X plus two equals seven, so seven minus two equals five which equals X so…
“Sophia!” Mom calls up the stairs, “Time for dinner!”
“Alright!” I call back, “Just a sec!” I finish my math problem, writing “X=5” and I put my books back in my back pack.
I hate homework; it takes away from the time I could be spending outside, being free. When I am inside, I feel closed in. I feel most myself when I am with nature. I’ve tried to do my homework outside, but I was too easily distracted by the things around me to actually get anything done.
I love nature. I don’t know whether I am lucky to live in the country because of all the nature here, or if it is because I live in the country that I love nature so much.
I am Sophia Lexi and I am the average country teenager. I live in a big farm house on the edge of town with my mom, dad, five older brothers—Mark, Eli, Josh, James, and Kyle—and all the little animals that live in the wood in our back yard.
Mark is in college now, being 20 years old, but he is home on the weekends and our birthdays if he can make it. Eli and Josh are 19 years old and trying to figure out where they are going to go for college. They are working at McDonald’s right now trying to earn money. James is a junior and Kyle is a sophomore; I’m a freshman.
I’ve always had this special bond with Mark—the youngest-oldest sibling bond. I can tell him almost everything, and he does the same to me. I’ve always gotten along better with Mark than with any of my other brothers. I’m not saying that I don’t get along with them, but Mark and I kind of just “clicked.”
I run down stairs, take a few turns in the hallway, and find my family sitting at the table in the huge dining room, waiting for me. I sit down in my usual spot at the big oval shaped oak table, between Mark and Mom. She smiles at me, and I smile back. We hold hands around the table, forming a circle. Mark squeezes my hand, and I squeeze back. There is a lot of love in my family, and I am very happy that God put in it this one. I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t.
Dad says grace, like he always does, thanking God for our family, love, friends, food, health, and faith. Then the chaos begins. My family hasn’t quite gotten the idea of passing all the food in the same direction, so you have to figure out how to pass the green beans to your left while passing the corn to your right. I guess that goes to show that boys just don’t get table manners. The chaos is soon over, and I still haven’t gotten the butter I’ve asked for.
“May I have the butter please?” I ask, but the boys are talking about last night’s football game and no one can hear me. I see that my attempts to get the butter are failing, and that the boys aren’t going to stop talking about the awesome win, so I get up and walk over to the other side of the table, grab the little plate with the stick of butter on it, and go back to my seat.
We all eat, and the boys are still talking about the game even after dinner is over. I take my plate and put it in the sink.
“I’m going up stairs to finish my homework,” I say to the room at large.
“Okay,” Mom says, “Just don’t stay up too late, alright?”
“Okay, I won’t,” I say, and I head back up the stairs to finish my dreaded math homework.
It’s almost June, and it’s getting warm out. It’s taunting me, with all the warm breezes and the singing birds. I haven’t been out this year as much as I would like, and I am getting depressed. I’m very tempted to take my homework outside, but it’s due tomorrow, and I won’t get anything done outside. I sit down at my desk, which is facing the only window in my small room. Unwillingly, I get my math books out and start the homework that I hate so much. Why can’t we learn this is school? Why do I have to do extra? I sigh, and the homework begins.
Done, yes! Finally, and it only took an hour to finish. I sit back in my chair, smiling. It’s still sunny out, and I only had math due tomorrow. A bike ride sounds good, and my best friend Hannah should be done by now. I head down stairs, smiling, and I can’t wait to get outside. I’m putting on my shoes when Mom sees me.
“Where are you going?” She asks, though I am pretty sure she already knows the answer.
“Outside,” I say, “I was going to go on a bike ride with Hannah.”
“Hannah is sick,” Mom says, “Her mother called to tell you, but you were busy with math. She thought it would cheer Hannah up if you went over and said hi.”
My smile fades. Sick people can’t go outside. I sigh. My best friend was sick, and I was sad that I couldn’t go outside. I should go make her feel better.
“Ok,” I say, a little saddened, “I’ll go say hi.”
“Don’t stay too late,” Mom says and she goes into the kitchen to do her nightly cleaning.
“I won’t,” I say as I finish tying my shoes. Even though it is June, it can get a little breezy, so I grab my spring jacket, just in case.
As soon as I walk out the door, all the sadness I had felt before at the fact that I wouldn’t be able to bike ride with my friend goes away. Just being out side on the front porch makes me feel better. Happy, I run to the barn to retrieve my bike. I set off, the wind blowing in my face. I take deep breaths, breathing in the fresh air.
