Chapter 1 - Hating Parasol Peters
Marty's thighs squeak as she shifts in her chair. As much as she'd love to hide it, a smile begins to curl at the corners of her mouth as she moves her pen along the yellow cardstock. Marty lets out a little cough and I jump a little. she holds up her poster in completion, her small, curly handwriting runs down the paper in a neat column, I smile.
Dear Parasol Peters,part
Thank you, for if it wasn't for you, I would not be in love with Marty Casper.
p.s. I hope when we find you, we’re too late.
I read over the poster and give Marty a reassuring look. The description is as accurate as it could get, reading it I can picture Parasol's face in my mind.
Female, 17 years
Aprx. 6 feet
Short, Blonde Hair
Bottle Cap Glasses.
I'm trying to picture Parasol hiding somewhere, disguised among a crowd of people. It was impossible. Parasol Peters stood out like a sore thumb. How she's been able to stay hidden for so long is something bordering witchcraft.
Dear Parasol Peters,
Your desire to stand out hinders your need to stay hidden.
p.s. I've hated you since first Grade.
Parasol Peters is very possibly the worst living being in the entire, edgeless Universe. If there is one good thing about her, it would be that she makes everyone else seem much better than they are. And possibly the most vexing part about Parasol, aside from her stupid alliteration of a name, her high-waist shorts, her stupid Bottle Cap Glasses, is that Marty Casper is her best friend. Sweet, lovely Marty, with wide, curvy hips; Big, round eyes; and fiery, red hair. Marty, who says nothing in class, writes nothing in her notebook, does not carry a backpack, and makes honor roll each quarter. My admiration for her goes farther than any star in the galaxy.
Marty coughs again, my paternal instincts kick in and I begin to worry she may be sick, I have the sudden urge to pick her up in my arms and run to the nearest emergency center. I look over at her and she's smiling. I can see the hope in her eyes grow as every page comes out of the copier. Our original plan was to post these around town, but being alone with Marty I'm contemplating the shredder in the corner of the room. When the copies are all out I scoop them up and pat them into a clean stack, split it, and hand half of them to Marty, in the hopes of brushing my fingers against her's in the exchange.
We walk around together, putting a flyer here or there. I realize that we have made far too many copies and I begin to calculate how many people per flyer we have, I reach the approximation of three to a flyer when Marty tugs on the sleeve of my sweater. My cheeks get red and I know her action was to alert me, to grab my attention, but my mind spirals into a scenario in which this tug was a confession of her love and I turn to see her lips, sitting there, waiting for mine to smash into them. I turn to her, my hope still a little too far up and see that her eyes are on her feet.
"It would probably be faster if we split up, I mean.... yeah..." She whispers in a bell tone. My heart drops so far down that I begin to here rumbles echoing from the hot mantle of the Earth.
"Yeah, that makes sense, lets split and meet up in like, half an hour at the -uh- the uh-..." I practically chew off my tongue trying to think of a place in this molecular town that can keep Marty Casper comfortable long enough for her to realize that she's in love with me.
"Well... How about the pizza place... ugh... what's it called?" Her voice brightens and she tries to hide her embarrassment by giggling. That was too much for me. My face betrays me and a goofy smile jerks it's way up to my temple.
"Oh it's like... Mario's or something... I've always just called it "Pizza"..." My voice is trembling and I'm not succeeding in hiding the redness burning off my face.
"Oh, ha" She rings, "Well, lets meet there. Half and hour?" She's walking backwards as she closes the conversation.
"Yep, see you!" I stand there waving like an idiot. I walk in the direction opposite of Marty, noting that we had not decided where the other was going and I could totally pull off bumping into her and sell it as an accident. I decide against it and walk towards my house, dropping the remaining flyers in the nearest recycling bin. I reach my house and bounce up the stair to my room, I throw my sweater on the bed and look at myself in the mirror, puddles of sweat are accumulating in multiple spots on my T-shirt and I decide I have enough time to take a shower.
