Whoo, I have this seven-shot, and if you're reading this, I hope you read it completely, and I hope you like it! I want to see how far this goes as to readers.


Chapter 1

I had met him when I was four, and I was at the park. There was only one swing there, and he was swinging on it. I stamped over to him, and said, "That's my swing you're on!" He slowed his pace a bit on the swing, his legs dangling in the air. "Says who? Does it have your name on it?" I grabbed his legs and pushed them over the swing. He released a soft 'oof' when he landed on the ground and several whimpers.

"See?" I said, for under the swing was a bright red 'L' for Loretta drawn on it. He lifted himself up and sped off towards the direction of a woman who was sitting on a bench. "Mommy!" he wailed loudly. The woman's face scrunched up, and her arms came open wide as the boy jumped into her arms. "The mean girl pushed me off the swing!"

A firm hand locked itself around my shoulder, and my mom spoke into my ear, "Loretta, what did you do?" I gazed at her and replied with ease, "That dumb boy was on my swing!" She pushed me towards the standing woman, the boy's cheeks still wet with tears. My mother greeted the woman.

"I'm so sorry that my daughter hurt your son. She's sorry, too. Right, Loretta?" She yanked me forward, and I forcefully nodded. The woman smiled gently. "It's fine. Dani could be rude sometimes as well," she answered. I giggled a bit. "Dani? That's a girl's name!" The boy stuck his tongue out at me and hollered, "Nothing separates you from being a boy!" I lunged at him, but my mom held me back. Dany squirmed in his mother's grasp, but his mother was strong. She grinned at me again and tried to compliment me on my shirt, but I frowned. She glanced at my mom.

"How old is she?"

My mom lifted me up, and I placed my arms around her neck. "Four. Loretta's turning five in December. How about Dani?" The lady kissed Dani on the cheek and responded, "He's turning six in November. He's going to kindergarten. Loretta sure does talk well for a four-year-old." My mom nodded and gave me a tight squeeze that signalled for me to stop squirming. I humphed at her and looked at Dani.

We stared at each other for what seemed for hours' end as our mothers chatted for awhile. Before I knew it, we had a play date. Dani wasn't happy, and neither was I. Well, that was one thing we had in common. Our hatred for each other. The little 'date' was in two weeks, and before I knew it, the time had passed, and I was making my way up the steps to his house in a green dress. My mother rang the doorbell, and the same lady answered it, which my mom had told me to call her Mrs. Peters. Dani was behind Mrs. Peters, snickering at the sight of me in my dress. Mrs. Peters let us in and told Dani to show me to his room. He groaned.

"But she's a girl! You know that the only girl allowed in my room is you, Mom!" She glared at him, and he took my hand and yanked me down the hall. "This is my room," he said as we entered a small bedroom, "Don't touch anything. I don't want your cooties on anything." He sat down on his carpeted floor and began to play with a small racecar. I knew I wasn't invited so I took a seat on the stool by the window sill. It was a nice day that day. The sun was shining radiantly and the trees swayed in the gentle wind. I took a deep breath and sighed.

A boy riding on a bicycle howled out and laughed. I watched him attempt some tricks, but no luck prevailed. "Dani?" I asked, still curiously watching the stranger. Dani looked at me and with an annoyed tone, questioned, "What?" I pointed out the window to the little boy. "Who's that?" Dani sighed and rose from his game. He saw who I was pointing to and answered, "Oh, that's Jimmy. He's the meanest boy for blocks. He picks on me all the time." His voice was sad, and his eyes trailed down. I watched Jimmy do his little odd tricks on his bike. "How old is he?" I asked, and Dani replied, "Seven."

"We can take him!" I exclaimed. I ran out of the room, with Dani right behind me screaming, "No! Are you crazy? We'll get hurt!" Our mothers smiled at each other when they saw us sprinting outside as fast as our little legs could take us. Jimmy stopped and smirked at the sight of Dani, and it grew into a grin when he saw me.

