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Red Popsicle Summers

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Charlie Brown

“Stop it!” I exclaimed, as my body rolled off the couch. The cause: a fit of uncontrollable giggles. The result: Me, facedown on the carpeted floor. Max, still on the couch, had just playfully pushed me for making fun of his plain vanilla, my word for mediocre, drawing of Wonder Woman.
“Wow Max,” I had said, “your Wonder Woman looks like a fat pumpkin ready for carving!”
“That’s because it’s supposed to be you, Hannah.” He replied, a boyish smirk widening across his
The story switches point of view between Hannah and Max.
“Oh no you didn’t!”
“Oh yes I did!”
“Come on, you want to go?” I asked, raising my fists playfully.
This was when Max pushed me. Normally a playful push like so would not have affected me. However at the moment, I was unstable because of my uncontrollable laughter, the new epidemic.
“Can you two please stop and get back to the game?” An annoyed Eric called over to us from the other side of the board.
I got up and put myself back into game mode. Fun and games was over, it was time to get serious. I became super competitive when it came to board games. I guess you could say that I got it from my mother, or Max’s insane competitiveness could have just rubbed off on me. The world will never know.
The board game of the moment was Pictionary. I was on a team with my best friend, Katie, the opponents, Max and Eric. The stage was set up in the basement of Max’s house. Sadly, it was the last Friday night of summer before school started. I couldn’t believe it, it seemed unreal that it was so close. We would all be starting ninth grade at Westview High School.
Summer felt like wind passing by a car, feels good for a second but then suddenly it’s gone. It seems like it had just started, but really it has been two and a half months filled with never ending fun. I went on a trip to Hawaii with my mom and then to Wisconsin to visit relatives; but the rest of the time was spent with the people surrounding me now, my best friends.
“Okay Hannah, it’s your turn.” Katie said as she passed the die. I took it from her slightly sweaty palms, this game was heating up and shook it between my hands. When I felt satisfied with my roll I let the die go slowly. We all watched, transfixed as it landed on the number three.
The transfixion stayed as I moved our pawn forward three spaces. The space had a red letter P on it. I picked up a P card and read it silently; a trendsetter. Great, I thought miserably, how was I supposed to draw that?
I sat, staring at the card, longer than I was supposed to; just trying to come up with an idea. But I couldn’t think of anything.
“Hello? Hannah?” Max said, waving his hand in front of my face.
“What?” I asked.
“You know you’re supposed to draw it, not stare at it.”
Eric laughed and I smirked.
“Yeah I know that. Hand me the pad of paper.”
He slapped it into my palm and I grabbed one of the many pencils scattered around us. I still had no idea how to draw a trendsetter. But then I came up with an idea and I knew Katie would surely get it.
“Start the timer,” I ordered. "I'm ready now." Max quickly turned it over and I went to work.
I started with a simple model in the middle of the paper.
“Fashion designer!” Katie shouted.
I silently shook my head and started drawing a runway under my model.
“Model?” Eric suggested.
I shook my head again and kept going.
“I have no idea...” Katie said deep in thought.
I started drawing the outfit that Katie and I had seen in a magazine earlier that day. It was a spread the showcased the new fall fashions.
“Trends?” She asked watching me work. “Oh! I know! Trendsetter!” She screamed jumping up out of her seat.
I cried out in joy. We made such a good team.
“Yay!” She squealed offering me a high five.
“Ha, in your face.” I said to Max, jumping up in the air and sticking my tongue out at him playfully.
He just smiled and sat there. It was kind of weird considering how competitive he normally was but I shrugged it off. Just like I did with a lot of things that were red flags but I just didn’t notice them at the time.