Leaving the shower, I realize two things. First, Marty thinks I'm putting flyers around the town. And second, I have ten minutes to dress, dry my hair, and walk across town to Mario's or whatever it's called. I put on the same jeans and sweater but change my shirt, hoping Marty won't notice the change of band names. I decided the best thing to do is drive a car. Which I can totally do, just not well. I take my mom's Accord, figuring if Marty would like a ride home, a clean car would be preferred.
I reach Mario's or whatever a whole four minutes before I spot Marty walking up the sidewalk. Her shorts are folded up from her thighs rubbing together and her hoodie is draped over her shoulders like a tennis player. She pulled her hair back into a ponytail and her bangs have been pulled to the side. I stare at her, thinking about how perfect she looks walking towards me and the sun starting to set behind her. Like the goddess of the underworld, Persephone with her red hair curling around her face and the fire blazing behind her... I have never envied Hades so much in my life.
We walk into Mario's or whatever and are instructed to seat ourselves. I discern that this will be the first time I will see Marty eat, the first time that we eat together. The waiter comes and I can tell immediately that he has eaten here far too many times. We order a calzone, to split, a Diet Pepsi for Marty, and a Mt. Dew for myself. I had the full intention of paying the bill myself before Marty mentions to the waiter that we will be splitting the check. I find this odd and wonder how the waiter will spit the price for one entree, but decide that that is a job for the waiter, and my job is to awkwardly woo Marty into eloping with me.
"So," Marty has the courage to start a conversation; the courage that, sadly, I lack. "When did you first meet Parasol?" Out of all the conversation starters-
Dear Parasol Peters,
How you got the admiration of Marty Casper is completely beyond me.
p.s. I hope you're gone long enough for Marty to forget your existence.
"She moved here in first grade" I tried to sound as boring as possible in the hopes of ending this conversation quickly.
"And did you fall in love with her immediately?" I had failed in losing her interest. Her eyes were bright, just waiting for a good story.
"Actually, yes." As much as I would love to forget it, I was in love with Parasol Peters.
She actually moved to this town half way through first grade. I remember because it was the 100th day of school and we had that stupid party, you know, with the cheerios? Anyway, that morning I was counting my cereal in order to glue it to a piece of paper and a girl walked into the room. I immediately stopped counting my cheerios, which was later proven a horrible decision when I ended up with 78 cheerios on my poster instead of 100 like the rest of the class. But those little O's were in no comparison with the girl.
The first thing I noticed was her hair. Her hair was black as black can possible get, I guess like... raven black, and, even put up, it reached her knees. The second was her height; she was probably a foot taller than everyone else in the class. After taking that in, I looked at what she was wearing. Without counting, I could safely guess that she was wearing thirty skirts, every variety of color and texture stacked on top of each other. She wore a black sweater festooned with pet dander. Her hair was pulled back into two pigtails and she wore huge Bottle Cap Glasses. I looked at this strange girl for what seemed like forever when the teacher clapped a simple rhythm for us to stop talking and repeat.
This is a side note. That rhythm, even in our junior year of highschool, still gets us to shut up. We have all been trained like dogs.
"Students, This is Brell Peters. From today on, she will be in this class, I expect you to welcome her with open arms and kind intentions." Our teacher, whose name I have since forgotten, continued her lecture until, out of nowhere, the girl shouted.
"YOP!" The class stared, the teacher froze mid-sentence, "I'm sorry, It's just.... My name is Parasol Peters, well, Umbrella Peters, but that's an ugly name so I was called Brell, but that doesn't agree with my last name, so Parasol, which is like Umbrella but not really." The class continued to stare as I fell in love with Parasol Peters.
During lunch, I found Parasol eating alone. She was eating a cheese sandwich, which was so boring, and I smiled at her. She smiled back with the goofiest smile I had ever seen, goofier than mine, even. Her teeth were sparse and those that were there were very big. Here eyes were so green, they seemed radioactive. I sat down and we conversed. Our topics were arbitrary. Parasol Peters was my best friend.
