Writing has become a bigger part of my life than it was before

I know, it’s hard to believe, but writing has now become even more of my life than it was before.

When I think of my past history with writing, I think of NaNoWriMo and all of my little short stories and poems on the side. When I think of my future? Now I think of all of that with the addition of Odyssey.

I was given the opportunity 2 months ago to take part in this wonderful organization. It has given me the chance to get my voice further out there than I had before. I have grown from this experience and since becoming a Content Creator for Odyssey, I have learned what it means to say what you want to say. I had been a Content Creator for 4 weeks when my Managing Editor offered me the role of Editor in Chief. Since then I have taken on the responsibility of maintaining an Odyssey Team and helping them be the best they can be, all while working hard to get my voice out there as well. We are a team, we strive to work together, and I am astounded by this organization. Odyssey is more than just an online editorial, it is a life experience. If you haven’t experienced getting your voice out there like this, then you are definitely missing out. With all of these responsibilities, it’s no wonder writing has become more of my life, than just a hobby. I am prepping for my future as an editor, what are you doing to prep for your future?

This is my article this week, it is about Suicide Squad: 11 Reasons Why Suicide Squad Is The Best

Fare thee well,

Karen Alyse

#donotbeafakefriend

I recently posted a FaceBook status that reads:

“It’s interesting when you realize just how many people you talked to/were friends with when you were younger that decided you were just another face in the crowd they could forget and now they have to interact with you. It always makes for some nice awkward encounters. Word to the wise? Maybe be a genuine friend or just don’t invest time in people. This way it won’t be awkward in the future. ‪#‎donotbeafakefriend‬

This is a good lesson for anyone to learn, but I am about to focus mainly on my faith. If no one knew this, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With this comes a lot of close-knit community ties. We have a tighter community than most other religions. Especially with the fact that we don’t necessarily “choose” where we go to church, but rather go to a specific building based on where we live. Not only is it the building that an area is assigned to, but different sections of the area go to the church building at a specific time.

In Utah, this topic may not be a thing seeing as there truly is a church on almost every corner, but in Texas, this is absolutely a real occurrence. Especially when you reach cities that are even slightly more city than suburb. Even 45 minutes away from a major city deals with the tiny close-knit community that Mormons/LDS members are known for.

However, it’s not even home wards that we are dealing with here, it’s YSA’s (Young Single Adult wards and branches). If you thought the way we did Sunday services was strange, you’re gonna get a real kick out of this one. Outside of Utah and Idaho, we don’t really have multiple YSA’s for each stake. We, more than likely, have one.

And this brings me back to my main point. Do not be a fake friend.

When we are younger, we have the chance to meet people in our area and age group in the church at various activities and we 0ften become friends with many people this way. The only caveat here is that many young members of the church will simply tolerate people that they wouldn’t want to be friends with outside of these activities. Thus, when college hits everyone goes their separate ways, UNLESS they continue to live in the same city that they grew up in.

This is because they now begin going to the YSA branch/ward in their area and now have to encounter those people again on a regular occurrence–even more than they had before as children.

This is not an issue for everyone, but this can be one for many because they have chosen to ignore those they “befriended” as young children because they, at the time or later, thought they were “too churchy”, “too weird”, “not cool enough”, or even “merely tolerable”. (This list doesn’t end. People have endless reasons for dropping someone and ignoring them completely–This isn’t only in the LDS community. It happens with EVERYONE.)

What drove me to write about this is that I now have an assignment where I have to interact with one of these “friends” from my childhood each month who I suppose was never truly a friend. It wouldn’t be weird if the person in question hadn’t continually ignored me as an adult and pretended like I didn’t exist. However, because they did this it will make interacting with them that much more awkward. I had made the effort to reach out to them as I was at school and such and they, countless times, ignored me.

Y’all may be thinking “oh she’s just butthurt that this happened to her…”, “she shouldn’t have tried…”, “only she would be affected by this…”, “it’s all in her head…”, “this isn’t really happpening to her…” but all of those phrases are so far from the truth.

If the person in question hadn’t been friends with me when we were young children there would be no issue and this would be another instance where I get to meet a new person, but because I’ve known them for over 15 years, have known what they went through, and have seen how far they’ve come without them even thinking that I might be a friend, this is going to be awkward. And it probably won’t be awkward just for me.

I can guarantee you that the second they realize that I was one of the people they knew as a child whom they often spent time with they will feel the awkwardness.

This is not a post where I am asking you to pity me or help me wallow in my sorrow, but this is a post where I am asking you to please, PLEASE, please be genuine. I cannot express how much I hope everyone takes this and decides to be a genuine individual and friend. It is hard to realize how important it is when we are young, but as we grow older we need to recognize that nobody has time for fake friends. Nobody has time to be fake. No one has time to even think about being fake. Genuine is where it’s at. This is the only type of friend ANYONE should be. And the only type of friend that I intend to be. I will interact with this person just as I would with any of my close friends. I will continue to love them and reach out to them, no matter what because I truly care about them and I hope, more than anything, that I can make a difference in their life.

 

These are my thoughts on this topic, I hope y’all have thoughts to share with me as well because I love to hear stories and comments from people.

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

Story #3: Querton Part 2

Hello, I’m Keegan, Arietta’s twin brother. The one she so kindly gave you a piece of in the beginning of her story. Now, I know the scene you ended with looks bad and I mean REALLY bad. But the only thing is, you haven’t heard the rest of the story. Arietta didn’t get in major trouble the way she thought she would. In fact, our parents were relieved more that she was back home safe and hadn’t accidentally done anything to a human that could have fatally harmed them.

Oh I know, you’re worried about what we can do to humans now, right? Everything comes with a price, or so people say, but I think that in order for us to exist we shouldn’t have to pay anymore prices. The one price we should have to pay is the one where we are being hunted. After that, we should be free to do whatever, but now, there’s more to our “restrictions” than we ever thought.

Here, let’s take you back to when Arietta returned from her little escapade. That may help explain some things.

“What were you thinking?” Our parents demanded, Arietta glanced at me; she looked as helpless as a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. However, there was nothing I could do for my dear sister who means so much to me.

“I-uh, well… I mean… I just wanted to see if humans are as bad as people say they are.”

I sighed, shaking my head and then mom spoke, “Dear, you could have just come to your father and I and asked. You don’t need to go and have little secret escapades to find out things about humans. Your father and I know all about them.”

