’t understand what the problem is,” Zack said. “We just found your birth parents but everyone’s acting like that’s something bad.” Both the boys looked at Sofia (she usually comes up with answers to these types of questions) but it was me who answered.
“It's because of the law.” All of them looked at me. I stood up and walk over to the cork board, “The law says that the minim population for a town on its own is 30. We’re already under that by five, if any more of us leave even if it’s just one and the government finds out they would close the stores and we would all have to move to a bigger town.”
Silence followed my words. Silence then a scream and a thud. I turned around and looked out the window to see Zack’s Sister, Clair, lying on the forest floor. Without turning around I told Zack. He sighed and opened the door and being to climb down.
“I hope she didn’t break anything,” said Sofia joining me at the window. “Last time she broke her wrist and Zack got grounded for not letting her in.”
Zack had made it to the bottom and was helping his sister now. “I never really got why he got grounded,” Ricky said from the laptop. “I mean it’s not his fault she deicide to let go before she got to the bottom.” I turned around to look at him but was busy playing a computer game.
“Hey Sara” called Zack. I stuck my head out the window.
“What?”
“Clair says that your mom wants you.”
“Ok I’ll be down in a moment,” I went to go open the door, when Ricky suddenly turned to face Sofia and me.
“I did it. I finally beat Zack’s Minesweeper record.” I just rolled my eyes and started down the ladder with Sofia following me. Since sixth grade the boys have been competing to see who can get the higher score of Minesweeper. I and Sofia decided that we wouldn’t take part in any of it. We believe in this so much that we don’t even play the game and for good reason. The first is because anytime you says anything about the game they turn it into something about taking sides and then they won’t talk for a week and the second reason we don’t play is because we both know that we could both bet their highest high scores in one try and we don’t think it wouldn’t be kind to go and crush them like that. By now we at the bottom of the ladder and were waiting for Ricky. As soon as Ricky got to the bottom of the ladder we started walking. I looked at Claire,

“Did they tell you why they needed me or did they just tell you to come and get me.”

