The day started with a Barbie doll outfit: a pristine white skirt, a pink lace blouse with matching pink shoes, and two pig-tail braids. How could the day go wrong?
Jane went to school, and of course the first person she saw was Becky. Dressed in jeans, a matching jacket, a blue blouse, and black tennis shoes, the straw hat on top of her wavy hair made her look ready for an adventure. They talked about Tommy—of course they talked about him, didn't they always? They made plans for the afternoon; they would be normal teenagers and hang out with friends. Honestly, Jane expected these plans to fall through.
So to her utmost surprise she found herself running down the hill to the intersection beside Becky in hopes of catching the elusive figure who should be in the distance.
"I feel like I'm about ten years old right now! Running down the street after school with my pigtails flying in my face!"
The two girls made a lovely picture: pink and blue, running down the hill with their overstuffed backpacks bouncing up and down and their cheeks flushed brightly. The Barbie doll outfit Jane had started the morning in was slowly becoming soaked and the pouf was gone from her skirt. Becky's soft, fluffy hair was now limp and wet, sticking to her face. They slowed to walk and assessed each other's appearances.
"We look like drowned rats!"
They rubbed their red, swollen hands against their frozen arms and laughed merrily. The fact that the lacey sleeves of Jane's t-shirt were merely holding the freezing rain water closer to the skin or that Becky's jeans were so soaked they clung to her legs didn't seem to register with the two friends as they continued their venture.
They babbled—voices a constant stream of laughter and girlish squeals—about everything under the sun, or rain that is. Tommy's mysterious invisibility was a constant topic; of course it was he was their target after all. They took turns running, skipping, walking, they didn't care that the cars passing by stared strangely at the two bedraggled girls adventuring in their neighborhood.
Jane didn't notice it as she walked by, but that could have been because her nose was buried in her phone trying to get a hold of her mother. Becky though, was always one to notice things. She stopped and stared at the pitiful creature on the grass before calling her friend back over.
"Jane! Come over here! Look what I found!"
Jane turned quickly to stare out the patch of grass Becky was pointing to. She didn't see anything so she walked back a few steps to where her friend stood. There, on the dew-covered grass, lay a dead robin. It made a forlorn image lying lonely on the cold ground. Becky snapped a picture; Jane was repulsed at first but after a few minutes of consideration she decided that the robin needed to be remembered, even in jest. So it was with this that she justified their sending the picture to Tommy, honestly he would probably understand. She insisted that they send it to Aaron as well though, he would appreciate it.
The two continued on, wondering where the elusive Tommy was. Finally they reached his cul-de-sac and tentatively walked up the street and stood across from his house.
Becky quickly flipped open her phone and snapped a picture of the house and sent that too off to Tommy. The girls giggled uproariously half-expecting him to emerge from the house. In anticipation of this, they ran and hid behind a twiggy tree—honestly who cares if two girls and their backpacks could clearly be seen through its thin branches? After a few minutes with no Tommy, Becky cautiously crept over to a row of mailboxes and stood behind them, Jane following her slowly. They would have crouched but they were short enough to be mainly covered by the large boxes. From there, Jane took photos of his car and sent them off.
"Let's try and cross the street." whispered Becky excitedly. Jane nodded in agreement and they ran across the street towards his house. Standing on his neighbor's driveway they took pictures of his window and sent them to both Tommy and Aaron. It wasn't until a few minutes later that Tommy appeared. Jane once again was too oblivious to notice the tall boy with a black umbrella bobbing towards them from the opposite direction. Only Becky's loud exclamations made her look up to see the boy calmly approaching his own home.
"Oh shit! Oh SHIT! Oh shit, shit, shit!" Jane laughed crazily at her friends frantic arm movements and loud voice as they ran into the middle of the street and then back towards the thin tree they had hid behind before.
"You do realize he can see us, right?" Becky merely cowered farther behind the tree. It wasn't until he lifted his umbrella and inclined his head in their direction that she gave up and started walking towards him.
Tommy laughed at them—undisguised mirth in his eyes. Shaking his head at their antics, he picked up a neon yellow golf ball from his neighbor's lawn and rolled it around in his palm as they stood in the drizzling rain, talking. Jane could see Becky's smile brighten with every word the boy spoke and she tried to lead the conversation away from their awkward stalking and towards happier topics.
Becky asked for food—of course she did, this is Becky after all—and Tommy handed her the golf ball laughing. Jane saw the reverent way her friend held the small, yellow sphere and she knew it would be put in the shrine. They walked towards his mailbox—not the one they had hid behind—and discussed plans for the afternoon. After a few minutes he left them standing in the rain under his umbrella.
"This is going so well!" whispered Becky. Jane smiled in response and nodded to the door where Tommy was returning, holding a canister of Pringles. The two girls squealed in excitement as he opened the can and held it out to them. A few minutes—and quite a few Pringles—later, they tried to convince him to follow them around town but he made an excuse of schoolwork. Becky mocked this idea and Jane followed her lead—what else is a wingman to do?
Eventually, he convinced them to leave. He walked slowly back to his house and they continued on their trek through the town. The girls looked behind them and Tommy stole glances towards their retreating backs but neither caught the other in the act.
"That was a productive day." Becky smiled as they linked arms and trudged up the hill. Jane smiled at her friend and laughed. "Of course it was, the two of us in Adventure Barbie Doll outfits, a dead bird, and a golf ball, how could the day have gone wrong?"