Alexis, Up Then Down

November 30, 2008
By
Alexis Faith; a little girl living in a light blue house on the water of Second Beach in Newport, RI. Sitting up in her new iron bed bought from PB Kids, she stared at the waves crashing down on each other from her window. The sun was just rising above the lighthouse and seagulls soared through the open sky. Yawning, she forced herself out of bed and stepped cautiously down the hallway toward the bathroom.

Alexis found her brother, Connor, standing up on a stool trying to brush his baby teeth without getting tooth paste anywhere but the sink.

“Good morning, Connor!” Alexis smiled and kissed his cheek. Connor spat into the sink, gargled water in his mouth, spat again and got down from the stool.

“Look!” Connor smiled; making sure Alexis could envy his missing two front teeth. He was finally getting his big-boy teeth! Connor gave her one of his famous bear hugs and galloped to the kitchen. Alexis replaced Connor on the stool and grabbed her Cinderella tooth brush and her tooth paste with Sleeping Beauty’s face on it. As Alexis brushed her teeth, she twirled on the stool, pretending to be a princess.

Alexis gazed into the mirror, splashed water onto her face and grinned when she finally realized her hair look like a “rat’s nest”, as her big sister, Emily, called it. She hopped off the stool and skipped to the kitchen with her sparkly purple hairbrush. Every morning she had her mom do her hair. As always, her mom gave her braids and as always, she plopped down in a stool next to Connor and gobbled down Cocoa Puffs at the counter while watching “Jon and Kate Plus 8.”

Somehow, after taking forever to finish breakfast and to get dressed for school, Alexis made it to her first grade class.

“Good morning children! Please sit at your seats now.” Ms. Keegan said kindly. Alexis scurried over to where her desk was, right beside Lauren and Heather. They were Alexis’s best friends and did everything together. They sat next to each other on the bus, played tag together at recess, ate hotdogs outside on Lauren’s porch every Friday and went to Jake’s birthday party every year and jumped on his trampoline together. Even though they get in trouble a lot for giggling during class, the teacher can’t help but smile at the three of them. They are like Phineus, Ferb and Perry, Sponge Bob, Sandy and Patrick, Miley, Lily and Oliver! All the parents think the three are just adorable with their hair messy and tights that look like “elephant legs” says Alexis’s mom.

“Once again, good morning everyone! Today we have a whole mess of things going on,” Ms. Keegan repeated. “I’m sure all of you know that Halloween is just around the corner so we will be making this classroom spooky with the decorations we make!”

That day was filled with arts-and-crafts. Alexis made two ghosts made out of tissue, one witch with a bunch of the brown tubes you uncover when the toilet paper is gone, pipe cleaners, ribbon, colored paper and a lot of glue, and she made a ton of little pumpkins using the oranges her class took from the cafeteria and drew faces on them.

Apparently she wasn’t completely done with all of the Halloween goodies. For homework Alexis was suppose to paint a picture of a skeleton.

Lauren, Heather and Alexis trotted outside toward the buses with their Camp Rock backpacks, humming “Best of Both Worlds” and eager to get home. Cold air froze their faces and the wind blew Alexis’s hair into her eyes. Squinting, she zippered up her fuzzy, blue North Face and skipped onto the bus with Heather and Lauren trailing behind her.

For the painting project, Lauren and Alexis decided to do it at Alexis’s house but Heather couldn’t because she had a horse back riding lesson at 3:30.

With their humongous smocks on and hair tied back into pig-tails, they stuck their paint brushes into the first color they saw. After a couple of minutes of laughing and painting diligently for 6 year olds, Alexis had accidentally splattered the red paint too hard onto her paper and got it all over Lauren. She sat up in her chair and glared at Alexis. Alexis giggled, “It looks like you have the chicken pox! Ahhhhhhh!!!” She jumped out of her seat, hands covered in paint, and hustled away, pretending to be scared.