It was almost the end of the game, and Katie and I had reached the All Play Square meaning it was time to battle against Eric and Max. I pulled a card out of the box and turned it over. But nothing could have prepared me for the word that was like a dagger to my heart.
Suddenly my eyes started to tear up and my world started to spin. I tired to hold the tears back but I couldn’t so I just let them go. My body was slowly shaking but I caught myself. Not here, not now. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Katie, Eric, and Max’s blurry faces staring at me. Their faces were a mixture of confusion and fear. I refused to wipe at my eyes and instead took a deep breath, calming my body as much as it would let me. I could tell that I was about to explode but if it was going to happen, then it was going to happen in another room.
I finally set the card face down on the ground as unflustered as I could, considering that my hands were shaking as violently as they were. I then picked my body up off the flour and walked silently, as if as a ghost, to the bathroom; locking the door shut behind me. My back hit the tiled wall and I sank down to the floor, my face in my hands and tears streaming from my eyes. My body was shaking silently and I couldn’t make it stop this time. It was as if a dam had broken open. This was not how the day was supposed to end. It was supposed to be our last fun day before we had to go back to the drudgery of school. As I sat there memories flew through my head of my dad and I. I could feel the cold of the bathroom wall behind my back and the shaking of my body beneath me but my head was somewhere else entirely. The Pictionary game, out on the table, was long forgotten. Max,Katie, and Eric's existence didn't even matter any more. My mind was back in the days when my dad was still around. I opened up the memories and there was my dad giving me one of his famous bone crushing hugs. His arms around me tightly and for a moment, just a moment, they felt like they were actually there. But then the page quickly turned and there was the hospital room with the stark white walls and the too clean smell. I could see the bed, but there was an opaque screen around it. Soon that faded away and the pasture behind the church took it's place. There I was running away, my hands over my eyes. My little black dress flowing behind me...
I pressed the palms of my hands into my eyes to get them to stop and slowly they did. The tears still came, but silently now. The heaving sobs and runny nose were gone. All that was left were silent tears that rolled down my face. One after the other, they were the stragglers, the left behinds. Just like me.
I couldn’t go out there and face my friends. I knew the night was ruined beyond repair. I just sat there with my head in my hands and tried to get a control over my emotions.

Max’s POV
¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢
I just sat there silently with Katie and Eric. I knew we all wanted to know what was on that card that would make Hannah react that way, but nobody had said anything yet. I slowly reached over and picked it up off the carpet, bringing it to my face. Two words were neatly typed on the paper, thinly underlined. Nobody would think such simple two words could trigger such an emotional reaction, but in Hannah’s world it could; the card read
Charlie Brown.
Now it made complete and total sense.
“What, Max? What does it say?” Katie asked, looking at me expectantly.
“Charlie Brown.”
“What?” She had a look on her face as if she had just had a sip of some really sour lemonade.
“Charlie Brown,” I repeated.
“Why would that make Hannah react like that?”
“You don’t know who Charlie Brown is? Other than the cartoon character, of course. Everyone knows that. But the other Charlie Brown - Hannah's Charlie Brown. She never told you?"”
“No.” Katie replied, a hurt expression on her face. She and Hannah told each other everything.
“It’s her dad, Katie. Her dad.”
“Charlie Brown was her dad? What?” Eric asked.
“No, that was his nickname. She always called him that, and whenever he went on a trip he would always bring back something with Charlie Brown on it. She was his Snoopy and he was her Charlie Brown.” I answered.
“Oh, that explains the Charlie Brown collection in her room! I always thought she was just a huge fan. I would ask about it but she would just jokingly laugh it off…” Katie exclaimed.
“Yes, exactly.”
“Oh poor Hannah.” She started to get up but I pulled her back down.
“No, don’t. Give her time... I think she needs it.”
After awhile Hannah came out of the bathroom, her eyes were downcast as if trying to hide her embarrassment. But I noticed they were slightly red and puffy. I didn't know what to say but it didn't matter because she beat me to it.
“I’m sorry you guys.” She said sitting back down.
“No, Hannah. It’s okay. We understand.” Katie reached over and gave Hannah a simple hug. She received it but I had the feeling she wasn't with us fully. After she sat herself down on the carpet and didn't say much of anything the rest of the night.
I popped in a movie and we all sat around and watched it. Nothing was said causing the tension on in the air to rise. After the movie ended, everyone left my house and I was left alone to clean up the mess. Which wasn’t that bad, it should have been a lot worse. Normally there was popcorn and feathers everywhere from different fights, and spilled drinks from laughing so hard. But there was none of that. I picked up the unfinished Pictionary game and stored it back in the closet with all the rest of the games. After picking up a few fallen pillows, the clean up was done. It kind of made me sad that there wasn't more for me to pick up.
I don’t think I have ever seen Hannah cry that hard, not since her dad’s funeral. I will always remember that day vividly; it’s etched in my mind, every single detail down to the black of our clothes and the woodwork on the coffin.

