Little Differences

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Blonde Hair Lady

Right as I’m finishing up this nightmare called math homework, my door opens, and mom is standing on the other side. “Honey, I need to go out and get some things for dinner. Put your shoes on and come along with me. I’m going to need your help”, mom says before walking back out and closing my door. I throw my shoes on quickly and run down the stairs to meet mom. I love going to the store with mom, she always buys me a treat for helping her.

Mom and I are walking aisle to aisle, looking for things that we will need to make dinner. “Honey, can you run over to the bread section and grab a loaf for me?”, mom asks me. “Sure”, I say. I take off running towards the bread when I am stopped in my tracks by the sound of a parent scolding their child. “Cut it out, right now”, I hear a woman mumble in an angry tone. I peek around the shelf and see a woman with long blonde hair gripping Alani’s arm so tight that it is turning red. Before they notice me peeking, I turn around and run back to mom. I completely forget about the bread.

“Oh, Alani. What is going on”, I ask no one in particular. Alani’s face was as red as a cherry and she looked so scared. I want to tell mom, but I don’t want anyone to get in trouble, so I stay quiet. “Honey, where is the bread”, mom asks me curiously. “Sorry, I forgot it,” I say hoping that she can’t tell that something is wrong. She gives me a weird look and continues to push the basket. As we walk over to the bread section we pass the aisle that I had just seen Alani and the blonde-haired woman on. They are long gone by now. I wonder who that woman was, she kind of looks like a younger Mrs. Shiner. “What did Alani do to make her so upset”, I wonder.

We leave the store and place our groceries in the trunk, then we jump in the car and head back home. On the way home, I just stare out the window. I have so much going on in my mind. The radio station goes out and the radio begins to static. I reach over and turn it off. As I turn and look back out the window, I see Alani and the blonde-haired woman again. I realize we are almost home and that they appear to be walking back to Mrs. Shiner’s home. I run into the house and upstairs to my princess quarters. My bedroom window is facing Mrs. Shiner’s home, so I can see what happens next.

The blonde-haired woman walks up to Alani and boy does she look angry. Alani, for the first time, looks frightened by the blonde woman’s behavior. After a few minutes of angry finger-pointing, Alani says something in reply to the woman.

I can’t make out what Alani is saying but it couldn’t have been good because the blonde woman brings her hand down hard, across Alani’s face. Alani storms off the porch and takes off down the road. The blonde woman follows behind her. They move in the opposite direction of my window, so I am not sure what happens after that.

I rush downstairs to tell mom and dad what I just witnessed, when Jessie comes running up the steps and twirls me around, back in the direction of my room. “Come on, we have something important to discuss”, Jessie says almost out of breath. The way she ran up those stairs I just know what she must tell me is going to be very important. We get in my room and push the door up, then we go over and plop down on the bed. “Spill it”, I say. I’m half hoping she has news about Alani that will explain what’s going on with her and the blonde woman.

“SeaWorld is only two weeks away now, we have to get our parents to get us matching outfits!”, Jessie yells with excitement. “Wait, that’s what you had to tell me?”, I ask. “Yes. Samantha and her bestie are going to be matching and you know we can’t be outdone by them”, she continues. Only half listening to her next words, I say, “So you rushed into the house and raced up the stairs like your pants was on fire, to talk about outfits for a trip that’s two whole weeks away?” “Of course, what else would I rush over to say”, she asks curiously. “Oh, it’s nothing. Just forget it”, I say. I’m slightly disappointed that there is no news on Alani. I get the feeling that she’s in trouble. But what can I do? I’m only 12 years old.

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