“They just told me to come and get you.”She replied, “Nobody tells me anything.”
Sofia and I nodded. It was true. One of the disadvantages to living in a small town is that everybody knows everything about everyone, and sometimes that’s not a good thing. Especially when you’re trying to hide something like a murder or something; like Mr. Black one of the two grocers in town. Some people may say it’s wrong but we don’t hold grudges against what people have done outside of Wegan. As long as they haven’t made a bad reputation for themselves here we don’t really care. I mean of course if someone like……. I don’t know killed the president of course we would turn them in, but Mr. Black didn’t kill a president he killed the man who had kidnapped and killed his daughter so we let him stay, but back to Claire. Because we have people like that living in Wegan and a lot of other junk gets passed through the gossip we try to keep it away from the younger children and Claire was one of the younger kids in town at the moment. We were almost out of the woods now and Ricky and Zack were still arguing over minesweeper. They had tried at least three different times to get us into the conversation but we ignored them.
When we got out the woods Zack finally dropped the minesweeper subject and started a decent conversation.
“Were we headed little sis?” he asked catching up with us.
Claire smiled, “You’ll have to wait and see big bro.” Zack snorted.
“No I won’t,” He said slowing to a stop, “if you don’t tell me where we’re going than I’ll go home,” Nobody else stopped walking.
“You know Zack,” Ricky said turning around to walk backward, “even if you go home you’ll still have to wait. But instead of waiting to find out where we’re going to go your also going to waiting to find out what happened and why they want to see Sara.” Ricky turned back around and it was quiet for a while. Then we heard the sound of running feet and then Zack was walking next to his sister who was looking quite triumphant. Clair led the way down Robertson Street, where Michael, the town bully, was practicing basketball (he thinks that someday he’ll be asked to play in the NBA; as if). When he saw us walking up the street he stopped shooting and stood in the middle of the side walk so we couldn’t pass. When we were in front of Miss Knoll’s house, Michael’s neighbor, we walked in to the street to avoid Mike. When we were directly across from him, when Michael through his ball at us. It hit Ricky in the arm. We all stopped walking and everyone looked at Ricky. The street was completely silent except for the bouncing of the basketball until it started to roll away. I grabbed Ricky’s arm.
“Just ignore him. All he wants is a fight.” I whispered. Ricky nodded but said nothing. We kept walking. Michael snorted.
“I never knew you let your girlfriend tell you what to do,” He yelled at us. I let go of Ricky’s arm and blushed. We were almost past Michael house when he opened his mouth again. “Oh, guys I forgot to tell you something.” We turned around to see that he had got his ball and was dribbling it back to his house. “My mom wanted me to tell you to tell your mothers that she’s going to be having another tea party,” He paused .Then stared Ricky right in the eye, “Oops, I just remembered that I wasn’t supposed to tell you guys with Ricky because his mom is gone.” I looked at Ricky and knew Mike had gone to too far. I grabbed his arm again, but this time he shook it off.
“While at least my mom died and didn’t just up and leave one day like your butt of a dad,” Ricky yelled at him. Before Ricky had even got to the end of the sentence Michael had threw his ball down and was walking toward us getting ready to fight. Claire saw the fight about to start too.
“I’m going to go get Mr. Woo.” she said before running down the street. I closed my eyes and sighed. Ever since Michael’s dad left to become a big shot in New York City a year and a half ago and Ricky’s mom died of breast cancer two years ago they been fighting almost constantly. Mr. Woo our martial arts/P.E. teacher is the only one that can break their fights up. I opened my eyes and went to sit on the curb with Sofia. Ricky and Michael were already fighting and Zack was standing ready in case Ricky needed back up.
“This is one of the many reasons we need cell phones.” Sofia said sullenly. I nodded but said nothing. As we sat and watched the boys beat each other up I thought about the letter I had gotten this morning and the letter my mom got last week. The letter stating that the law states that the smallest population for town within the United States is 30 and that we were lucky they hadn’t closed us down already. Meaning that if anyone were to move out and nobody else moved in then we all would have to move and if we didn’t move the government would take our houses, forcing us to. Well, I knew that if I went to go live with my parents in Tiggar then everyone would have to leave and I didn’t want to force anyone out of their house. I barely want to leave myself, but a chance to meet my real parents. I don’t think I can just pass it up. I was brought back to the present when Claire suddenly sat down beside me. I looked back at the boys in the street. Michael had a black eye, Ricky had a bloody nose, Zack’s left arm had an ugly bruise on it, and Mr. Woo was yelling at them all.
“You boys know I do not allow fighting outside of practice.” He said staring them all down, “How many times have I told you not to fight? How many times have you promised you wouldn’t fight anymore? And how many times have I had to break up one of your fights because you boys went back on your word?” None of them said anything, “In fact I am so fed up with these things that I don’t think I should let you three compete in the competition this year.”All three boys looked up.
“But Mr. Woo-“began Michael.
But Mr.woo cut him off “I said think Michael. I am going to let your parents decide whether or not you’ll be allowed to be in the competition,” He looked at Claire, Sofia, and me. “We better get you to the library before your mom has a heart attack.” I nodded as I stood up but still didn’t say anything. I knew that the adults were going to ask me if I wanted to go and still wasn’t sure. I didn’t join in on any of the conversation walking back to the library. When we got the end of the block I held back a little so I could concentrate on my thinking. Ricky slowed down too so that he would be walking beside me. Then to my surprise he held me hand. He didn’t say anything he just held my hand. I looked at him but he wasn’t looking back so I went back to thinking.
After a couple of minutes Ricky let go of my hand and I looked up to see that we were at the library. I hesitated in front of the library doors. The city of Wegan is extremely small yet Mrs. Morris the town librarian wanted to have glass doors, so I could see inside the library and into the meeting room where my mom was. I waited while everyone else went inside then I gathered my courage and went in. As soon as I walked into the meeting room everyone stopped talking and all eyes were on me. My mom ran up to me and gave me a hug. She was saying something to me but I really didn’t hear her I was too busy staring at the “crowd” that had assembled in the small library meeting room to hear if I was going to leave or not. By the look of the “crowd” I could tell the whole town was there. Whether to get information for gossip later on or to speak their mind if I choose to leave they were all here it didn’t make me feel better that they here.
Mom finally stopped hugging me and looked at Mr. Gronk, the mayor, who was standing on a small platform. There was a small awkward silence then Mr. Gronk cleared his voice and spoke.
“Well we all know why we are here,” he pulled my letter out of his pocket. “We are here because of this letter. That is addressed to Sara Reed.”
All the eyes that had left my face when the mayor started talking were known back on it. Mr. Gronk looked at me.

