We Stick Stronger Than
This is a collection of short fiction stories
that I wrote for class.
My name in
English means happy. It is the feeling people get when they know
everything is all right. I want to be the one who does the little
things to make it better for others. Like that nurse who gave you
the large lemon lollipop after the shot. The mom who plays your
favorite station on the radio. The wrinkly postman who smiles at
you as he hands you the mail.
I was named
after my great aunt. She was a loud woman, with a big heart, big
ears, and an open mind. She spoke the truth, listened, and made you
laugh all at the same time. She could jump rope at 80, and sing
like a well practiced gospel choir. Although she claims to only
practice with the radio. She could pull off any outfit from
any decade. She made sure
to bake oatmeal cookies every day and she never burned them. She
did this to make people feel good and in return she felt good too.
I could never thank her enough.
This is the
woman I want to become. I want to grow up with the name I have and
the people I follow, and I want to show it off. I want to make my
great aunt proud. I want to have kids and a husband and I want to
do something with my life. I want to make people
feeling I get holding a balloon on a string, petting the
neighborhood dog, and seeing my friends smile. My name describes
it. My name, is Ada.
We have always lived here. I only know what my mother tells me
about the other places. I've been here on Mayfair street for about
eleven years now. I remember the lemonade stands, and the friends
who moved away while I stayed. I remember always wanting to fly on
the airplane but mama saying "we had no reason to," and
that we were just fine on Mayfair Street.
I also remember that every once in a while, there'd be one more
of us. I am one of seven; my mom and dad, plus my little brothers
Ben, Tommy, Abe and Theodore. We have a relationship stronger than
glue, we stick together better than duck tape and staples, stickers
and cement, harder to get apart than the hardened jam that sticks
old sandwich bread together. We make the house what it is today. I
am so grateful for them.
The house on Mayfair street is ours, we don't pay rent to
anyone. We don't have to be careful of prissy apartment dogs, or
being too loud all the time. But at the same time, it isn't the
house I thought we'd have. My dream house would have patio with a
view of the starlit sky. A view so breathtaking, you could sit out
for hours and feel it was only a few minutes. I wish for a smoky
fireplace so I could curl around the fire with my hot cocoa and the
sticky white marshmallows. I could slurp it up without anyone
telling me not to.
Although I wish for a better house. I'd be scared to move.
Scared to leave my comfort zone. I'd be horridly afraid to throw
away eleven years of friends and memories just to do it all again
somewhere else. All my friends know where I live. "Thats
where she lives." "Thats where Ada has always
been." And, "Hopefully where she always will be,"
my friends joke. They don't want me to go either. They know I like
my safe good smelling apple cinnamon house with the big family
inside. I'm scared to grow up and say goodbye. I hope I never have
three houses down in the presumptuous purple house with the
petunias in the front. She's large. She's in charge. Tiny fragile
elephant figurines sit on her grand piano. We stop by, Tommy and
I -- every so often just to look at them. "Don't
touch!" she sniffs, "Those figurines are worth more
than your little lives!" She tells us that elephants are
tough. Like her. They have a strong bond of family that she
respects. Tail in trunk as they walk in a linked chain. After our
trip I walk us home, hand in hand. Tommy looks puzzled, "Ada?
We're like elephants too, right?" He looks so cute asking the
question that I laugh. We swing our hands and trumpet like
elephants all the way to our door. "I guess we
Who's a Busy
My mother would ask me as a
youngin', "Who's a busy bee?" And I'd always answer the
same, "Me me me!" I am the busy bee. I wake up
at six in the morning, and I eat my granola bar with pancakes. I
make sure I look pretty enough to go to school, then I pack a lame
lunch in a Walmart bag and walk briskly till I get there. I get to
school, conscious of everything in the hallways. Then as soon as I
hit class, I feel I'm not conscious of anything at all. I attempt
to make all A's like Daddy asks, while trying not to look like a
fool all the same. I try to be polite and hilarious, while also paying
attention in a popular way.
The bell rings. I become a
canned sardine in the hallway, packed and squished as I try not to
shove the other sardines. I chat with my friends till I realize the
time. I run home and clean my room, I wait for Ben to get home so I
can tell him about my day. I help my mom make dinner, and I ask my
dad about his day, because
it's always interesting. Abe makes me play a tedious game he
invented earlier, while Tommy watches and fills me in on how to
play it. Afterward I babysit little Theodore till homework
time. I dawdle till about eight, then quickly get it all done and
hit the sack at eleven after a shower and a snack. I am a busy bee.
But that's what makes my day so good.
Wish You Were Here
I never have a dull moment, because I'm with you guys. But one
day, we won't be together. That'll be the day when I'm bored, and
it's stuffy. And all I'll get to do is clean and tend to my things.
I'll wish you were here. In fact, I'll wish you were all here. All
four of you. Then we could have a party. Your friends and my
friends. We could have the loud explosions, candy highs, the
balloons popping, and the occasional neighbor complaining from the
noise. We would have a blast. We always have a blast. We talk about
it happening. The growing up thing I mean. We talk about getting
back together, us siblings having a reunion when we get older. So
we can show off our spouses and jobs, and our wiggly toothed
toddlers. But what if...what if we don't? What if I spend my days
wondering where you all are. How you all grew up? What if instead
of getting to see you, I get that worn postcard in the mail with a
bunch of pictures saying, "Wish you were here." I don't
know what I'd do.
The Five Musketeers
We sat in a circle. All of us, all of us kids. We played the
make believe Three Musketeers game with two too many -- making
it the Five Musketeers. We all had swords and feathers to make it
official. I got the pretty pink feather with the dusty vacuum tube
sword. Ben got the dirty black feather with the plastic, real
looking sword from last year's Halloween pirate costume. Tommy got
the stubby green feather and a remote from the TV as his sword. For
the babies -- Abe and Theodore, we decided they could have
orange and white feathers. The swords would be too dangerous, so in
their chubby and grubby hands we gave them each a Cheeto and a
pretzel stick instead. We hoped they wouldn't mind. They didn't. We
chuckled and quarreled till the sun came all the way up in the sky.
Then mom woke up from her nap to see the mess, and we cleaned till
the sun came down. The five musketeers, with their feathers and
swords -- playing together, cleaning
Copyright 2009 Ada Beth