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    Mustard On My Fries

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    GrammarShark
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    Mustard On My Fries

    Post  GrammarShark on Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:46 am

    Chapter 1

    Okay, this was getting really boring. The sounds of the amusement park rung in my ears and through my shoes. The baking sun roasted my ratty blond hair and my freckled nose. I wanted to have fun with my dad, I really did. But every time he said ‘Nancy, would you like to go on the carousel?’ I just about walked straight to the hot car and sit on the hood. The carousel was not for 13 year olds.
    I wished that I brought my sunglasses, the sun was so hot and bright. I needed a break badly, so I finally convinced dad to go to the snack bar for some soda and junk food.

    I sighed, plopping my plate full of French fries down at the condiment bar. The relish oozed out of it's container and flowed towards my plate. I scrunched my nose and moved it over a little, so I could cover it in ketchup. Yum!
    “’Scuze me!” A way-too-in-a-rush boy reached over and picked up the mustard, squirting some on his food. I made a face, but kept tapping on my bottle.
    Suddenly, bright, yellow, sticky goo dripped off of my wrist, getting into my fries. I couldn’t speak. All I could do was look at him.
    Bright blue eyes apologetically glanced at me, and the callused hands handed me a napkin. “I’m so so sorry.” His voice was almost deep, but not really. I regained my composure and accepted the napkin.
    As I wiped off my hands, he carefully picked out the mustard-covered fries and threw them carelessly into his mouth, making me gag a bit.
    But I looked back down at my yellow-stained wrists as soon as he looked at me, feeling my cheeks flush.
    What? I thought, Why am I acting like this?
    I turned around to find my dad looking curiously at me, so I flashed him a reassuring thumbs-up.
    "I think that's all of them. . ." the boy said thoughtfully, pushing some of the fries around in search of one with mustard on it.
    I instinctively grabbed the little cardboard box and held it up against my stomach, crushing one side a little. "It's fine."
    He grinned, "Good. I'm Joe." he stuck out his hand, waiting for me to shake it, but I just stared.
    "Nancy."
    Joe grabbed my hand with his free one and hooked it with his, shaking furiously.
    Tingles.
    My hand pulled back without warning, for reasons that. . I don't know.
    "Nice to meet you. Joe."
    "Ditto."
    He didn't say anything else, just headed back to the table he was sitting at with another boy. This one had dark hair, and looked maybe a year or two older.
    I looked to my dad again, who was just staring at the oakwood table, looking as bored as could be. Then I looked back to Joe, who was laughing and talking insanely fast, while the other boy just rolled his eyes and ate silently. Hmm. . .
    I smiled and turned around on my toes, calming just enough to sit down. I had this great expressionless face that I used, and I was using it now. Dad didn't catch on.
    "So, I was thinking next we could go cool down in the air-conditioning for 15 minutes." Dad said, wiping his forehead a little. It was pretty hot out.
    "Fine with me." I said, sticking a french fry in my mouth. "Ouch."
    Dad grinned. "You exposed them to the sun too long, we'll have to let them cool off."
    I laughed. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Joe glance over curiously. Actually, he and dark-hair were stareing. I swallowed.
    Picking up a french fry, Dad looked off at one of the rides blankly. Now's my chance. I looked over at Joe and the other guy. Joe was rolling his eyes, talking quickly. The dark-hair boy was looking at me. We blushed.
    Still looking at him, I reached for a fry. Yellow Mustard.
    Ugh.
    Looking back at tthe plate in disgust, I stood up.
    "Ready for the air-conditioning?"
    "Yes." Dad sleepily stood up, following me out of the table area. Joe and the older guy rushed past, almost bumping into me.
    "Joseph! Franklin!" A lady with a baseball cap called to them, frowning. "Come on, we're going to be late!"
    They disappeared into the crowd.

    Chapter 2
    It was exactly one week after the mustard thing. Why would I pick today to move on to? Well. . .
    I was just walking up and down River Heights, watching the storm clouds building. I wasn't watching were I was going, until I ran right into him.
    Mustard dude's friend. Frank.
    He looked at me for a moment before he spoke. "You look kind of familiar. . . have I seen you before?"
    Personally, I didn't really want him to know who I was. Don't ask why, because I don't know. It just felt. . kind of awkward. "Umm, maybe. . ."
    He snapped his fingers. "That's it! Were you at the amusement park last week?"
    Dang it. No sense in lying now.
    ". . . Yes."
    He smiled and stuck out his hand. "Hey. I never really got to introduce myself, so. . Hi, I'm Frank Hardy."
    "Nancy. Nancy Drew."
    After a moment I shook his hand, and we stood in silence. "So. . . where were you headed?" he asked finally, starting to walk. I wasn't sure what to do, so I followed him. "No where, really. . . just taking a walk."
    "Ahh."
    More silence. "Well. . . I should probably get home before my dad starts to worry."
    "Ohh, okay. I can walk you home, if you -"
    "No, it's fine," I said quickly, starting to drift off in the direction of my house. "Umm, nice meeting you, Frank. See you later, okay?"
    He nodded and turned to walk the opposite direction.

