Age considers; youth ventures.
Alice Saimrri stepped outside of her house on 3768 Ruby’s Footprints Dr. This Saturday was going to be good. Alice could feel it in her bones, as a cool breeze from the east blew, messing up her hair. Her sisters were in their room, with the door locked, talking about 19 year old junk. They couldn’t spoil Alice’s day without spoiling theirs. Her brother was in the kitchen, no doubt on the phone with some girl he wanted to take to the movie. He wouldn’t ruin her day; he loved her and his reputation with girls too much. Mom was probably waiting to use the phone so she could talk to her friend Ms. Anita. She and Ms. Anita would talk for hours. Dad was at the YMCA gym. He said he wanted to lose about 45 lbs by the end of the year. And she, Alistaire (preferably Alice) Marie-Justine Saimrri was outside, on her doorstep, thinking about what she could do on such a marvelous Saturday in September.
School had just started and Alice was a proud 8th grader at St. Lawrence Elementary. She had waited all her life for this time, a time so close to graduation and high school. Ever since her big sisters had graduated from St. Lawrence’s 6 years ago, Alice had been anxious to graduate as well. Graduation from middle school meant that she was that much closer to being 16, and 16 was the magic age. At 16, Alice could get her ears pierced and get her license! But thinking about being 16 didn’t change that now Alice was outside on a moderately warm day, still wondering what she could do.
Her ears then heard a croaking noise. The croaking noise happened gaily for a while, and then got hoarse. Alice followed the croaking to the source, which was a frog on the swing in her backyard. It was just sitting, minding its own business. Alice wondered how it could stay on the swing without falling. She noticed that the frog had one purple spot on its back, directly in the center. And in the middle of the purple spot was a yellow one, and then in the middle of the yellow one was a royal blue one. She knelt down until she could stare the creature right in the face, and whispered softly.
“You bored too?”
The frog croaked dully. Alice took it as a yes.
“Well, aren’t you s’posed to be in some pond or lake or something?”
The frog croaked, this time with more umph. Alice grinned.
“It’s OK to not be where you supposedly belong.” Alice held out her hand and the frog leapt onto it. “I feel that I am not where I belong either.” She walked over to the pond in the backyard and let the frog hop onto a lily pad. It blinked.
“Well, go on with your froggish life and have a blast, for me.” Alice sat down on the grass at the edge of the pond. The frog croaked and caught a passing fly in its mouth sloppily. Alice giggled as the frog wobbled on the lily pad from the force of catching the fly.
“You know, we’re a lot alike.” She mused, looking at the frog pensively, “I’m just as awkward as you are at essential things.” The frog cocked its head to the side and croaked slightly drunkenly.
“I wish I could figure out why I’m so different and weird. I wish I could grow up and just see things like I’m supposed to, you know?” An apple from a nearby tree fell into the pond, causing a fierce splash with ripples and over turned the lily pad the frog was on. Alice instantly jumped up and looked into the pond to see what had become of the frog. Moments passed without any signs of it. Alice feared that the frog had drowned. She hung her head and whispered, “and this is why I have no friends,” and started to walk away from the pond.
Before Alice walked away, she stopped to give the pond one more glance. To her surprise, she saw the frog, or the eyes of the frog, peeking out of the water, looking at her unblinking. She smiled and waved. It stared blankly at her. Alice sighed and kept walking away from the pond, muttering a bit sourly, “I wish I could find my place.”
She glared up at the bright sun, squinting, and smirked, “but, I think I’ve made a friend.” She gave the pond a final look, as she closed the fence to the front yard; the frog was still there and watching her almost painfully. Alice blinked at it. It blinked too. Secret language? Yep.
Then, all of a sudden, a feeling came over Alice. She began to smile, but not like you do when you take a nice picture, but the kind of quirked smile you get when you feel mischievous and evil. Alice had felt that way before, like the time she saw the cake her mother made for the church picnic. It was a luscious chocolate cake with creamy vanilla icing and on it were cute pink, yellow and blue bunny rabbits. When her mother had caught her eating it, Alice had said the cake was calling her.
“Mom, it was saying to me, Eat me, EAT ME! And, being the perfect child I am, I did so.”
Mother wasn’t too happy with this reply, and it earned Alice a week of everyone’s chores.
Alice’s eyebrows rose so high they seemed to disappear behind her black bangs. She began to shake so violently that people passing by her might have thought her convulsive or having a stroke. In her mind were thoughts of pure evil, like flushing vases down the toilet, and ripping pillows to shreds. She began to think of her sisters. Her sisters were in their room, talking of 19 year old junk. If Alice could only sneak into their room and hear what they were saying…………..AH HA! Alice covered her mouth, in case she had said that aloud. At least when she was in evil kid mode, she knew not to expose her evil plans. Alice began to pace the sidewalk in front of her house, her mind working furiously. If she went into the house, sneaking around, someone was bound to notice. Then Alice would be asked the normal questions:
Mom: Alice, what are you doing?