Arietta shrugs, “I didn’t feel comfortable coming and asking you. Plus, I wanted to find out what they were like for me. Why is this so important?”

“It’s important” our mother continued, “Because we can harm humans if we aren’t careful.”

Arietta looks up, a little confused, and I must admit that this little bit of information made me want to know more as well.

“What do you mean?” Arietta asks, “How can we harm them?”

Mom sighs, she didn’t want to scare Arietta, she just wanted to give her an idea of what could have possibly happened depending on the situation, “I don’t believe you did anything, darling. The thing that harms them is kissing them and I’m almost positive you did not kiss a human.”

Arietta visibly relaxes, “Oh. Well, that’s good! I am glad you told me now.” Then she looks a little sheepish, “Is it okay if I see Joann again?”

Our parents stare at her, “You mean you actually met a human!?” our dad asks, almost yelling.

Arietta nods, “Y-yes… I met one.” She says as she shies away from our dad.

Our mom places a hand on our dad’s shoulder and says, “Let me handle this one. You look like you’re about to explode.”

Our dad softens at her touch, “Alright.”

Turning back towards Arietta, our mom smiled, “I understand that you want to go see your new friend again, I do. The whole deal is; we have to be extremely careful. We can’t go running around major cities thinking that the government won’t notice us. They might not notice us at the beginning, but eventually they will. Who’s to say that day is going to be a good day?”

Arietta looked down, disappointment was blatant in her countenance, “You mean… I can’t see her…. At all? Ever again?”

“Yes sweetheart. I’m sorry, but this friendship ends now. You’re a danger to her and she’s a danger to us.” our mom said sadly, “Honestly? I wish it didn’t have to happen this way. I wish we could interact with the regular humans of the world, I really do.”

Arietta sighed, “Okay… I guess I’ll never see Joann again, then. I’m sorry I worried you so much…”

At this point I walked over and placed my arm around Arietta’s shoulders, “Come on, sis. Let’s go ahead and find something to do that might distract you. Maybe we can play `Escapades’ like when we were younger,” my mention of our favorite childhood game brought a little bit of a smile to her face, “Come on Ari, I know you know how to smile! And I know you want to play `Escapades’!”

“Well…” Arietta smiled, “I suppose it couldn’t hurt to play one round…”

“Great!” I say, “Let’s go ahead and get out of here.”

“Alright!” Arietta says as I lead her out the front door of our house.

The minute we get outside I lead her down the street and once we’re a good distance away I step in front of her, “Excuse me, Ari. I know that you probably don’t want to talk about this, but did you understand what mom and dad said about us being harmful to humans?”

Ari shrugs, “I don’t know… I guess it could just be a way for them to stop us from seeing other kids that we don’t know, but why would they do that?”

I sigh, “Uh… I’m not really sure, but somehow I don’t think we could really do anything that bad to a human… Somehow I think they just want us to stay away from them, but I’m not sure why they would want that, either…”

As we are standing there the clouds move to cover up the sun, putting an almost gloomy look on our small town. Looking around, I wonder what the real cities look like, “Ari, what did Las Vegas look like, was it like this,” I say as I gesture all around us, “Or was it different?”

Arietta looks at me, almost a little curiously, “You didn’t actually mean we would play `Escapades’ did you? You just wanted to get out of the house so that I could tell you about the humans!”

I shrug, “Hey, when you’re right, you’re right. There’s no point in arguing. I really do want to know about the human world.”

So that’s the story of what happened after Arietta came back from Las Vegas and how I got Arietta to explain everything to me, I mean, I know I probably shouldn’t have asked, but she was willing to tell me. My parents weren’t happy with her for a very long time after that, but hey, it all ended up being alright. I mean, look at where we are now. Oh wait… You don’t know anything about that yet… Here we go.

The town of Querton has been flooded with activity since the incident with Arietta and Joann. However, not one parent actually knows about all the activity, the reason for this? We didn’t want to get Arietta in even more trouble; it’s bad enough that she has to deal with our parents being mad at her; we didn’t want everyone else’s parents to be mad at her as well.

So whenever we have free time, or our parents aren’t available, we attempt to meet up with our human friends. Oh, and the whole thing about us mutations being fatal to humans? As far as I’ve seen, it’s false. Although, I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone kiss anyone else… yet, that is.

So, from my point of view, it appears like our parents are worried about nothing. We’ve been hanging out with them in the forest every weekend for almost a year now, we have quiet little parties where we just sit and talk about things. Every once in a while, we dance and sing quietly. As far as we’ve been concerned, there has not been one incident of something bad happening to anyone of either race.

I’m thinking it was just a ruse to scare us with, but we’ll see. I mean, it appears like my sister, Arietta, has been getting a lot closer to this human guy named Aaron. As in, they seem like they are starting to get really close to the possibility of kissing, so I suppose we might find out what happens when humans and mutations, like us, kiss. Maybe our parents will be correct, but somehow I don’t think they will be.

There will be another activity tonight, we’re all actually going to a movie theater to watch a movie; it’s supposedly going to be really fun. I think we’ll just have to see about that, but it does create a perfect opportunity for Ari and Aaron. Perhaps we will find out whether the mystery is real, or whether it is actually a myth?

“Hey Keegan!” Arietta called to me when I got into the forest clearing where we meet our other friends.

“Hey Ari,” I smile, my sister looks super excited for this activity, I wonder why…

Once everyone else shows up to the clearing, Ari and I lead the way to the outer edge of the forest that comes close to Las Vegas. When we arrive there, Joann, Aaron, and some of their other friends meet up with us and we all start walking towards the movie theater.

I watch as Aaron moves to walk with Arietta and places his arm around her shoulders. Then I feel someone brush up next to me, turning I see Elyse smiling up at me, I grin back, “Hey.”

“How are you?” she asks watching me for any signs of anything being wrong.

“Oh, I’m perfectly fine.” I say as I smile and hug her, it’s always nice to see your best friend.

As we continue walking Elyse tells me about how all Aaron has been able to talk about lately is Arietta, I grin because that’s all Arietta has talked about lately, as well. Elyse is Aaron’s sister; we both think it’s a little strange about the whole Arietta and Aaron thing, but we aren’t going to bug them about it.

As we arrive at the theater I can see that Aaron and Arietta are now holding hands and I start to get a little nervous, I don’t really want anything to happen to Aaron, but even more important than that, I don’t want anything to happen to him because I don’t want Arietta to get hurt. If she loses Aaron, even as a friend, I don’t think she will be happy about that.

