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Accomplishing the Goal (Part 4)
Stephanie, Age 11, Wanganui, NZ

“So....which car should we take,” Rachael pointed out.

“Maybe mine? I think it’s the only one with back seats,” I said, licking my spoon clean and setting my empty dish to the side.

“Yeah, she’s right,” Melissa said. “Let’s take her car, and after we shop, Callie could drop us off here, and I could walk home and you guys can drive in your cars. I walked here anyway.”

“And Paul and I will drive there in my car, and then we will leave about an hour before you. I can’t stand it when you girls are almost through with your shopping and then you find another store and stay there for about three more hours,” Alex pointed out. 

Paul nodded his head in agreement.

I nodded. I always knew that our conversation was over and anything we had to decide on was decided when there was a long silence, except for Carole chewing on her lip.

We finished off our desserts, paid at the front and left the diner, chatting about all the new styles that came out a few months before.

“I love those new bellbottom navy jeans that go tight until the knee, then they flare out at the bottom,” commented Carole.

Rachael nodded. “Yeah, those are sweet. I also like that top that we looked at in Leimans last week, the one with the tie up cord at the back of the neck and the pointed front. The belly shirt.”

“Oh, that one,” Melissa said. “Yeah.....that one’s cool, but I much prefer that really awesome turtleneck with the hole right underneath the neck. Really sweet.”

I nodded. “Uh huh. I would kill for that and those tight navy flare jeans, I love them,” I said, a dreamy look on my face. “But this time I can afford them, and that one strapped belly shirt. I love that too.”

We rushed for my car, hopped in, and started off in the direction of the mall. On the way, Melissa chatted to me about how good the jeans and that belly shirt would look with my belly button ring. As our luck continued, we got the best parking spot, which was at the very front in front of the doors. Usually that spot was the first one to be taken, but the mall wasn’t very crowded on weekdays, only the weekends. But there were about a couple of hundred people there, so it was very weird that the spot wasn’t taken.

As I dropped the keys in my purse, Carole snorted. “Look who’s here,” she said as she pointed at the entrance.

Veronica and Elantra were emerging from the entrance, with two shopping bags in each hand. They were laughing openly about something, but when they noticed us, their smiles quickly faded and changed into frowns. As they got closer, I saw that a couple of Veronica and Elantra’s bags bore the name of one of the most expensive stores in the mall. Everything in the store from socks which were about $50 to cashmere sweaters which were about $300-$400.

“What are you doing here,” Elantra sneered, carefully setting one of her bags down and pulled a piece of hair out of her face.

Carole snorted. “What do you think? Oh, that’s right, you don’t think, you just assume everything,” she said, glancing at Veronica.

Elantra glared. “I said, what are you doing here?” she repeated, her tone rising.

“What does it look like? Shopping! It was a mall last time I checked,” Melissa said, flipping her hair over her shoulders.

“Well, I think you know where the recycled clothing store is, don’t you, Melissa?” Veronica said, sneaking a smirk at Elantra.

“No, actually, we're heading to Leimans, Veronica. I don’t think you know where that is as you are always at the other end of the mall,” Melissa said. The other end of the mall was the end that had all of the very low-priced, low-quality shops. All the poor people usually hung out there.

Veronica glared. “Well, I ought to---” she stared, Rachael cutting her off.

“C’mon girls, we don’t have to stick around here with these losers,” she said. 

We all walked away toward the entrance, leaving Veronica and Elantra in the middle of the parking lot, looking steamed and annoyed.

We met Alex and Paul inside the front doors, and we set out to the store, Alex and I hand in hand.

“Wow, I love these pants that I decided to get,” Carole said, looking down at the new pants she gotten, which she was wearing. 

Melissa had gotten some jeans and a sweater, Rachael had gotten a T-shirt and some board shorts, I had gotten the bellbottom pants and the one strapped belly-shirt I was talking about earlier.

We were walking towards our car, chatting about our new outfits, when the thing that changed my day, and many others, happened. Carole, Rachael and I were walking toward our car, already across the road where the cars went by, when Melissa dropped one of her bags in the middle of the road, and stopped to pick it up. Just then, this sports car came roaring around the corner, coming straight at her. I noticed the car, and screamed, “Melissa! Look out!”

She turned and saw the car coming at her. She quickly picked up her bag and stared to run toward us. But the car was too quick for her. She was almost to us when the car finally noticed her and screeched to a stop, but it was too late. The car had hit her, throwing her to the ground, unconscious.

“Melissa!” I screamed, running to her and dropping at her side. “Carole, call an ambulance, now!”

