Short entry today. I’ve been outside enjoying the weather!
Criticism and feedback are very appreciated,
The Spice Girls.
They gave me something to identify with, and define myself by.
My best friend in the 1st grade, Katie Mueller, first introduced me to the band.
We were in PE one day, doing sit ups, playing jump rope, and walking laps around the gym when she started humming a tune to herself.
“What is that?” I asked her.
“Oh, it’s a song by the SPICE Girls,” she smiled.
I nodded and must have looked clueless.
“Wait.. you do know who they are, don’t you?”
“Nope,” I replied, as we began our third lap around the gym.
“You haveee to come over to my house this weekend and listen to them.”
I smiled and told her I’d ask my mom.
“Sure,” my mom responded that afternoon once I got home and asked if we could have a sleepover. “As long as it’s at her house,” she clarified, measuring flour into a cup.
“Yeah, it’ll be at her house,” I said quickly, noticing the Aunt Jemima box sitting on the counter top.
“Are you making pancakes?” I asked hopefully.
“Yep,” she smiled at me, “Bobby wanted some.”
Since the chemo and radiation, Bobby’s taste buds had become very picky, which made his diet very limited. He basically subsisted off of junk food, and for the rest of his life, that didn’t change much.
His favorite thing in the world was pizza, but pancakes, cheese fries, mozzarella sticks and grilled cheese with pickles all came in at a close second. I asked mom if I could have a late-afternoon pancake too and walked into the living room to sit on the couch with Bob.
“Hey Bob,” I smiled at him. He looked up for a second and waved his hand weakly.
“Hi sissterrrbabe,” he said sweetly.
I plopped down beside him and looked over at what he was holding.
“Whatcha doin?” I asked.
“Momm gave me this leappp padd,” he said slowly. “It’s edduu.. I don’tt know what ezacttly it is,” he confessed, “butt I learnn stufff on itt.”
I nodded and turned on the TV. Mom came in a few minutes later with our pancakes and we watched Mr. Miyagi train Daniel on how to be a badass in the the movie The Karate Kid.
“Thanks for coming to spend the night with us, Amber!” Katie’s mom smiled into the rear view mirror.
“Her name is Rose,” Katie corrected her mom.
“I go by Rose, but Amber is my name, too,” I smiled brightly at Katie’s mom from the backseat.
It was an exciting afternoon. After the dismissal bell had rung, instead of heading over to the bus line like usual, I walked over to the carpool area with Katie. We got into her mom’s blue Honda CRV as soon as it pulled up. I sat next to Katie, still wearing my backpack and holding a plastic, yellow Publix bag in my lap. It contained my pajamas, my toothbrush, my favorite stuffed bunny and an outfit for the next morning.
“So what do you girls what to do this evening?” Katie’s mom asked us.
“I wanna show Rose my SPICE girl’s CD,” Katie said excitedly, looking over at me. “You’re going to love it.”
And I did. A lot. We danced around Katie’s bedroom with her kid sister, Allison, grooving to tunes like “Wannabe,” “Stop,” and “Spice Up Your Life.” Her mom helped us use the family’s computer to look up pictures of the band and their bios and I was immediately hooked. The obsession lasted for years; CDs, movies, posters, books, magazines, t-shirts, and even a necklace with the word “baby” on it were all a part of the fan girl collection and were in my possession at some point or another. I was absolutely, all about girl power.
Soon it was dinnertime and Katie’s mom decided to order a pizza. “And if you guys are still a little hungry,” she said, leading us from the dining room into the kitchen, “you can have anything from this drawer in here,” and she pointed to it.
“That’s the kids drawer,” Katie explained. “There’s pudding packs in there, cheese crackers, peanut butter crackers, applesauce… everything!”
“Right,” her mom smiled and looked a little tired. “Just don’t open this drawer,” and she gestured to one right beside the ‘kids’ drawer. It looked like it had a lock on it. It was weird.
“Okay, cool,” I smiled and thanked her.
We played in her backyard for a little while before it got dark out, and then we came back into the house, tired and ready to go to sleep. I laid on an inflatable mattress that night, listening to the soothing sounds of waves and dolphins that Katie usually fell asleep to, but sleep wouldn’t come for me. After about fifteen minutes of ocean bellows, I freaked.
“Katie, wake up!” I announced loudly. “I have got to go home!”
I started crying. Katie’s mom entered into the room quickly, looking concerned.
“What happened?” she asked Katie, kneeling down and putting her arms around my shoulders.
Katie shrugged and shook her head, bewildered. She was still underneath the covers, propped up on her elbows.
“I… I just want my mommy,” I gasped between sobs.
Katie’s asked for my mom’s phone number and I had no idea what it was. She was smart enough to look inside of my backpack, and sure enough, for whatever reason, my name and phone number were written in black Sharpie ink across the front of my lunchbox.
Mom arrived at the house within twenty minutes and I was instantly pacified.
“I’m sorry that didn’t work out,” my mom said sadly and yawned as she steered us home.
“It’s okay,” I said quietly. “Thanks for letting me go.”
It was a quiet ride. The sky was black, the stars were shiny, the trees were creepy, and the telephone poles looked like they were moving… as usual.
“Hey mom?” I whispered as she pulled into our driveway.
“Yes sweetie?” Her door had already opened and the car light came on. I saw dark circles under her eyes.
“Thanks for coming and getting me.”