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Nellie

_nellie_

by Helena Yeung, staff reporter

Chapter One

Brooke startled awake, grabbing her phone to read the time. It’s 7:01 A.M.? Why didn’t my alarm go off? What woke me up then? UGH! She got out of bed in a jump, slipping into her comfy purple slippers. Nellie, her netherland dwarf bunny, was staring at Brooke with sparkling eyes.

“I can’t play now Nellie.” Brooke stumbled in zigzags across the room to her vanity, and managed to put her highlighted hair together in a somewhat decent little top bun. “Highlights look great.” She said out loud, nodding at herself in the mirror. Her mom had taken her to the hair salon three days ago, with Brooke unsure of the purpose. Her hair was short enough to restrain from a haircut for months to come, yet her mom thought it’ll be great to “spice things up” in the middle of freshman year. Brooke was only sure she’d either love it or hate it, but it did bring up some compliments over the days.

Nellie was now tapping her cage, and Brooke’s stomach was growling with hunger. “Later Nellie.” Brooke quickly ran back to her bed, arranged her bedsheets and pillows in a somewhat presentable form of bedmaking, and stumbled into her bathroom. She turned on the light, making a small debate whether to shower or not. “What do you think?” Brooke turned to her rubber ducky toy on top of the sink. “Will showering make me late for school?” Brooke frowned. “Maybe you’re right. I’ll shower at night.” She pet the toy, glad that nobody was around to know she was talking to it. She brushed her teeth, washed her face, and ran back to her vanity to do her makeup.

“Brooke! Mom! Anyone!” Jacob called from his room. “Who wants to make me something for breakfast? I have to touch up this project!” Brooke ignored her brother completely, fixing her mascara and blush.

“Well, someone make me something!” Jacob closed his door, but Brooke could still sense his stress to get things done across the hall. She decided to put an extra piece of toast in the toaster for him. She grabbed her backpack, kissed Nellie goodbye while leaving her food and water, turned off the lights, and went to the kitchen.

Nellie sat in the dim room, peering through her cage with wide sad eyes. She walked around her cage a few times, then sat and placed her head down, wishing Brooke would come back soon.

“Brooke, you’re just jealous of them.”  Parker gave a small smile to her.

Brooke’s eyes went wide as she glanced at Parker. “I’m jealous? I just said the truth. They really do look stupid and gross together. Carl’s way out of Candy’s league and I bet they fell in love over their names starting with the same letter.”

“Well, you’re still being mean, and I’m sure you would want a sweet popular boyfriend like Carl.” Parker suddenly laughed. “Why do you feel the need to be mean to everyone except me?”

“I’m not nice to you!” Brooke grabbed Parker’s fruit cup. “This is mine now. Oh, and hideous shoes by the way.” She poked a hole in the top of the fruit cup with her fork and began eating the peaches first. Parker didn’t reply, which concerned Brooke. “I didn’t mean it.” Brooke said later, feeling an ounce of guilt.

Parker laughed again. “You’re never going to be mean to me. And you didn’t answer my question.”

Brooke rolled her eyes. “I just hate everyone. I don’t need friends. I think everyone’s annoying, including you.” Brooke checked her phone for the time. “I’m skipping the rest of the afternoon and going home. You want to join me?”

Parker shrugged. “I’ll come if you provide me a snack to make up for my fruit cup.”

“Deal.”

Brooke unlocked the back door, kicking her sneakers off onto the rug. “We’re going to my room. Oh, you can grab a snack from the fridge.” Parker followed behind, putting his shoes down on the rug and heading to the fridge. He opened it, and gladly grabbed a pink popsicle.

“Wait, why are we skipping four periods of school?” he asked, ripping the wrapper off. “Because I have to do something.” Brooke took a popsicle as well, a blue raspberry one. They both headed to her room, and Brooke turned on the lights. Parker walked in, glancing around.

“This is girly.” he frowned. “Totally does NOT match who you are.” He looked back at Brooke, who was stunned with near tears and shocked, staring ahead of her.

“What’s wrong??” Parker looked at her direction, and noticed what she was looking at. An empty white cage with bowls filled with water and rabbit food was sitting on a desk, door opened. “What?” Parker could hear Brooke’s shock. “Was there an animal in there?”

“Yes.” Brooke whispered.

“Nellie.” Brooke walked towards the cage, her hands shaking. “Where did she go? I locked the cage…the door’s open!” Brooke looked around the room, worried. “No one’s at home, so who took her out?”

Parker was confused. “You have a pet cat in a cage?” he asked, realizing how stupid it sounded as he said it.

Brooke glared at him. “I have a pet bunny!” She almost shouted. She began pacing around the room, searching for Nellie. Parker stood there, unsure of what to say or do. “Maybe…she’s around the house?” He licked his popsicle, aware that Brooke’s was melting slowly in her shivering hand.

“She should be.” Brooke sighed. “Can you throw this away for me?” she handed him her blue popsicle, and Parker took it out the room to find a trash can. He could hear her panicking everywhere in her room and bathroom, looking for her rabbit.

Parker was heading home, wondering what happened to Nellie at Brooke’s house. He decided to text her about it later. Parker yawned and looked at his watch, regretting that he had chose to walk home instead of taking the bus. It was getting late, since he had stopped by two stores to look at shoes and games. As he walked on, he caught his mind on Brooke. He knew she wasn’t a mean person, but something’s been bugging her lately. Parker made a mental note to try approaching her feelings tomorrow in school. He checked his watch one more time, and began to head home faster.

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