It was a sunny August day and the leaves were just starting to fall. It should have been a happy one if it hadn’t been the day of Tom Leigh’s funeral. My mom dressed me up in this fancy black suit that matched my brothers'. I hated the thing, it was itchy and uncomfortable but somehow I knew it was not the time to cause a problem. We headed over to Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church at around eleven o’clock. He was to be buried in the small cemetery behind the church but first there was a short and sweet ceremony held inside. I didn’t really understand it all back then, or at least it didn’t hit me until I saw Hannah, in a simple black dress, her pale white skin glowing and a grim, not fully there expression on her face. Her hand was in her moms and they were walking to sit down. I was just about to go over and say hi but I stopped myself, I knew deep down it was not the right thing to do.
The service went by fast and I listened to many moving speeches. Most of them I didn’t understand but I was patient and kept to myself. After it was over and we were waiting to go outside for the burial, my mom led us to the front to talk to Hannah’s mom. She was up there shaking people's hands and really trying hard to not break down.
“Hello Sarah.” My mom said coming up and giving Ms. Leigh a hug.
“Hello Cindy, Chris.” Said Sarah, nodding to my dad.
“I’m so sorry Sarah. I really am.”
“I know, I know.” Hannah’s mom patted my mom’s hand with tears threatening to fall. She held them back though and moved on to the next person as we headed outside. I didn’t know where Hannah was but then I saw her outside by the grave. I took a few steps towards her and looked back at my mom. She waved me on saying it was okay.
I stepped up beside Hannah and put my hand through hers. She looked up at me, tears on her face. I didn’t say anything I just stood there with her for moral support. After awhile she put her head down on my shoulder and I let her rest it there. We stayed like that the whole time as he was lowered into the grave in his dark wood coffin. Hannah silently turned when they started to put the dirt on top and I let her.
After they were done she came back with flowers and stepped forward, putting them on top, and then rushed away about to start crying again.
It was a sad day and it ended slowly and once I was in my bed I stared at the ceiling and thought about how Hannah must be feeling. It took me awhile to fall asleep that night, and many nights after that. I couldn’t stop wondering how she was doing and if she was lying awake thinking about the same thing. I had no idea why I cared so much, I thought it was just because she was my best friend, but the truth was, I loved Hannah, I really truly loved her.

Hannah’s POV
µ µ µ µ µ
I walked out from Max’s house after the movie ended and made my way slowly to my mom’s car. I felt horrible and as I opened the car door the tears started again.
“Hannah?” My mom said looking concerned, “What’s wrong?”
I started crying more but I still had the ability to climb into the car. I shut the door and was about to turn off the radio except I heard a faint song playing through. The console read All I Need by One Republic. Instead of turning off the radio, I turned it on louder and let the music pulse through me.

“Do you know where your heart is?
Do you think you can find it?”

“Hannah?” My mom asked again.
The tears were still streaming down my face but I didn’t notice it. I was totally into the song. It felt like it had been written for me.

“You felt so strong, but
Nothing’s turned out how you wanted
Well bless my soul, You’re a lonely soul
Cause you won’t let go, of anything you hold”

“Hannah!” My mom said turning fully towards me, “Please sweetie look at me, you’re scaring me.”
I looked at her and said six simple words.
“The Pictionary card read Charlie Brown.”
She looked at me confused and then I saw understanding wash over her face.
“Oh Hannah.” She said leaning over the console and giving me a bone-crushing hug, much like my dads but still not the same.

“Well all I need, Is the air I breathe
And a place to rest My head”

I rested against my mom until the tears finally stopped.
My mom silently stroked my face and I felt safe in her arms. The song ended and I patted my mom’s arm and said. “I think I’m good now.”
“Okay. You ready to go home?”
“Yes, all I want to do is go to sleep.”
When we got home I went to bed and fell asleep fast but that didn’t mean my dreams were pleasant.

