6 (part 1)

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Chapter Six (part one)

It was Saturday. The first Saturday without Emmie here with me.

         Today would usually be clean-the-whole-freaking-house-by-myself-day, but since Emmie was in Florida, I got to do whatever I wanted.

The problem was.. of all the things I knew I could do, I had no clue which to pick. That was why I had been lying wide awake in my bed, staring at the ceiling for nearly thirty minutes, wondering how the builders of the house managed to stick glitter up there.

Maybe they just threw it up. Or maybe they stuck them on the ceiling one by one.

I sighed in boredom and turned onto my side. My eyes flickered over to the window. The rays of sunlight shined through the blinds, illuminating my room with good old vitamin D, and if you looked close enough into the beams of light, you could see little specks of dust floating in the air. I wrinkled my nose.

          We actually breathe that stuff into our lungs?

Within five minutes of staring, my eyes grew wide as an idea finally popped into my head.

I would go out and get to know the city. I'd lived here for a little over a month, but I really hadn't gotten to know much because I chose not to. However, now that I was trying to open up to the world a little more, it seemed like the perfect idea.

I climbed out of bed, deciding to take a quick shower first. Once clean and refreshed, I picked out a simple white shirt, my favorite jeans, and dark blue Toms to wear. I let my hair air-dry, and after eating a small bowl of Lucky Charms, I grabbed my keys and a copy of my favorite book, Mockingjay.

I locked the front door to the house and walked down the driveway towards my car. As I was about to open the door, I caught a glimpse of the front left tire, and I did a double-take. I closed my eyes and prayed it wasn't what I thought it was. I crouched down and took a better look. A flat tire.

I threw my head back, groaning in annoyance.

My first stop was going to be the park, which wasn't that far a walk, but I really wasn't much of an active person. Plus, I was planning on going to different places, but clearly, I had no other way to get around, therefore, walking would have to do. So, I stood and started my way down the driveway.

          Fifteen minutes later, I was arriving at the park. There were toddlers and children running and playing around, not having a care in the world who was watching or whether anybody would judge them for it. There were people jogging and walking their dogs, and some were having picnics. The environment looked so happy and welcoming, that it put a small smile on my face.

          I quickly scanned the park, looking for somewhere to sit. I spotted a bench underneath an oak tree, just across from the playground and made my way over to it, walking a little faster than usual, just in case someone else wanted to sit there, too. Once I had successfully reached it, I sat down cross-legged and reached into my purse, pulling out Mockingjay and opening to the page I had left off.

          I was so into the book, that I didn't even notice when a little girl came and sat right next to me.

          "Hi,"

          I jumped, almost dropping my book to the ground. I placed a hand to my pounding heart and turned to look at the little girl. Her head was slightly tilted to the side, her gray eyes peering up at me. However, the moment I looked at her, I knew she wasn't like any other little girl. There was something different about her.

          She didn't have hair on her head.

          I smiled. "Hi," I greeted warmly. "What's your name?"

         "My name is Katie." She said, grinning. "What's your name?"

          "I'm Lauren."

          "I like that name." She said smiling. Her eyes flickered down to my book and she tilted her head to the side. "Why are you reading at the park? Don't you want to play?"

          "Well, you see, I would play, but I don't have anyone to play with." I pouted and sagged my shoulders for emphasis.

          "I can play with you! I don't have anyone to play with either. All the kids think I'm weird because I don't have hair." She said, shrugging nonchalantly, as if the fact didn't bother her.

          My heart felt heavy. "I don't think you're weird. I think you are beautiful, with or without hair."

          Her face instantly lit up and she grinned. "Thanks! I think you would still look pretty if you didn't have hair either."

          "Why, thank you." I said in a horrible british accent, nudging her playfully.

          She giggled, bringing her hand up to cup her mouth. She was the most adorable little girl I had ever laid my eyes on. It hurt to think people were already bullying her for something she couldn't do anything about, except hope that one day everything would get better.

           Suddenly, her eyes brightened. "Hey, do you wanna be best friends?"

          I chuckled and nodded curtly. "I would love to."

          She clapped her hands together in excitement, grinning from ear to ear.

          "Katie!" A voice called out, causing the both of us to turn in the direction of the voice. A lady with long brown hair and deep gray eyes, just like Katie's, was standing a couple feet away, smiling at Katie expectantly.

          "That's my mom. I have to go, but I'll see you later, Lauren!" She said, wrapping her little arms around my neck. I was taken by surprise but quickly returned the hug.

          "Bye, best friend." I winked as I let her go. She giggled before running off to her mom, and I watched as they walked off hand in hand.

          Was it possible to fall in love with someone after three minutes of meeting?

          Yes. I thought to myself, unable to keep a small smile from forming onto my lips.

          Stuffing my book into my purse, I decided to actually go and "get to know". I stood up from the bench under the oak tree and walked towards the sidewalk.

          Just as I was about to pass the basketball court, I heard someone shout, "Heads up!"

           And I descended into darkness.

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