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Old 07-23-2018, 05:23 AM View Post #1 (Link) Fair-weather friend
santiesther (Offline)
Literary Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 6
Points: 7.57
Times Thanked: 0
Brand new here! Just hoping for a look on my writing from a stranger, since I have a tendency to write using information that only I know, confusing readers. Constructively criticize away, please!

Eight-year-old Daniela stood watching the rain. It was late at night and a summer storm was in full gear, wind and rain pounding on the window. Her mother approached her from behind, rubbing her head. They watched the storm together.
After a few moments of silence, Daniela asked her mother what “perfect storm” meant. How could a storm be perfect? Don’t storms hurt people? That can’t be perfect.
“Well, you can’t think about it literally.” Her mother said, staring out the window next to her. “You have to realize that they don’t mean a real storm. They mean...I don’t know, a person who’s really energetic.” Daniela knew some people who were energetic. Her friend Jen was energetic.
“Like Jen?” Daniela asked.
“Yeah, like Jen.” Her mother responded. “And you know, Jen has her flaws. But her energy means that she can do things better than the rest of us. Like, you’ve seen her soccer playing.” Jen was good at soccer, way better than Daniela. Daniela felt a pang of hurt with the indirect comparison, but nodded without a word.
“You think Jen could do that if she wasn’t so wired? Some kids don’t have as much energy as Jen, which can be a good thing, but sometimes Jen storm is what makes what she does perfect.”
Daniela squinted her eyes and cocked her head as a gust of wind sent the trees outside her window leaning to the left.
Jen was the storm, Daniela decided.

Ten candles blew out on Daniela’s birthday cake, and cheers erupted from the table. On her right was her mother, and on her left was Jen. As Daniela beamed out at the table of people, Jen leaned down and whispered in Daniela’s ear.
“What’d you wish for?” Jen asked, grinning. Jen had outgrown her hyperactivity. She was collected now, calm for the most part. Her perfectly curled blonde hair brushed against Daniela’s cheek. Daniela had recently started to develop acne around that area of her face. Secretly, Daniela was worried about what Jen would think if she saw. Jen had perfect skin.
“I can’t tell you!” Daniela smiled back. “Then it won’t come true.” Jen laughed. Daniela’s mother pulled the cake away and began to cut it, resulting in screams of excitement from the group of kids.
Later, as Daniela and her friends ate, Daniela heard her mother talking to a friend behind her.
“We better take this in while we can, Lily.” Said Daniela’s mom. “These years, right before they’re teenagers? This is the calm before the storm.”
Was Jen still the storm?, she thought.

At fourteen, Jen and Daniela sat next to each other in a group of people around a campfire.
“Let’s play a game.” Called Evelyn, the hostess. “Everyone go around the circle, say one thing you’re gonna miss about middle school, and then one thing you’re excited for in high school!” There were chimes of agreement, so the circle of girls quieted down.
“Jen, let’s start with you.” Evelyn said. Jen stood up next to Daniela, and Daniela looked up at her. She had to look up at her now, even when they were both standing. Jen towered over everyone, and her high ponytail, lean frame and strong demeanor only made those around her feel even smaller. When she stood up like that, it made Daniela feel like Jen was on top of the world. Too far up to look back down at her.
Jen smiled her perfect smile. “I’m gonna miss this group - I can’t believe some of you guys are leaving for other high schools! Hopefully we stay in touch.” A few people nodded. “But I mean, we get to start fresh. New friends, new teachers, new boys,” she emphasized, resulting in giggles from the group of girls. “and in the end, every cloud does have a silver lining.”
Were these the storm clouds mom said were coming?, Daniela wondered.

