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What if We Skip Stones? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I sit on the bridge, my legsdangling, one hand under my chin. My best friend, Aleta, is beside me, bare feetin the water. We sit in contemplative silence, enjoying each other's company. Thesun will set soon, and we are both beginning to swat at mosquitoes.

"What're you thinking?" she finally asks.

"Nothing,and everything," I answer.

She sighs and begins to skipstones.

"What're you thinking?"

"I wish I could makethis stone skip more than five times," she sighs again. I crack asmile.

"Want to do something?" I ask.

She nods, andthrows another stone. It skips five times.

"Let's play 'Whatif.'"

She looks at me and smirks. It's as if she's going to challengeme.

"I'm game. You ask first." She picks up anotherstone.

"What if we never met?" I ask, as I throw a stone. Itsinks into the water with a plop. I couldn't even skip itonce.

"Well, we wouldn't be friends. I wouldn't have gotten to know awonderful person. We wouldn't have painted your room together; we wouldn't havegotten in trouble for it, either. The Red Sox wouldn't mean so much to me. Iwouldn't have a friend I consider a sister. And I wouldn't be so upset that I'mlosing a large part of my life when you leave for college next year. But, most ofall, we wouldn't have the memories." She becomes quiet, and throws anotherstone. It skips five times. I feel my heart break a little at the prospect ofleaving her.

She turns back to me. "My turn," she grins evilly."What if we went to the same college?"

"We'd probably beexpelled," I laugh, and she nods in agreement. "We'd probably beroommates. I think we'd get in a lot of fights but always make up. As long as wedidn't take any classes together, I don't think we'd be jealous of each other.We'd definitely have some good times." I hand her a smoothstone.

"Your turn," she says as she takes the stone from my handand wipes some dirt off.

"What if I died?"

"Oh, that's totally unfair! Other than saying I'd be completelyinconsolable, I simply refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it ismorbid." She throws the stone, and it skips five times. We sit insilence.

"You do know that it is your turn," I remindher.

"I know. I'm thinking," she furrows herbrow.

"Wow, thought process! It looks like it hurts." She makesa move as if to throw a rock at me. I duck.

"What if I died?"she finally asks.

"Hey, that's no fair. You didn't really answermine, and you can't repeat a question. No comment." She looks disappointed."Okay, I'd be inconsolable too."

"We are being silly."She picks up another stone.

"What if I told you how I feel aboutyou?" I ask.

"I would believe all of it, and I'd take it toheart ..."

"Here's the deal. I would like you to know a fewthings. I consider you a friend completely separate from my other friends. Youare like a sister. I can tell you practically everything; in fact, you alreadyknow almost everything. Yet I don't think I've ever taken the time to tell youhow much I truly appreciate and love you for who you are. You're someone who hasmade me who I am. Thank you so much."

She smiles slightly."Thank you. Are you done?"

"Yes, I just thought you shouldknow."

"Well then, what if I skip this stone sixtimes?"

"Then we'd go home and have dinner."

Shebrushes the dirt off, and blows on it for good luck. For a moment she looks atthe water. She squints her eyes, aims the stone, and throws it. We both watch itskim the water: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. She turns to me, oneeyebrow arched. "I wasn't expecting that!"

"Me neither.Everything happens for a reason."

"What does that mean?"she asks.

"It means that I have to make you dinner," I say as Ibegin to stand up.

"Sounds good to me." She wipes her hands onthe front of her jeans. We turn around and walk together toward my house."You know," she interrupts, opening the screen door, "I appreciateyou for who you are, and I consider you just like my sister."

"Iknow,"

I say. I link arms with her. "What if wenever had this moment?"

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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