"Hey, there, Pipsqueak! Who's your girlfriend?" I blinked angrily and stamped my foot. "I'm not his girlfriend!" Jimmy laughed, "How old are you, four?" I nodded and shouted to Dani, "Let's get him!" I bit Jimmy on the arm, and he yelped, but quickly pushed me aside. I fell back and peeked over my shoulder only to find Dani staring at me dumbfounded. "What are you waiting for?" I launched myself at Jimmy again, punching his side, and Dani had joined in, clobbering Jimmy in the ear. Jimmy shrieked, "You little brats!" before shoving us into the asphalt. Dani quickly got up and jumped on Jimmy, digging his little claws into Jimmy's ribs. Jimmy yelped again, and I grabbed onto his foot and pulled as hard as I could.

Jimmy smacked Dani on the forehead with his palm, and Dani retreated. My hand went flying to Jimmy's nose, and I pulled on it. He wailed in agony and yanked me away. Dani and I both were on the pavement laughing as Jimmy left his bike and ran off.

"We did it! High five!" He yelled happily, and I swung my hand at his open one but missed. I kissed him on the cheek and giggled as he scrunched his nose and wiped his cheek. "Ew, girl cooties!" I clapped my hands at our victory. Dani smirked at me and looked shyly at his feet. "I guess that was pretty cool," he admitted, but when he glanced at my dress, he covered his mouth.

"Loretta, you got your dress dirty! Your mom is going to be angry at you!" he proclaimed. He was right. When I looked down, my green dress was black at the bottom. "Don't worry," he reassured me. He got off the streets and found a patch of grass in the yard. He rolled in it until I couldn't see the yellow part of his shirt. "There," he said, "Now both of our moms could be angry together because we're dirty together." It seemed like a very nice gesture on his side, and we walked home together actually holding hands. "The cooties don't spread if we don't let go," he had told me, and I didn't want to let go, cooties or no cooties.

When we had walked into the house, it was his mom that had shrieked, "Oh, what have you been doing outside?" My mother smiled at us and happily declared, "Looks like they've become friends." Dani waved our intertwined hands in the air. "Loretta helped me beat up Jimmy! Now he's never going to pick on me again!" Our mothers looked at each other disapprovingly and began to argue on whose fault it was that their child was unruly. Dani shrugged at me and invited me to play cars with him. I accepted joyfully, but we only played for a little bit because my mom had come into the room and told me that we were leaving.

In the car on the ride home, I was very upset and on the brink to a temper tantrum. "Mommy..." I started in a sweet and innocent voice. She looked at me oddly and sighed. "What do you want?"

"Can Dani come to my birthday party?" I asked excitedly, but my mom just lost it and began shouting things at me like "You will not be playing with that kind of child!" and "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!" I didn't even know what that meant. So I started preschool, and Dani had probably started kindergarten. I had met a girl named Krissy, which I thought was a funny name, and we became good friends. Of course, we didn't beat up mean seven-year-olds, save the neighborhood, and play with toy cars together like I had done with Dani. She was interested in nice five-year-old boys, saving her drawings, and playing with dolls. There was nothing wrong with that, but I did prefer playing with Dani more.

Winter came, and so did my birthday. Outside, the ground was covered in a nice blanket of snow, but inside, the ground was covered with balloons. I pretended to smile when Krissy got me a barbie doll for my birthday. I set it down nicely on the table, and while everyone played, I sat by the window and watched the snow fall. If I turned five, then that must have meant that Dani was now six for his birthday was before mine. My mom brought me a slice of cake, but I didn't want any. The party ended after I fell asleep on the floor.

The preschool year was nearly over, and spring had already arrived. I had almost forgotten about Dani by then, and the only thing I wanted then was to visit the park, which I had not done for months. One day, my mom agreed to take me, so she dressed me up in a warm sweater for the chilly weather outside. We went to the same park, and as soon as we arrived, my mom plopped herself down on the bench. From there, she couldn't see the swingset, and that was the thing I missed the most. I ran to the single swing left only to find it occupied by a familiar boy.