“Sara I know this is a big decision but is could you tell us if you want to leave.”
The room was silent again. Even Tommy the youngest resident of Wegan got quiet, because even he knew what my answer would mean. I looked around at the faces in the small library meeting room. I looked at the face of my friends and family. At the faces of people who taught me how to read, fish, ride a bike and how to make homemade chicken noodle soup and knew I couldn’t just desert them but then I thought of the chance of meeting my real parents. As much as I love my mom I’ve always dreamed of meeting my real parents and now that I have that chance I don’t think I could pass it up.

“Could I think about it and tell you tomorrow?” I asked quietly. Mr. Hawk stood up.

“Like heck you can think about it. I’m not living until I get answer.” He said defiantly opened my mouth to say something back but Mr. Gronk beat me to it.

“Mr. Hawk there is no need for that.” He turned to me and said, “I have no problem with waiting until tomorrow –“

“How about we have a town vote,” interrupted Miss Bluchec “to decide whether Sara tells us today or tomorrow?” A lot of people were nodding there head in agreement when Mr. Hawk stood up again.
“We can’t have a town vote because Blake isn’t back from his vacation yet.” Mr. Bradley stood up and hit Mr. Hawk in the head.

“I got back from vacation last week you dip wad.”

“Well how was I supposed to know?” said Mr. Hawk hitting him back. “You leave town every other week and then you’re gone for a month. I’m so sorry that I don’t keep up with your travel schedule.”
Mr. Gronk was saying something to the men but I wasn’t listening. I was thinking about what Mr. Hawk said about Mr. Bradley always going on vacations. It gave me and idea. I spoke slowly, "Mr.Gronk I have an idea.” The whole room went silent.

“Well I was thinking that I could go to Tiggar for a vacation. That way nobody will have to move and I’ll get to see if I like it there and when I get back we can decide what to do next.”

“I like it,” said Mr. Hawk. Mr. Bradley nodded.

“That’s not a bad idea Sara. I mean I go on vacation all the time and the town doesn’t get shut down, I’m sure the government would let you go no problem.”

Miss Bluchec stood up. “But how long would Sara be gone. The government only gives you a month Blake. Surely Sara can’t keep traveling back and forth she is a growing girl she needs a stable living society.” There were a lot of nods from the women in the room. My mom spoke up.

“If the government can give Blake a month than they can give Sara a month and after that month we can talk with the U.S. government and Sara’s parents in Tiggar and work something out depending on what Sara wants,” She looked at me "You alright?” I nodded and it was settled.

Mom and I were the first ones out of the library. We didn’t talk much on the way home and I soon fell asleep. When I woke up I was in my room with the light off. I sat up and I looked at my alarm clock, 8:06 p.m. I lay back down and looked at the pros and cons of getting out of bed. After about five minutes I heard a voice coming from my closet. I rolled over to see a small light poking through my piles of clothes. The light flickered as the voice spoke again. I stared at the light not wanting to get up. When the voice spoke a third time I decided to get up and see what it is. I made half way to my closet before I stubbed my toe on something. “Apparently someone took off my shoes”, I thought. I made it to my closet just as the voice started to talk again but I couldn’t understand what it was saying. I dug through my dirty clothes to find my old walkie-talkie. I picked it up and turned up the volume. I waited for the voice to come back. I didn’t look at the walkie-talkie directly though the light was too bright. Just when I was going to go back to bed Zack’s voice came through the walkie-talkie

