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  1. Dear Stone Soup Editors,

    Below I have pasted the frame narrative written by Asher Rabinowitz, an 11-year-old from Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada, for your monthly flash contest. Thank you very much in advance for your consideration.

    Sarah Moar

    The Roommate

    Today was a sunny spring day with bees all around. An 18-year-old girl walked out of a classroom. It was 3:30 and she needed to study for a math quiz. She walked into the library. There was nobody but an older boy who was sitting at a table. He was working on a science quiz. He looked up in surprise to see a girl a little younger than him sitting at a table.
    “What’s your name?” asked the boy.
    “Ava. What’s yours?”
    There was silence with just the sound of a pencil scribbling on the paper. The silence was 3 minutes. Then 4 minutes. Then a sound of growling ended the silence.
    “What was that?” asked Tom.
    “Oh sorry. That’s me. I’m hungry,” Ava said.
    “You want to go out for dinner at 5?”
    “Sure. Thanks. My stomach would prefer that than having to make dinner. Which restaurant?”
    “Do you want to go to Amy’s Pizzeria?”

    * * * * * *

    Tom rode home. He parked his bike at the back door and quickly headed downstairs. A hollow sounding noise filled the room as he banged his stick against the drum. He wanted to finish his song he was working on before dinner.
    Two people rushed down the stairs in shock.
    “Tom! I told you a thousand times to play the drums in the garage!” said Tom’s dad.
    “But these drums are too heavy to carry!”
    “I know this is hard to think about, but you’re… going to need to get your own apartment. You’ve lived with us long enough,” said his mom. Tom sighed and walked up the stairs. He waited for the clock to strike exactly 5. He never wanted to get places early because then he would have to wait, which always bored him.
    “Where are you going?” asked his parents.
    “To a restaurant,” said Tom.
    “Be sure to be back at half past six.”
    Tom rushed to the restaurant. Ava was waiting in line already.
    “I was about to call you! What took you so long?”
    “I had to leave at the last minute. Sorry.”

    * * * * * *

    Tom glanced at the menu. A young woman with long hair came to their table and asked them what they wanted to drink.
    “I would like some sparkling water,” said Tom.
    “And you?”
    “Could I have regular water, please?”
    “Of course! What would you two like to eat?”
    Tom and Ava ordered one pizza each. As the server left to get their waters, Ava noticed a sad look on Tom’s face.
    “Is anything wrong?” asked Ava sympathetically.
    Tom sighed. “My parents said that I needed to get my own apartment and all of my friends already have roommates. I don’t think I can afford to live on my own.”
    The waitress walked over with a can for Tom and a pitcher for Ava. As she started pouring from the pitcher into Ava’s glass, Ava replied, “Oh that’s rough. I hope you find a roommate.”
    The waitress said, “I know what you’re going through. I experienced the very same thing.”
    The waitress grabbed a nearby chair and then brought it to the table.
    “One time I met somebody who seemed nice. I asked him out for dinner. We went to a pasta shop. Both of us had trouble finding a roommate. He asked me out for dinner too. Eventually both of us got to know each other well and he asked me if I wanted to be roommates.”
    “Did you say yes?” asked Ava.
    “I did.”

    * * * * * * *
    Tom and Ava were sitting in a bakery sipping hot chocolate. Tom and Ava figured out a lot of details about each other.
    One day Ava asked Tom, “Do you want to be—,”
    “—Roommates? Sure.” said Tom.
    Ava and Tom went to the store to buy some helium balloons and boxes of treats. Ava and Tom told their parents about them being roommates.

    * * * * * * *
    Ava and Tom were sitting in a living room watching a hockey game. Tom and Ava were happy about them being roommates. They were proud of their relationship and liked being around each other.

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