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Chapter 8: The Longest Day

Day Staff

Publication: The Day

Published July 26. 2009 4:00AM   Updated August 03. 2009 4:16PM

It was as if with that single kiss Minerva Wimberly had jangled my nerves forever. When I woke up that morning, I lay in bed and thought about it. It had to have been a dream.

But no. It had been real. I looked at the empty space on the shelf where my stuffed mouse used to be. That proved it.

When I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, I stared at my face in the mirror. Was mine a face a girl would want to kiss? I looked into my plain brown eyes floating behind my black-framed glasses.

"Distinguished," she had said.

I couldn't eat any breakfast. All I could think about was her. Would she come over today? She had to. What if she didn't? I didn't even know where she lived.

I paced around the house until I made my mother nervous. "Why don't you go see Eddy?" she said, and the thought made me squirm. What if Minerva came while I was gone?

I decided to log on to our computer and see if I had any mail. I wondered if Minerva had a computer. But the only mail was from Eddy:

"heard about miss stiletto, dude. bad scene. but i definootely want 2 hear about it. i'm

=:-(... droolin'. btw, u want 2 start that new clubhouse? e."

I messaged back: "nah. w."

I went upstairs and sat on my bed, and I watched the clock on my bedside table. 11:18. I watched the second hand creep around. 11:19. I had never realized how long a minute is. What time had she come over yesterday? Noon? Sometime around then. 11:20.

Suddenly, I knew she wasn't coming. I looked at that empty space on the shelf. It was like the empty space inside of me.

Ring!

The phone! I practically tore it off the wall.

It was Eddy.

"Hey, Wump, you want to come over?"

"No, I ... " What could I say?

"Why not?" Eddy sounded disappointed.

"Uh, I've got to help my mom wax the floor."

"Wax the floor! Since when do you do that?"

"I dunno. Look, I've gotta go."

I hung up the phone and stared at the wall.

What was wrong with me? Eddy was my best friend in the whole world, and now, all of a sudden, I was LYING to him. I'd never lied to Eddy about anything before.

I went up to my room and threw myself on my bed. Never, never had a day been so long.

Dong!

The doorbell! And Mrs. Zippy yapping like mad. It must be. I ran downstairs and threw open the door.

There stood Eddy, grinning at me.

"So'd you get that floor waxed yet?"

"No. Yes. What do you want?"

"You wanna do somethin'?"

"Nah."

"Why not?"

Suddenly, I was angry. Why couldn't Eddy take a hint? Why did he make me lie to him like this?

"I just don't want to, OK?"

Eddy looked bewildered. He scratched his wooly head. "But what'd I do to honk you off?"

"Nothing! You didn't do anything."

"Well, what's eating you then?" Eddy's blue eyes squinted at me accusingly.

"Nothing. See you later, OK?"

"OK, Wump, whatever you say." Eddy turned and trudged down the steps, his shoulders slumped and head hanging.

I closed the door and fell back against it. My eyes burned. I actually thought I was going to cry.

And then I thought, What am I DOING?

I pulled open the door.

"Hey, Eddy! Wait up!"

As I ran down the steps and across the yard, I felt good for the first time all day.

But I also felt like I was leaving a piece of myself behind, a little piece of me still waiting for Minerva Wimberly.

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