I was back in our old backyard watching as the scene unfolded once again, Max was over and the two of us were playing cops and robbers outside in the yard. Little me was wearing the brand new dress my parents had bought me for my birthday and I remember feeling like a princess.
Max’s parents were over for dinner, which was going to be hamburgers, corn on the cob, and salad. We didn’t have any of the things we needed to make it so my dad said he would make a quick trip to the store.
“I’ll be back soon.” He said kissing my mom good-bye.
“Where are you going, daddy?” Little me asked, running up into his arms.
“Just to the store to pick up some dinner. I’ll be back soon.” He said and kissed my forehead.
Little me reached out and gave him a big hug.
“Can I go with you, daddy?”
“No, sweetie, stay here with Max, okay?”
“Okay daddy. I love you!”
“I love you too, Hannah.”
Little me waved good-bye to him as he got in his car.
In my dream I stood off to the side watching it all unfold again.
“Stop Dad! Hannah stop him!” I tried to yell. I tried to get the younger me to keep him from going just for another minute or two.
I ran around helplessly, tried to get my moms attention, tried to get her to go out and look for my dad when he didn’t return in an hour. If she had just gotten to him quicker he might have lived!
But nobody would look at me. Nobody paid any attention. I pushed, shoved, poked all of them but nobody seemed to care or notice. Eventually I just sat down in the corner and cried, sobbing for my dad.
After my dad had been gone for two hours the phone rang inside and my mom rushed in to answer it.
When she came outside, her face was ashen. Max’s mom rushed over to her asking what was wrong. At that moment my world started spinning under me. Little me looked so scared and all I wanted to say was “ I told you so. You should have stopped him.” But I hadn’t known. Nobody knew what was going to happen. There wasn’t anything any of us could have done.
“Hannah? Why don’t you and Max run over to the Hanson’s for a little while?”
“But mom? What’s wrong?” Little me asked shakily.
“Hannah please just listen, go over there.” She said looking at me with a tired expression.
Little me followed her orders and went across the street.
I followed and watched as I played half heartedly with the neighbors. But eventually moved to be by myself on the swings. I remembered how scared I had felt that day. Scared for my dad, my mom, and for me.
After playing at the Hanson’s and coming home my mom came into my old room and sat down on my bed right next to little me. I sat next to her but of course she couldn’t see, hear, or feel me next to her. But I wanted to be there anyway. Little me looked up at her face, all the tears from earlier had dried up but were still slightly visible. She quietly explained to me what had happened and hugged me when the tears started falling. I reached out and tried to hug her too but then she faded away, I tried to reach out to little me but then I faded away too. What my mom told me still stuck in my mind though.
It had been the hospital calling to say that my dad, Tom, had been in a horrible car accident. He had been driving in his own lane and a drunken high school student had swerved out of his and into my dad’s. Both cars collided and sped to the right. My dad died instantly and the teen was rushed to the hospital where he was found with only a few cuts and a broken arm.
When my tears fell hers did too and we rocked back and forth together for quite a long time. That was the first moment my mom and I became as close as we are now.
I woke up crying having witnessed the day my dad died all over again.
After silently crying, I finally fell back to sleep and another movie started playing in my head.

It was half way through senior year on a normal Friday night and my mom and Max’s mom, Cindy, as usual were getting ready to go out. My mom was wearing a light blue halter-top dress that accentuated her curves and she had let her hair loose, something she rarely did. And Cindy went trendy in a red strapless top and low-rise Seven jeans, her hair up in a jeweled clip and little makeup applied.
Both guys seemed very nervous and fidgety when they came to pick the girls up but nobody thought anything of it. My mom did give Cindy a weird look but she just shrugged back signaling that she had no idea what was going on.
Instead of going to their normal hang out the guys took them to a fancier restaurant called Bella Rosa, a quaint little Italian place. Anyway, when they got there the girls questioned why they weren’t going to Mellow Mushroom, and instead were going somewhere that was a bit of a drive. The men’s short reply consisted of a weak, we wanted a change of scenery. The girls were smart and didn’t buy it, they knew something was up but went along with it anyway.
After eating their main course of linguini with a light salmon sauce and having a glass of red wine they ordered a heavenly desert of raspberry cheesecake, it looked so good that I licked my lips in my sleep.
After the dessert was picked up and the table was cleared both guys scooted their chairs over to their girls. Both bent down on one knee at the exact same time. And said, one after the other.
“Cindy, we’ve known each other for a long time now and I know I want to be with you forever.”
“Sarah,” that’s my mom. “ I love you and always will. You mean the world to me.”
Then at the same time both guys asked, “Will you marry me?”
“Yes!” both girls said in unison and hugged their husbands to be.

My mom had told me that story so many times that I wouldn’t be surprised if it looked just as I pictured it. Instead of waking up crying I fell into a deep sleep and woke up in the morning to birds chirping and the sun streaming in through my window.
I swung my legs out of my bed and sat up, stretched my arms and stood up. I threw on a sweatshirt and headed downstairs to say good morning to my mom.