Her brother: mom, I think there’s something wrong with Al.
And if her sisters were in the room:
Sister One: Alice, you weirdo, are you trying to scare us or something?
Sister Two: you’re not scaring us, freako. Do you think you’re cool by doing that or something?
So, therefore, Alice decided to go into the kitchen looking normal and she even decided, to make her look more normal, to steal a cookie as well. Alice came in through the back door, nearly running into her brother, Adam, who was on the phone.
“Hey, short stuff, watch it, kay? I’m on the phone with Diane, and I am this close, (he held up his thumb and fore finger, an inch apart) to having her go to the movies with me!” and Adam was back on the phone, talking in his so-called, manly voice.
“Yes, so I’ll see you there, at 5:30? And I’ll buy the snacks and drinks and, oh, you’ll buy your ticket, well, alright. Well, see you there and, and yeah, can’t wait! Yep, Okay, it should end at about 8:30 so, your dad’ll come and…………..ok, I guess I can walk you home. Alright then, OK, see ya Diane!”
Adam hung up the phone and gave a huge, loud whoop.
“I got the date! Tonight at 5:30 and I get to walk her home!” Adam ran up the stairs, down the hall and there was a distant slam of his door. His room was right next to Alice’s.
Alice smiled to herself. She loved her brother the best of her siblings. Not because he was the nicest, but because he was just funny, witty and where she had learned all her mischievous tendencies from. She and he had always played together as young kids, being only 2 years apart. Azlyn and Adele had always kept to themselves, being identical twins.
Alice walked by her mother, who was frantically moving around the bar, obviously searching for something. Alice grinned and bent down to pick up the top to the permanent ink marker.
“Here, mom.” She handed it to mom, who smiled exasperatingly back.
“Thanks, hon.” She recapped the pen and rubbed her pregnant stomach. Mom was to have a baby girl anytime now, and Alice was extremely excited about being a big sister.
“So, how’s baby Anna doing?” Alice poked her mother’s stomach playfully. Her mother winced.
“Now, none of that, okay?” mom tried to bend down to get the pen, which had fallen to the floor. Alice watched her ease slowly down, half of her wanting to spare mom the pain and bend down to get it in a snap, the other to carry out her evil plan. The evil plan side won.
“I’m going to my room, mom.” Alice ran up the stairs and then looked down. Mom was still trying to get the pen. Alice felt guilt in her soul; like an itch she just couldn’t physically scratch. But then she remembered her plan, and decided to sneak down the front stairway in the foyer, instead of the one in the kitchen. She snuck through the den and through the archway to the back hall. She turned left and was face to face with Azlyn and Adele’s room. Alice got on her knees, turned around to make sure her mom was preoccupied (she was, with trying to get the pen) and turned the knob ever so slowly and peeked in.
Azlyn and Adele were on Azlyn’s bed looked at something and giggling insanely.
“Oh my gosh, he is soooo cute!” Azlyn fell back on the bed in a fit of giggles.
“I know, but how do we, lowly sophomores, get him, a senior, to notice us?” Adele furrowed her brow and redid her ebony ponytail.
“Nothing drastic, of course, but we need to stop cooing over him and at least talk to him.”
“You have a point.” Adele grinned mischievously, “But, I heard his girlfriend dumped him for another guy. Man was she an idiot! How could she find some better looking guy than, him?”
“Yeah, I mean, he has those gorgeous green eyes, those hunk-ish muscles, and is a straight-A-student.”
Alice laughed to herself. She knew both Azlyn and Adele had a huge crush on this senior by the name of Shane. Alice knew Shane, he volunteered at Vacation Bible School during the summer and she remembered those green eyes staring at her when she was 7 after she had busted a bag of flour. Alice wasn’t too fond of him. She thought he was strict, conceited, and entirely too big. She guessed he would be a good football player.
“So, Azzy, what should we do for our first approach?” Adele went to her closet and opened it.
“Well, Della, we need to have adorable outfits, and we need not look alike.” Azlyn went up to where Adele was and they disappeared into Adele’s closet.
“Drat!” said Alice, as she started to crawl on her knees into the room. She scampered under Adele’s bed, which was closest to the door. Alice watched from under the bed.
Azlyn reappeared, holding a stretch top and some platforms. Adele came out with some short shorts.
“So, you think he’ll dig these?” Adele was saying, as she plopped the pants onto her bed. The bed sank a good ways and Alice’s back began to ache.