After we’ve gotten our tickets and have found our seats, I’m sitting next to Arietta and Elyse, I lean over to Arietta, “Ari,” I whisper, “I just want to check to see if you plan on kissing Aaron tonight? I’m worried that something might actually happen… All those times we talked about it probably being fake; we never agreed to test it out on someone we know really well. I know you and I both do not want something bad to happen to one of our friends.”

Ari sighs, “I know… I mean, it’s really tempting just to kiss him, but I’m worried that something bad might happen… I don’t know if I should or shouldn’t… What would you tell me to do, Keeg?” she whispers back to me.

I glance around to see if anyone is listening and then lean closer, “Ari,” I whisper, “I really don’t think you should kiss him… I really am worried; it’s not that I don’t think y’all are great together, because you are. I’m just scared that something is going to happen to him, and that it will be bad for both him and you.”

Ari nods, “Okay,” she whispers, “I will not kiss him, but if he kisses me, I can’t control that.”

I nod, “Good. Let’s hope he doesn’t try. I mean, I want to know and I don’t…”

Ari smiles and then turns around to talk to Aaron; I just sit there until Elyse comes back and sits down next to me, “Hey,” I say as she sits down.

“Hey,” she smiles as she offers me her box of sour patch kids, “Want some?”

I grin as I take some, “How could you guess?”

She shakes her head and smiles, “I just can, I guess.”

Just as I’m about to say something back to her, the previews end and the movie starts, as the theater goes even darker than before, I glance over at my sister and Aaron and see them snuggling closer together. I sigh, it seems like Aaron will kiss her by the end of the night. I shake my head and focus on the movie; I shouldn’t worry about this anymore. It’s only causing me stress and it’s not even my life.

After the movie, we headed over to the closest diner called “Dine-a-Dozen” and asked for a table that seats 15 people. The requirement to eat at this restaurant is that your party has at least 12 people in it. As we all sat down and made our selections of food, we started discussing the movie. Many people had complaints about how dependent on others the main character was, but I didn’t have a problem with the movie. I didn’t even bother talking about the movie. My main concern was for my sister and Aaron.

All throughout dinner, I ate my hamburger slowly. After having my first one almost a year ago, I can’t help but order a hamburger every time we come to this restaurant. Normally I would eat quickly, trying to make time for a second and sometimes a third, but this time I couldn’t even finish my first. My stomach kept turning over and over with worry.

As we came to the end of our night on the town, we started heading back over to the forest. Reaching the edge of the forest, we all said our goodbyes, hugging each other, shaking hands, patting backs, etc. Then I looked over at my sister. Arietta was with Aaron and they were a little ways away from everyone else. As I watched, Aaron pulled my sister closer and kissed her, fully, on the lips. My heart started to race, I was scared for Aaron. I didn’t know if this was going to hurt him or not.

As the couple pulled apart, I smiled, it didn’t look like either of them was hurt. Then I saw Aaron bend over, Arietta reached for him as he fell to the ground. I raced over as my sister knelt next to Aaron with her hands over her face, crying violently into them. Placing an arm around my sister I looked around the group to see if anyone else had noticed Aaron. When no one showed any signs of even knowing or seeing what had happened, I picked up Aaron and hurried into the forest, straight towards Querton.

As I broke through the boundary of trees around our town, I saw nothing. No one was in sight. I raced towards the Dasani’s hospital, as it was the only place I could logically think of to go. Arietta was close behind me this whole time. As I barged through the hospital doors, I felt Aaron start to stir, which gave me a sliver of hope. Finding Mr. Dasani was not an issue, he had just barely gone back to his office to lock up for the night. I rushed up to him holding Aaron out, helplessly.

“Mr. Dasani! Please! We need help!” I cried, almost letting the tears flow. Aaron was one of my best friends, and Arietta is my sister. Anything bad happening to either of them, would affect me terribly.

Mr. Dasani turned around and glared at the human form in my arms, “What business do you have bringing humans here?!”

Arietta and I exchanged glances and then turned toward him and said at exactly the same time, “We just wanted to know what the human world was like. We didn’t mean for any harm to come to them, but he kissed Arietta and then he collapsed. Isn’t there something you can do?!” I was nearly bawling by the end of the speech.

Mr. Dasani’s expression grew to that of surprise, “Wait a second… you actually think that we can kill humans with a simple kiss?”

Arietta and I looked at him, “Well, can’t we?” I asked.

“No, no, dear boy. Of course not!” Mr. Dasani replied while shaking his head, “All you do is shock them, but after the first kiss, there really isn’t anything to worry about. I mean, they don’t die and they don’t collapse anymore after the first kiss.”

Arietta visibly exhaled as she had been holding her breath, I grinned, “You mean he’s gonna be just fine?”

Mr. Dasani nodded, “Yes, he should be waking up anytime now. However, I suggest you keep this incident from your parents. They really don’t like humans, although I’m not sure why because we all once were humans.”

I nod, “Thanks Mr. Dasani!”

“Not a problem, Keegan. I’ll see you kids later!”

“Bye!” We both said as we left the hospital, considerably less worried.

I grinned and winked at Arietta, “Well, I supposed you can now kiss him all you want!”

She shoved me and then noticed Aaron moving, “Oh my! We need to take him back before he realizes we moved him!”

I nod and start running through the trees again, my stomach growling at me for not eating more. As we reach the edge of the trees our friends are all still completely oblivious to us except for Elyse who had seen it all. As I place Aaron back down on the ground she walks over and places a hand on my shoulder.

“So, what’s the deal with my brother? Is he gonna be alright?”

I nod and hug her, “He’s gonna be just fine! He just fainted.”

“So… that’s all that happens when you kiss someone?” She asks smiling slightly.

I nod, “Yep, that’s what it seems like.”

“So…” Elyse says as she places a hand on my chest, “What would happen if I kissed you?”

I smile, “It would be like nothing you’ve experienced before. Are you sure you’d be able to handle it?”

“I’m a big girl, I sure hope I can handle a brute like you.” And with that she wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me full on. I just held her in my arms for the next 5 minutes as she stirred quietly.

Aaron had woken by then and was cradling Arietta in his arms. She had obviously told him how worried she had been. They continued watching Elyse as she slowly but surely woke up.

Elyse’s eyelids flickered open, “Oh. My. Gosh.”

“What?” I asked as I searched for any sign of anything wrong.

