By Serena Gross
Cameron sat on the table in the doctor’s office, anxiously waiting. The doctor was going to come in and tell him if he had pneumonia. Cameron had always been the healthiest boy in his year; that is, until he had woken up feeling very ill. He could feel the crinkly paper underneath his sweaty legs. He tugged at his hospital dress – he had always hated the gowns because they made him look like a girl and he couldn’t have that, especially as he was starting the first day of middle school tomorrow. He was excited, scared, nervous, and impatient all at the same time. Maybe if he had pneumonia, he could miss the first day of school. No – then he would be known as the kid who missed the first day of school until college. And if someone he knew went to the same college as him, he would be known as the kid that was late on the first day of middle school for life! The mere thought of this embarrassingly terribly tragedy was enough to make him forget about possibly having pneumonia. Finally, after what felt like hours of waiting, the doctor came in.
“You’re fine,” she said. These two words had saved his reputation.
“Phew!” said Cameron. He was off the hook. But he would not hear those two words again for a long time.
Cameron woke up abruptly when his alarm went off. He automatically got out of his bed and put on his Spiderman shirt and his best jeans. He grabbed a Niagara Falls hoodie just in case Spiderman shirts weren’t cool anymore and he just hadn’t gotten the memo.
It was Monday, the first day of middle school. Cameron brushed his teeth, making sure not to drip any toothpaste on his jeans. He had woken up an hour early – 5:30 – just to make sure he wouldn’t be late. Once he was ready, he fed the family cat, Susie. “There you go, old girl,” he said as he fed her Rusty’s Buffet Catfood (Senior Edition). They had medicine in them and it worked. She was eighteen years old, older than him and his two sisters combined! Although, he supposed Lucy didn’t count, because she wasn’t yet one and Riley was only three. Him and his sisters were all accidents. The all had different fathers, so now they just lived with their mom. He had never met his father other than just after his birth and he couldn’t be expected to remember birth. It felt bad to be an accident.
“The bus comes at 7:12 every morning,” my mother told me. “And according to the school’s website, you only have one chance to catch the bus.” She pushed up her glasses. “Oh,” she added as a side note, “don’t feed the cat at six in the morning from now on. Now her feeding schedule is all messed up and I’ll have to give her dinner early.”
There was a cry from upstairs. “Oh, that’ll be Lucy,” she said, and began to rush upstairs. Before she was all the way up the second stairwell, she said, “Well, you better hurry along. It’s 7:10.” Cameron ran to the bottom of the driveway.
The bus comes to the end of the road. “About a one-minute trip,” I thought out loud. I checked my watch again – 7:11. I ran as fast as I could to the end of the road. Fifteen seconds left until the bus is due. I could not possibly be late, not after all this effort. It was 7:12. I was almost there! I could see the end of the road.
I saw the yellow school bus zoom by. One chance, I thought – only one chance. How was I going to get to school now? I couldn’t get my mom to drive me – she would be too busy with my sisters. And besides, how could I possibly show up to middle school in a mini-van, especially one covered in scratches, like Mom’s was.
Serena Gross is a creative writer who loves writing fantasy and realistic fiction. She is ten years old and in fourth grade at Chestnut Hill Community School in Belchertown. She enjoys writing and finds Woven Words a peaceful and enjoyable place to write her short stories.