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Layla

By , mattawan, MI
Layla


Layla wasn't your typical elf. She looked different from all the others at her school. Her golden sun-streaked hair toppled over her face in heaps. Freckles spotted her cheeks and all down her nose. Her lips were cherry red. The tips of her ears had a point to them, but they were slightly slanted, which was different than the other elves, because theirs were straight with a point. Her clothes were the most different of all. Layla's sky blue jeans were decorated with stars of every color of the rainbow. She also wore a spring-green t-shirt with roses as red as an apple in the apple tree that loomed above her. (Figurative language) No elf, girl or boy, wore that. All the other elves wore navy blue shirts/pants and socks with no decoration at all. It wasn't a uniform, that was just how they dressed. And that was why Layla was different. (Snapshot lead)
This also explains why she didn't have any friends. She also wore a spring-green t-shirt with roses as red as an apple in the apple tree that loomed above her. (Figurative language) Layla sat on a rock, watching the river trickle by. She listened to the sweet sounds of the birds chirping. Layla had just come home from school. She didn't like school at all because all the elves made fun of her – what she wore and what she looked like. Just thinking about it made her sad. She was sad that no one liked her, sad that everyone ignored her because she was different, sad that all of them made fun of her no matter what she did. (repetition for effect) Big fat tears streamed down her face and fell into her lap, and shimmered like aqua-colored raindrops, glistening in the sun. (Figurative language) Holding her knees tightly she rocked back and forth, letting the tears spill out as she sobbed harder now than before. Then, slowly, she stood up and walked to her house, opening the door. Layla's house was small, but she didn't mind, there was enough room for her and she liked it. She now sprinted to her room with inhuman speed – that was one gift that the elves had – they could run faster than any human being alive. Layla's school bag was already in her room, lying on the floor. Her room was painted a spring-green color because that was her favorite color. Posters were posted all along her room, pictures of the great elf heroes. Layla took out her big book of spells from her bag, sliding it across her lap.

Now, what page was I supposed to read? she wondered, flipping through her enormous book.

Ah, here it is! Page 62! she thought, turning to the page.
Layla began to practice the spells, memorizing them, chanting them, and testing them out. It took her a long time to do this, but she was smart and she was soon finished. Then it was soon time for bed and she changed her clothes and hopped into bed, saying good night to her mother. Before she knew it, he mother was shaking her awake.

“Layla! Get up, it's time for school!” trilled her mother.

“I'm getting up...I'm getting up!” groaned Layla, slipping out of her covers.

She savored the warm cocoon that was her bed. She sprinted into the kitchen, now fully awake, for it didn't take long for elves to be fully active. Layla reached into the cupboard, and grabbed a box of cereal. It was her favorite kind of cereal-- a type of cereal called Elf Flakes. Layla fetched a bowl, spoon, and the milk. She poured milk on the cereal that she poured into the bowl. Still sprinting, she juggled the bowl and took an apple out of the fruit basket. She slid into the tall chair at the dining room table, setting down her bowl and her apple. Realizing that she forgot her beverage, she slid out again and poured herself a glass of apple juice. She gobbled down her breakfast and grabbed her school bag. Layla always sprinted to school because it wasn't very far and elves were great at running. They didn't tire very easily. In two minutes exactly, Layla was at school.

“Hey, look! It's that weird elf-girl, Layla!” exclaimed one of the girl elves.

Layla tried to ignore her but it was hard.

“What's up with her clothes? They're so...ugly! No one wears that color!” accused another.

Hurrying away, Layla rushed to her class, hearing mean laughter as she ran. Trying to hold back her tears, she went to her first class, and worked on her assignments. After a while it was noon and it was time for lunch. She walked slowly to the cafeteria. All around her she heard screaming from all the other elves, shoving and pushing to get in line for the hot, fresh, food first. Layla didn't care because she had cold lunch that she brought from home.

At least now everyone is rushing to lunch, so they don't have time to waste picking on me, she thought to herself.
When she reached the cafeteria, her mouth watered. She could smell the pleasant aromas of the steaming hot food. She smelled the freshly made tacos and cheeseburgers. Layla could see the cheese melting down the sides and the ketchup and mustard dripping out. She heard the rowdy elves shouting at each other as they tried to get in line. They were pushing and shoving, pushing and shoving. Layla sat down at a table and began to eat her lunch, she ran her fingers across the smooth tabletop. She bit into her peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the grape jelly gushing out in big glops. (specific details for effect) An elf passed by her table and gave her a I-think-you-are-so-stupid-and-your-clothes-look-so-ugly look. (hyphenated modifier) Layla couldn't help it. She started wishing that she was invisible, hoping that this was not how her life would be forever, and she started giving the elf a dirty glare because she was so mad and upset. (magic three)
Layla sighed. Why did she have to go to school? It was pure torture! She stared at the clock, willing it to go faster so that she could go home, where no one would tease her. After many other classes slowly passed by, she finally sprinted home, faster than she ever had before. When she got home, she sprinted in with lightning-bolt speed.
“Hi honey! How was your--” began her mother.

