09 - Hold Fast - Claudette
Hold fast to dreams for when dreams fly, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go, life is a barren field covered with snow.
"Thhhhhhhwomp...crack....sizzle, sizzle,sizzle....giggle, giggle, snort!" Suspicious noises sparked from around the corner of an otherwise silent street. The sounds of children romping around in someone's front yard, the sounds of childish trouble. These sounds were ever so tempting to Zac as he stood on the street corner with his hands shoved deep into his pockets. He took a few steps forward, allowing himself to see the chaos in the yard infront of him.
"AAAAAAHHHHHH!" An ear splitting scream rang across the yard and he watched a girl wiz by, inches from him. Her boots kicked up flecks of mud onto his pants, her wet hair slapping him in the face. She didn't even notice he was there. He rubbed his stinging cheeck unconciously and took a cautious step back again. The girl he had almost been knocked over by wizzed back across the yard again and he got a better look at her. Her attire was strange for late December. Worn threw army pants sagged from around her waist, and a small white T-shirt hung off her shoulders limply. Her long black hair was soaked threw, bouncing wildly around her hips as she ran. Her dark eyes sparkled with mischief and a pack of firecrackers was gripped in one of her hands. Her two companions were much different. A small girl, bundled up in snow pants and a huge orange jacket that clung around her face, making her resemble Kenny, the character from South Park who's muffled speech and inability to live threw any episode of the show made him one of the more comical on the show. The only reason he could even tell this was a girl was the fact that under the coat her chest poked out and her long lashes could only belong to a female. The other girl was dressed more sensibly then the other two, blue jeans and a light weight jacket, her short hair pulled back in a ponytail that swung back and forth as she ran, her huge eyes sparkling much like the first. Still studying these new characters infront of him, he was almost pushed aside again as the same girl practically ran over him, in the process catching her boot on one of his Doc's and tumbling into the muddy ground.
"Hey you! What are you doing here? This is private property!" yelled the Kenny girl, pointing an accusing finger in his direction. He felt his body grow numb, his capabilty to speak disapear into the breeze that blew his hair up into his eyes. He looked from this girl, her eyes glaring at him as she stood in position, to the girl lying by his feet on the ground, surprisingly not even touched with mud as she struggled to stand on the slippery ground. "Hey! Are you gonna answer me?" His head shot up to look at the girl and his jaw trembled. Answer. All he had to do was say something. But the words just weren't coming.
"Do you have some kind of problem? Why did y-hold on a minute..." His head jerked back to the girl who had been on the ground a minute ago as she stood to look him in the face. Her brows flew up and her mouth opened to reveal two rows of shiny, clear braces. Her voice dwindled away for a minute and he was releaved that he wasn't the only speechless one in the yard. "You aren't Zac Hanson are you?" He shook the blanket of fog from his head and attempted speech.
"Yeah." The three girls stood staring at him.
"You are?! My god..." The only girl who had not spoken let these words drifted from her mouth in a high-pitched squeal and all the girls headed for him at the same time. He began to feel uncomfortable as he was surrounded by squealing female voices, pushing bodies, and sparkling smiles.
"Time to run," he whispered to himself as he made a sharp U-turn and sped from the yard. He was followed by surprised exclamations and he could hear the pounding of footsteps behind him for a minute as he ran. He increased his speed, the building on the street wizzing by on either side of him. After what seemed like an eternity of running, two of the pairs of footsteps drowned out, but one remained. He looked back to see the girl he had tripped directly on his tail, her mouth creased into a tight line with consentration. She got closer, closer, he struggled to keep ahead of her. Then with a flying leap she grabbed him around the waist, bringing them both crashing down to the pavement. He rolled over on the ground, wiggling away from his attacker.
"You know, it's not nice to run away from people when they're trying to complement you." She stood and dusted her pants.
"You have obviously never been mobbed before." He joined her and began to walk towards home. She followed him. "Why don't you leave me alone and go home already?" She stood beside him, watching him. This one was very different from the others. She wasn't screaming, freaking out, anything of the nature. Infact, she looked quite at peace with the world at the moment. As he watched her from the corner of his eye, something snapped. "Why aren't you screaming?"
"Why? Should I be? I don't see much of a reason to." She scuffed her feet against the ground, and he slowed down so she could catch up.
"You know, you're weird." She looked up at his face, beeming.
"Thanks!" He rolled his eyes. He had picked up a nutty one. He continued to watch her as she reached into one of her pockets, pulling out two fuzz covered milk bones. "Want one?"
"You eat dog food?" Disgust radiated in his voice. She simply shrugged.
"Yeah. I guess you don't want one then. Oh well, more for me." She popped one of the dog treats into her mouth, crunching down on it happily.
"Can I ask why you're so weird?" She stopped in her place and cleared her throat. Zac recognized this as meaning she was preparing to give him a long speech. He had learned that from Isaac.
"Sure. Go ahead." He stopped a few steps from her.
"Okay...why are you so weird?"
"Because I'm holding on."
"You have to hold on when you live in a broken family." From the way she grinned when she said this he was sure she was insane. "I have expectations of myself to live up to. I have a life I want to live, and I'm going to make the most of it. I want to be a runner." She lifted up her pant leg to reveal a prothesis. Zac's eyes widened. "And nothing is going to stop me." He suddenly felt bad for thinking this girl was a freak. Everybody's a little weird. He smiled out of pity and guilt at this girl.
"Well if you can run like that as it is, you won't have any problem with that." She smiled at him and her cheeks burned pink. He was surprised still more when he saw a shiny tear make a trail down her cheek.
"I won't make it. They won't want a girl with a prosthetic leg to run on the track team at school. I'm an outcast. The only reason those two girls back there, Lizzy and Cameron were even socializing with me was because they're my cousins. My life is miserable." Her smiled remained on her face as she looked into his eyes. He suddenly fealt a greater love for this one girl then he had for anyone in the world before. She was weird, she was different, and no one liked her because of this. They were so alike in so many ways. He reached out to her and let her put her head on his shoulder.
"Don't cry. I'll help if that's what it takes. I will go to your school and demand that the couch let you run." She smiled at his joke and laughed threw her tears.
"You don't have to do anything. Just promise me something."
"Promise me that you'll always go after your dreams. Cause I'm sick of being the only one in this neighborhood who still does." He squeezed her arm and looked into her eyes.
"Okay. I promise." Then, both of them smiling widely, they walked arm in arm back towards her house.