"So you guys have been friends for a really long time? That's really awesome!" I know she was mislead by my story, but it still irritated me to think of myself being friends with Parasol. I looked at Marty, she had rested her hoodie on the back of the chair and I could see tan lines on her chest, her skin was smooth with a speckle of freckles. After staring at her chest for a very inappropriate amount of time, I noticed a scar running from her left collarbone and down past the start of her T-shirt.
"So- uh...- Where did you get that scar? I mean..." I murmur, trying to change the subject.
"Hmm? What? OH!" She jumps, looking down at her chest. When she jumps, her breasts bounce and I feel as if I could spend the rest of my life with someone like Marty Casper. "Yes, yes, that's actually a funny story. Well, actually, it was the day I met Parasol." Fuck.
Dear Parasol Peters,
I want Marty Casper more than any girl I've ever known.
p.s. That includes you.
"So this was last year, do you remember? That's when I switched schools. Well, actually, it was the middle of summer, the one before the last school year. I was at the park.. there was that festival thing... You were there right?"
I remember that festival pretty well, I had seen Marty before then but that was the first time I had spoken to her. I was working there, making snow cones at the stand for our school's jazz band. Marty came over and ordered a cherry snow cone. She was wearing a blue tank top and an orange skirt that made her body move in the most beautiful ways. After handing her the cone and receiving her money, our conversation was over, and I was in love. I had heard that she would be switching from the private school in the town over, to our public school and I had resolved to befriend her at the start of the new year, I was watching her walk away, entranced by her movements, when I saw Parasol. She was rollerblading, clumsily, down the narrow sidewalk. In her hands was a wooden sword. -- I've just realized where Marty's scar had come from, I've also realized that Marty was still talking.
"And I had told her that I was fine, and that she shouldn't worry but she insisted that I go to the hospital, it turned out that I needed stitches! It was really painful when they were sewing it up but Parasol was really helpful and she made me feel really happy. Doesn't she have that effect on you? She seems to always know how to cheer me up. Anyway, after that, we became really close friends and well..." She pauses, seeming confused.
"What? What is it?" I can't stop thinking about how cute she looks when she's confused.
"It's just," Her lips rub together in contemplation, "Parasol and I hang out all the time and we talk about everything.... but, I mean... we never hang out with you or talk about you or anything. Did something happen between you guys?" As amazing as Marty is and how cute she is interrogating me, I'm beginning to get tired of digging up the past. I sigh.
"Ugh... yeah, uhm... well... It all sort of started the second day she was at school. You know how kids are, you make friends really fast and so after the first day, I had expected a friendly greeting from her. But, when I said hi, she looked at me like I was crazy, she didn't seem to remember who I was? And, I don't know, that really hurt, I loved her.... she broke my heart in one day..." Marty stares at me in disbelief.
"Well, yeah." No, "Actually, no. Um.... Like, that didn't matter really, after a while, we started talking again and by middle school, we were best friends and I had fallen back in love with her. But you know, like.... Kiddie-love like... Like I liked her and stuff. But, well, she's always been really... you know, like, different? You get it, I mean, she's Parasol. And as middle school continued I began to see how childish all her stunts were, all of the dramatic reactions, the pretending, coming to school in costume, that was all over in my mind. But Parasol still did it, to this day she still does it. I guess that's not really why we aren't close. That's not really a problem. It's just that Parasol has this horrible ability to draw your attention, you always want to know what she's doing. I mean, even now, I'm curious, I don't know where she is or what she's doing but I'm positive it's something fantastic, something bizarre. And that irritates me, she is just so selfish, she should have told us, told you."
"But the note she left..." Marty's voice trails off.
Parasol Peters had left a note declaring her desires to leave planet earth on her bedside table and had disappeared two weeks into summer vacation. But I know Parasol, far more that Marty, Parasol would never rid the world of someone so fantastic as herself.
"You should ignore that, Parasol is throwing a tantrum. She needs attention in order to survive, She's six years old." I snap, and I feel bad about it.