“Sara you better pick this walkie-talkie up right now. We have been waiting in the tree house for about ten minutes now and it’s really muggy tonight so if you don’t answer we’re going to go home and we can “talk” in the morning.”
I rubbed my eyes and sighed, I really didn’t want to leave but I knew I would get it the morning if I didn’t go now.
“I’m here Zack; I’ll be over in a minute. OK?”
I waited for his reply and when I didn’t get one I just got and looked for my shoes. It took a good five minutes to find my shoes but it gave me time to wake up and try and figure out what we had assembled at the tree house for. Obviously it would be about Tiggar but what about it. The town already decided that I would leave for a month and then come back. I sighed again. “Oh well” I thought “this better be good.” But I knew it was or else we would wait until tomorrow to talk about it. Once I put my shoes on I opened my window, climbed out, got my bike and headed toward the woods.
It didn’t take long to get to the tree house but when I arrived I was met with a surprise. Instead of the three other bikes I was expecting I was met with seven, which meant that every child in town that was old enough to ride a bike was here and they were all waiting for me. Slowly I got off my bike and walked to the ladder. As I started to climb the door to the tree house opened and I could see Ricky’s face.
“Come on Michael is starting to whine.” He said smiling.
“I am not whining I just think it is retarded that we have to do this now what’s wrong with doing it the morning when I can see where I’m going when I’m riding my bike.”

Zack was answering as I climbed in, “We can’t meet in the morning because then all the little kids will want to come and the adults will want to know what we are all doing. OK, Mike?”

Michael didn’t answer. I took in everyone that was there. Behind me Ricky was closing the door. Sofia was looking up something on her computer with Claire looking over her shoulder. The Juoskie siblings (Drew and Mandy) were fighting over the blue bean bag and Michael was trying to break them apart. Zack was the only one who didn’t seem busy.

“So what’s up?” I asked him.

He sighed and went to retrieve his laptop. I looked at him questioning. Zack never brings his laptop out of his house unless there is something really important. That’s when I knew how serious the meeting was. Zack sighed again and cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention. After everyone settled down he started. “Ok so, Sof and I have called this meeting together because we feel the need to discuss the details of Sara trip before the emotional and somewhat territorial decision of the adults turns this in to some kind of parental custody war. Now I’ve been lo-“

“Okay so not trying to be rude or anything but what you just said has nothing to do with half of us here.” Interrupted Drew from the blue bean bag. Zack rolled his eyes before answering.

“Practically any and everything that happens in this town is everybody’s business whether you like it or not and if the adults decide that Sarah can’t go then the country of Tiggar will probably get angry and go cry to our government. Who after a long legal battle say that Sarah belongs to them and will probably add some crap about how she isn’t even a legal citizen of the U.S. therefore we as the town of Wegan don’t meet the population requirement and we all have to move, all because the adults can’t say good-bye for a month.”

Everyone in the room was looking at Zack in amazement and not just because what he said was true or because he had said like he had been talking in front of large crowds his whole life but mostly because of the fact that he said the whole thing in one breath. Zack looked at us. “Why are you guys looking at me like that?”

“Do you have to breathe or do you just do it to make you look human like the rest of us Mister Alien?” Michael asked looking genuinely curious.

