Author: evergreen-writer PM
Cherry and Vanilla are complete opposites and the most unlikely friends. But, as they move to a new school, can they stay together despite the new challenges and a bet to come between them?Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Humor - Chapters: 16 - Words: 27,395 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 01-22-13 - Published: 09-29-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2420285
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The crowd roared as the ball shot into the goal. I was breathing hard, but it didn't matter. With only minutes to spare, I had managed to score a goal for my team and we had won! In the grand finals at last!
It would have been a rather big triumph if the home crowd wasn't actually just a few ragged children and the goals weren't marked by some dodgy wooden posts. I and a few of the older boys formed the winning team as usual as we played against the younger kids. My team mates came over and thumped my back heartily still grinning about our success.
Okay, so the teams weren't evenly matched and we did have an unfair advantage, especially with me on the team, but it gave us something to do. Something to look forward to every weekend in this dreary orphanage.
The McGregor's School for orphans. I'd been here since I was just four. I still remember the day I came when my dad disappeared and my aunt bundled me up and left me at the doorstep. That doorstep I have since been crossing for the last ten years.
I also remember Vanilla. That little girl with the puffed short blonde hair. You'd think that she'd have been adopted almost at once with those enormous blue eyes and fluffy hair, but she wasn't. Her helpless demeanor made us unlikely friends at once. Me as her protector, her as the little angel who got me out of trouble.
I never did understand why no one wished to take Vanilla home with them. Probably because every time we lined up for selection she'd have had been crying and had huge puffy red eyes. I knew why they didn't take me. My short fiery red hair cropped close to my head made me look unattractive, especially when they adults expected an angelic girl. I always seemed to somehow get into some kind of mess right before selection day. But, we had spent ten years together growing up in this backward place, and now we would leave together.
The original Mr. and Mrs. McGregor had died about fifty years ago, but the orphanage, that they insisted was called a school, was still run by the McGregor family. It did seem however that Ms Darlene McGregor, the current head of the place, would be the last in the direct line of children. She was fifty four and still not planning to marry. It looked like this place would be handed over to some second or third cousin five times removed or something. I was glad I wouldn't be there to see it.
It happened this way: Ms McGregor called Vanilla and I into her stuffy office.
"Have a seat dears," she said stiffly indicating to some hard chairs by her desk, "I've called you both in to speak to you on an important matter."
Vanilla and I exchanged glances. Everything was important to Ms McGregor. She blew things out of proportion all the time. She paused, hoping to get a reaction out of us I guessed. So I piped up, rather impertinently I admit.
"What is it, ma'am? Are we leaving the school?"
She glared at me over her pince-nez.
"When will you learn patience Cherry? You'll not get anywhere in life being so rude and interrupting people all the time."
Vanilla and I gaped at her.
She continued a little distractedly, oblivious to our stares.
"Actually, you've guessed very well, Cherry. Did anyone hint anything to you two at all?"
We shook our heads dumbly. I'd guessed well?
"You'll be leaving this school at the end of the year and staying at a boarding house down in the city. Some officials" – and here she sniffed disdainfully – "has decided to offer scholarships to those who have spent at least ten years here in the orphanage and need formal education. Both of you qualify for this."
I don't think either Vanilla or me had stopped gaping at her through her revelation. We'd finally be leaving the school!
Before I thought of it, I let out a huge whoop and leapt into the air.
I snapped out of my shock when Cherry had leapt up and whooped. Ms McGregor obviously had not anticipated Cherry's reaction because she looked shocked.
"Cherry! Sit down girl," she barked, pulling herself together, "That's no way to behave."
She sat down looking flushed, but grinning delightedly.
"Sorry Miss. I'll behave proper Miss. I'm just so happy Miss," she babbled excitedly.
I was exhilarated too. For most of my life, I'd been sheltered and protected. This was our chance to finally go out into the world. And I would have Cherry with me to help me too.
We were finally dismissed after a long speech from Ms McGregor about bringing honour to the name of the school and how to behave correctly. Cherry and I ran madly to our rooms laughing all the way. We collapsed onto our beds and hugged each other before sitting down and laughing again.
"It's going to be so much fun!" she yelled
"Freedom at last!" I joined in. She grinned at me and suddenly her eyes lit up.
"I'll bet we'll have so many more friends at the new school! One's that are there to stay."
"You will," I suddenly felt scared again, "But, I'll be too shy. No one will want to mix with me."
"I bet," she said comfortingly, "You'll be the one who gets the friends." She flicked her short hair at me and jokingly added, "But, I'll be the boy magnet!"
I shook my head and retorted with my bet, "I'll be the one who gets the most boys."
She sat up straight, "Tell you what!" she said excitedly, "Whoever has had the most offers by the end of our schooling years will have had won okay?"
I nodded, fired up by all the excitement.