    "Dad, I'm home," I called, not expecting an answer. He was more than likely in his office, on the phone with clients or filing through papers.
    Just as I had started for the stairs, my stomach growled, and I immediately turned and walked into the kitchen.
    "Hey, Hannah, when will dinner be ready?"
    Our loving housekeeper turned around from the stove and smiled, "Shouldn't be long, dear."
    I strode over to where she was stirring a large pot and looked inside. Chili.
    "I'm going up to my room," I announced, already headed in the direction of the staircase.
    "Okay, I'll have dinner ready by 6:30."

    It was after dinner that night, and even after the next day- all the way to next week- that I met up with Frank Hardy again. I was flabbergasted that, for the first time, I felt shaky when I talked to a guy. I made a note in my notebook to practice spelling 'flabersgasted' as his brother, 'Mustard Boy' went on about moving to River Heights, and how nice all of the lockers in West River Heights Junior High. Except for his, where he went on to exhibit the stickers all in the inside his locker. I started following Frank away from Joe, as we headed to our journalism class.
    "You know, I'm glad we moved to River Heights, Nancy." Frank smiled, glancing in my eyes before turning into class.
    I rocked back on my heels, grinning at the far away ceiling.


    CHAPTER 3

    I was sitting across the room from Frank, because he always ate his lunch with the AP Algebra 2 crowd. Bess was spreading rumors about Camp Rock 5, and George was gurgling her chocolate milk to drown her out. Joe Hardy- otherwise know as stalker boy- was sitting mushed up next to me, because I was on the very end of the bench and I couldn't scoot over more.
    "Don't you just love mustard? I mean, it goes good on everything--"
    "Goes well." Bess stopped right in the middle of her picture-sharing and chatting with other girls at the table to correct him.
    "I like plain milk and hash browns, actually." I sneezed into a tissue and went on with my lunch, letting Joe talk to George.
    I couldn't quite see Frank's eyes across this massive lunchroom, but I knew they were brown, and he was wearing his brown leather shoes with jeans and a button-up shirt. He was pushing his hash browns around a daub of ketchup.
    I sighed and munched as I watched him. He swallowed before replying to someone- I just knew he was finishing an equation that he figured out all in his head. I wish I could do that. I was just on the verge of wondering what I was thinking when Bess snapped "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU STARING AT?"
    I lifted my chin from my hand and stared at her until she slunched and went back to her water bottle.
    Though I tried to prevent myself from it, I couldn't help but sneak one more glance at Frank. But after I did, I certainly didn't regret it.
    Because at that exact moment, he caught my eyes and smiled. I quickly looked down at my half-eaten, pre-cooked, dry hamburger and bit back a grin.
    "Joe, why doesn't your brother sit over here with us?" I asked, mentally slapping myself after I did.
    Joe instantly went from staring dreamily at his mustard-covered cheeseburger to looking at his brother, halfway across the room, with a blank expression. "Because the honor-roll calculus kids are apparently cooler than us. Or whatever it is."
    "Or whatever what is?"
    "The math class. . . it's like. . never mind." Just as he said this, he plopped down his cheeseburger - which somehow landed in MY basket of overcooked fries.
    Bess let out a loud "EWWW!", and George howled with laughter until she started spurting chocolate milk through her mouth unintentionally. Which ended up pouring onto the bottom bun of Joe's cheeseburger.
    Joe was apologizing the entire time, grabbing every napkin in sight and trying to wipe up the mess.
    "No, no, you - you take it. Take it. Ju-just; TAKE IT." I stuttered, being interrupted every few seconds by his babbling. I slid the basket until it hit against his paper plate. He looked like he was about to protest, but I think he changed his mind last-second. "Seriously?"
    I just nodded and turned away slightly, able to hear him devouring the chocolate-milk-covered burger.
    Shuddering just a bit from the grossness, I dared to look up at Frank's table. But, thankfully, he seemed to have completely missed the whole episode, and was eagerly chatting away with his math buddies.

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