When I finally make it to Hannah’s house (I have to admit, I took a few “detours”) I find Hannah’s Mom making her famous brownies. I walk into the kitchen to say hi, and to get a snitch of brownie batter.
“Hi Sophia,” She says, smiling at me, and then she turns back to her mixing. “Done with your math homework?” Hannah’s mom was almost like a second mother to me. She always makes sure I have my homework done, even if my own mother has already made sure. I treat her like a mother too; she has always been kind to be. Hannah’s home is like a second family to me.
“Yep,” I say, walking up next to her and reaching my finger towards the bowl full of the brownie mix. She swats my hand and smiles at me.
“Save it for latter,” she says, pouring the batter into a baking pan, “Hannah is up in her room. Why don’t you go and surprise her; I didn’t tell her you were coming.” I nod, and walk out of the kitchen. At the bottom of the stairs I stop. I tiptoe up, making sure I don’t make a sound. I make it to the top, and on my left is a door, covered in pink things. This is the door to Hannah’s room, and she loves the color pink. There are pink streamers, pictures with pink frames, plastic pink necklaces hanging on the doorknob, and my personal favorite: a picture of the two of us from when we were little, wearing the same pink outfit to school on the first day of kindergarten. I smile as I remember that happy memory. We planned it all in our little kindergarten minds, and I had thought myself pretty smart for thinking of the idea, though to this day Hannah still says it was all her doing.
I tiptoe to the door and try to figure out how I am going to open it without making the necklaces jingle. I try turning the doorknob slowly, but the necklaces clink together. I stop, listening to make sure Hannah didn’t notice. I decide that a dramatic door opening would be better, so I turn the doorknob, push open the door, and hop into the room, shouting “Ta-da!”
Hannah nearly jumps out of her bed, but she smiles as she sees me.
“You scared me half to death!” She says, breathing hard, but smiling all the same, “I thought maybe I heard the necklaces jingle, but figured it was just the cat.” Hannah’s cat, Boris, comes strutting in the room at the moment, hopping on the bed meowing for attention.
“Stupid cat,” Hannah says, “Why do they always sit at the end of the bed where you can’t reach them, and meow at you like it’s your fault?”
“I don’t know,” I say as I sit at the end of the bed and pet Boris, who purrs happily and begs for more attention.
“I’m so bored, being stuck in bed,” Hannah says, “I mean, why do I always get sick when it’s nice and sunny out? Most people get sick when it’s cold, so there isn’t anything to do anyway. But nope, not me, I’m just the oddball.” Hannah sighs, “I felt sick as soon as I got home. I think it was what I ate for lunch that made me sick.”
“What did you eat for lunch?” I ask.
“You know,” Hannah says, “I don’t really remember.” We laugh.
“Then how do you know that it is what you ate if you can’t even remember?” I ask, still laughing. Boris, not happy about all the noise or the fact that I stopped petting him, leaves.
“I don’t,” Hannah says, “I said I think it was what I ate, not I know it was what I ate.”
“Ah, I see,” I say, “So how do you feel now?”
“Better,” Hannah says, “Laughing always makes me feel better.”
“Good,” I say. Then the necklaces jingle and in comes her mom, holding a plate full of brownies. My mouth starts to water.
“The brownies are done” she says, placing the plate on the middle of the bed, “Just don’t eat too many.”
“We won’t,” I say, and she leaves, closing the door behind her. I take a bite of brownie, and I’m lost in a world of chocolate. The brownies were soft and moist: perfection.
“You’re mom,” I say through a mouthful of brownie, “Makes the best brownies.”
“I know, doesn’t she?” says Hannah, taking a bight of hers. We sit there and munch on brownies for a few minutes, not saying anything.
Boris comes back, obviously dying for attention. He struts in, acting as though he were the king of the house, and makes his way to the head of the bed and hops up. He looks at me with his big green eyes, and I can’t resist. I pet him, and he instantly goes into la-la land, purring like crazy and lying on his back so I can rub his belly.
“You need a cat,” Hannah tells me, taking her second brownie.
“I know, I tell my mom, but she doesn’t think so,” I say. I really did want a cat, or any animal for that matter. But Mom says no every time, so I stopped asking her. “Don’t make yourself sick on those brownies,” I say to Hannah.
“I’m already sick,” she says, “Brownies can’t hurt.” And she takes another huge bite. I laugh at Hannah’s silliness.
“They have milk, and that’s calcium, and eggs, that’s protein, and chocolate, which is supposed to be good for you. See? I have just proved that brownies are good for you.”
I laugh. It was so like Hannah to try and make brownies healthy. We sit on the bed, eating way too many brownies.