"You're being rude, she had real problems, she wasn't happy. Now, I know she may be a little.. over the top, but that's no reason to hate her." I feel sick and want to end this conversations soon as I possible can.
"Yeah, well, I mean, you don't know her like I do. So... No, Wait, I mean, it's just that I've known her forever and, overall other feelings I've had for her, hate overpowers them all, I don't know, she just always ends up hurting me, and I decided I hated her for that."
The summer after our freshmen year, I professed my love to Parasol Peters.
We had been exploring this spot in the wood that Parasol was convinced was inhabited by a ghost. She was determined to find said ghost and have him answer her questions regarding the afterlife. I decided to help her for the same reasons I am helping Marty find her now. She had climbed up a tree, saying that ghosts can float and if she were a ghost, she would never want to touch the ground. As she climbed, I could see up her skirt and I decided that Parasol Peters was probably perfect. It wasn't even really love, it was opportunity. Convincing myself that eventually, guys were going to notice how hot this weird girl with bottle cap glasses really was, and I needed to keep her with me, so I called out.
"Hey, Pear," Which is what I called her when I wasn't completely annoyed with her made up name, "Can you come down for a second?"
"What? Are you kidding me? I'm like, halfway up the tree already." She looked down at me, her face was red and her hair was curling from the humidity.
"Just do it, I mean seriously, there's not ghost up there, why would a ghost spend their afterlife in a tree?"
"You know what? Your a jerk, go away." She grabbed the next branch and pulled herself up.
"God, just come down, I need to talk to you, it's sort of important or whatever." She glared at me, I glared back. She climbed down, this time, I was too irritated to watch.
"What? What do you want?"
"You know, I just, I love you pear. You know... That's all." My face was red and sweaty, I didn't necessarily regret what I said, I was just sort of ashamed.
She looked at me for a really long time, I guess trying to figure out if I was serious. She she turned around and laughed out loud. She began climbing the tree again.
"Your an idiot, your idiocy is going to scare away this ghost, leave." I left, my face was still hot. Parasol Peters was a bitch, she had always been one, but never to me. Our friendship was different and complicated but always in a cool, casual way. I hated her.
I decide not to tell Marty about this. It wasn't as childish as our happening in first grade, but I still felt like I was immature. We look at each other for just about a millennium before, like quail and manna to the traveling Israelites, our food comes. We eat in silence, which I hate, but I'm super hungry and can't open my mouth without instinctively putting food into it. I watch Marty eat, which is adorable. She had cut her share of Calzone into tiny pieces. When she puts a piece in her mouth, she tightly puckers her lips as she chews. As we finish, the waiter brings us our checks and I discover that his way of splitting the check was charging me for my soda and the entire Calzone, and Marty for her diet Pepsi. I'm totally fine with this but just a tad peeved at the waiter.
Disappointment being the theme of the evening, I don't find it surprising when Marty says she's staying at a friends house and it's just down the street. My plan of car smooching is pushed out of the proverbial/literal window, and so I wave goodbye and find my way back to the car.
At home, I crawl into bed immediately, not bothering with changing or brushing my teeth, what's the point really? Tomorrow, I will be meeting Marty at Parasol's house yet again. Her parents won't be home, they left a couple days after Parasol. I assume they're looking for her but for all I know they could be studying for exotic pill bugs in the United Arab Emirates, both scenarios are equally ridiculous, considering pill bugs prefer cooler, wetter locations and Parasol Peters is not worth finding. Whilst trying to sleep, I thought about Parasol, which was not a desired thought to fall asleep to.
Starting our freshmen year, we never as much as looked at each other. Of course, she didn't fall off the edge of the Earth, mostly because the Earth is round and gravity prevents one from simply dropping off. Parasol Peters was as Parasol-y and Peter-y as she had ever been, and I often heard people talking about how she was on the roof throwing straws at people or performing a scene from Othello in the 10th grade hallway. The difference was that I wasn't standing next to her, looking embarrassed for the both of us. I wasn't particularly bothered by Parasol’s silent treatment. As a matter of fact, it was a relief. I’m not entirely sure whether she was ignoring me because of what I had told her of if she simply grew bored of me, but never the less, I was free of Parasol Peter’s reign. The fact was this: I hated her. And I not-so-secretly hoped she hated me. I prayed never to talk to her again.
