Sorry for making this letter so long. I hope you're not bored. I hope you write back. Tell me your brothers' and sisters' names if you want. I never met anyone with two brothers and two sisters.
THERE IS OATMEAL ON THE STOVE FOR YOU. YOUR BLAZER IS IN A HEAP ON THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR WHERE YOU LEFT IT LAST NIGHT.
I'LL TRY CALLING CELIA'S MUM AGAIN TODAY. CALL ME AT WORK IF SHE SHOWS UP AT SCHOOL. CAN YOU PEEL FOUR POTATOES WHEN YOU GET HOME FROM SCHOOL? IF YOU ARE BORED WHILE PEELING THE POTATOES YOU CAN SPEND THE TIME THINKING ABOUT THE COLOR WHITE. WHAT ARE SOME REALLY WHITE THINGS?
SEE YOU TONIGHT,
PS. YOUR FATHER CALLED YOU. (I THOUGHT YOU SAID HE WAS FLYING BACK TO CANADA A WEEK AGO? HE'S GOING TO TRY AND CALL AGAIN LATER TONIGHT.)
Celia didn't show up at school. I don't know how come Dad's still here.
I'm taking Lochie for a run and I'll be back in an hour for dinner.
Here are the potatoes.
I thought of something white:
Love from Elizabeth
A couple of weeks ago, Celia phoned in the middle of the night to suggest you meet in the park for a midnight feast. A week ago, Celia talked you into skipping science, to go tour a chocolate factory instead. And a few days ago, Celia got you to help her plant an avocado tree in her backyard, as the first step in creating her own, personal ecosystem.
Just a few seconds ago, what did you do? You peeled some potatoes.
Gee, Elizabeth, things are really looking up for you now that your best friend's not around, aren't they?
Best Friends Club
A LETTER FROM A STRANGER
CAN'T BELIEVE YOU HAVE A TEACHER CALLED MR. HOOGENBOOM.
Were you for real about that or were you just taking the piss?
If we had a teacher here with a name like Mr. Hoogenboom, he'd be dead by now. Seriously, people here wouldn't let him live.
I'm sorry I called you a nice private school girl. I believe you now that you're not one of them. You don't really sound like one of them. How come you're at that school then?
But you did go skiing on the holidays, which sounds kind of private school. I'm sorry your face went red. You should've used sunscreen or it's true about the skin cancer. I'm very sorry but it's true. You'll get it. My Uncle Rosco had skin cancer on the end of his nose. It cost him five thousand dollars to have it surgically removed. (My dad said he'd have done it with his power saw for a case of beer, which Uncle Rosco didn't think was very funny.) Auntie Belinda's always getting moles cut off her arms too. Actually, I don't really think that's cos of skin cancer, I think it's because she wants arms without moles.
Those guys in your science class sound like total assholes. I think you should punch Martin Davis right in his cauliflower chin.
That must be really hard for you having your best friend run away all the time. You must be worried a lot. Plus you must miss her. I hope she's called you by now, or come back.
It's funny that your friend runs away, and you go running like a billion kilometers just for fun. It makes you both a bit weird. I think you should listen to people who tell you not to run long distances, and not just because your bones will fall to pieces. Because you're out of your mind. 15ks? You're insane.
Anyway, I'm sorry to make jokes about your friend running away. That's a serious thing.
Actually, Celia sounds a bit like my cousin Maddie. Maddie's always getting into trouble and running away too, but it's not cos she's bored. It's always cos of love.
Copyright (c) 2000 Jaclyn Moriarty. All rights reserved. Reproduced by the permission of the publisher, St Martin's Press. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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