Elyse sat up and turned towards me, “Could you do that again?” She whispered urgently as she grabbed the front of my shirt and pulled me closer.

I grinned and didn’t say anything as I leaned in and kissed her again. As we pulled apart Elyse was grinning, “Every time I feel that shock—the shock of someone like you kissing someone like me. It’s beautiful.”

Then Arietta and Aaron walked over to us and smiled. Arietta said, “Thank you so much Keeg! I honestly was so scared when Aaron collapsed.”

I grinned, “Ari, you know I would do anything for you. I can’t bear to see you unhappy.”

She smiled and gave me a hug just as Aaron gave Elyse a hug. By that time all of our other friends, human and non-human alike, had made their way over to join us.

“So what are you guys doing over here?” Joann asked as she stared at how close we were all standing.

I looked around and noticed that no one else was going to say anything so I did, “Well, we found out that we don’t cause any damage when kissing humans. Right, Ari?”

Joann’s expression changed to one of confusion, “What do you mean? You thought you could hurt us through physical contact?”

Arietta nodded, “Yeah. Our parents had told us that we would cause some serious issues with humans if we kissed them or anything… Then Aaron kissed me and when he collapsed I freaked out, but it turns out that the worst thing we do to you is cause you to faint and it’s a onetime thing. Then we can kiss you all we want.”