“I’m going to get you!” Lauren jumped from her chair and tripped, accidentally making green and blue hand prints on the floor. Not caring, she got up and headed for Alexis. Now these girls were pretty clumsy with socks on, slipping every which way, and needed to keep their balance by brushing their hands against the walls of the hallway which was only big enough to fit three small people side by side. All through the house there were handprints on the walls. When Alexis’s mom came out of her room, eyes half closed and hair frizzy on one side, that’s when the fun ended. Alexis’s mom looked as if they just robbed the Bank of America and expected her to hide them. Leah and Alexis were forced to stop painting their masterpieces and ended up going to school with skeletons that have the chicken pox.

When third grade came, Alexis couldn’t wait for art class every Tuesday and Thursday. She loved making paper machete lady bugs and coasters she’ll never use made of yarn, even though Lauren wasn’t in her and Heather’s class that year to help paint because they knew so well what a team they were! Since Christmas was in two weeks, it was time to get into “The Christmas Mode”, another one of Emily’s sayings.

Heather had on a red dress with brown tights that bounced when she skipped into the art room. At one of the round tables in Ms. Mady’s art class, Alexis, Heather and a very obnoxious boy named Adam were attempting to make paper snowflakes. Adam reached for Alexis’s short brown hair and was about to cut it when Alexis yelled at him.
“What are you doing?”
“These scissors won’t cut hair!”
“You’re nuts!”
“I promise.” Adam said, secretly crossing his fingers. Alexis, being the gullible girl she is, decided to test if what the know-it-all Adam Jonathan was for real. So she turned to Heather, who was listening to everything Adam had said, and grabbed some of her long and beautiful blond hair. Before they knew it, a handful of hair lay in Alexis’s motionless hand, not attached to what it should have been on, Heather’s head.
“Adam, you said it wouldn’t cut off hair!” Heather screamed. She’d been growing her hair long since first grade and now part of her hair was shoulder length when the other parts were farther down her back. Adam just smirked and walked over to another table.

That’s the whole story of how Heather got short hair. From some little, irritating kid who gets a kick out of everything that is annoying to everyone else. Though, ever since that day, she has loved her hair style and wouldn’t ever change it.

In fifth grade, everything was going smoothly, as Alexis had hoped. She had two best friends that were like sisters since kindergarten, received all A’s on her report card, played on a travel soccer team and was very popular. Probably one of the most popular girls in the whole school! She also has a million memories from over the years that she laughs about at the most random times. Alexis can’t help but crack up with Lauren when they bring up their little paint catastrophe. There are still tints of blue on the walls because it was so hard for Alexis’s mom to scrub off.

“Have a great weekend!” called the bus driver. Alexis waved to Heather and Lauren as she strutted down her driveway, excited to tell her parents and Connor about her sixth grade orientation that day. All of a sudden she felt a rain drop crash onto her head. Clouds were flying fast and thunder yelling at her from miles away. Trees danced in the wind. Alexis sprinted as fast as she could to her house, using her new, grey North Face she got for her birthday in February, as a shield from the rain.

Entering the living room she saw her dad with his head in his hands. Connor was squished up against Emily who’s eyes where red.

Her mom looked at her blankly, “Honey, we’re moving.”


“You can’t go! No! No, no, no, no, no! Tell your parents you’ll live with me! I’m sure one more person in my house won’t make a difference!” cried Heather. (There were five kids in her house already and Alexis knew her parents wouldn’t let her stay there without them.) She wrapped her arms around Alexis and squeezed her until Alexis’s arms turned blue.

“I agree with Heather! I’m not letting you go!” Lauren exclaimed. Alexis’s dad had just gotten a new job all the way in Toronto after losing his first one in the stock market. It was three days before fifth grade ended and five days until Alexis moved from Newport, Rhode Island all the way up to Toronto, Ontario. She was going to miss Hannah and Leah. After all, they’ve been best friends since they were four.

That afternoon, the Three Musketeers were taking their last walk around Leah’s neighborhood. Trees were giving off little shade and the sun was giving off scorching rays, making heat rise from the pavement. All they could do was talk about their many adventures together, knowing this would probably be one of their last. From paint warriors to hair stylists to the most popular people in school, this was it. Alexis, she thought to herself, life won’t ever be the same. It’s all downhill from here!





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