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Brooke never texted back. It was now past midnight.

nellie chpt2

by Helena Yeung, staff reporter

Parker finally gave up waiting. He wasn’t much of a sleeper, but getting ready for bed was better than sitting at his desk just waiting for a text. He turned his phone on vibrate, and went to brush his teeth. Why did he cared so much anyways? Brooke may be one of his only close friends in school, but he never cared for making friends anyways. Unlike most people around him, Parker liked to be alone. It gives him time to think and to just spend time with himself.

Parker wasn’t a person who wanted to be like everyone else, he just wanted to focus on himself. He couldn’t stand all the drama, tears, and fights people get into for just being friend with one another in school. Not that he wanted to be a loner, but Brooke wasn’t that type of girl, as least for now. He was happy with one or two people to just talk to in school, but he never really thought of Brooke much once school was over. Maybe I’m just really not the caring touching feelings type. He finished washing up and got into his bed, setting his alarm clock on his table for six-thirty in the morning.

The next morning, Parker spotted Brooke by her locker, settling her books. He went up to her, but she didn’t look up. “Hey?” Parker noticed the grimness on her face. Guess her bunny is still missing?

Brooke looked up. “Hey.” she closed her locker. “Want to ditch again today for four periods?”

“That’s…not a good plan. We need attendance to do well, you know.” Parker decided to bring up Nellie. “So did you find your little pet?” he asked, expecting her to rant and yell. Instead, she nodded, much to Parker’s surprise.

“Yeah, I found her.” Brooke walked away, leaving Parker puzzled.

“Well thanks for the cheery smile and detailed information.” Parker mumbled sarcastically, heading to first period algebra while rolling his eyes.

Brooke ended up cutting classes without Parker anyways.

Parker couldn’t find her even at lunch, and assumed she had went home. She always sits with him during lunch, so he knew she wasn’t around. He sat with Candy and Carl, who were much to his dismay, making him agree with Brooke about her judgements earlier on yesterday. They didn’t seem like a real couple. Brooke was certain Candy just wanted a boy to be around her, maybe even to show off.  Carl on the other hand, was a lot quieter and gentler than Parker thought. Candy would be the protector if they got into a mugging situation. Parker shrugged and sighed, realizing that knowing both Candy and Carl’s personalities is what made up his own opinion about the relationship.

Parker was on his way to biology when his phone vibrated in his pocket. He looked at it, and saw Brooke’s name pop up with a text. “Come to my house. Now.” He swore to himself this would be that he’d cut for a while, and ran to his locker to get his bag.

“I have more popsicles.” was the first thing Brooke said when Parker walked in.

“Beautiful. Is that it?” Brooke handed him a green-colored popsicle, and Parker took it suspiciously.

“No.” Brooke rolled her eyes. “I have something to tell you, come.” Brooke guided Parker to her room again. He dropped off his bag outside Brooke’s bedroom door, and walked in. He looked to his right, and sure enough, there was a little brown bunny in the bunny cage, nibbling away on food. The door was opened, and carrot chewable toys were right next to the cage. Brooke headed over to her pet and stroke her fur, and the bunny looked right at her. Parker stood there awkwardly, still curious as to where Nellie yesterday and how Brooke found her.

“I wanted to tell you I’m sorry.” Brooke sighed and went over to her bed, and sat down tiredly. “I think you’re a really great friend, and I wanted you to know that.”

“Are you on drugs?” Parker eyebrows narrowed. “Something insanely crazy must’ve happened for me to hear these angelic words coming out of your mouth.” Parker cracked a small smile after, but Brooke looked really serious about her apology.

He just shrugged. “I shouldn’t treat others so horribly either, I don’t know. It’s all just confusing thoughts, but I’m just really thankful-” she paused. “You know, for you.”

“Does this mean I get more popsicles?” Parker laughed jokingly, but then noticed the grimness on Brooke’s face and his smile faded. He licked his green frozen treat, still unsure of the flavor it was supposed to be. Brooke ignored him, playing with her hair with her fingers. Parker stared at her for a few seconds, then before he knew it, he headed over to her and sat next to her on the bed.

“Brooke, did something happen when I left?” he asked as he looked over at her. He held the shock to himself that she was holding back tears, her fingers tugging at her hair harder.

“Nothing.” she whispered. “You want to play a game?” She got up and walked over to her closet, and opened the left door. Three shelves were filled with bright girly things, and Parker still had the wonder puzzlement of why Brooke’s room was so far from her personality. The top shelf was filled with winter garments, of pink and red scarves, gloves, a white glittery hats. The second shelf had a huge clear box filled with nail polishes, which Parker estimated was around a hundred. Brooke fumbled through the boxes on the third shelf, which contained lots of board games. Parker watched as she began to put the boxes down beside her on the floor, layering out the choices.

“Pick one.” Brooke smiled, and Parker pointed to monopoly millionaire.

“Ok.” Placing the rest of the games back in her closet, Brooke pushed the chosen board game towards the center of the room to play. Parker got off the bed and sat on the rug, and opened the game and assembled the pieces. They began to play, having filled with fun, laughter, and friendship. Parker was in luck, and had most of the money already by the first hour.

“I will beat you.” Brooke shook her head. “Your luck can go away anytime.”

“Whatever.” Parker shakes his head as well, and laughed. He watched as Brooke takes her turn, shaking her dice furiously hoping for a high number. His eyes suddenly wanders upwards, and Nellie caught his eye. She seemed to be watching them, sitting still in her cage with her nose in the air. Parker never paid close attention to a pet bunny before, but he watched with emotion at the way she stared at them. He looked back at Brooke, who was now staring at him with silent eyes. He somehow felt that Nellie had a connection to her, something more than just a pet.

“Where’d you get Nellie by the way?” he blurted out. He watched as she looked down on the floor, now regretting his question. The game pieces laid still on the monopoly board, and Parker was unsure if they were going to continue playing anymore.

“Someone gave her to me.” Brooke said quietly, picking up the game pieces and placing them in the box. Yep, game time was over. Way to kill the moment there.

“Okay.” Parker stood up. “Well, thanks for the fun, and having me cut classes. I’ll head home now.” He threw the popsicle wrapper in her trash can, which was decorated in pretty flowers and space stickers. “You’re room’s very nice.” Parker smiled, and turned to her. To his surprise, she was smiling back.

Nellie was pacing around in her cage, looking at everything around her. Brooke watched her, countless minutes passing. “Nellie, thanks for the note.” she found herself whispering. As if the bunny heard, Nellie raised her ears up and headed towards Brooke in her cage, staring silently with sparkling eyes.

“I wish you could tell me where you found it.” Brooke reached into her sweatpants pocket, and pulled out a beaten-up crumpled post-it. She opened the note carefully, tears coming to her eyes, and read it for the tenth time:

Merry early Christmas Brooke, I love you.

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