I was beginning to think there might be a pattern in our friendship. I thought about, if we were to become friends again, how old we would be when she forgot about me again. If it was a pattern, the first time was a day, and the second time was 3,181 days, that would mean the next time would be in 10,118,761 days or 27,722 and a half years. We would be 27,738 years old the next time she broke my heart, which, honestly, made me feel a tad optimistic. But I wasn't going to let her do that to me again, in the case that new, anti-aging technology is created. I was sick of her. If it hadn't been Parasol Peters laughing at my feelings, I probably would have moved on, but Parasol Peters sticks with you. She is a person that you will either love, or hate forever, and seeing as love didn't work out, I moved to the latter.
I guess that event isn't even the reason I hate Parasol, I mean, it is but I don't know. I simply hate her. And that year, my hatred burned like the incandescent plasma forming our Sun. I am almost positive that my declared hatred is the sole reason I was paired with her in Biology lab for the entire year. And, even though we sat next to each other once a week for an entire school year, she never seemed to acknowledged me. I, on the other hand, had a horrible time, having to sit next to her, handing her beakers, working on partner questions, Smelling her orange perfume. Everything she did was so incredibly irritating that it was everything in my power not to slap her mouth.
Last night leaving something to be desired, I gathered the resolve to make an impact today. I'm to meet Marty at Parasol's house in a half hour and am currently deciding on which cereal to eat. I don't necessarily like Lucky Charms, but I like the feeling after eating them, it really is like magic, you feel like a giant marshmallow; like in Ghost busters.... I decide on plain Cheerios (Which happens to be my favorite cereal and has absolutely nothing to do with the day I met Parasol Peters) I eat my breakfast in record time because it took an obscene amount of time to choose said breakfast and I still need to brush my teeth and change out of the clothes I've been wearing for over 24 hours now. I rush upstairs and throw on a slightly, almost fashionably wrinkled pair of khakis from the back of my drawer and a thick knit, emerald green sweater; It may be summer, but, up here, it’s pretty much always below 60 no matter what season.
I decide against driving, figuring we'll be walking about town again. I walk briskly to Parasol's house, it's approximately a half a mile away and this means I will be late, but Marty won't care. I make it to the house and let myself in, there's no point in knocking because the homeowners are out wasting their time. I walk up the stairs and make my way to Parasol's room whose door is wide open where I see Marty bent over looking at the bottom shelf of pretentiously named books. I look around Parasol's room, everything is neatly stacked and displayed on shelves. The more I look at it, the more irritated I become. It's as if she had wanted you to know everything about her just by looking around her room.
Marty's butt looks fantastic. She's wearing bright red shorts and pink lace tights that spit into floral designs down her calves. When I walk in, she stands up, which is mildly disappointing. She's wearing a yellow tunic style shirt and for a minute i just look her up and down, trying to picture her in anything that might make her not look absolutely adorable. My efforts return fruitless.
"So I thought she might have left us clues or something?" Marty's face is bright and awake, it's hard to imagine how early I would have to wake up in order to look as wide awake as she does at 7:30 in the AM.
"Yeah, I doubt it, she doesn't want to be found. But I thought I would check the computer and see if she like, I dunno, looked up a map or talked to someone about where she was going..." I make my way to the computer and power it on.
"You see, I would never have thought of that. And even if I did, I don't have the slightest clue as to do it. Boys are so useful in such situations." She looks at me with her gigantic eyes and she's smiling. I let out a little chuckle.