Carole obediently tore away from us to the phone booth at the exit of the mall, putting a coin in and dialling the number for an ambulance.

Once

I saw her hang up, I looked back at Melissa. She was sprawled on the ground, still unconscious. “Melissa, can you hear me? Melissa, wake up!” I was yelling into both ears.

“The ambulance is on it’s way, Callie,” Carole informed me, she and Rachael dropping to Melissa’s side, tears dropping onto the dry pavement.

By the time the ambulance got there, it had been about twenty minutes since she had fallen to the ground. Two men, one tall and short, quickly but carefully moved her onto a stretcher, putting her into the ambulance. After the doors had closed, the taller man turned to us. 

“Your friend?” He asked, gesturing to the ambulance.

I nodded, a lone tear dropping onto the ground. I wiped my eyes and faced him. “Yes.”

“Do you want a ride to the hospital?” he asked, hopping into the ambulance and strapping himself in.

“No, we will follow you to the hospital in our car,” I said, hurrying toward the car. We all climbed in, snapped the seatbelts on, and backed out of the parking lot, following the ambulance.

“And don’t forget, which I am sure you won’t, Graduation is tonight in two hours. See you all then, and have a wonderful summer, everyone! I hope you do excellently in your future years in College!” my Spanish teacher, Mrs. Dalinco, said cheerfully as the last bell of the day rang. Everyone jumped up and rushed out the door, as I closed my binder and hurried out into the hall. I

t was two months later, the last day of school. I was waiting for Carole, Rachael and Melissa to meet me outside of the classroom. Melissa had gotten out of the hospital a week earlier, with a broken wrist, a fractured right arm, 8 stiches on the side of her head, 4 stiches on her right cheek and a fractured knee. Carole, Rachael and I had gone to meet her at the hospital on the day she was let out, showering her with some presents, Glad You’re Back, Get Well and We Missed You cards, and lot’s of balloons. She was very glad to be out and with us again, although we cam and visited her every two days. She was left-handed, so she was thankful it had been her right arm to be fractured instead of her left. Of course, she would have liked it 100% better if that car hadn’t hit her at all, but wouldn’t anyone?

“Hey,” I said as they all walked up to me, Melissa leaning on her crutches and Carole holding her books.

“So how our Valedictorian, Cal?” Melissa said, giving me a high-five.

I laughed. “Good. Now let’s get going. We have to get dressed and to Graduation!”

“Let’s go!” Rachael said, leading us all out to my car, the royal chariot waiting to take us to my house so we could get changed into our caps and gowns.

“And, let me introduce, this years Valedictorian, Callie Reynolds!” the school Principal, Mr. Dansen, announced.

It was Graduation night, and it was my turn to go up and speak. I had been so busy with Melissa, that I hadn’t prepared a special speech, so I was just going to say what I wanted, from the heart. I got up from my seat beside my family, the crowd applauding as I walked up to the stand at the front of the audience.

“Well, I don’t really have a speech prepared, so I am just going to wing it,” I said, as the crowd laughed.

“All I can say is, I am thankful to my parents, for giving me extra support in my times of need, my friends for encouraging me, and my teachers for believing in me. They helped me when I needed help with picking up my grades, and when my best friend was hit by a car. All I can really say is, I am thankful to everyone. I hope that one day you will all be successful in everything that you do, the same as I wish for myself. Thank you.”

The crowd applauded like crazy, and when I shushed them, they went quiet.

“And, I can also say, I never thought I would get a Diploma like I have today, as my grades were at rock bottom a few months ago. But, as I said before, my family, teachers and friends helped me get it. I thank you all again for helping me make it.”

I could see my friends and family in the crowd, the fifth row from the front. They were clapping wildly at my speech, even though in my mind, I didn’t think it was really that great. After the ceremony, Melissa, Rachael, Carole and Alex had planned to take me out to a fancy restaurant for dinner. I was deeply thankful, for by the time the ceremony would be over, I would be so hungry I could eat a horse. Well, maybe not that hungry. Also, my family and I were going on a vacation to Universal Studios for a few days in a week’s time to celebrate my choosing of Valedictorian, and also to have a nice family vacation, so my summer was going to be the best one in a couple of years. Actually, make that about five years. I couldn’t wait, to go on the Jurassic Park ride that everyone was saying was so awesome and scary. Just thinking of it made me want to go even sooner.

The crowd went wild again and I thought, “I made it. I really made it to this point. Well, now for the goal of becoming a Veterinarian!”

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