2003: Angela Meets Julian

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Read after White Night 004.

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Point of View: Angela
Featured Characters: Angela Mercy, Julian Hollinger, Paolo Martinez
Word Count: 663

Angela makes her very first friend in Silent Pines.

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A little girl with hazel eyes plopped down onto her knees at the foot of a massive oak and carefully set out her plastic pink tea service for two. A carpet of scarlet leaves became the table linen. Yellow dandelions served in place of cookies; blades of grass were torn up and dropped into the cups to become tea. All the while she was having a very in-depth conversation with a companion to her left. First she spoke about the school; then she moved on to farm animals, particularly vocal about horses. Now she was asking, Where do you live? She looked surprised by the answer, peering up with amazement at the tree and then down towards its roots.

But no one was sitting beside her. Angela would know. She had been watching from her hiding spot behind the bushes for what felt like a million years.

It wasn’t that she was shy. Everybody here had known each other since they were babies, but she was NEW—and apparently Angela looked like she had cooties. Her parents had decided to move to Silent Pines just when she was finally getting used to the whole kindergarten thing, and now she had to try and make friends all over again. And some of the other kids were kind of… mean.

The girl having the tea party didn’t look mean. She looked a little strange, was all. Angela kept wondering if she should go talk to the girl, but it sort of felt like she shouldn’t. Like it would be interrupting.

A sharp tug on Angela’s hair broke her train of thought. When she turned around, she found herself nose-to-nose with a very large spider.

Some boy was poking at her with a spider stick!

“NOOOOO!” Angela dropped to the ground, screaming and flailing.

“PAOLO, YOU BULLY!” a girl’s voice shrieked. A moment later, its owner had jumped onto the boy’s back and wrapped an arm around his face. She was trying to wrestle the stick out of his hands. Now HE was screaming, stumbling around off-balance from her added weight. The two toppled over into the bushes, both yelping as they encountered the thorny branches. The boy—Paolo—was the first to untangle himself, running back off to the playground without so much as a backward glance.

Angela scrambled to her feet, grabbing the other girl by the arm and yanking her out of the bushes. She stood still for a moment, gazing in rapt gratitude at her savior.

It was the hazel-eyed girl.

You are my new best friend!” Angela stated confidently.

“I—I am…?” responded the other girl, her eyes going wide as she pulled bits of leaves out of her hair. She didn’t look quite as sure about this as Angela was. “Um… Everybody says I’m weird.”

“I LIKE weird. I’m Angela!”

“I’m Julian,” she returned hesitantly.

Angela beamed.

“Let’s play with your friend.” Leading the girl by the arm, she circled back around to the spot where the tea service lay waiting. Angela finally released her reluctant new friend to kneel and add an extra cup and saucer to the party.

The hazel-eyed girl was staring at her now, wide-eyed shock still written all across her features. She chewed on her bottom lip, seeming to give this new situation some thought before surrendering.

“…Okay. My friend has moved away now though.”

“She isn’t living in the tree anymore?” Angela asked curiously.

Julian turned to look over her shoulder at the big oak, frowning just a bit.

“I think that is still her house down there, but… she said I was nice, so I can have her tree spot now!”

“COOL! This is a good spot. Want me to show you how to make flower crowns?”


Angela plucked a handful of fresh dandelions and began showing Julian how to braid the stems. Julian watched curiously, and soon was resting her chin on Angela’s shoulder.

Overhead, the branches of the tree swayed softly in the breeze.

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