At sixteen, Daniela and Jen sat together at a lunch table, alone this time. Normally they were surrounded by their friends, but today they were alone. Their eyes were on another table. Their eyes were on one person. His name was Casey.
“Come on, you have to go talk to him! This is your chance...he’s single!” Jen egged Daniela on. “Just go for it! I’ll go with you.”
Daniela agreed. She stood up cautiously, while Jen popped out of her seat excitedly. Daniela walked shyly with herd shoulders clenched, Jen pranced with her head high.
The two walked to the table where Casey sat, sliding into the seats across from him. Before Daniela could open her mouth, Jen’s voice spoke, bright and eager. “Hey!”
Casey smiled at them. “Hey, who are you two?”
Daniela felt the brush on Jen’s ponytail on her neck as Jen flipped her hair. She looked over at her. She had that smile again - the one that made her look like she was glowing. Like she was on top of the world all over again. “I’m Jen, this is Daniela.”
Casey was smiling too. Suddenly, the chime of the bell sent students scattering. “Well, you two seem great. Wanna talk tomorrow?” Casey’s eyes swept over the two of them. Daniela’s heart fluttered. Jen’s eyelashes did the same.
“Oh, Daniela, don’t you have to go to the library tomorrow? Some makeup test?” Jen asked sweetly, looking down at Daniela.
“Uh, that’s next week.”
“But you better get it done soon! There’s a bug going around.” Jen’s hair flipped back at Daniela as she turned back to Casey. “See you tomorrow!”
The two walked off, and Daniela watched Casey leave over her shoulder.
“Don’t worry, Dani. I’m just gonna get in there and break the ice, tell him all about you.”
Daniela went to the library at the next day’s lunch. She thought about Casey and Jen alone at a lunch table. She thought about the ice that Jen was trying to break.
There would have been no ice if the storm hadn’t frozen the lake, thought Daniela.

Whack. Seventeen-year-old Dani winced as Jen’s hand hit the table, sending her blonde curls bouncing.
“Don’t you get it?! It’s not about you! It’s about him!” Jen yelled into Daniela’s face. The table and lunchroom all stared.
Jen and Casey had broken up. They’d almost been together a year, almost made it to junior prom. Whipping around, Jen angrily left the room. Everyone slowly resumed their original activities.
Daniela and Jen’s other friends remained at the table in uncomfortable silence. Finally, a girl named Jackie moved down a few seats to put her arm around Daniela’s shoulder, comforting her. “You didn’t do anything wrong.” she reassured her. “She’s just having a bad day. First Casey, and I heard she got a pretty bad grade on that essay we turned in a month or so ago.”
“And you know Jen.” Said another friend, a boy named Brandon. “When it rains, it pours.”
Jen brought the rain, Daniela realized.

Eighteen-year-old Daniela sat watching the rain. She was in a cafe now, away from home.
Jen was away from home too. Jen was gone, but she wasn’t only gone in the way that Daniela no longer sat next to her. After high school had ended, Daniela had been terrified. She’d stayed up at night, terrified of the years to come. But when she dialed Jen’s number on her phone, she never got a response.
Instead of Jen, there was a boy named Kenneth sitting next to Daniela.
For the past hour, Daniela had sat with Kenneth. He had seen her alone in the cafe, staring out the window at the threatening-looking storm clouds that were rolling in. He’d sat down next to her, handing her a coffee he’d claimed was originally for a friend who could no longer be there. Daniela had been talking to him for hours now. Particularly, about high school. Particularly, about Jen.
“I knew a ton of girls like that in high school.” Kenneth said, shaking his head sadly. When he shook his head, his curls shook with it. Kenneth’s curls were like Jen’s, but they were real and they were brown. Big, loopy curls that spilled over his eyes in a way Jen would never let hers do. “They’re fake, completely toxic. I always call ‘em fair-weather friends. They’re around when they need you, but never when you need them. Only when the weather is good.” He turned his head to look out the window that Jen had been staring out of. The rain was harder now, and wind bent the big, evergreen trees to the left.
Jen brought the rain and the wind. She bent trees and buildings with her force. But once she brought the storm, she left. She didn’t return until her storm was over and the weather was good again.
The weather was stormy now, and Jen was gone, thought Daniela as Kenneth put his arm around her shoulders.
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