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Julia Falcon is my best friend. We share every little detail of our lives, and at most we agree with each other...which makes it very easy to express our feelings openly, even negative ones. There are a few things I must tell you about her, first of all. She is very clumsy, especially in the mornings when she drops things all over the place. Second of all, her family is very… Let me say well to do. In other words, rich, wealthy, etc.
One evening we were at a sleepover at her grand house, the place of chandeliers with prisms and those dainty little chairs you’re afraid will crumble as soon as you sit on them. Our rooms look very identical, however, although if you look closer, you will see different twists of personality. The walls are both painted with hundreds of little different scenes, added from time to time, making a colorful and happy atmosphere. What were we discussing that evening? Oh, yes, we were discussing our school event, the spring dance.
“So,” I asked, running my finger over a picture of a beautiful elf maiden, “Who are you going with to the spring dance?” Julia laughed, and swung her honey blond hair off her shoulder. “Oh, no, I’m much too shy! And I don’t think I’m good enough for anyone to with, anyway.Who are you going with, though?”
“Don’t talk like that, Julia! Of course you’re good enough! Oh, Pringle?” I asked, holding up the box.
“Elsie, you know that I don’t like Pringles! I like chocolate much better!” she giggled again and popped in a piece. “What is it with you and dark chocolate?” I asked, taking a Pringle.
“I know for one thing that you don’t really like Pringles much,” Julia said, taking another piece.
“You also know I hate dark chocolate, and there’s nothing else to eat, so I’m eating Pringles,” I countered and smiled comically. I threw my pillow at Julia. She laughed and I joined in, and she threw it back, smacking me right in the forehead. Although she IS clumsy, she has a great aim. Finally, we lay back, exhausted, and that’s when Julia showed me the letters.
The first read:
All the wonders of the world cannot compare to you,
All the treasures of the earth are not as precious as you,
All the stars of the heavens do not fill my life with beauty as you do.
Will you go out with me to the spring masquerade dance?
Yours, forever and ever, Charles.
“Don’t you think the second part is rather cheesy?” I asked Julia. And I reminded her of EXACTLY who Charles was. He’s an obnoxious boy in one of Julia’s classes; one who’s had at least a dozen girlfriends, and is cruel and thoughtless by reputation. I closed my eyes, remembering a time when he had nicknamed me ‘the giraffe’. I was only 11 then, but I was already growing to be very tall. I had knocked my head on the small shelf that the smallest member of our class, Bonita, had big trouble reaching. “Well, well, well,” Charles had smiled, mischief gleaming in his two large eyes. “It seems as if the giraffe needs a bigger tree to reach.” The entire class had laughed, and the nickname had stuck. Thank heavens I’m now 15. I continued on and on, reminding Julia of everything else he had ever done. “Oh, Elsie! Surely he’s changed now. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill!”
“I’m concerned for your safety!” I cried out, imitating our 2nd grade teacher, Miss Pettigrew, who always said those lines when she lectured us. We laughed. I love Julia’s laugh. It sounds so light and graceful and makes me feel warm. Charles was forgotten as Julia dropped the next letter, clumsily. I picked it up for her. For all her pretty laughter, she IS very clumsy, as I said before. It read:
In my deepest thoughts
Here I have a secret haven,
Where I am sheltered from all harm
Like a lighthouse, ever watchful
My love has been to you
As deep as the deepest ocean,
Lasting for all Eternity…
The sunrise in the horizon
Warms my heart and cheers my soul
I love you now…and forevermore
At last I’ve been made whole
Signed, Silent Smile
“How very romantic!” I giggled, and poked her and waggled my eyebrows till we were going hysterical with laughter.
That’s when Julia’s father yelled from downstairs. “Go to sleep, Julia and Elsie!”
“All right!” we yelled back. Julia poked me in the ribs and we slipped under the covers. “Good night.” Julia whispered, but I was already half-asleep. I think she said: “How on earth does she do that?” before I drifted off into sleep.
The next day, my family had an urgent call from my grandmother’s friend. Grandmother was very sick, so we drove over the country side to her house and stayed with her for over a month. I liked her house. It was a small cottage with tulips outside and painted white and yellow with a wooden frame.
I was thrilled because I missed out on a lot of schoolwork, but I was also very bored without Julia.