So there you have it, our parents were wrong, but they didn’t know it and we weren’t going to tell them that we had gone against their wishes so we stayed silent. Arietta and I continued to meet up with our other friends and had recruited many more friends to the point that everyone wanted to protect us no matter what. We had become a part of their society.

~~~~~~~

Fare thee well!

Karen Alyse

Well–time for the weekly Sherlock post? I think yes.

Just a funny little thing I thought you might enjoy :D

Just a funny little thing I thought you might enjoy 😀

The fact that I’ve even been able to go this whole week without talking about Sherlock on here is amazing…. Like, no joke. But  I’ll try not to bore you too long with my speculations.

So my brother moved away recently. The day before he left we watched the final episode of season 2 together. At the end of the episode we both had the same thought. Molly. Molly had to have helped Sherlock with the fall. Otherwise, why would he tell her “I need you” and why would he still be alive? It is only logical to assume Molly is partially behind this trick of the eyes.

We figured that since Sherlock is ALWAYS a step (or 5) ahead of everyone, he knew this was long coming. The fact that he decided to send John away so that he would actually have the gumption to complete the death-defying stunt, took lots of courage and thought. He planned it out precisely.

Here’s what my brother and I figure, We believe Molly helped out. We believe she gave Sherlock some blood packets that are set to explode on a timer or are set to explode upon impact. These are commonly used in many other TV shows and movies, especially Horatio Hornblower. Now, we also figured that since John just saw his friend–no, no– his BEST friend, fall to his death we only have a good reason to ignore John’s medical examination. He couldn’t have taken Sherlock’s pulse. He was in shock, he was grieving, and he wouldn’t have been able to count correctly.

Now, since Molly works in the morgue (with the dead bodies) we figure that she would be able to tamper with the information on Sherlock’s file after he is brought to her, meaning, she could make him look dead when he really isn’t.

And that’s about all I really came up with. We, my brother and I, figure that we are TOTALLY correct. 🙂 Woo! Anywho, that’s my Sherlock ditty for this week. Let me know what you think! I love hearing other people’s speculations!!!

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

P. S. I got my friend Neven hooked on Sherlock!!!<3 YAY!

Story #2: Querton Part 1

Hi, I’m Arietta. Most people call me Ari. I’m a 17 year old, I go to school every day, and I fight with my brother, things that happen to normal kids, you know. In fact, from the outside I may seem pretty average, however, I am anything but average. I live in a funky town called Querton, just outside of the Las Vegas city limits. Most people don’t even know Querton exists. Those who do know, don’t ever talk about it because they either live here, or have escaped and never want to think about it again and those who don’t, well they just don’t. I live in a society of people who have jobs, homes, families, and problems just like any other society on this earth. The only difference is; we’re special.

We were part of an experiment years ago. That is, my parents and my friends’ parents were part of an experiment. The government wanted to create the perfect race, go figure, right? The only problem was, when they created the formula and injected my parents with it, they didn’t realize what side effects it might have. Once the government realized what the formula had changed my parents into, they attempted to snuff out anyone who could have been affected by the formula. This meant my parents and their 10 friends, who were also part of the experiment, either needed to go into hiding or risk getting captured and executed.

I wasn’t born until 2 years after the experiment; my parents were young, 19 and 20. There was no way of knowing what had happened to their DNA because if they went to a hospital and were found out, they would be turned in. This meant only one thing; they had to create a society all on their own. The 5 couples that survived (there were others but they weren’t smart enough to escape capture) had to create and maintain a secret town.

2 years after the experiment, each of the couples had children. In fact, each mother gave birth to twins. 1 boy, 1 girl. Everyone believed it had to do with the experiments performed on them 2 years earlier. There was no other explanation for the similarities between the birth circumstances.

My twin brother, Keegan, is basically just like me. We are as identical as a boy and a girl can be. I am the girl version of Keegan and he is the boy version of me. My brother and I get along more often than not; however, there are those rare times when we aren’t exactly compatible. Keegan has been my best friend since birth, he has always been there for me, and I absolutely love him, no matter how annoying he is sometimes.

On to the rest of the people in my life, there is Alice and Jake, Mandy and Adam, Kim and Liam, Cody and Dawn, and Valerie and Richard. The 10m people I have grown extremely close to in my life, mainly because they are the only people I know. We never argue, none of us, and we don’t pick favorites. We like each other equally. Everyone is on the same level of likableness and at the same level of liking others. Well, that is aside from the girls towards their crushes and vice versa, the good thing about all this? When a girl likes a guy or a guy likes a girl, the other individual usually likes them back.

Alice and Jake are the Rosburry twins. Their parents run the Querton School; since we are the only kids here they only need enough room for 10 teens. Mandy and Adam are the Lloyd twins. Their parents run the entertainment center, meaning they supply all of the video games, movies, gaming systems, TVs, laptops, etc. You get the picture. Moving onward to Kim and Liam Dasani, their parents run the hospital, making sure everyone is fit as a fiddle one might say. Cody and Dawn are the children of the ones this town is named after, the Quertons who run the “political” issues of our town (even though we have none). Valerie and Richard Taylor are two of the most regular kids you may find; their parents run the local grocery, clothes, etc. store called Q Market.

My parents? I thought you’d never ask! They run the other stuff, as in cars and such. However, every citizen in our quirky little town knows how to do just about what everyone else does. We succeed in maintaining low profiles, however, there are those times when the other twins and Keegan and I “sneak out”. You see, we aren’t actually supposed to leave our town; it’s sort of against the rules, but rules schmules! We like to have fun sometimes, so yes, there are other teenagers in our lives, of course our parents have no idea and if they did we’d all be dead.

My very best “normal” friend, I suppose you could say, would have to be Joann, she is the cutest thing you could probably ever meet! The story of how we met is all too funny, I mean, seriously, it’s hilarious! Every time I think about it I can’t stop laughing! Oh you want to hear the story? What if I don’t want to tell you it? Ah well, you got me there, I totally want to tell you it!

So, Joann was sitting under a tree, working on homework and I was sort of perched in the tree, kind of like a bird, just watching… had been all day as it was a Saturday and I had decided to escape from Querton for the day, of course, I wasn’t totally alone because Keegan knew where I was.

I never mentioned that, did I? Each set of twins has a telepathic link to each other. It’s pretty cool, actually!

Any who, back to the story, Joann was sitting at the base of the tree and I was just sitting on a branch in the tree when all of a sudden I heard this crack; and it was extremely close to me. I glanced toward the trunk of the tree and saw that the branch was starting to break away from it, I looked down and saw Joann peering up into the tree and I stared back for about 10 seconds until I heard another crack, causing me to choose what to do quickly. Deciding not to stay in that tree a minute longer I stretched my arms outward and flipped out of the tree to the ground, landing in a tumble. As I stood up and brushed the grass off of my clothes, Joann just peered at me over her textbook, I sighed and sat down next to her, it wouldn’t do much for me to just walk away now that she knew I was there.

“Hi,” I said, extending a hand, “I’m Arietta, but most people call me Ari.”

“Hello.” The girl had said, also extending her hand, “I’m Joann, but most people call me Joann.”

I had to laugh at that, this girl had a sense of humor! Now, I’m not going to lie, I figured she would freak out and ask me how it was possible for me to get out of the tree that way without bruising myself or getting scraped up. However, she did nothing of the sort. She just started talking to me like I was a normal person; she asked me if I went to her school. I was on the verge of saying yes when I decided against it. I wasn’t about to lie to a complete stranger, plus just thinking about it is bad enough to make Keegan tease me about it later, guaranteed.

“Actually, no. I don’t.” I told her.

She cocked her head to the side, “What do you mean? Where do you go to school, then?”

I sighed, maybe I could trust this girl, but at that point I was not actually positive if I could yet so I just said, “I am homeschooled.” Which technically was not lying, I am schooled by my friend’s parents, and it’s a really small class, so yes, in that sense, I am homeschooled.

She smiled, “Well, that’s cool! What’s it like? Do you get to go to school in your pajamas?”

I laughed, “If only, if only! I would love that! But I’m not sure my friends parents would appreciate that… My parents don’t teach me.”

She nodded in understanding, “Oh, gotcha. So, are you planning on just sitting here and watching me do homework or ask me to hang out with you?”

I stared, open-mouthed, at the girl that I had presumed to be a shy one, “You mean you actually want to hang out with me?”

“Hey, anything is better than homework.” She grinned, “Especially when the teacher never assigned it…” she added sheepishly.

I laughed, “Alright, then. What is there to do in this town? I don’t exactly get out much…”

Joann just shoved her stuff in her backpack and stood up, “All you have to do is follow me.”

“Cool.”

Spending that day with Joann was the first thing I had ever done to actually intersperse with the “normal” people. I couldn’t believe all of the things I was missing out on by living in Querton. No doubt, Keegan was able to know everything I was thinking about and was most likely either angry or extremely jealous. I smirked at the thought; maybe I’ll have to bring Keegan into the real world sometime, he would probably really enjoy that.

As the time passed, I realized more and more that it would be hard for me to go back to Querton and never be able to see Joann again, I sighed knowing that I should probably let her know that I enjoyed this time, however I would probably never be able to see her again. That would bring up the question of why I wouldn’t be able to see her again if I live so close and then I’d probably end up spilling my guts to her. I sighed, wishing and hoping there was an easier way, but with the way things were going, I would have to leave her out of the blue, confused and disappointed. I would have to pretend to turn out to be a flake.

Joann is an extremely kind and sweet person, she will do anything for someone she cares about, even if she doesn’t know them. She believes everyone is special and that they should be cared for by at least one person. The thing that I have to do to her is not something she would probably ever consider, I feel so bad that I start to feel nauseous. She will hate me for this, that’s when I hear Keegan’s thought directed toward me so clearly.

Why do you have to leave? You can have friends; just don’t let mom and dad find out. I’ll cover for you every time you disappear. I’ll say you’re… I don’t know… studying nature or something. I grin, my brother always knows when I need an optimistic opinion. He really is so sweet that way.

Keegan, thank you so much! I feel tons better now. You really need to meet Joann, she’s amazing!

I could sense Keegan chuckling, you know, she sounds pretty cool. I would like to meet her sometime.

I was grinning, I couldn’t help it and Joann noticed, “Hey, why are you smiling? What is so amusing?”

I shook my head, “Oh, it’s not that major. Just my twin, he and I are telepathically linked, not even in a joke. Our link is actually there.”

Joann shook her head, unbelieving, “Whatever! And I’m a unicorn!”

I laugh, realizing how ridiculous I probably sounded, “Yeah, I know you are one!” I wink, like it’s an inside joke, then I look at the time, “Oh my gosh! You have to be kidding! It’s already that late?”

Joann also checks her time, “Late? It’s only 5. What do you mean by late?”

“Well, I’m supposed to be home right now… My parents are going to freak! I have to scoot! It’s about a 20 minute run…”

“Well, I could take you; I do have a car, y’know.”

I laugh, “Yeah, otherwise how we have been going everywhere today?”

“So? Do you want a ride?”

I almost jump at the opportunity and then stop myself, “Uh… Well, you don’t know where I live, it would probably be hard for you to… find.”

Joann shakes her head, “This might be strange, but I really can take you home. Just give me the directions. Maybe tell me what area it is in.”

I sighed and nodded, “Alright… But it’s a little strange.”

“I can handle strange. I’m friends with you, aren’t I?”

I grin, “Yeah, I suppose you are. Alright well, it’s over on the western outskirts of Las Vegas.”

Joann nods, like she knew that already, “Cool. I’ll get you over there in no time.”

As we are driving around to the west side of Las Vegas, Joann starts talking, “Where do you live over here? I don’t see any houses or apartments.”

I nod, “Yeah… That’s because we live on the outskirts of Las Vegas, we aren’t actually in Las Vegas.”

Joann looks at me, “But there is nothing on the outskirts of western Las Vegas other than that forest of trees… Unless you live in a secret village or something, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get you to your house.”

I sigh, now is the moment of truth, “Do you want to know a secret, Joann?”

“Sure, you can tell me anything.”

“Well, I do live in a sort of secret civilization, I mean; we didn’t have to hide until the government chose my parents and my other friends’ parents for an experiment. This was about 2 years before I was born, before any of us were born. They wanted to test something and my parents were top of the list individuals to test it on, whatever ‘it’ was. Either way, it pretty much ruined our lives because the government didn’t like the results they got so they started hunting down all of the individuals they tested, they made sure that if anyone was found with a particular genetic code, they would be captured, taken in for questioning, and then exterminated.

“My parents and 5 other couples were the only ones to successfully escape and remain hidden from the government; they realized they would never be able to live in the real world again, so they found a nice, hidden place to create a hidden civilization. Naming it Querton, they found ways to survive without the rest of the world.”

Joann stared at me wide-eyed, “You mean to say, that you’re sort of a different race from everyone else living on this earth? Like, there is only… 20 of you? In the entire world?”

I nod, “Yeah… pretty much.”

“That is so cool! I mean, it sucks that the government wants to get rid of you, but that is so cool!”

I laugh, “Seriously? Anyways, that’s why I was in the tree; I was watching how normal people are and what they get to do. I am only extremely jealous that you guys can go wherever you want, do whatever you want, and not have to worry about the government trying to find you and destroy you.”

Joann laughs, “We have restrictions too. Our lives are not as simple as you make them sound.”

I laugh, “I know… You just have more things you can do. I’ve always been jealous of that because I only have certain places I can go; Las Vegas is not included in that list. This was an act of rebellion, but I am so glad I did it!”

Joann nods, “Gotcha… Well, since I’m not sure how I would drive to where you live, I’ll stop at the edge of the forest.” She says as she pulls up right along the edge.

“That’s fine; I don’t live too far from here. Thank you so much for your help, Joann!” I exclaim as I start climbing out of the car, “Oh and if you could, please don’t mention me to anyone… I really don’t want to ruin everything my parents and my friends’ parents have worked for… There are only 20 of us left and we don’t really want to diminish that number to nothing.”

Joann nods, “Of course not. I promise I will keep my lips tightly sealed.”

“Thank you, again!” and then I run off into the dark green cover of the trees. As I reach the house I rush inside and see Keegan standing there facing me with his arms crossed.

“Keegan.” I say, trying not to sound out of breath, “How are you, bro?”

Keegan laughs, “I’m sorry, I can’t keep a straight face anymore. This is TOO good. You actually met a real, normal person? As in, they actually exist?”

“Oh, Keegan… Of course they do! And they act a lot like us!” I know Keegan is only playing around, which is why I didn’t totally freak out when I saw him standing at the door all business-like, “So,” I start, “Where are our parents?”

Keegan looks around, “Well, they’re actually home. They got home about 1 minute before you and I’m not sure if you being in nature really convinced them of anything… Ari, I think they know.”

Then our parents come around the corner, “Yeah, we know. What exactly were you thinking?”

