It Snowed in October

It Snowed in October

Charlotte Lussier

October 13th

It snowed today. I mean it wouldn’t be that weird if the town across the state wasn’t in the ’90s. Then again, that town’s a desert.

I could see my breathing crystallizing in the sky. The blanket of snow coated the fields, trees and houses. I wondered if the kids down south were wearing shorts, laughing. Though I do tend to think about other people’s lives a lot, just imaging.

Pushing the laughing kids out of my mind, I walked to school. I tried not to slip on ice and topple into the road, like the article my cousin did. The sky is blue with clouds looming over the mountains, as if the thoughts in my head were those clouds. Waiting to storm.

My school’s blast of warm air was too warm. Pulling me out from a freezing shiver into a hot sweat. I have arrived: the desert.

I walked to my locker, 1314. Right next to 1313, with the smell of an old turkey sandwich. Some say it has been there since Covid started, so that’s what…more than twenty years ago? I don’t know, I failed 2nd-grade math.

Then my day got weirder.

It was with my friend Joy. She called me “Covie” as she walked toward me. I have never liked that nickname, it sounded too much like “Covid.”

I mumbled, “Joy, please.” Before she smiled again.

“So Miranda, what are you up to?” She actually called me by my real name, not the version of my middle name.

“Hoping a ghost won’t come out of 1313,” I muttered. “What brings you to my locker on this day?”

“New friends.” Joy beamed, “I would like you to meet them!”

“At lunch,” I said.  Joy nodded, blonde hair nodding up and down. She walked away with such a glow, I swear she was a ghost.

My classes passed by in a blur. Normal things you do in math, choir, and free blocks. Then lunch was upon me, and I felt I had made a huge mistake.

Joy stood up and waved at me before I even saw the outside snow. Two friends peered away from their books and looked up at me. (Didn’t think I looked that cool).

I sat down with pizza and a suspicious package of apple slices. The friends stared at me. What had I done exactly? 

“This is Miranda.” Joy introduced me.

One of the girls held out her hand, “I’m Sarah.” Sarah. Skin the color of a brown autumn leaf. Same as mine.

“I’m Debra.” Of course. Which one? Debra E? W? O? “Debra Lee.” Oh, Debra L.

Didn’t feel like talking at all. The girls just talked about their dresses and dates for the school dance. Giggles from another table about some video they were watching. I just listened, just listened to different lives as they floated past.

“You have red hair!” Debra said.

“Woah, it’s not like I’ve had it this whole time,” I muttered sarcastically. Joy was practically reaching out her hand saying, “Come join us.”

Or I thought that until I came back to reality. And just snapped, “Where did all of these friends come from!?”

I realized I screwed up the moment the words came out of my mouth. And Joy just said: “I thought you needed more friends.”

Then it hit me: I’ve never had a big group of friends. Sure, the kids in my neighborhood are my friends. But never had I walked around in a bubble of girls, talking and walking how everyone would expect.

“Why am I ever hanging out with you?” I muttered. Walked away, leaving Joy stranded in the dust. I haven’t decided what to do about Joy, but I do know I need to apologize. Maybe I’ll leave her a note in her locker. It’ll say how sorry I am, and that such a kind girl like her doesn’t deserve to be screamed at.

-Miranda Cove OUT 

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