“Well, Mr. Hulk most of the time I just do it to look normal and I trust you know how hard that is you big ugly-“

“Guys!” screamed Sofia at the top of her lungs, “Honestly the three of you need to get it together and I know that will be like I three year project, so could you at least I don’t know pretend to like each other at least for tonight.”Michael and Zack were looking at the floor ashamed, but Ricky was looking at Sara confused.
“Three?” he asked. Sara just shook her head and sat back down. ; While I threw a pillow at Rick’s head. Of course he caught it but it was the action that counts.
“So, what you were saying Zack is that we have to …..What?” asked Mandy trying to bring the meeting back to order? Zack had to regained control of himself before he answered.
“What I’m saying is that we have to make this transition as easy as possible.”
“Yeah okay I get that but how?” This time it was Drew who asked.
While Zack answered that he wasn’t sure and that’s why the meeting had been called I looked at Claire who hadn’t said a thing the whole time. It was obvious she was thinking very seriously about something that Sof had up pulled on the computer because she kept looking over at it every few minutes. So instead of drawing this to the attention of everyone I got up and went to go look at the computer screen. On the screen Sof had pulled up a page on international watch walkie-talkie phone thingies.
“Sof what are those.” It was Claire who answered.
“They’re the newest type of walkie-talkie/cell phone in the entire world. It doubles as a watch, a calendar, and an mp3 player.”
“Wow,” said Ricky from over my shoulder making me jump a little. “That’s pretty snazzy. Too bad it’s so expensive. I mean honestly I wouldn’t even pay 2,500 for rent in an apartment let alone a watch.”
“That sucks because that could be just what we're looking for. If we got one then we could always keep in contact with Sarah no matter where she was,” said Zack coming to get a look. While everyone else got up to check it out and agree I went to go sit on a bean bag.
“So in total we would need at least six; one for each family, right?” I asked without really thinking. Ricky turned around to look at me with a confused look on his face.
“Yeah but that would be $15,000. You don’t have that kind of money.” I looked him straight in the face.
“Yes, I do.” Now everyone had turned to look at me. All of them looking like I was crazy. Maybe I was, but from the look on Sofa’s face I could tell she knew what I was thinking.

“Sarah you just can’t go into a place and demand for anything you want.”
I stood up and nodded. “You’re right. I can’t just go into any place and demand anything I want, but I have been gone for almost fifteen years. Don’t you think that just maybe if you were to miss the first fifteen years of your first and only child’s life you might want to spoil them at least a little.”
It was quiet for a moment then Mike laughed, “You are totally right.” He said in between laughs. I looked around at the rest of the room and both Sofia and Claire looked a little upset. Ricky saw the look too and shook his head.
“You guys got it all wrong. Sarah wasn’t saying that because she wants to take advantage of her …father, but because it’s obvious that if they are going to let Sarah leave then we can’t be the only ones giving something up.” He looked at me for approval. I nodded and gave a thumb up. I looked back at Sof and Claire and looked like they felt better about the plan. Drew cleared his throat.

“So I guess the meetings over then, right?” He looked around with hopeful eyes. Everyone turned their attention to Zack.

“Yeah I guess. The plan is that Sarah will buy us all watches and send to us as soon as possible. You all can go to bed now.”

“Sweet, Come on Mandy we have to get home before mom does a bed check. It’s already ten.”

“Okay,” said Mandy standing up she waved good-bye and started climbing down the ladder. Everyone else slowly left the tree house. I got up and went over to the laptop and went to look up the website Sofia had found on Tiggar earlier.

“Sarah you should probably be going home too,” I turned around and found Ricky half way out the tree house with a small smile on his face.
I smiled back, “I guess I should shouldn’t I.”
“I’ll wait for you at the bottom” Was all he said and then he was gone. I turned around very slowly and let out a long breathe. It always hits me when I least expect it. The thing that is Ricky and I. Sarah says its love. My mom says it’s a crush and everyone else has their own opion on the topic because everyone knows about it but the fact will always remain. The will never know when it started. Everyone thinks it was in fifth grade when Ricky asked me to be his valentine, but in all actuality it started about two years before that.

I had gotten the lead role in our school’s fall play. I had never been on stage before, let alone have the lead role and I was extremely nervous and it wasn’t like it was a huge part or anything. It was just a third grade play; it’s that I had gotten the longest talking part so technically I was the lead. As I was sitting back stage dreading my queue to come on stage Ricky came up to me in his orange leaf costume and whispered four words into my ear then walked on to stage. I will never forget those four words Ricky said that day for as long as I live “I think you’re awesome.” I don’t know but for some reason that just hit me and from that day on we have had this thing.

