For most of the day, I had nothing. Too much to do? Too many stories in my head? Regardless, nothing…and then I decided to play with the words and this is what came about for the 24-hour free write.
If you haven’t entered the contest yet, there are still two more free-writes after this one. Check it out here.
Cool, Clear Water (297 words)
Sergio’s Pizzeria is jammed as it is every Friday afternoon when Kennedy HS dismisses. As usual, we take the corner booth, where no one has ventured since Noelle made one sophomore’s life hell. Noelle and Carea could be straight out of “Mean Girls,” which probably means me too, from association.
“If Indra comes in here and says: ‘cool, water,’ I’m going to lose it,” Noelle says.
“What is that about, anyway?” Carea asks. She opens her eyeshadow kit and dabs more shimmery taupe near her browbone. “Like, I won’t even touch tap water. It’s disgusting.”
Noelle orders her salad, vinaigrette on the side and no onions. “Onions are disgusting.”
Carea orders the same. She’s never encountered a thought that hasn’t come from Noelle first.
I order a small Mediterranean loaded with vegetables and feta cheese, prompting a Noelle glare and a Carea sigh.
The door jingles open, admitting Indra who floats over to our booth as if she is walking on air. She immediately grabs her water glass. “Cool, water,” she says before taking a long sip.
Carea rolls her eyes, but Noelle’s face tightens. “What’s with that? It’s just water. Why act like it’s so great?”
Indra sets the glass down and evaluates the obvious derision in Noelle’s voice. She pats her lips with a napkin. “Because where I come from the water doesn’t take like this,” Indra says, then adds “If there is even clean water to drink.”
Indra calmly watches Noelle’s expression change to disbelieving.
“Oh, please,” Noelle says. “There’s clean water everywhere.”
“Except that beach in Mexico, remember?” Carea says.
“You are so fortunate. I don’t think you realize,” Indra says. “To have water like this?”
Indra smiles. “I should leave.”
I shake my head as Indra walks away. “Indra, wait up!”