The Ladies' Treehouse of 29th Loop

A Forward by Mercede Kaprio

There are four of us here on 29th Loop.

I'm not talking in total. Just, you know, four friends that consider each other the most important members of the neighborhood. I suppose we might consider our families important members too, so that might up the number a bit, but only four have ever been in the treehouse. And the treehouse is the main decider as to whether or not you are an important member of 29th Loop.

The treehouse is in the woods next to the park. I guess it's not a full on woods, since it's pretty small, but no one really goes in there. The only times I can think of when people go in there are A. On Halloween. Some teenagers—not us, of course, being the model citizens we are—go pretend (or, sometimes, for real… but they're mostly bluffing) to take part in illegal activities. You know, drinking, drugs, vandalism, etcetera. Then all act really stupid and dare each other to go in the woods at night. We all watch from the treehouse, and sometimes we prank them and make them run out screaming about demons in the woods. B. Environmentalists go in and pick up trash sometimes. This is mostly just after Halloween, after the other teenagers come and wreck our beautiful woods. And C, we go in. Obviously.

Who are we?

Well, the oldest of us is Athena Wu. It shows. She's really thoughtful, and not childish at all like the rest of us. Athena is half Chinese, half… well, European. Her mom isn't sure about her European background. Athena has the Chinese facial structure, and her hair is black too, but she has blue eyes. It's something none of us understand. Genetically, aren't brown eyes dominant? Even though they're beautiful, Athena's almost ashamed of her eyes. She says it's what gives her away as not being "pure Chinese." I'm not pure anything either, so I don't know what she's so upset about.

Next in line, age-wise, is Ellen Geyer. She lives the closest to the treehouse, in a house at the… I'm not sure how to say the "end" of a loop. But that's pretty much what it is… way back, where the loop curves drastically. Her house is in the corner. Elle's a real ditzy blonde type, you know? She's pretty much the baby of the group. But then again, hormonally, she's the most mature. She went boy crazy in fifth grade, and hasn't been able to think of anything else for more than ten seconds ever since. But I guess all the male attention isn't really great for her self esteem, since she has lots of "image issues" that none of us have. She needs lots of support, but we're all her for Elle.

I am the third oldest, or second youngest, depending on whether you're a pessimist or optimist. I'm not sure which one is which, but you can choose. My name's Mercede Kaprio. And no, not like the car. The car is actually named after a woman, so I am not named after it. And besides, you're thinking of Mercedes, with an S, which comes from the Spanish word for mercy. My name is Mercede (NO "S") and it comes from the Italian word for reward. Another thing that makes my name special is the fact that it's the only name out of the four of us that comes up as "wrong" in a computer spell-check… However, even after all the proof I've given them that my name is not associated with the car, I am still called "Benz" by the other three. Um… about me... Well. I have brown hair and brown eyes. My birthday is March ninth. And I live the farthest from the treehouse.

And at last, we come to the technical baby of the group. Although Elle may be the most immature, Piper Cameron—or Pippy, depending on how well you know her—is a year younger than all of us. Pippy's a genius, and she skipped a grade. She also got into the prestigious Glennwood. School. I asked my dad once if I could go to the Parker School, and he said if he got a billion dollar raise this month I could. I take it that the Glennwood School is expensive. I guess Pippy does live on the nicest house on the block. My dad says that's fine, since if someone ever wanted to rob a house on 29th Loop, we'd be the last place they'd go to, seeing as we have the ugliest house on the block, especially since we're only a few doors down from Pippy's mansion (practically).

Thus, you have now met the four members of the Ladies' Treehouse of 29th Loop. One thing that makes this club so special is the fact that it brings people together. And while you may say that all clubs do this, do all clubs have members that otherwise would not talk to each other? No. Athena, Ellie, and I are all in different social circles at Parkerton Middle. If not for the Ladies' Treehouse of 29th Loop, I doubt we would ever talk to each other.