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A Thousand Roses

It was Thursday, and the day before Valentines day. It was raining. It was what I had come to expect: ever since we had moved to Florida, even though it was supposed to be lovely, clement weather, it still generally rained. It was a dreary day at school. Cheerful hand-drawn signs, however, reminding us of the student council’s rose sale. Tomorrow, sweethearts everywhere would be giving each other roses. Miss Murgatroyd, the study hall teacher, was happily tittering away to another teacher about her upcoming wedding. Lucky her. The clock ticked out every doleful second, tick, tick, tick. I put my head on my desk and sighed. It was study hall, the last hour of the day. I had a devastating headache. And time seemed to have frozen.


Then he sat next to me. He was Jim Oldroyd, a cute kid who I had been noticing more and more ever since the beginning of the year, when I was ‘the new kid’. “Hey, Kendra,” he said tentatively, “how are you doing on advanced biology?” I had to stop for a second, to think. He, Jim, had FINALLY spoken to me! I straightened up immediately and flipped my hair out of my face.
“I’m finished,” I said, pulling out my algebra homework, “You?”
“Uhhhh, I’ve forgotten what a phenotype is... can you help me?” I got up quickly and pulled my chair up to his desk.
“A phenotype is an organism’s appearance...” I began. He seemed to need help with almost every question in the 8th grade textbook. We talked as we worked, and I almost forgot my headache, and the sore throat I seemed to be getting, as that last hour raced by. “So, are you excited for tomorrow?” he asked, out of the blue. Tomorrow, I thought. Oh yeah, Valentines day.
“I don’t know,” I said. “At my old school, I was always one of those kids who never got any roses.” Suddenly, I realized how pathetic that sounded. I gave a fake little laugh and tried to make light of it. Sort of sad, really.

All too soon, it was time to go home. I noticed during dinner that my sore throat had gotten worse. Mommy gave me chicken soup, and I crawled off to bed. I woke up the next day at 11:30 a.m.. I had missed Valentine’s day! I still felt terrible, and I felt cheated, even though I knew I wasn’t going to get a rose anyway. I heaved myself out of bed, and went to take a shower. After that I felt much better. I managed to get some food, organize my disheveled hair, and sat up in bed with my algebra. After that, I dozed until dinner. I still felt awful. I hadn’t gotten a rose. Mommy came home from work. We watched The Sound Of Music, my favorite movie, but that didn’t cheer me up at all. I slouched off to bed, and I pulled the covers up around my ears. I had another bowl of soup, and I started to think rationally. “I didn’t get a rose. So what? I knew I wasn’t going to get one, and I wasn’t publicly embarrassed. At least I finished my algebra, watched my favorite movie, and had a day to rest.” I said. Then I fell asleep.

The next day, I felt fine. I got up, pulled on my favorite clothes, ate some waffles, the usual stuff I did every day. The sun was shining merrily, for a change. I got on the bus, and there was Jim! “Oh, my gosh!” I thought, “There’s a space next to him!” He waved to me and I slid in next to him. “Hi!” I said, “did you have fun yesterday?” He looked down at his shoes.
“No...” he said slowly. “Not really.” He paused for a moment, and went on. “I was going to get you a rose. But I couldn’t- you weren’t there- so I gave your rose to Miss Murgatroyd, you know, how she’s getting married and all...” he said in a helpless sort of way.
“Actually... that’s great!” I said impulsively, “I bet she was THRILLED. It’s the thought that counts for me.” Moving closer to him to whisper in his ear, I added, “It’s worth a thousand roses.”



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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm:
really great work keep writing   could you please check out and comment on my story Numb.  i would really apprciate the feedback
 
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