"There's one thing I guess.." Lame, what the hell? Why can't I talk to her without sounding like an extra terrestrial? I look at the screen and hold back an eye roll, she's put everything into one folder labeled "stuff" I see this all the time and I absolutely hate it, what is the point to putting everything into one folder? It's essentially the desktop in a less convenient format. I don't actually know what to do, despite being a boy, I have no knowledge regarding computers, whatsoever. I open up Safari and check "history"
It's not very notable, Facebook is listed just about thirty two billion times, there are some Wikipedia searches but all of them are people, I see François Rabelais, Machiavelli, and Herman Hesse near the top. It almost impresses me, I don't see any connection except for influential novels, but Parasol Peter's isn't one to write, nor is she one to be written about. I click on Machiavelli to see, I don't know, if she had edited it or something, which is silly, but I'm drawing a complete blank. It's normal, boring, facts and I close the tab and click on Facebook, hoping she keeps herself logged in or something. She does, which, for this reason only, is very convenient; otherwise, she's lazy and at risk of having a weird status posted, which I hold back the urge to do.
I click on Messages and all I really see is conversations with Marty which, due to the fact that she is looking over my shoulder, I will refrain from reading, the others are just messages from Facebook clubs she joined, classmates asking for homework assignments, and summer party invitations.
Dear Parasol Peters,
If your intentions were to be found, you should have left better clues.
P.S. Your life will never be compelling enough for novelization.
I look back at Marty, who is chewing her lip, waiting for me to say I found something, which I didn’t, and now I have to turn around and tell her that. I take a deep breath.
“Well, I mean she really wasn’t online that much...” Marty said, sounding hopeless and sad.
“I’m So-” The phone rings, interrupting my apology. “Should I get that?”
“I guess? It might be the Peters.” I run to get the phone from Parasol’s Parent’s room.
Parasol’s parent’s room is sad. I had been in there a couple times, but as a kid, and so I never realized how sad it was. It’s so brown. I pick up the phone, which happens to be brown.
“Hello?” I try to lower my voice so that Marty won’t hear, just in case it’s bad news.
“What? Who is this? Who are you?” I had been sucking in so much air in anticipation of answering this brown phone in the brown room of someone else’s house, that when I heard her voice, I spat it all out at once in an elephant like display.
“Where the hell have you been, Peters?” I should have shut up, because Marty calls out from the other room. I didn’t hear it, but I figure she’s on her way over.
“Peter? Who’s Peter?” Her fake British accent is so repelling, and I get so angry.
“Oh, my stars, Parasol, drop it, do you have any what you’ve done? Your best friend is--” Marty happens to storm in right then, I would never call her large, but at that moment her movements quite resembled that of a rhinoceros.
“Parasol? PARASOL!” She pants, motioning to give her the phone.
“Don’t give her the phone, I’m not speaking to her. I need to talk to someone who will understand.”
“And who might that by, milady?”
“You.” I roll my eyes because I really don’t want to be involved in any of this, and it seems I’m stuck right in the middle.
“Yeah, fine, okay, what?” I sigh.
“I need you to remember where I am.”
“What? Why would I know? Why don’t you know?”
“I do know, and I told you. So come find me, please”
“I’m not gonna do that, Pear, just come home.”
“UGH! You’re so frustrating! Why can’t you just do what I say and not question it or get emotional about it! God, seriously, this has always been your problem.” I hung up. It was childish, I know, but she was being childish.
I look over at Marty, who is glaring at me. This is probably because I just hung up on the person, who happens to be her best friend, who we are trying to find. But the glare is so deep and red and the folds between her eyebrows are so much like canyons, that I have to wonder if I had done something worse, unintentionally.
“Sorry, I just got mad, she was annoying m-”
“AWESOME. That’s really awesome.” She walks away, and her strawberry sillage slaps me in the face.
I don’t run after her, because I want to give her space, and I want to call Parasol back, without marty in the room.
Parasol has never run away before, but this isn't the first time she’s done something reckless and worrisome. I remember in fifth grade, we were in the woods, because that’s always were Parasol wanted to go. There’s this really heavily wooded area behind my house and past that there’s a lake. My family doesn’t own this land, so don’t go of thinking I’m some wealthy, land rich, posh, ...person. Anyway, so that’s where we were and Parasol was up in a tree that stood right over the lake.