“He’ll adore them, and Della, for future reference, never use the word ‘dig’, it’s sooo retro. Now, speaking of retro, this top, is it a little to retro, you think?” Both sisters came and sat on Adele’s bed. Alice moaned in pain then quickly covered her mouth. The room became silent.
“Azzy, did you hear that?” Adele stood up, easing Alice’s pain and looked around.
“Yeah, but I guess it was outside.” Azlyn bounced a bit on the bed. Alice squeaked in pain.
“Ok, I heard that, and it came from……It came from your bed!” Azlyn stood up abruptly and they both bent down at the same time. Alice knew it was the end, but she decided to have some fun. Alice backed away from the end they were looking at and crouched in a dark corner under the bed.
“Um, Della, what has glowing green eyes under your bed?” Azlyn squinted to get a better look. Alice hit herself in the head. How could she have been sooo stupid? Duh, her green eyes glowed when she was under pressure. It ran in her family.
“It’s not what, Azzy, it’s who.” Adele reached blindly under her bed and grabbed Alice’s foot and pulled. Alice knew that she was caught, so, she came easily.
“Alice! What are you doing in our room!?” Azlyn and Adele stood tall and towering, both of them being 5’8 and Alice just being 5’3.
“Nothing.” Alice tore out of the room. She heard one of her sisters come and slam the door behind her. The other said, “Mom will hear about this, you annoyance!”
Alice ran up the kitchen stairway and into her room. There she fell on her bed. She was always caught. Something always gave her away. She would never be as good as Harriet the Spy, her role model. Alice knew it was a matter of seconds before her sisters would tell her mom who would call her to the kitchen to have a “talk”. But Alice, being a witty Gemini, had her strategy planned. And she was just ready for that tired voice of her mother calling her.
And sure enough:
“Alice, please come down here now.” Alice sighed. Moms were so predictable. But Alice didn’t mind. It was good her mom was predictable, that way Alice always had a plan.
Alice clunked down the kitchen stairway and slumped into the closest bar seat to the stairway, just in case she had to make a run for it to her room. But that was highly unlikely, being that her mom couldn’t chase her like she used to since she was with child. But Alice had known her mom to be rather aggressive.
“Alice, why were you in your sisters’ room?” Alice tried her best to look innocent.
“I was lonely and I needed someone to talk to.” Alice smiled convincingly.
“Really? Well if you needed someone to talk to, why were you under the bed?” Alice frowned. She needed to think of an excuse and fast before her mother assigned her kitchen or bath duty. Alice fidgeted in her seat and rolled her eyes.
“Well, I thought I would take them by surprise. I mean, they are my sisters and they should be happy to see me, no matter what.” Alice sighed one of relief; that was an answer no mom could beat.
But her mom just merely looked at her, and cocked her head about 30 degrees to the right. Then, mother sighed.
“Alice, I know what you were doing, and you know it wasn’t what a 13 year old should be doing. Alice, you are a leader at your school, you are a big 8th grader, about to graduate, about to go on to learn more and see more. Also, you are about to be an older sister soon. You really need to gather your thoughts and realize what is happening in reality. You can’t be doing things that, that a 5 year old would be doing. You can’t go sneaking around the house and scaring your siblings. And you can’t be getting into trouble at school either. I got a call from Mz. Hansen saying that you set up some kind of trap on the teacher’s lounge door and, well, she said it was an ingenious plan but naughty. Alice, darling, I know you are used to pulling pranks and being generally a child, but now is the time to grow up. I really don’t want a mischievous little 13 year old.” Mom wiped her face with a dishcloth and smiled wearily. Alice grinned.
“You really think I’m mischievous?” Mom frowned, walked over to Alice, and started braiding her hair.
“Alice, why do you do these things?” Alice thought for awhile. Why did she do these things? Was it because her sisters were so snobbish? Was it because she was bored? Was it because she was a lonely troublemaker at school and needed a companion? Alice decided she would use the bored excuse.
“I’m bored.” Alice stood up to go, but her mother pulled her by the hair back into her seat.
“Alice, you are not bored, you have found better things to do with your time and you know it. Now tell me, dear, why is it you do this.”
Alice sank lower into her chair, making it harder for her mother to braid her hair. Mother just pulled Alice back up to the right sitting position, making Alice wince. Alice knew her mom was too smart for that reason. She just didn’t want to tell the truth. The truth would make her mom worry, and Alice didn’t want that around delivery time. Alice just shrugged.
“I guess there’s no other reason then.” Alice stood up, for mom was done with her hair and started towards the stairwell. Her mother called out to her.
“Alice darling, if there were a reason, you would tell me, right?” Alice stopped in her tracks and turned around. Alice hated it when mom put out those mother-daughter comments. They were so cheesy to her. But Alice was feeling nice so she responded, not necessarily truthfully.
“Yeah, mom, I will.”