I’m half way down the ladder now and Ricky is still there waiting. We have been on rides through the forest before, but I have a feeling in my gut that tells me that this will be different, but in a good way…. maybe. I got to the bottom of the ladder and Ricky handed me my bike.

“You want to walk or ride? It doesn’t matter to me my dad caught me sneaking out and said that as long as I was back before tomorrow he wouldn’t kill me.”

“Let’s walk,” I suggested, “my mom doesn’t really know that I’m out but I am probably going to be watched like a hawk this week anyway, so what does it really matter.” He shrugged and we both started to walk without another word. After about two minutes of walking in silence Ricky decided to start a conversation.

“Can you promise me that you will do something while you’re gone?” he asked the question quietly and that’s how I knew it was a really important promise, because for some reason that no one can explain when every Ricky has something really important to say he says it really quiet. As if he’s worried that the wrong people will hear it. I nodded.

“Of course,” I answered not really keeping my voice low. He sighed.

“Okay, this is kind of embarrassing.” I could roughly make out him blushing, so I stopped walking and grabbed his shoulder to stop him. I looked him in the eye and said just as softly,

“You can tell me Ricky. You know I won’t make fun of you.” He smiled.

“Yeah, I know that but I don’t know if…,” Ricky shook his head as if to clear it. I looked at him a little confused. “Ok. So here is the promise. I want you to promise me that you won’t forget me not matter how many princes or dukes or whatever you meet out there.” He had said it so quickly that it took me a minute to process what he was saying; Ricky Tomar loved me or at the very least had a crush on me. I couldn’t breathe for a second and then when I caught my breathe I looked up to see that he was fiddling with his handle bars. With a tentive hand I lifted his face with my finger.

“How could you possibly think that I would forget you?” I asked still quiet. He gave me a small smile and took my hand from where it still was touch his face.

“I could think that you would forget me because I never gave you something to remember me by. But I think I just thought of something.” Very slowly he took his other hand off his bike, letting it fall against the closest tree. But his eyes were trained on mine, he didn’t care. He moved his free hand around my waist and pulled me closer and with his eyes still on mine he slowly but surely lowered his lips to mine. We kissed. I closed my eyes amazed and moved my hands around his neck.

After what seemed an eternity Ricky pulled away, a broad yet nervous smile on his face; and I smiled back. Feeling the happiest I have ever felt in my entire life.

“That was the perfect thing to give me,” I whispered. His only response was pulling me into a Ricky bear hug, which lifted me off the ground and spun me in circle. A giggle bubbled out of me and I knew that I would never forget this moment. He set me down, the smile still on his face.

“I guess I better get you home before your mom finds out you’re out and calls the cops.” All I could do was laugh, mostly because I was so happy and secondly because he was right. We both picked up our bikes (mine fell over when Ricky pulled me in for our kiss) and started to walk toward my house. Only now we were holding hands and peaking glances at each other every now and then. We got to my house and as Ricky my open the garage as quietly as possible, while I was thinking about a question that had been revolving around in my head.
“Should we tell Sam and Zack?” He didn’t even have to think about it.
“Yeah, I mean if we don’t tell them who do we tell our parents? Anyway,” he said as I put my bike it the garage, “they told us when they had their first kiss. It’s only fair.” I smiled and nodded. Ricked closed the garage while I walked over to my window to wait for him. He closed the garage without a sound and came over to my window. We stood quietly for a second; him looking at me, me looking at the grass. Then he lift my head with his hand just like I had in the woods but he moved with more confidence then I had.
I allowed him to move my head up and found him smiling. He kissed me softly on the forehead, whispered good-night, and was gone. I watched him go and sighed then I turned to open my window. As soon as I climbed in and my feet hit my floor my bedroom light turned on.



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