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I woke up the next day and headed downstairs. My mom was busy in the kitchen making scrambled eyes and toast for all of us. Which includes, my three brothers, my mom and dad, and me. She just kept making more and more eggs and it didn’t surprise me. With four boys we need a lot of food.
Brad and Matt, who are older, slowly came down the stairs followed by Josh who is the youngest. I am stuck right in the middle.
“Smells good mom.” Brad exclaimed.
“Why thank you. It will be ready in ten.” She said while bustling around in the kitchen. It sounded like a full on restaurant in there, she had so many things cooking.
“Okay. We’ll be in the den.” Matt said leading the way.
I followed them and when I got there they already had the Xbox booted up and Guitar Hero Three already playing. Brad and Matt were dueling and I knew Brad was going to win but I didn’t say anything. When the game ended I was right, he did win.
“Yeah go Brad!” I said, giving him a high five while earning myself a glare from Matt.
“Oh don’t be a sore loser Matt. You’ll win one of these days.”
We all laughed and he just glared but then he started laughing too. He never wins no matter how hard he tries. He know it's true so he as hard as he tries, he can't deny it, it's impossible.
My bros and I are all, surprisingly, very close. My parents had only planned to have three kids; Josh ended up being a surprise baby. And ironically, He gets what he wants more than any of us.
When my mom was pregnant with Josh; I dreaded the day he would be born. I already had two older brothers who stole a lot of the attention but now there would be a new younger bother to take all the attention completely away from me. I always thought my parents would forget about me, give Josh my bedroom, and stick me in the cupboard under the stairs like Harry Potter. Of course that never happened but I always believed it would.
Since Hannah doesn’t have any siblings mine are basically hers. There is plenty to go around, I am happy to share.
Hannah and I have known each other since we were baby friends, rolling around in our diapers for hours. Our parents had been friends for years before we came along.
They went to college together at USC. My dad and Hannah’s dad both wanted to go into the design field. And my mom and her mom were roommates. They hung out all the time and they did up until Hannah’s dad died. Now it is awkward between them. My mom and her mom talk but they don’t go over and hang out like they used to. It becomes a very uncomfortable situation when they do.
“Breakfast!” My mom called from the kitchen, interrupting my thoughts.
“Come on you guys.” I said getting up.
We all trooped our way to the kitchen breakfast nook and took our usual spots and dug in.

µ µ µ µ µ
I headed downstairs and stepped into the kitchen still in my pajamas.
“Hey mom.”
“Hey Hannah. I made you chocolate chip pancakes!”
“Oh yum! Thanks!” I said sitting down at the table as she put two warm pancakes on a plate for me. The syrup and butter were already placed in the center on a worn blue striped placemat.
When she set the plate down, I dug in.
“So what are your plans for today?” My mom asked.
“Oh mom, can we go shopping?” I said in between bites.
“Hm, I think that’s fine.”
“And can Katie join us?”
“Yeah. Call her up. Do you want me to drop you girls off?”
“No I want you to come with us. You could use a wardrobe update too.”
“Ha. Thanks. Oh and Hannah before we go can you take Bailey for a walk? He could really use one.”
“Okay. Yeah sure.”
“Thanks sweetie. I’m going to go get some work done. How about you call Katie up and plan to go around twelve?”
“Okay, I'll do that.”
I got Bailey, my adorable golden labradoodle, about a year before my dad died. He was a gift to me for my ninth birthday. He ran in to my room with a little white ribbon tied around his leather collar that had a blue tag attached by a string.

I grabbed his blue leash and attached it to his matching collar and stepped out of the house. After making my way around the block. I was planning to go home but then I changed my mind and decided to walk around some more and after a good amount of time I finally headed back. Bailey was so tired that he wasn’t even barking at the other dogs.
I tried to stay happy as I walked but whenever I thought about yesterday my mood darkened. After my dad died, a part of me was noticeably missing but the hole has mended itself and healed over. But it’s like a scab, if I pick at it, it will burst open and the floodgates will break. Yesterday was the first time in so long that they split open. It’s good to cry every once and awhile. You always feel better after. It hurts you more to hold it in than to let it go.
Unlike most girls, I had a stronger bond with my dad, than I had with my mom. We used to spend hours outside drawing, my dad in the hammock and me on my little stool. I miss those days but I never bring them up because I see the pain in my mom’s eyes and it makes my heart ache to see him again. And all I have tried to do since he left was to not picture his face, it is just too hard.

As I put away Bailey’s leash I called up Katie and we planned for my mom and I to pick her up at her house at noon.
At eleven forty five we rushed out the door and were on our way to pick up Katie and then head on over to Ocean View Mall. The mall is conveniently located right on the beach so that as you shop you can look out and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

As we entered we stood in the middle and I looked up at my mom.

“So mom,” I asked, “Where do you want to go?”

“You girls lead the way.” She replied. “I will follow along and not be a nuisance.”
“Thanks!” I said running ahead with Katie. “Now we can talk with out her listening in.” Katie high-fived me and we both laughed.
“So how ‘bout Bloomingdales?” Katie asked.
“Lets go!”