But Layla had already slammed the door to her room. Her mother knew that something must be wrong. So she knocked on the door.
“Layla?” asked her mother gently.

No answer.
“Layla, sweetie, what's wrong? Why won't you answer me? Please open the door.”

Stomping to the door, Layla thrust it open. Her face was tear stained and her eyes were blood-shot from crying. She wore a fierce scowl on her face. Her mother had never seen her so angry and sad.
Her mother stepped in.
“What's wrong?” she repeated
“What's wrong? School. School is wrong. No one, NO ONE likes me,” Layla replied, emphasizing her words. “They always tease me because of my looks and what I wear. I hate school. I HATE IT!”
“Well, maybe I can help! Why don't you try ignoring them? They will soon find no more fun in their little 'game' and they will stop teasing you. In the mean time, try to make new friends. See what interests them. It will take time, but I know you can do it Layla,” advised her mother.

“All right, I'll try,” responded Layla rather grudgingly.

“Good! Well, I'll let you get back to work and do what you need to do,” replied her mother, smiling.
And with that she left. Layla used the rest of her time working on homework. Before she knew it, it was time for bed. She hopped into bed and got to sleep quickly. The next day she woke up and got ready. She was soon sprinting off to school, rather reluctantly as she did so.
“Hey, it's that weirdo, Layla! Isn't she just ugly?!? Look at her hair!” cried an elf.

Layla winced at the nasty comment but she remembered what her mother had said. So she decided to ignore the elf. No, wait! She had a better idea.
“Why thank you, my hair is pretty ugly!” she responded cheerfully.

All of the sudden, the elf got the message.
“I’m sorry,” confessed the elf. “I was doing it because my friend told me I should. I really don’t think that about you. We were just jealous about how beautiful you look. It was wrong. I know you need some friends. Are you willing to be my friend and do you forgive me?”

“Yes, I forgive you. I would love to be your friend! But first, let’s learn more about each other, okay?” replied Layla.

“Sure! See you!”

“Yeah, see you!” Layla cried happily.
She grinned. Maybe she would like school after all…maybe! She now rushed off to class. Now she couldn’t wait for lunch. The clock ticked off every second very, very, slowly. Finally, it was lunchtime. She had cold lunch again but she rushed off with the others because she was so excited. Her new friend was already there. She hurriedly sat down.

“Hi!”

“Oh, hi Layla! How are you?”

“Good. I forgot to ask you what your name is.”


“My name is Tina.” Tina replied.

“That’s a nice name.”

“Thanks! I like your name too!” answered Tina.

So they talked all through lunch, learning more about each other.

“Well, sorry, I have to go,” Tina apologized.

“Oh, that’s okay. See you tomorrow then?”

“Yeah, bye!”

Tina departed, leaving Layla with an odd feeling because she had never had a friend but now she was so used to it, it was weird for Tina to be gone. When school was done, Layla sprinted home as fast as she could.

“Mom, Mom!”

“Yes, Layla?”

“I-had-the-best-day-today!” exclaimed Layla, out of breath. “I made a new friend! She was picking on me and I gave her a reaction that she didn't expect. The she apologized and she was sorry and she wanted to be my friend!”

“That's great honey! No more teasing?”

“Nope!” Layla answered happily.
Layla raced to her room. She was so excited. Hopping in to bed, she tried to get some sleep. Unable to, she lay in bed awake until it was time to go to school. Slowly, she got out of bed. When she was at school, she watched the clock. Now it was almost time for school to end. Seconds left on the clock. Layla was restless. All she wanted to do was get home and get to sleep. The clock moved slower and slower. It was so slow that it seemed to have stopped. Tick...tick...tick... went the clock. (expanded moment) Finally, it was time to go. It had been another great day at school and now she had a big circle of friends.

Layla was different from all the other elves. But now they all respected her. She finally truly enjoyed school. This was the best that she had ever felt. She was happy. Very happy. (full circle ending)





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