"Dani!" I shouted, overjoyed, and his upset face looked up and brightened up. "Hey, Loretta!" I ran over to him, and he got off the swing. "Shhh, my mom's over there! Don't let her see you!" I glanced to my right to find Mrs. Peters with a rather large belly. "Why's your mommy's belly so large?" Dani gazed at the swing and shoved it.

"She's going to have a baby. I'm going to have a baby brother or sister." I watched him place himself down on the swing on his belly. "So?" I asked, still rather confused. "She doesn't care about me anymore. All she cares about is her dumb belly. She's buying all kinds of toys for it, but she says she's not buying me some because she doesn't have enough money."

I felt sorry for him. I pushed him on the swing a bit the best I could. It didn't get far. He got off and stalked off to the staircase for the slide. I followed behind him, gently poked him, and said, "Tag, you're it!" He was reluctant at first to join me, but did anyway. Soon, we were running around, trying to keep out of sight from our parents, and laughing.

"Do you wanna play hide-and-seek?" he asked. I nodded, but added, "How do you play?" He was already skipping off. "You count to ten," he explained, "and I'll hide! Then you'll come find me! Close your eyes!" I put my hands over my eyes and counted. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... ten!" I removed my hands from my eyes, but Dani was shaking his head in front of me. "You were counting too fast, and you skipped eight and nine! Try again!"

I nodded and started again. "One... two... three... four... five... six... seven... um, what comes after seven again?" Dani groaned and pushed me away from the spot. "Here, I'll count. You go hide, Loretta." I heard him start to count and ran towards the slide, hiding behind it. He was up to six when I got there. Finally, he screamed, "Ready or not, here I come!" I giggled, but heard him say, "I see you, Loretta. You're behind the slide. You stink at this game."

I came out, my lower lip quivering and several tears ready to overflow from my eyes. His face softened. "Let's play a different game," he suggested, and I gratefully nodded. "I know," I exclaimed, "Let's play red light, green light!" Dani nodded and moved about five feet away from me. I turned away. "Green light!" I bellowed, and the soft crunches of the woodchips notified me that he was coming. "Red light!" I said, turning around to face him. He was about midway point away from me. He was perfectly still.

"Green light!" I shrieked, facing forward again. Right when I was about to say red light again, he tackled me to the ground. I roared in laughter, as we both got off the woodchips and dusted ourselves off. "Why don't we just go up on the playground and see our kingdom?" he asked. "What kingdom?" I questioned. He waved his arms around in the air. "The park is our kingdom, and the playground's our castle. I'm the king, and you're my queen. Come on!" He climbed the staircase up to the top and ran to the arch above the slide.

"You see, the slide's the bridge, and the woodchips are the river surrounding it. The meadow's beyond with the trees is the village." I nodded and saw Dani's mom's eyes widening as she patted her belly. "What's your mom?" I asked. Dani frowned in thought and exclaimed, "She's a wicked witch."

"Dani!" I hollered, and Dani smiled, gazing at me. "You know," he said, "I wish you were my sister." I agreed, "And I wish you were my brother." He grinned widely and took my arm, but sadly, I heard my mom shout, "Loretta, time to go home." I placed my hand on Dani's shoulder, "I'll see you soon!" I gave him a quick kiss like I had done before and watched his nose scrunch up as he again responded with "Cooties!" I ran off the playground and into my mother's arms. "Did you have fun?"

I nodded. "Yes, I rule this kingdom, Mommy. I'm the queen!" She kissed me on the forehead and said, "Queen Loretta? Now that sounds good to me!" I nodded happily and exclaimed, "And Dani's the king!" but she didn't hear me as her cellphone rang, and she picked it up. Maybe it would be better if I didn't tell her about my friendship with Dani for now.

I hope you guys all liked it, and I hope you all review, fav, and alert! And if you have time for some quick one-shots, read Love's A Game Until You Turn Fourteen and Breathe.