When we got home I emptied all my bags on my bed and emptied my closet in a separate pile on the floor. I ended up buying everything I could need for the whole year, almost. You know you can still shop for things here and there. ; )
I sorted through all the stuff I wanted to keep and what I wanted give away from my old clothes and put them in two separate piles. Then hung up everything new with the stuff I am keeping and then stood back and surveyed my new wardrobe. I had to say, I was very proud of it.
I had a quick dinner with my mom of BLTs and then headed off to bed. I pulled on a new pair of pajama pants with stripes and a loose fitting tank. I headed into my bathroom, washed my face and then brushed my teeth. Afterwards, I jumped into my bed after my nightly routine and reached across my bedside table for the blue lamp. With a slight tug on the string the lights were out and I fell fast asleep.

¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢
After breakfast I hung out around the house and pretty much did nothing. Then before I knew it the day was over, and it was time to go to bed. It was weird how I had so many things I needed to get done and so much time to do it, but after the day was over I basically got nothing accomplished. I have no idea where the time goes.

The next day I woke up and immediately my cell rang.
“Hello?” I said my voice still groggy with sleep.
“Hey Max.” Hannah’s chipper voice greeted me. “Guess what today is!”
“What?” I asked.
“Our annual school supply shopping day!”
“No, Hannah do we have to do that? Isn’t that tradition dead yet?”
“Haha no. We will be doing this for years to come!”
“Fine. I’ll be ready in an hour.” I said getting up off my bed and heading into my bathroom.
“Okay see you soon!”
After showering, I walked to my closet and pulled on a clean pair of jeans and a Quicksilver t-shirt, pulled a comb through my messy hair and rushed down the stairs. In the kitchen, I grabbed a handful of dry cereal. My mom hates when I reach into the box with my bare hand. She says no wonder we all get sick at the same time. But I was running late and didn't think twice about it until my hand was already in, there was no turning back then. I shoved the handful in my mouth and headed outside. Hannah's mom pulled up in a matter of minutes and we were on our way.
“So where is the torture chamber this time Hannah?” I asked as I buckled up.
“Oh your favorite Staples!”
“No!” I exclaimed, “Not Staples!”
We both crackled up. It’s an old joke of ours. Staples is only the biggest supply store around and I hate it. It’s two stories of never ending office supplies. But I have to admit walking around inside, pushing a heavy cart is great exercise. Good for keeping my large biceps toned.
“We’re here you two!” Hannah’s mom announced as she pulled into the only empty sparking space around.
We all walked up to the big sliding glass doors and stepped inside the cool air-conditioned building.
“Oh! Look at the new shipment of binders! Come on, Max!” Hannah said while running off.
I groaned and followed along. I could tell I was not going to enjoy this.
We started walking down the many aisles and Hannah loaded up my cart with stuff that I would never use.
“Why do I need a…protractor?” I asked looking at the strange contraption that was safely tucked away in cheap plastic.
“For math duh!” She said rolling her eyes at me and putting more useless stuff in my overflowing basket.

It’s now all piled up on my desk. And it will transfer in that same pile to my locker at school and by the end of the year it will still be in the packaging, never opened.

Tomorrow is the first day of school and I can’t believe it. It seems so weird that it is already here. Summer went by so fast but it was so much fun, up until Friday night. But that’s in the past, I’m sure Hannah has put it there too.
I am not looking forward to waking up at 7 o’ clock tomorrow morning. Hannah wakes up at 6 o’ clock! I’m like dude why? She just rolled her eyes and walked away. She seems to like to do that now. Girls are so confusing sometimes. Somedays, I just get Hannah and it's like she's one of the guys but then other days it hits me hard that she's not. She's a girl. But it's more like she's my sister. Which would be weird considering I'm insanely in love with her.
I climbed into my bed and turned off my light and staring at the ceiling, thinking about Hannah. Finally I fell asleep, pleasant dreams filled my mind.

µ µ µ µ µ
The next day I went school supply shopping with Max and then prepared myself for school. I just can’t believe it’s already here! I fell asleep to pleasant thoughts of the next day and a year of new experiences and good fortune.