~~~~~~~

Fare thee well!

Karen Alyse

Story #1: Drowning

            Water—cool, wet, and dangerous. The serene appearance of the water’s surface alerted no one of the peril I was in. Everyone above most likely figured I was playing a game—or worse—didn’t even know I was gone. My breath, slowly escaping my lungs, was precious; soon there would be none left. I slowly drifted deeper and deeper into the depths of the water. As the last bubbles of oxygen escaped my lungs, I closed my eyes, imagining what it would be like in the place I was going to. The water flooded in, as my mouth opened to gasp for air, and my eyes closed, as I lost consciousness.

“Do you think she’s okay?” A voice echoed somewhere above me.

I could feel people on both sides of me, then I heard a voice to the left of me saying, “I don’t know, but please be quiet. All we can do is wait now. The lifeguard did all they could to start her breathing again.”

Lifeguard? Why would I need a lifeguard? And then I remembered the feeling of serenity that had washed over me as I slipped deeper into the water. I must have been drowning.

My eyes flew open and I started coughing violently. There were hands on my shoulders and hands on my back as they pulled me up into a sitting position to get the water out.

“What-what happened?” I choked out.

I barely registered the faces around me as they all parted to display a boy about my age, standing awkwardly away from the group. I lifted a hand to my eyes and shielded them as I tried to focus on him.

“Well…” he started, “You were drowning. I think I was the only one who noticed that you were missing so… I dove in and pulled you out.”

I nodded, “That’s right… I remember thinking that no one knew I was gone, I just didn’t know that was real…” my eyes opened wide and I spun around to face the lake, the water looked so calm and peaceful… “I am never going back in that water.”

“Wait-what?” My little sister, Angie, asked.

“I can’t go back in the water. I mean, I just don’t think I have the strength to do it… I could have died if it hadn’t been for…” I trailed off as I turned to look at the lifeguard who saved me, a strong well-built boy, my age, and not a local, “What is your name, anyway?”

The boy gave me a half-smile, “Toby… and you?”

I stopped, I hadn’t been expecting him to ask my name, but I suppose it is only fair, “I’m Ariana.”

The boy extended a hand and I took it, “It’s nice to meet you, Ariana.” the boy said as we shook hands.

I gave him a small smile, said thank you, and walked away just as he was heading back over to the lifeguard’s chair. I could feel my cheeks burning with a violent red blush. I’m not supposed to be meeting guys this way, I mean, what if I see him again? But then I heard a little voice say, you won’t see him again, remember? He’s not a local. With that little piece of information playing over and over in my mind, I walked back over to him and attempted to start a conversation. Believe me, it is not an easy feat to start a conversation when the boy feels bad about being the one who made you feel embarrassed.

“So, Toby…” I started, “You’re a lifeguard?”

He nodded, “Yeah, I am.”

“Well, that’s cool! How long have you been one?”

“Oh, maybe a year? Yeah, I think that’s right.” He said as he thought about it.

I nodded, “How old do you need to be to become a lifeguard?” I asked without thinking.

