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Even Through the Rain

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Auden Smartt is ten. Auden saw his future.

I took my place at the kitchen table across from Colie and next to mom. Nicole-Collie is thirteen, which makes her better than me; at least that’s what she tells me“I have been in this world 5 more years than you have, I have experience Auden.” My mom chuckled behind her coffee mug. I took a spoonful of wheaties and crunched down. I started eating wheaties a month ago, when my basketball coach, after a good practice said, “you must have had your wheaties today.” I nodded, even though I wasn’t quite sure what wheaties were. I felt bad for saying I did something when I really hadn’t, to make up for it I have eaten wheaties everyday. Basketball isn’t something I’m terribly good at. I’m not very tall, or quick, and my aim could be better too. The team decided that Auden was too difficult to yell out during a game, they call me grey. My eyes are very large and as grey as our Seattle storms. I only play basketball because my dad; he left a year ago. “Auden, I’m not going to tell you that you are too young to understand because we both know you understand a lot more than you should. Your mother and I can’t be together any longer.” He left, put his blue suitcase in his blue car and drove away. He was so happy when I started basketball in second grade, so I kept playing basketball and I kept hoping I would be good enough.
When I got to school I found emmy putting her tie dye back pack on her hook. “Auden! Look at what my sister packed me today. We can share.” Emmy showed me a Little Debby cake, emmy’s sister always packed her really healthy lunches. Emmy lit up when ever she got the treat of eating sugar, I said “thanks Em.” Even though I knew I wouldn’t eat any of it. Emmy puts her arm through mine, like she always does. We were eachothers only friend. I used to have a few friends, but they don’t like playing with girls. Emmy had longest hair in the fifth grade, it falls down her back in blonde zig zags. She always dressed in long skirts and tie dye shirts and the shoes that Native Americans used to wear. Emmy told me that she feels closer to her mom when she lives a similar life style. Emmy’s mom is a modern day gypsy; I’m not sure what that is, I just know that she travels a lot and has a strict no meat diet. “Do you want to go swimming this weekend?” Emmy asked. Before I answered Pete and the other 5th grade boys blocked our way . “Hi girls.” Pete said in a powerful way. I felt angry, a thick kind of anger that I had never felt before. At any moment my skin would turn green and my shirt would split over my muscles. What was strange though, is that I wasn’t mad at Pete or even his pack of followers. I hated Emmy for being the reason that everyone made fun of me. “I am not a girl!” I shouted. Emmy took a step toward me and I moved away from her. “prove it” Pete challenged. All of the years of being called a girl, and not being good enough for my dad flooded over me. I balled my fist, and punched Emmy hard in the arm. Her blue eyes clouded over as rain drops poured from them. I turned from the girl that stood by me through it all, and walked away from our six years.

“Auden honey, I’m sorry but I can’t pick you up today, are you okay to walk?” My mom called the school, and I was paged to the office to talk to her. “sure, mom” I said and hung up. I was fine about walking; Pete would probably offer to walk with me now that I was “in.” I left before he could find me. I live only six blocks away from school, it was blue skies all day until I had to walk home of course. I was walking for over a block before I noticed a woman following me. I picked up my pace, and she did as well. “Please slow down, I won’t hurt you Auden Smartt.” Her voice was airy and clear, even through the rain. I didn’t know what to do; I slowed a little but didn’t stop. Suddenly she was in stride with me, out of the corner of my eye I saw blonde zig zags flowing from a floppy hat. She was wearing a long patterned dress, and the shoes that Emmy wore, but in a bigger size. I stopped, “Em-“ she stopped me. “Of course I’m not Emmy but she is my purpose.” I was after all only ten years old, and some how I thought that Emmy could grow 20 years older in a day. Before I had time to ask what she meant, the shiny, pale skinned woman placed her hand on my arm. I felt like I was spinning and then the world was still, and I was standing in the hallway of a school. The wall near us said “blue lake middle school” we were standing in the middle school I would be attending next year. A bell rang and the hallways were ambushed, the woman said “there you are” and I followed her finger to an older looking me. I was walking in the middle a group of tall boys. All of my followers were completely focused on me, but I looked unhappy and angry. I watched myself shove a smaller boy into a nearby locker, while my pack laughed. I didn’t laugh, I just looked angrier. My portal started walking and gestured for me to follow. We were now looking at Emmy, she was wearing bell bottoms and a shirt with beads hanging from it. She was beautiful; I felt strange thinking this about her. She had a boy on one side of her and small girl with glasses on the other. She was laughing, all three of them were. Everyone she walked by waved or smiled, until I crossed her path. I saw myself glare at her, and hiss something at the boy next to her. “your in 8th grade.” My portal said. “The middle school bully, your feared by everyone.” I don’t know why she was telling me, I could see for myself. She placed her hand on mine again. This time we were at my house, “you’re a senior in high school now.” The portal said. I walked to the kitchen; Collie and my mom were sitting at the table talking. “He is just so angry, I thought he would be okay. In elementary school he was so strong, when your father left. Emmy helped him through it I know, and his sensitivity vanished when she did. But I thought that he could pull through.” My mom’s hair was graying and her eyes were watery. I didn’t like this site, not at all. Collie would be 22, my sister scooted her chair closer to my mom. “Mom, Aud will be okay. He is such a smart kid and we know that he has compassion, he just needs to find himself.” As I watched my future, I couldn’t understand. This just shouldn’t be me, the only mean thing I have ever done was just today. The portal put her hand on mine “one more stop” she whispered. We were at a wedding at the guests were all standing as the bride glided down the aisle. A white gauzy dress flowed over her pale skin, and a long veil guarded her blonde hair. the groom that she said I do to, looked bored. This puzzled me, a girl- I mean woman like that should be boring someone. “ look to your right” My portal said. There I was in the back, the girl sitting next to me was holding my hand. I pulled away from her, It didn’t make sense that a girl would even want to be a near a bitter guy like me. I hated my self. “ why did she even invite me?” I asked. My portal turned to me “you were her first friend.” I watched my future self wipe away a tear. I still had compassion, but my reason for it would be fading soon, she would leave. “I want to go home.” I said. My portal nodded and placed her hand on mine.
“Hi girls.” Pete said in a powerful way. “I am not a girl!” I shouted. Emmy took a step toward me and I let her slip her arm through mine. “Prove it” Pete challenged. I laughed the kind of laughter that gives you a stomach ache. I balled my fist and thrusted it toward him, then I stopped. I didn’t want to prove anything to Pete or his pack, because in 20 years I would get the girl. “You’re not worth it.” I turned and walked away with the last 6 years.





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