I woke up in the morning excited and ready to go. I rushed into my shower and out. And then into my closet to decide what to wear. I finally pulled out my new True Religion denim shorts, a pink eyelet top and silver sandals on my feet.
I made my way downstairs and to my surprise my mom had made me scrambled eggs for breakfast. I ate quickly and then rushed back upstairs to finish getting ready and then I met my mom at the car excited for my first day.
The whole ride there I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was really nervous but at the same time I couldn’t wait to get out of the car and experience a whole new year.
As we pulled up to the drop off zone of the school I held onto the door handle and as soon as we came to a stop I hopped out of the car.
“Bye mom!”
“Bye hunny. Have a good day!” She said driving off.
I saw Max get out of his car not to far away and I rushed over there.
“Hey.” I said giving him a hug.
“Hey.” He replied.
We stepped up and I faced the building for the first time yet.
“Oh my gosh! This place is huge!” I screamed and grabbed Max arm. He went into Westview High School for the first time being dragged by a crazy girl. Doesn’t seem too bad to me. But I was just so excited!
We rushed up, or at least I pulled Max up to the signs posted on the wall. It turned out that Max and I have the same homeroom, which is pretty cool. When we walked in I chose two seats in the middle for us to sit in and Max followed my lead most likely not caring where we sat like I did.
I saw a group of girls in the back of the room sitting in a circle and laughing at something. I recognized some of them, but I didn’t know them well enough to just go up and join them. The ones I recognized went to the small school Max, Katie, Eric and I went to, Bear Creek Private. There were only about thirty or so people per grade, pretty much everyone there switched over to this public school. The only reason we all went to that school was because it was right in the middle of our neighborhood and it was super easy to get to.

I turned around and started to focus on our homeroom teacher. Her name was written on the board in red dry erase marker, Mrs. Hoyle, I felt bad for her, she was trying so hard to get the class’s attention and they just wouldn’t listen. I surely wasn’t going to do anything so I just sat there quietly and waited. But while sitting there I was forced to notice her horrible outfit and was tempted to write it down, titled “What Not to Wear”. She had on a pair of high waisted lime green scrubs and a sequined, too small for her yellow tank. She was a ray of sunshine with breasts free and bouncing. It was a blinding sight that nobody needed to witness. I might just have to write this lady an anonymous note with a $20 dollar bill saying Go Buy a Bra!
She finally managed to get control of the class and started passing out our schedules. I grabbed Max’s the moment his landed on his desk and started comparing them. He just looked at me and laughed at my eagerness. He was so cool about all this. Oh well he’s a guy; at one point I think I understand them but then I suddenly am so confused. I’m sure he’s the same way with me.
After dissecting the schedules I found out that Max and I had our first and last classes together but that was it. I then handed Max his schedule back and relaxed. Too excited to care about anything.
Once Mrs. Hoyle was finished passing the schedules out she went back to the front of the classroom and started to talk about how new high school was compared to middle school.
I knew all this stuff already so I just sat back and daydreamed, I know it’s rude and I should be listening but I am just so tired from waking up early. The first few weeks are always tiring ones for me. I can use all the extra rest I can get.
When the bell finally rang we all headed off to our next classes, Max and I walked together for most of the way and he started teasing me about frogs so I ran ahead laughing.

After running away I got a seat in the middle of the classroom and saved Max a seat next to me for when he finally made it. He probably met up with an old friend of his. He seems to always be able to do that.
I found out our teacher is Mr. Hardwright, who happens to have a big bald landing strip on his head. Doesn’t make him very attractive in my opinion. And what I can’t believe is that he’s married! Who would want to marry him? I think he forced her or something. That’s the only explanation.

¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢
It’s finally the first day of school. But not just any school, its high school. Brad and Matt both told me all about it and what to avoid, Brad went here four years ago and is now a freshmen in college and Matt is a senior this year. Both said it was hard to get used to but you do in the end. Especially coming from the little school we went to, Bear Creek Private.

Hannah’s big eyes snapped me out of my thoughts. She was staring at the school wide eyed. We had met at my car this morning.
“Oh My Gosh! This place is huge!” she squealed, grabbing my hand and pulling me into the school. It caught me by surprise and all I could do was try to keep up with Hannah who amazingly was still holding on.
After checking out the lists on the wall, Hannah told me we have our homeroom class together in room 232. The teacher’s name is Mrs. Hoyle, and she seemed like a newbie. She couldn’t get this group of girls in the back to shut up. I felt bad for her a little but it gave me sometime to daydream. I could tell Hannah wanted to say something but she wouldn’t dare.
Next to me, Hannah was stifling a laugh and I turned my attention to Mrs. Hoyle, it took me awhile but I finally figured out that Hannah was laughing at her choice of clothes. I have to agree they were pretty bad and man, she needs to strap those breasts of hers down, they are going to knock someone out. But that wasn’t just the only thing, her choice of colors could be seen by someone miles away. The green and yellow combination was bad enough but she had to add it to her obviously died, red hair. She resembled a mermaid, but not a sexy one.
Hannah had decided to have us sit in the middle of the room. I was surprised because she used to always sit up front. But I guess that was another new thing about her now. She obviously was trying hard to look cool. I really don’t care about anything like that to tell you the truth. I am cool with being who I am. I know she is too, deep down, but it’s hard for girls sometimes.