Toby sorta smiled, “You have to be 16… why? Are you planning on becoming a lifeguard?”

“I-uh… well no…” I stuttered, “I was just wondering about being a lifeguard… and I guess I also wanted to kind of figure out how old you are.”

Toby grinned, “I kind of figured that was it. You could have just asked, I would have told you.”

I nodded, “I know… I just-I don’t know… I guess I was too scared to ask?”

“Ah, I see. Well, I’m 17. Have been since August. What about you?”

I laughed, “I’m 17 too! But I’ve only been 17 since September… Our birthdays are pretty close aren’t they?”

Toby nodded, “Yeah, that’s what it seems like.”

I glanced around and saw my parents, starting to clean up. I sighed, “It looks like I’m about to leave…”

Toby turned and noticed my parents making their preparations also, “Ah well, at least let me get your phone number!” he exclaims as he pulls his phone out.

I laugh, “Okay. Here, let me do it.” I say as I hold my hand out for his phone.

He nods and hands me his phone. I punch in my cell phone number and then proceed to taking a picture of myself, “Here you go!” I exclaim happily, “Send me a text so that I can have your number as well!”

Toby laughs, “Alright. Will do!”

I start walking away towards my family and just as we are about to leave, I turn around and wave at Toby who appears to have been watching me the whole time. He waves back and then my family leaves. Well, I think, I doubt I’ll ever be seeing him again… but at least we can talk to each other sometimes.

Over the course of the summer, Toby and I keep in touch. By the time late August rolls around, he and I have gotten to know each other really well. I smile sadly as I think about the first day of school that is coming up and how I won’t be able to see my new friend in any of my classes. Just my luck, the good guys are always the ones I can never see.

I sigh and my Mom looks up from her book, “Are you okay, sweetheart?”

I nod, “Yeah, I’m alright. School starts in 2 days. It’s just the fact that school is just around the corner. I’m not prepared for my senior year.”

My Mom nods, “Ah, I see. You’ll be fine. Senior year should be loads easier than your Junior year was. I promise. It usually is.”

I nod and close my eyes, breathing in deep, remembering the feeling I had as I was sinking deeper and deeper into the lake, and then I opened my eyes and breath in really fast. My Mom, startled, looks over at me, “Are you sure you’re okay, hun?”

I nod, “Yeah. I just need to sleep.”

“Alright. Well, just make sure you are able to wake up in the morning! Church is at 9!”

I nod, “I don’t think I’ll have a problem with waking up. I’ll see you tomorrow. Sleep well, Mom! I love you!”

“I love you too!” My Mom responded as she went back to her book.

I climb up the stairs slowly, sadly. I can’t stop thinking about Toby and how he and I have become so close, but we haven’t been able to see each other since the day he saved me. You know, I think there is something about a person saving your life that instantly binds you to them. You think about them nonstop and wonder what would happen if they hadn’t been there. Or maybe that’s just me.

I go to bed feeling sad that I haven’t gotten to see Toby at all and wishing that I could.

The sun pours in through my window and I squint, it’s all too bright. I sigh and look over at my alarm clock, 8:33… 8:33?! Oh my goodness! I hurry and throw the covers off; I only have about 12 minutes to get ready for church. We, my family, always leave at a quarter till.

I hurry and pull a shirt and skirt on, brushing through my hair quickly and putting on a headband. I look myself over once in the mirror, turning my head sideways I decided that I look really good for only having 12 minutes to prepare. I hurry and grab my sandals and purse and head down the hall to where my sister’s room is.

“Hey Angie,” I say as I knock on her door, “You all set to go?”

Angie opens the door partially, “Yeah, I’m almost ready. Just head down, I’ll be right there.”

I nod and spin around, heading for the stairs. As I reach the bottom I remember something and rush back upstairs. I forgot my bracelet that I have worn every day since I almost drowned. It was one of those things that continue to tie me to that day, and by extension, to tie me to Toby. It seems like every little thing I think or do connects me to Toby. I wish we could have hung out over the summer, but he always avoided my questions about what he was doing, so we just talked about our likes and dislikes and other things that new friends try and learn about each other.

My phone buzzes as I’m waiting downstairs for Angie, I pull it out and unlock it to find a message from Toby. I grin, he’s always texting me silly things, this time I was surprised at what I read, “Hey Ariana, what school do you go to?”

Why would he want to know what school I go to? Ah well, I might as well tell him, so I start typing up a message, “McDermott High School. Why?” after I hit the send button, Angie walks into the kitchen and I glance at the time.

I breathe a sigh of relief, “Oh good. We won’t be late today.” I grin at her as she walks past me and towards the front door. I follow her quickly and quietly, she seems a little out of it, but maybe that’s just because school is tomorrow.

I close and lock the door behind us as we leave the house. Unlocking the car doors, Angie climbs into my car and buckles in. I smile at her and turn on a CD that Angie got at an efy camp she went to over the summer. I check my phone once more before starting the drive to the church building, I’m surprised that Toby hasn’t texted back; he’s usually pretty quick about responding. Sighing I place my phone in the cup holder and start the drive to church. On the way to church Angie and I pass each light while it’s still green, it was amazing! Turning into the church parking lot, I find a perfect parking space and pull in smoothly and cleanly with no need to adjust.

Today is going to be a good day, I would say. However, the only thing that might mess it up for me is the fact that Toby texted me but hasn’t responded back yet. I guess he doesn’t have to reply, he didn’t necessarily start a conversation. I just would really like to hear from him.

Angie grabs my arm and pulls me towards the church, “We need to go in and sit down before Mom and dad worry even more about us!”

I nod. “Alright. Let’s go.” And Angie and I walk towards the doors that lead to 3 hours of wonderful gospel learning.

That evening my parents, Angie, and I are all sitting around the living room, reading books or just kinda dozing off, when Angie looks at the time and sighs loudly. My dad looks up at her and cocks an eyebrow up, questioningly. I look towards Angie, throwing her a questioning glance. My Mom, however, stops reading her book and checks the time.

“Well, Angie… It appears to be half past 9. I expect you in bed by 10. You too, Ariana.” My Mom  says as she looks at both of us from across the room, “I need you two to be able to wake up tomorrow for school. Seminary doesn’t start until Thursday.”

I nod, “Sure thing, Mom. I’ll go to bed right now. I love you guys!” I say as I head up the stairs.

