Monday, November 6, 2017

Growing Up Is Hard to Do...

(It's a writing prompt story again, and I'll give you the prompt I used at the end)

Lorei was sitting on the edge of the bed swinging her legs back and forth. She had not gone to school today. At first she thought it would be a great deal of fun to skip school and stay at home. The whole day ahead of her to do what she wanted. Play with whatever she wanted to play with and not have to share or be told, "No, you say THIS now, not THAT." But, truth be told, she was bored out of her mind. Without Layla here to play with things just weren't as much fun. Even with as bossy as she was, she always had good ideas on what to do.

She hopped off of the bed and wandered around the room looking for something to do. Again. She'd already made this circuit a dozen times. Did she want to color? No, Layla always picked the pages and she didn't even know where the books were. Did she want to have a tea party? No. Layla always poured the tea, and who else would even be there to pass the imaginary cookies? Did she want to play with Barbies? No. She never liked Barbies. Layla would get so wrapped up making stories for the Barbies that she would completely forget to play with her. No Barbies.

Layla liked school. How weird was that? Especially for someone as bossy as Layla. Because she couldn't be the boss at school. Not all of the time. At recess and lunch she still was. Directing all of her new friends in how to play. They got a good dose of "No, you say THIS now, not THAT." But they seemed okay with it. As long as Layla came up with new games they all seemed ready to play them. And sometimes she didn't even play make believe with them. They played kick ball, and four square and tag. Lorei guessed recess was okay. Even if she was never picked for a team, or caught anyone at tag. Except Layla. Sometimes Layla would let Lorei catch her, but not often.

But sitting in class? Boring. Layla liked it though. She would sit still and pay attention. Raising her hand politely instead of shouting out the answers like Lorei did. Even if she didn't know the answers Lorei just liked shouting out silly things. She was trying to get Layla to laugh. But Layla would shush her and raise her hand and wait to be called on. Layla was good at school. But it was boring. Which is why at first Lorei was excited about staying home. She felt like she was really getting away with a treat. And a treat that she didn't have to share with Layla. She thought it was going to be so much fun. But it was even more boring than school.

Lorei sat down at the desk in the corner of the room and thought about doing some arts and crafts. But she wasn't really good at using glitter and nothing looked good without glitter so she just sat. She decided to pretend she was in class. She could practice raising her hand nicely. "What does 5 plus 6 equal?" The teacher would ask and Lorei would raise her hand and wait and shout out..."Your butt!" she laughed. Butt jokes were always funny. But then she imagined the look on Layla's face and the "SHUSH!" and decided playing school was even worse than being in school.

She thought about going to the park but she wasn't allowed to leave the house by herself. And besides you couldn't really go to the park and play if you skipped school. She would have to stay in their room at least until Layla came home. At least. But probably until tomorrow.

Lorei got up from the desk and stood in the center of the room. She started to twirl. She liked twirling. She especially liked it when she was wearing a flowy skirt. One that would lift out and away from her body while she spun, then if she quickly started turning the other way the skirt would wrap itself around her legs tightly like a hug and then unwind and flow out again. She could do this for hours. Or until she got dizzy and would fall down giggling. But today she wasn't wearing a flowy skirt so it wasn't nearly as fun.

Lorei sighed and went back to sitting on the edge of the bed. Layla would be home from school at 2 and then maybe she would have something fun to do. She looked at the clock. It was nine. It had only been an hour since Layla left for the bus. The bus was actually Lorei's favorite part of the day. Layla had been scared to ride it that first week. Not Lorei. Lorei wasn't scared of anything. Especially not something as easy as a bus. Layla was worried about things like who she sat with and if people liked her and would she make friends at the bus stop. Lorei knew that they had each other so they didn't need to worry about who they sat with. And making friends was easy. Everyone loved a butt joke, after all. So the bus hadn't worried her at all. And it was actually better than she could have ever imagined.

There were rules on where you sat. The youngest kids rode in the front and the oldest in the back. First graders in the first seats, fifth graders in the last seats. The middle was a little more mixed up. There were co-learning classes at their school. Some second and third graders and some third and fourth graders were in the same class so they sat kind of mixed up too. Layla wanted to be in the second and third grade class next year, if you did that you could do third grade work and maybe even skip a year and get to fourth grade earlier. In fourth grade you got to take science. Layla was very excited about the experiments. Lorei would be fine staying in the first grade for another year. First grade got an extra recess. And they could do their own experiments.  Hadn't they had fun mixing up all of the shampoo and conditioner that one time to see if they could save time in the bath? Sure, Mom had said we should leave science to the scientists, but it was still fun.

Anyway...Lorei loved the bus. It was chaotic and noisy and full of energy. There were a million things to pay attention to at once. The best parts were overheard bits of conversations. She and Layla would talk about them later. Trying to figure out what the rest of the story was. Making up all of the details. Who said what to whom and what they were wearing and what they would do next. Well mostly it was Layla that did the making up. Lorei just played along. Like usual. Layla had the best imagination after all.

Lorei looked at the clock again. This time she held her hand up and looked through her fingers, peeking at the second hand clicking around the dial. The funny cat's tail swishing back and forth. It was a great clock. Even if it moved too slowly. She looked down at her legs swinging off the edge of the bed. She watched the floor through her toes. It was really happening.

She knew it was going to one day, but she hadn't been prepared. She thought she could make it last at least another year. Layla had a great imagination, after all and second or third grade wasn't completely unheard of, even if four or five years old was the norm. Lorei had hoped but this morning when Layla left for school and didn't even say goodbye? Well she knew then. She had tried to hold out. Just until Layla came home from school. After all, she might want to play then, but Lorei had to finally accept the truth. Layla hadn't really played with her for months. She barely acknowledged her at all. And if she did it was to tell her to be quiet. Or to go away. And finally, now, she was.

It happens to the best of us, Lorei thought to herself. The day when the invisible friend really becomes invisible.

(Writing prompt: Imagine you are an invisible friend who is being outgrown, what do you do?)

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