Cherry Popsicles & Chatting
Before I even had a chance to cry or scream over my murdered laptop or before Mrs. Matthews had a chance to apologize for her granddaughter, what seemed like hundreds of dripping wet people burst into the house.
“Wet kids!” Mrs. Matthews screamed. “Get out of my kitchen! Go out on the porch and I’ll bring you guys towels…and popsicles.”
With the promise of popsicles everyone but Darcy raced out of the kitchen.
“What happened here?” He asked pointing at my laptop. Natalia giggled as if she was happily confessing to the dirty deed.
“Baby laptop murder,” I spit out. Darcy laughed.
“Would you mind if I took a look at it?” Darcy asked as he walked towards the door.
“If you can fix that thing, I’ll love you forever,” I said almost in a grumble.
“Don’t let Natalie hear you say that,” Darcy laughed. The door slammed as he ran around the house to the porch.
“Please deliver these for me,” Mrs. Matthews said as she dispensed about ten towels in my lap. “Can you also take the popsicles out?”
“Sure,” I said.
“I’m really sorry about your computer, Charlly. I thought it would be safe on the table. I had no idea Natalie knew how to climb…or was strong enough to lift the laptop,” Mrs. Matthews apologized as she rummaged through the freezer. “You can have my old one if you want. The internet’s fuzzy, but the Word works perfectly.”
“Thanks, I’d appreciate that,” I sighed. “Darcy’s going to take a look at it, but I doubt he can do anything with it.”
“I didn’t know Darcy was into computers. Doesn’t surprise me,” Mrs. Matthews said as she dropped the popsicles on top of the towels. “But in the meantime, this computer needs to get picked up off my kitchen floor.”
Mrs. Matthews picked up Natalie and walked off towards the family room where Mr. Steve was watching the triplets.
My trip to the front door was slow since I couldn’t see over the Leaning Tower of Towels and Popsicles, but I managed to make it to the front door without dropping anything.
“And when Nelson came around and splattered Jessie-Maria with that whooper of a water balloon!” A girl with very wet red hair laughed as I opened the front door of the Matthews’ house.
“Hey!” A girl with wet brown hair shouted. “He hit me in the face with that glob of water!”
“You’ve gotta admit Jessie-Maria that it was pretty funny,” A girl with wet blonde/auburn hair snickered.
“To bad Timmy got married,” A boy with almost dry dirty blonde hair said.
“Why?” Natalie asked.
“Because Timmy is the best water ballooner in all of Berkshire County!” The boy shouted. “First he turns down a fun day just hanging out to spend with his wife, the next thing we’ll know Timmy’s going to be a dad.”
“What’s wrong that?” Natalie asked. “I’ll get to be an aunt again.”
“Natalie, think,” The girl with red hair said. “Can you imagine? Timmy…my brother…a father?! Jaci was born to be a mommy, but Timmy…” The girl broke out in giggles.
“When you put it that way,” Natalie said. She started to titter.
“Hey, Noel has a daughter and she played with us this afternoon,” The red haired blondie said.
“Man,” The dirty blonde boy said shaking his head. “Noel was the only one that got me.”
“Not true!” A black haired boy, who was standing on the steps shouted. “I got you from the behind. So did Bennet.”
“Guys,” The girl with red hair said. Everyone turned to look at me.
“Everyone, this is Charlly King. She’s staying with us while her parents build their house,” Natalie said. “Charlly, this is Emily Stewart, Regina Drew, Nelson Drew, Leo Logan, and Jessie Maria Sean.”
She pointed to everyone as she said their names.
“Man, Natalie, I thought your parents had some sense!” Nelson shouted. “Her parents could be like murders!”
“That is getting so old!” Regina shouted.
“What is?” Nelson asked. His eyes told me he knew what Regina was going to say.
“You’re latest obsession with the word ‘Man’,” Regina said. “You sound like some delinquent!”
“Man, older twin sisters are so annoying,” Nelson said. Regina gave him a gentle shove.
“I think the popsicles might be melting,” I said as I felt something wet drip onto me. Everyone crowded around me as they got a popsicle and a towel.
“What kind of popsicles do you like?” Leo asked as he pulled out the last two popsicles. One was grape, and the other was cherry.
“I like cherry,” I stuttered.
“Good, because I hate cherry,” Leo smiled as he threw the cherry one at me and opened his grape.
“Why did you ask then?” I asked as I caught the popsicle with one hand.
“Virginia’s always trying to get me to be more ‘gentlemanlike’. Whatever that means,” Leo said as he sucked on his popsicle very ungentlemanlike.
“Wait…you’re that Leo!” I guffawed. I almost slapped myself for not making the connection.
“Yup, what of it?” Leo asked.
“Let’s just say Virginia had quite the outburst earlier,” I said trying to stop from laughing.
Leo smirked. He actually smirked. The smirk squished any hope for me to stop laughing.
“Virginia had an outburst!” Emily shouted, “and I missed it!” Emily looked almost upset.
“If you hurry, you might be able to get her to have another one. I think she’s still fuming,” Natalie said. “If you mention the words ‘Leo’ and ‘smirk’ and you’re sure to get an earful.”
Emily, Jessie-Maria, and Regina dropped their towels and ran off in the direction I guessed was Virginia’s house.
“Girls,” Nelson muttered. “Can’t live with them. People wouldn’t be around without them.”
Leo kept on smirking. Darcy let a snicker escape.
“Thanks for the popsicles,” Leo said. He handed me his trash.
“What do I look like?” I asked.
Leo’s smirked expanded.
“You look like a girl,” Leo said.
“And you look like a boy who thinks girls are God’s Natural Trash Cans,” I said with a straight face.
Natalie nearly fell out of wheelchair with laughter. Darcy tried not to laugh, but he eventually gave in.
“Dude, you have to admit, she got you good,” Darcy laughed.
“Lord help me,” Leo said as he headed down the steps. “Every girl I’m attracted to is like Virginia!”
My cheeks went bright red at that. Leo turned around and winked at me. Darcy looked just as stunned as me.
“What’s gotten into HIM!?” Darcy shouted in disbelief. “Leo, wait up!” Darcy bolted from the Matthews porch and to the end of the driveway where Leo was waiting for Darcy.
“I thought you were going to take a look at my computer!” I called out but Darcy was already too far away to hear me.
“We’ll probably go to the B&B for dinner tonight so you can give it him then,” Natalie said. “If its something simple, my dad can probably fix it.”
“Trust me, unless your dad-or Darcy- is a secret computer genius my computer’s not coming back from the dead,” I said as I rolled into the house.
“Wha…?” Natalie asked as she followed.
I didn’t know whether to sigh or secretly swoon as I plopped myself down on the airbed and opened up Mrs. Matthews–my laptop.
My mom had been a little upset to hear that my laptop had been broken, but she told me it reminded her of something I had done when I was a baby. My mom claims that when I was eight months old I threw a computer mouse and the keyboard out our Denver apartment window. Laz just laughed and said that murdering (I kid you not he actually used the word MURDER) a computer and it’s accessories before even knowing the fury they give is something only a Stewart would do.
Dinner at the B&B was amazing. My mom’s a pretty good cook, but there’s something about Ms. Donna’s food that just melts into your mouth. I had her fried chicken since I practically lived on fried chicken and sweet tea when we lived in the South. I know all ya’ll from the South aren’t going to believe me when I say this but Ms. Donna’s fried chicken is better than any fried chicken I’ve ever ate in the South.
The delicious chicken and tea that was sweeten to perfection were overshadowed by the murderous looks Virginia kept giving me while I ate and was given the 411 on the town.
The first person to notice that I had shown up was Leo, the first person in my entire life who almost ran down an overly anxious three year old for the end of the row I had chosen to sit on was Leo, the first person to ask me questions about my life was Leo, and the person who couldn’t stop staring at me besides Virginia was Leo.
Ok, so I admit I was a little flattered at all the attention Leo was giving me. I mean who wouldn’t be? But let’s be real! I’m not trying or going to steal her boyfriend! Personally, the thought of Leo or any boy liking me was a little embarrassing and made my cheeks go red at that very moment.
For a couple of minutes I explored the computer that was now mine. The computer had the basic functions on it and all the major web browsers were already downloaded. The internet was a little slow, but most of my time would be spent on word writing my Sci-Fi stories.