There is a resounding “love you too” from my parents and Angie as I leave that I can’t help but smile. They are the best people I could ask for in a family. I get to my room and quickly change into my pajamas, settling into my bed, I pick up my phone and check to see if I’ve gotten any texts or calls since the last time I checked. I sigh, Toby still hasn’t texted me back. I mean, I’m sure he has a reason for not texting me; I just would have appreciated a warning. I snuggle down in my covers and turn over onto my side, drifting off into dreamland easily as I close my eyes.

As my alarm blares out the newest Plain White T’s CD and I sit up straight in bed, glancing around my dark bedroom I sigh. Well, it’s the first day of school; let’s make the best of it. Pulling my covers off and climbing out of bed goes quickly and then I proceed to straighten and put my bed back together. Once my bed is made I grab my phone off of the charger, checking it quickly to see if there are any new messages, there aren’t. I shove my phone in my pocket and then hurry to gather up all of my school supplies. I make my way out of my bedroom and do one last quick glance around the room to make sure I didn’t forget anything. This year will probably be better than I think it will be, just got to stay positive. As I rush down the stairs to the kitchen I see my Mom preparing getting Angie’s lunch ready.

“Hey Mom.” I say as I walk through the kitchen to the family room.

“Good morning, Ariana!” my Mom exclaims, happily.

After placing my stuff down by a chair in the family room, I walk over to the pantry, as I look for something to eat I realize I’m not hungry. I sigh and close the door, grabbing a powerade from the fridge and take it back over to my back pack. My Mom starts hurrying to gather her cross guarding stuff and get Angie ready for school. I settle down into the chair and start messing with my phone. I’m worried because Toby hasn’t texted me yet and I was almost positive that he would at least wish me a wonderful first day of my senior year.

I curl up in the chair and doze off for about half an hour. When I wake up it’s just about time for me to leave for school. I sigh and gather all of my stuff up, heading out to the front of the house where my car is parked. I climb in and drive the 2 minutes it takes to get to my high school. Sitting in the car for a couple of minutes I check my phone again, nothing. Shoving my phone into my purse I decide to ignore it throughout the day unless I can feel or hear it vibrate.

I climb out of my car and head towards the school, grinning at my friends that I haven’t seen since May, waving to those that I have. Walking through the entrance to the school gives me a burst of energy; I can smell the clean school smell. I grin; this should be a good day. Then my phone vibrates, I hurry and pull it out to find a text from my Mom.

“Hey darling! I hope today is great! I noticed that you weren’t too happy this morning so I just want you to make the best of today! No matter what happens! 🙂 Love you!”

I smile; my Mom always knows how to make me feel better. Always. I hurry and type a quick response back, “Thank you, Mom. I love you so much! This text definitely brightened my day! I hope you have a great day as well!” hitting the send button, I smile and place my phone back into my purse; my day suddenly a whole lot brighter than before.

Hurrying to my first class, I fail to realize someone is calling my name so I just continue down the crowded hallway, oblivious to everything. Just as I reach my classroom someone runs into me and I drop my bag, I crouch down to pick it up and they just continue walking.

“JERK!” I whisper under my breath and then hurry into my classroom right as the warning bell is ringing.

School has turned out to be a lot easier and more laid back than I thought it would be, I’m already in my 4th period and I haven’t really felt stressed at all. I have friends in all of my classes (so far) and I don’t have an 8th period. I grin at the thought, after this class I’m free. Oh yeah, I live in Texas and go to a school where we only have 5 class periods each day. The first day, “A” days, we have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 8th; the second day, “B” days, we have 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. The days switch off like, A B A B.

Once 4th period ends I walk to the front of the school and decide to just sit out there working on homework until 8th period ends. I set all of my stuff down and then I climb up on one of the stone walls in front of my school that I see people sit on all the time. I sigh contentedly; this has been a great day. I start digging through my bag searching for homework and then I realize that I don’t have any, I pull out a book instead and start reading. Immersed in the make believe world of Camelot, I soak up the warm Texas sun, and wait for my other friends to get out of school.

As the end of 8th period approaches, I climb off of the wall and sit on the ground with my head against the bricks. Closing my eyes, I drift off for a while, just enjoying being a senior and having no worries at the time being. I wake up about 2 minutes before the bell to let 8th period out rings and I stand up. As I start gathering my stuff I smile, soon I will see some of my friends and I’ll be able to talk to them. Pulling my bag onto my shoulder, the bell rings and I slip back into the school.

Searching for any familiar faces I wave at people I know, but don’t really talk to. Then I see them, Blake and Jennsen walking towards me.

“Hey!” I exclaim giving Jennsen and Blake hugs, “How are you guys?!”

“Ariana!” Jennsen exclaims as she sees me, “I’m great! What about you?”

I smile, “I’m fantastic!” and then I turn to Blake, “What about you?”

Blake grins, “Oh, you know, the usual. I’m amazing!”

I nod, “that’s great!”

Jennsen checks her phone and almost freaks out, “Blake, we got to go!” turning to me Jennsen looks apologetic, “I’m so sorry! We can’t stay and talk, we have an appointment with our parents.”

I nod, “It’s fine! No worries, I’ll see y’all later, alright?”

“Definitely!”

“Bye!” I call out as Jennsen and Blake walk away.

I stand inside the school for a little while longer and then head out the front doors. I smile at everyone I see that stares and then I start making my way to the parking lot. Heading straight for my car I get the feeling that someone is following me, but I ignore it because it’s the school parking lot, everyone parks here.

As I reach my car, which is in a parking spot that I pulled straight into, I unlock it and place my school bag in the trunk, making sure that I don’t leave the book I’m reading in it. I walk over to the front of my car and open the driver’s side door. I place the book on the passenger side seat and place the key into the ignition, just as I’m climbing into my car I hear something nearby. I pause as I’m climbing in, curious as to what it is.

That’s when I realize that I actually was being followed; I wait for whoever it was to say something, when they don’t, I sigh and say, “What do you want?”

“You.” The voice says, and I recognize it, but it couldn’t be… could it?

I whirl around and my breath catches when I see who it is, I can’t believe it.

“Toby?”

He smiles and nods, “Yeah. I’m sorry for not responding to your text, but that was the only way I could stop myself from telling you about the surprise. I was afraid that if I texted you back I’d spill everything.”

I rush towards him and wrap my arms around his waist, holding him close, “It’s okay. You’re here!”

“Yes, I’m here” Toby said as he hugged me back, “I’m here.”

~~~~~~~

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse