Waiting for the Right Time

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
November/December 2000

By Kristen Martin, Illustrated by Hannah LeVasseur

It has been three years since she, my one and only best friend, left, and I am dying to see her. She had lived down the street and I had known her forever. I have vivid memories of her room: clothes strewn all over, hanging on chairs, underneath her bed, and piled on her desk. Play horses with broken legs and unruly manes were stationed in miniature barns, on her dresser, and on her comforter. The sun would glow through the lacy curtains onto her bed, which was usually not made. The two dressers, which were placed against the wall, were piled high with papers, toys, and other odds and ends. She would always have to clean it before she played with me, so if I wanted to start playing soon, I’d help her stuff all her things underneath her bed, then we would take everything back out to find what we wanted to play with. Or we would take out a game like Monopoly and litter the floor again. If I didn’t help her, I’d end up waiting for a call back all day, and finally, at 5:00 PM, I’d find out she finally finished, but by then it was too late.

These memories have plagued my thoughts over and over. All I think about is Hannah and her family in England. I sometimes start to imagine what her huge house looks like, what her yard looks like, and especially about her. I wonder if she keeps her room clean now, if she still yells at her siblings when they barge unexpectedly into her room, or if she still lingers while doing her work. Maybe she has improved her spelling since writing the word “mountain” six times repeatedly incorrectly, and spelled differently each time! Maybe . . . oh well, it is not worth thinking about if I can’t go and see her. Believe me, I’ve been there!

Waiting for the Right Time girls playing

We would take out a game of Monopoly and litter the floor again

It started a year after she left. I greatly missed her, and could never stop thinking about her, especially when I received lengthy letters from her, or when she wrote me via the Internet to tell me how she was doing. She had tried to describe her house, but it was too big and elaborate to explain. I started to long to see her again. I begged (on my hands and knees of course) my parents to let me go, but I was “too young,” “it is too dangerous,” “it is such a long journey,” “it’s too expensive.” All of these and more were the excuses I received until I had had enough.

Yelling at my parents, I screamed, “It’s my best friend. I haven’t seen her in so long and you expect me to do that without a fight? Without an argument until I win?!?!”

My parents responded, “We have told you why. Maybe she can visit.”

“But you don’t understand,” I whined, “this is my best friend. I have seen her almost every day since I was four, but now that record has been broken because she moved and I can’t even visit.”

“Well, you’ll never visit with that attitude. Go to your room and cool down.” And I reluctantly trudged up to my room.

Later, once I’d been in my room for a while, I heard a soft knock on the door. I called, “Come in.” In walked my solemn-faced dad. He walked over to my bed and sat down next to me; then he waited for me to start. I said, “Hi.”

He answered, “Hi. Would you like to talk about this long trip you have been dreaming of for months?”

“I guess so,” I answered reluctantly (what else could I say?). “I really want to see Hannah. I haven’t seen her for so long, and I only get to talk to her on the phone once in a while, and when we do get to talk, it’s about worthless things, since we don’t know what to talk about.”

“I understand,” was the surprising answer. “I really want to go there too. Maybe we can plan a trip there for the whole family. While we’re there, we could also see Darby and Brittany (our cousins who also live in England).”

“Really?” I started to get excited now. A trip on the plane with my whole family would be much better than flying by myself like I had planned.

“Yes, I think we could try that. We just have to wait until the right time to ask your mom. Until then, we’ll just hint every once in a while. Sound good?”

“Sounds very good. Just hint, got it!” And ever since, I’ve been waiting for the right time. Of course I still miss Hannah a whole bunch, but I am content to wait until the perfect time . . .

Waiting for the Right Time Kristen Martin

Kristen Martin, 12
Herndon, Virginia

Waiting for the Right Time Hannah LeVasseur

Hannah LeVasseur, 12
West Chester. Pennsylvania

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