There are many trees that stand over lakes that are hidden behind large wooded areas that sit behind the houses of families that don’t own that land. And many of those trees that sit over the lake are perfect for jumping off of and having a fun time, and most of the families that own the houses that sit infront of those large wooded areas probably do that. However, this tree that sat over the lake that was hidden behind a large wooded area that sat behind the house of my family just so happened to sit over a part of the lake that was very jagged, rocky and awful and if you were to jump from that tree, you were very likely to be pierced through the abdomen. And so, seeing Parasol Peters at the edge of a branch of the tree that stood over the lake that was hidden by a large wooded area that sat behind my house, I was nervous.
I was nervous, yes, but also very peeved, in regards to having to talk Parasol down from a tree, which I have done so many times, it’s ridiculous. So, for a short while, I said nothing about my worry and just watched. What was she trying to do? I really can’t remember, but it involved singing, I remember her loud, wriggly singing disrupting all the wildlife in a two hundred yard radius.
“Pear!” I yelled over her singing, “I’m scared for you” Parasol looked down at me with a look of total irritation and rage, as if i had just called her mom a dirty whore.
“Are you joking? Look at how close I am! There is no way I’m coming down, get over it!” And, because I was like ten, I was offended, because that was mean, and yeah, I’m sort of sensitive of whatever. So I pouted. “Geez, kid, don’t go off crying! Here, how about this, I won’t go any further out, I’ll just sit here. And I will sit here until you come up and rescue me.”
“What? It’s like a mile up! I can’t climb that!” I whined, yeah, I know, just, yeh.
“I got up here just fine!”
“Your like twice as tall as me!” Solid rebuttal.
“I’m gonna jump, if you don’t come and rescue me.” So I started to climb. Unlike other young boys, I was not an avid tree climber, and it took numerous attempts to finally get both my feet of the ground and grip the tree. I would guess it took me about ten minutes to get up that tree that was, in fact, not a mile high, but a good fifteen feet, maybe twenty, I don’t actually know.
I’m still sitting in Parasol’s parent’s sad, brown room. I look at the brown phone and try to figure out what to do. If I call Parasol, I’m gonna have to talk to her. If I don’t call her, Marty will be mad at me forever. So I press the little star thing, because this is a really old phone.
“Hello?” Her voice is hoarse and I imagine her sobbing from when I hung up on her, but that’s totally not what happened.
“Yeah, howdy, ugh... when did you tell me where you were? Because I don’t even remember talking to you, or even seeing you since school ended.”
“I told you,” Her voice brightened. “I told you the day I left, how do you not remember these things? I saw you in the park and I yelled at you. That’s all I’m gonna say, because I really need you to use your brain.”
“I do not rem-”
“Yeah, I know you don’t, you’re like dopely forgetful. So have a flashback sometime and try to hurry, because I really need you to come and get me.”
“Okay, but why me?” I push my hand through my hair, It’s really hot in here and i wish I was at home, asleep or watching television.
“That’s a silly question, we’re best friends.” Bluh!
“Pear! We haven’t talked in like three years, you’ve completely ignored me, we are not friends.”
“Then why are you looking for me? Why do you still call me Pear? Dude, we are totally best friends.”
“Marty is your best friend, she loves you, and you won't even talk to her.” Something about actually conversing with Parasol Peters makes me feel sad, and lost, and I really want to go home.
“Marty-” I can hear stain in her voice, I’ve seen those two together, undoubtedly besties. “I hate her.”
“Why?” Oh, please, just hang up the phone so I don’t have to.
“Look, you don’t need to know, don’t get nosey, don't get emotional, and think about where I am.” She hangs up the phone.
I’m... uh... crying. Look, it’s been a really long couple of days, and nothings been going that well, and so yeah, I’m a sensitive person, and I’m crying. I have absolutely no idea where Marty ran off to, I don’t know where Parasol is, or why I have to find her, and It’s just so awful right now and I’m sitting on the brown bed of Parasol’s parent’s brown room.