And so, I tried to write to her almost daily, partially because I’m a writer and partially because I was bored, but there wasn’t much to write. Julia, on the other hand, although she liked to write STORIES, she hated writing letters. And there was a lot happening over on her side of the world, as this letter I received almost a month later proved. It read:
I really miss you, especially the way you make me laugh all the time and the way you comment honestly on everything I say or do.
I have a lot of news. I don’t know how to explain everything to you, so I think I will write it like a story, a romantic one. It mainly concerns Charles and Silent smile.
I smiled. Julia did have a knack for writing romance stories, although not letters.
Well, here goes…she wrote and as I read further I found myself intrigued with her story.
At lunch, Prosper, Birk, Michael, Cherie, Anna, some others and I walked towards our usual table. Remember Prosper, the guy who wants to be an actor someday, although he doesn’t like speaking up so much? (Today, his outfit was the mean and tough type, meaning he wore a torn jeans and a ripped, black t- shirt with a skull on it.) And Michael, the football team captain who doesn’t care he’s popular? Remember him? I think he left a while back, so I’m not sure if you remember him. And then there’s Birk too. He’s really talented in science stuff, so we nicknamed him: ‘Nerd’, which he doesn’t mind too much. And Cherie? She’s as silly and care free as usual, wearing things from soft lavender skirts to punk polka-dot elbow-length gloves. (Today she wore a wide skirt and ribbons in her hair and looked like a gypsy.)
We joked around for a while, as usual, until Anna asked the question we were all more or less trying to avoid. “Who are you going to the dance with?” she picked on Prosper. “Absolutely no idea, yet.”
“Does anyone else know? What about you, Julia?”
“Oh, I don’t know… nobody I guess.” I replied. The bell rang and we rushed towards our different classes. The nerd winked at me. “Well, see you in English.”
“Yeah, see you.”
2 hours later I was passing through the hallway for her Art class when I bumped into Charles. “Sorry,” I muttered and tried to keep on going, but he didn’t seem disturbed by it. Instead, he stopped me and whispered in my ear: “Are you going with me?” I pulled back and hissed: “What do you mean, go with you?”
“You know the spring dance. Are you going with me?”
I tried to push past him, but he jumped in front of me. I crossed my arms and stared defiantly. “No.” I saw a look of deep disappointment pass over his face, before I ran for dear life. And so,
Charles asked me out to the spring dance, but I refused. Later, he happened on me in the library, and confessed his true feelings for me. “I love you,” he said. “I love you now and I’ll love you forever.”
“Humbug, Charlie! You are too young to know the true meaning of those words.”
“Yes I do.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Yes I do!”
“Oh, really? I don’t think so.”
“You still enjoy arguing, don’t you?” he said, crossing his arms. “Oh, by the way, this is for you.”
He presented a bouquet of wild flowers, which he picked up from the shelf. “Please, Julia. This is the last time I’m asking you if you say no.” He fell to his knees, and I backed off, VERY embarrased. “I really do like you,” he confessed “and I would never do anything to hurt you. Just give me a chance.” He grasped my hand, and I laughed nervously. “We are too young for this!” I exclaimed, again.
“Not in our hearts. I really do care. If you want to think about it, do that.” As he said those words, Prosper, the Nerd and Michael walked around the corner, and saw Charles, practically begging on his knees. I have never seen them look so shocked. Their faces turned white, then green, then a deep red.
“Um...We’re not interrupting anything, are we?” the Nerd said, backing up a few steps.
“No…It’s all right.” I answered lamely, pulling my hand away from Charles’s.
“You’re sure?” Michael said, looking a little concerned.
“Positive.” I looked slowly at my old childhood friends, one by one, then turned and ran.
Later, I received another 2 notes on my desk:
The first was: Meet me at the middle of the dance floor, if you’ll have me, that is. I will be dressed up as Prince Charming, I think. Signed, Charles
The next one was: I saw what happened today, but I still ask you. Please meet me on the dance floor, preferably in the middle. Then you can decide whether you will have me or not. Signed, Silent Smile
I leaned forward on my seat and crouched over the desk. I now knew that Silent Smile was probably Prosper, Michael or the Nerd. But should I go with Charles? Or Silent Smile, whoever he was?
Signed, Julia Falcon
P.S. I’ll write more in my next letter, but I really have to go shopping for a dress now(the spring dance is 4 days away!), so I’ll see you later.