Sex-less mermaid, her new nickname dubbed by me, finally gained control over the class. Well she got them to look at her at least they wouldn’t stop talking though. I doubt anyone could make that happen. She started passing out our schedules and Hannah was excitedly comparing hers to mine, while I just sat there enjoying myself watching her eyes fly from one to the other. It humored me so much that I started chuckling. Hannah looked at me strangely for two seconds and then went right back to it, making me laugh even more.

Turns out we had our first and last period classes together. I wish it were more but oh well. I will meet up with some of my old buds from last year. Mermy, stood up in front and started talking about high school but I barely listened, to busy daydreaming. Suddenly the bell rang and I scrambled to get my self up. I was not prepared for it to ring so soon. Hannah was already standing at the door patiently waiting for me.

We walked to our next period together and I glanced down at my schedule to see what it was, I didn’t have a chance earlier because Hannah was hording it. It turned out to be biology.
“Score!” I said, “We get to take biology this year!” Hannah just looked at me, her lips turned down, disgusted.
“Ew is all I have to say,” The disgusted look remained on her face, but she still looked adorably cute. She looked that way no matter what face she made. “I do not want to ever see or touch a frog’s guts!”
“Well aren’t you lucky you’re going to have me as your lab partner,” I teased pretending to grab a gut and dangle it in her face. “I’ll shove them purposefully in your face and wiggle it around.”
“Ew!” Hannah screamed and ran away laughing, her books in her hands, her hair flying behind her as she ran. “See you in class.” Then she was gone down the hall through the swarm of people.
Suddenly my best bud Eric showed up at my side.
“What’s up man?” he asked. We slapped hands and continued walking.
“Just freakin’ out Hannah with frog guts stories.” I replied.
“Nothing new is it man?” We walked down the science corridor towards room 311, my biology classroom.
“I’m guessing you have biology first period?” I asked
“You betcha!” he answered back “You too I see.”
We walked into the room and I spotted Hannah at a lab station with an open seat next to her.
“Yep, there’s Hannah, she saved me a seat. See ya!”
“Hold on Max,” Eric stopped me, he sounded serious, “How’s your thing with Hannah? Getting over it?”
“Working on it, man. See ya.” I said, giving him a clap on the shoulder, and then going to sit down leaving Eric staring at me with a confused yet satisfied look.
He shook his head and went to sit down with Brett, another of our friends, right behind Hannah and I.

Hannah looked at me, “You okay?”
“Yeah I’m fine.” I answered back with a smile
Chapters:   1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 25 Next »

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This book has 8 comments. Post your own now!

wordlover27 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 3, 2011 at 11:37 am
This is the first time I read a whole book on Teen Ink! I was hooked on your story and just HAD to finish it! Just wondering though, why is it called "Red Popsicle Summers"?
cdmswimmer9 replied...
Sept. 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

The title is tentative right now. It refers to the memory of Max's sitting out on the tree with Hannah, eating red popsicles. I'm really bad at titling my work. :/

Just wondering, would you pick up the book in the store

ThespianChickAnnie said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Oh MAN, this is good! Like, seriously. Amazing. :)

I agree with remembermyname, you should TOTALLY write a sequel. :)

cdmswimmer9 replied...
Jan. 14, 2011 at 9:34 pm
Thank you :)
remembermyname said...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Okay, first thing first, I freaking love this! It was not what I was expecting. AND that's a good thing. I was expecting the whole typical love story cliche. I loved.

Secondly, I was really hoping for Max and Hannah to fall in love, but when they didn't I was like, "Wow! That turned out pretty good anyway!" =)

Thirdly, MAKE A SUEQUEL OR SOMETHING! I was yearning for more when I  new I was almost done with the 25th chapter. I hate when the story ends at a re... (more »)

cdmswimmer9 replied...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 11:11 am
Thank you so much! I will definitely look at your work. I wrote this a couple years ago and it was m first, so it makes me very happy to hear such great things about it. :)
remembermyname replied...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm
NO problem!  Do you think you will make a sequel? It is going to be fantistic!
cdmswimmer9 replied...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 10:04 pm
I have already started one. But I only did a few chapters before I stopped. This was about a year ago, I haven't really looked at it since.

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