Then reality slapped in my face. All my stories, my Star Wars fan fiction, my fictional diary, and my high score on Checkers was gone. Destroyed, when Natalia gave the laptop that one fatal blow. I would have to start over. The idea of having to restart all my stories brought tears to my eyes. I’ve had that laptop since the very first Christmas with Laz and Matt. Mom and Laz had pulled their money together to get both Matt and me a laptop. I remembered I was so excited that I started writing a story before I even finished opening my other presents.
A startling ding jolted me out of my one happy memory with Laz.
InMyOwnWorld: Just so you know, I don’t like the fact that you’ve moved into my room, but if you can tolerate Natalia I guess I can tolerate you. Sorry bout her. The naughty girl.
I looked over to Noel, whose eyes were plastered to her computer screen.
I HAD to change that username. While I tried to find the username settings, I found a long list of approved username people. TheQueen I guessed was Regina. I had no clue who Farm Girl or MusicalGal were. MyTwinSisIsCraz I guessed was Nelson. ToughGuy had to be Yule. ChristmasLovinGirl was obviously Natalie. MrBennet and MrDarcy must have been Bennet and Darcy’s idea of a joke. Something inside of me told me that CookingMomma was Ms. Donna. CrazyAuntJane was probably Virginia’s aunt who really was slightly crazy. MrsZachDavis had to be Natalie’s oldest sister Abby. ZachDAVIS was probably Abby’s husband, Zach Davis. I had a sneaking suspicion that Proverbs164 was Natalie’s other older sister Jaci. I made a note-to-self to look up Proverbs 16:4. TStew was probably Timmy Stewart (and Nelson was right. I couldn’t picture him as a father). MatthewsDaddy had to be Mr. Steve. And the last person on this list of people was someone named Sk8erLion. I clicked on the name. No profile picture showed up just a green light letting me know they were on. I decided that once I changed this name I would message that person.
Finally I found the setting to change the name. I tapped my fingers around the keyboard. IWannaGoHome was way to direct. Sci-FiGirl made me sound like a dork. SpaceGirl gave me the same dorky feeling. A thought popped into my head and I quickly typed it down. MyHeadsUpInSpace was PERFECT.
I switched back to messages to find that I had four new ones from Noel.
InMyOwnWorld: This is her
InMyOwnWorld: You might want to change your name. Each name is registered to the computer. I keep chatting with the wrong computer when I talk to Mommy.
InMyOwnWorld: Look, you seem like a nice person, but I think it would be best if we decided to be Virtual Friends. I do best here on this chat thingamajig. On here you have to spell everything out (well most of the times. I keep dropping hints to Regina that the mysterious face annoys me so much that I’ve had thoughts about throwing the computer out the window). In person its hard to detect the unspoken stuff. I feel rather awkward around other people, but on this l can still be in my world and interact with yours.
InMyOwnWorld: Ok, so here are some things about me. I hate action movies because they give me motion sickness. I was diagnosed with autism when I was four years old. I had a REALLY bad speech delay, but other that I’m pretty ‘high functioning’. I LOVE to play chase! Sometimes I purposely get caught so I can be pushed to the ground and tackled (Virginia thinks that crazy). Please try not to drop stuff while you’re here because I hate loud noises. I have a boyfriend 🙂 . Bennet is awesome! He makes a lot of mistakes (who gives someone dead flowers on Valentine’s Day? Why is there even a Valentine’s Day?), but he’s learning (sometimes Natalie jokes that he has to apologize for things as much as Darcy does *giggle*. It must run in the Edward men). Gotta go! Bennet FINALLY got on! Chat lats!
Something about that made me laugh. If Noel wanted to start our friendship on the messenger, I was perfectly ok with that.
As I clicked on Sk8erLion, my heart started to race. Mrs. Matthews wouldn’t have someone she didn’t know on this messenger would she?
Sk8erLion: Hey Charlly! This is Leo just in cause you didn’t know
MyHeadsInSpace: How did you know it was me!? And no I didn’t know
Sk8erLion: I knew it was you because everyone who’s ever met you knows your somewhere off in space 😉 😛
MyHeadsInSpace: You’re crazy 😛
Sk8erLion: Delete that
Sk8erLion: So I’ve been told…
For a second, I wondered what Leo was crazy for and then a selfish thought hit me.
He was crazy for ME.
I signed off after that.