“Mommy? Are you OK?”
Mik was the first one to be awoken by mom, probably because his room is closest to the bathroom. For what ever reason, the poor guy rolled out of bed and gingerly approached the door. Mom could be heard on the other side, and well to a 10 year old, it did not sound good.
I on the other hand was woken up by Mik. I could hear him just outside my door, and the concern in his voice worried me. I too got out of bed to see what was the matter. When I came into the hallway, I found Mik with his ear pressed up against the bathroom door.
“Whats the matter bud?”
“I think mommy is sick. It sounds like she is throwing up. Is she going to be alright?”
“I’m sure she is fine. Something probably did not settle right on her stomach. Lets go back to bed. OK?”
The next morning, my curiosity got the better of me and I had to ask about the previous night. I grabbed a plate of pancakes and then made my way to the table.
“How are you feeling today Mom? Everything alright?”
“Yes dear, just a little flu bug or something.”
“Oh. Well thats good. Poor Mik was pretty worried.”
“Flu bug or not, I made you an appointment with Dr. Meringue at 2pm.”
“Today? I really don’t feel up for driving. I am sure it will pass.”
This was my chance! I had other things on my agenda that day and this was the perfect segue.
“I can drive you. I get out of class at 1 today.”
“Well thank you sweety, I really appreciate that.”
“Speaking of driving…now that I have my license, I was wondering if maybe I could get a car. Nothing big, just something I could use to get around.”
“Hmmmm What do you think Glaze?”
Dad was deep in thought. “Hmmm, I tell you what. Since your brother already has a job. If you get one too, I will get you guys a car that you can share.”
“Great, but remember! No job, no car.”
“I will go looking right away!”
“After your mothers appointment.”
“Right. Of Course.”
By the time I got home from school, it was just about time for us to leave. Mom ended up bringing a bowl with her, because of the nausea spells she was still having. Kinda gross knowing your mom could puke on you at any moment. I drove really carefully so I did not upset her stomach any further.
Thankfully we did not have any accidents in the car. Though I cant say the same for the concrete just out side the doctors office. Poor Mom, I felt so bad for her. I helped her inside and we gave her name to the nurse at the front desk.
“Yes Mrs. Chiffon, please take a seat, they will be calling you shortly.”
Within 10 minutes they called her back. I sat in the lobby with my laptop trying to do a little more research. During the time she was back there, I was able to find out from Acie that Honey did indeed go to Strawberry Shortcake High. I also learned from Rosé, that she worked the weekends at Berry historical library. That was just the information I needed. Now that I knew how to find her, I just needed to get there. Job was now numero uno on my list. None of my plan would work without that step.
Finally mom reemerged from the two large double doors, following right behind was Dr. Meringue. I set my laptop down and went over to meet them.
“Mom. How did it go? Everything alright?”
“Yes Love, I am fine. I have some exciting news!”
“Oh? What is it?”
“Well…you are going to have another brother or sister!”
“Yes it seemed what your mother thought was a flu bug, was in fact just a mild case of morning sickness. Congratulations big brother.”
“Wow Mom! Cool!'”
Once we got back home, word of moms pregnancy spread like wildfire. Uncle Forrest was actually the first one to find out. Mom had called to tell Auntie Rose, but she was still at work for another hour or so. Instead of waiting to reveal her news, Mom announced everything to Forrest, and within 20 minutes, Forrest and Sage were at our house.
“Congratulations Saff! Rose is so excited! She will be here straight after work!”
The moment Auntie Rose came in the door, she bolted for mom. They started screaming and jumping up and down like girls do at my high school. It was pretty hilarious.
“OMB! OMB! Its a girl Saff! I just know it!”
“You really think so?!”
“Hello sweet pea. Your Auntie Rose just can’t wait to meet you! Your Mommy has been waiting for you for a long time now.”
As entertaining as it was to see my mom and her best friend act like a couple of crazy teenage girls, I had much more important things to attend to. I needed a job and quick. I had briefly scanned through the classified at the doctors office, and only one thing I saw really caught my eye.
Help wanted- Hard Candy Salon in need of part time photographer. Perfect!
After convincing Sunny to let me hitch a ride with him downtown, I finally made it to the salon.
Luckily Mr. Poptart was still on his shift when I came in.
“Hello Sir. I am here about the ad in the paper.”
“Ah yes. You are a photographer?”
“I see. Well I tell you what. Why don’t you stick around here today and lets see what you can do.”
“Excellent. Here is the deal, I need someone to take the after photos of my clients. I can work magic with these scissors, but put me behind a camera and it is all over.”
So for the rest of the evening, I shot photos as if my life depended on it. I guess in my head, it did! I have to say the clientele made my job much easier, they were all incredibly attractive, but none as beautiful as Honey. With each snap, I felt closer to landing the job. I even made a small prayer to the great Berry above. Please Please Please!! I really need this!
After the last client had left the salon, Mr. Poptart perused through my photos. His face was totally emotionless as he went through them, so I really had no idea if he liked them or not.
“Yes. These are quite nice. Ok. You’re hired.”
“Oh thank you so much sir! This really means a lot to me!”
“No thank you. This is going to help out my business more than you know. We will meet back here monday afternoon 2pm?”
“Wonderful. See you then.”
By Saturday, we had a car, and you can bet your berry butt I was in Sugar Valley by 11 am. When I got there, I nervously made my way up the steps of the enormous library. Once inside, I started looking for my emerald goddess. It did not take me long to find her, she was near the back putting away a cart of books. Each step closer that I got, my heart began racing more and more.
She was even more beautiful than I remembered. I kinda felt like a stalker just standing there watching her absent-mindedly stocking those books, but I couldn’t help myself. Taking her all in took more than a quick glance. Finally I snapped back to reality.
“Hey Honey its me Pineapple. You know, from the party?”
Unfortunately my voice was slightly louder than I expected it to be, and I scared her so bad she dropped the current book she was returning onto the carpet.
“Oh no no no! What are you doing here? Please you need to go.”
“I’m sorry. I did not mean to scare you, I just wanted to see you again.”
“Well you saw me, now you need to go.”
“Please don’t make this any harder than it needs to be.”
“Wait! Please wait. I just want to talk to you.”
“Why me? Listen do us both a favor and just go.”
“I don’t understand. You said I was cute, but you won’t even talk to me. Did I do something wrong?”
“Then what is it?”
“I’m not asking for anything. I just want to talk to you for a little while? You are like the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, all I am asking for is 15 minutes to learn more about you. Please.”
“This is a big mistake.” *Sigh* “I get my break in 20 minutes. Wait for me?”
“Yes of course. I will wait outside.”
“OK… 15 minutes and then you go.”
20 minutes later, Honey was standing beside me on the front step.
“Why don’t we go outback.”
She motioned towards the door; I followed her through and out into the courtyard, where we took a seat on a small concrete bench.
At first she said nothing. So I tried to break the ice.
“So…is there a reason you are always sad?”
“I’m not always sad.”
“Oh well thats good to know.”
“Are you always so pushy?”
“Hah! No. In fact I have never done this before. You are quite special.”
I don’t know what it is you see in me, but I wish you would just give it up. Even if I did like you, which I am not saying I do, it would not do either of us any good. My family is incredibly strict and dating is completely prohibited.”
“Jeez. Seems kinda crazy.”
“Not even if you really really liked someone.”
“No. Absolutely no exceptions. *Sigh* Do you know what an arranged marriage is?”
“Ya. Its like what they did back in mid-evil times. A person is pretty much forced to marry someone el- Wait…are you telling me that?”
“Pretty much. Which is why dating is not allowed.”
“What if you don’t love them?”
“Doesn’t matter…Its all about keeping our good name.”
“A life without love? What a horrible existence…”
“Love is inconsequential.”
“You don’t really believe that do you? Honey everyone in this world deserves to be loved. Especially an amazing girl like you.”
*Sniff* “I better get back inside.”
“But its only been…*Looks at phone* 8 minutes!”
As I watched her walk out of sight, there was only one thing running through my mind… Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!