“You’ve got a point, I say, still giggling, “Plus they taste good, and I say that anything that tastes good is good for you. “
We laugh. I gaze down at the brownie plate and I find that there is only one left. They weren’t small brownies either.
“Holy cow!” I say, “We’ve eaten the whole plate! You’re mom isn’t going to be very happy.”
“Oh well,” Hannah says, and she takes the last brownie. I look down at my stomach, and sure enough, it’s a little farther outwards then it was when I came.
The sun was setting, with blues and reds, one of the prettiest I have seen in a very long while.
“Look,” I say to Hannah as I point out the window.
“Oh!” Hannah says in aw, “It’s gorgeous.” We sit there, watching the beautiful colors drift away into blackness.
“Well,” I say, breaking the silence, “it’s dark, so I’d better go.” I stand up, brushing brownie crumbs off my jeans.
“Do you have to?” Hannah asks, looking at me with her big sad eyes, frowning. “It’s so much more fun with you here.”
“I wish I could,” I say, “But Mom said not to stay too late.” I stand up, grabbing the plate that once held a batch full of brownies intending to take it down stairs.
“Oh, alright,” She says, “See you soon, then!”
“Yep,” I say, turning towards the door. I open it, the necklaces jingling, and I walk out. Before I close the door, I turn back and look at Hannah.
“I’ll try to come over tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay,” she says, looking a little happier.
“Bye,” I say, not really wanting to leave.
“Bye.” And I close the door.
I walk down the stairs, wondering what Hannah’s mom is going to say when I show her the empty plate. Hopefully she won’t be too mad. Maybe I can somehow sneak into the kitchen and just leave it on the counter without her noticing.
I peak around the corner to see if she is still there. She is, and she sees me.
“Leaving now, Sophia?”
“Yeah,“ I say, trying to hide the plate so she won’t notice. I fail in hiding it, and she of course notices it.
“What are you hiding?” She asks, though I am sure she already knows the answer.
I hold out the plate for her to see, not saying a word. I’m not making eye contact, afraid that she might yell at me.
“Oh, you two!” She says. She doesn’t sound mad, so I look up. She’s smiling at me, and I smile back, unable to help myself.
“You really think I’d yell at you for eating all the brownies?” She asks, taking the plate from my hand and placing it in the sink to get washed.
“Maybe,” I say in a quiet voice.
“You know I wouldn’t. It’s you who’s not going to feel well tomorrow, not me.”
“I won’t feel bad,” I say, “Hannah and I figured out that brownies are actually very good for you.”
“Oh really, how’s that?”
“They have milk, which is calcium. Eggs, that’s protein. And chocolate, which they say is good for you.”
“Ah, I see,” say Hannah’s mom, laughing, “Well, it’s dark, and your mom will be wondering where you are, so it’s probably best that you head on home. Just don’t tell her that I let you eat a plate of brownies, okay? She’d kill me if she found out.” She winks at me.
“Okay,” I say, winking back, “Thanks for having me over, and for the brownies, they were amazing!”
“Thanks for coming over and cheering Hannah up. She really hates being sick.”
“Yeah, me too. Well, I better get going. Bye!”
“Have a safe trip!” she calls to me as I walk towards the front door.
“I will,” I call back.
I head home, not taking any detours because it’s dark and the back roads don’t have any street lights.
“I’m home!” I call as I walk through the front door, kicking off my shoes without bothering to untie them.
“You’re late!” Mom’s voice calls from the kitchen.
I walk into the kitchen, finding Mom tidying things up before she goes to bed, like she always does.
With her, everything must be clean before she can rest. This means she makes sure that our rooms are clean and that the living room is dust free. It’s a good thing that Dad married a clean freak, otherwise he’d be drowning in his own filth.
Because, unlike my clean freak of a mom, Dad is the biggest slob on earth. He’s gotten better since he’s married and lived with Mom, but he still doesn’t like to clean.
She’s smiling, and I know she isn’t really mad at me. I walk towards her smiling as well. You can’t help but smile when you are around my mom. Her smile is contagious. It’s soft and friendly, and very welcoming. Maybe that’s why she has so many friends.
I lean my head on her shoulder, and she gives me a one arm hug.
“It’s about time you got into bed,” She says, giving me a squeeze, then letting go.
“Okay,” I say, “Night.”
I leave Mom to do the cleaning and head up stairs, thinking of how soft my bed is. The day had been great, but all I really wanted to do was sleep.
I crawl into my bed, smiling to myself, and I drift off.
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That's all. Hope you enjoyed it.