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Larry could not wait to read what Wendy had written in his yearbook. He had wanted to read it on the way home, but he had so much to carry that he could not hold the book open and keep to the right page without dropping something. He didn't see Steven anywhere, and they usually walked home together. Oh well, he thought, he was rather mad at the way he had treated him at school, and in front of everyone too.
He felt betrayed by his friend. Usually he did not have to even think about Steven doing anything awful, like some of the kids at school. There was Martin Harrisburg, who seemed to always be at the right place at the wrong time; like the time they happened to get into the cafeteria line together, and when they got up to where they were picking out what they wanted for the main dish, Martin pushed his way passed him, getting the last piece of pizza, and Larry had to have the potato and broccoli delight. When Larry told him that he couldn't have his pizza, Martin sealed the deal by spitting on the pizza, so there was no way Larry was going to want it.
Another time Juan, Martin's best friend waited after school and chased Larry all the way home, making him run so fast that by the time he got to his front lawn, he threw up, and right in front of the two new girls that moved in up the street, that he had just met that morning. He was so embarressed that he could not even talk to the girls for quite a while. It was at least two months before he could make himself say hello.
By the time Larry got through thinking about all this stuff, he had almost reached his house. Looking up the street toward his house, he could see that his garage door was open. That would make it easy for him to get into the house, past his mom, and drop off all his stuff into his room, then make tracks for the treehouse. He was walking up the driveway, when he saw his dad was working in the garage at the workbench on something. He entered the garage, and his father said "Hello son. Was your last day at school anything special? Did your class have any kind of ceremonies or awards or anything?" he asked.
"Hi Dad, no, we didn't really do anything except clean out our desks and collect all the stuff we left there all year long." Suddenly Larry remembered that he still had Mr. Nibbles Pebbles in his front pocket. "Oh, oh no, I wasn't supposed to bring him home with me, my teacher was supposed to take him home with her, and I got into an arguement with stupid Steven and forgot I had him." Larry explained to his dad.
"Don't worry about it, from what I understand Ms Hester was leaving town in a week or so anyway and probably was just going to give him away before she left. Why don't you leave all this stuff down here with me, and go get something you can keep him in until we can dig a cage up for him. We may have to go yard saling to find one. Go on, get with it, I have a small project for you to help me with before dinner this afternoon, but it wont take long. Go get a snack and come back here."
Larry went into the kitchen, glad to see his mom was nowhere to be seen. He just had to read what Wendy had written to him in his yearbook. He grabbed a box of raisins, a favorite snack of his and his new pet. Now to get up to the treehouse. Suddenly he realized he no longer had his yearbook in his possession. He must have left it in the garage with the rest of his things, and his Dad.....he panicked. He ran back into the garage to find to his horror his dad was reading his yearbook. "Dad, I haven't even read that yet," and he darted over and tried to grab the book out of his dad's grasp.
"Hold on there partner, I haven't looked at anything but the first page or two, now don't be so grabby, I'll give it to you. Is there something special in here you don't want the old man to see perhaps? his dad kind of teased him.
"I don't know yet dad, I haven't had a chance to see any of it yet." He explained to his dad. "Could I see it please?"
"Sure, here you go, but when you are done, get down here, I need your help with something, like I told you before. Did you find something to put the animal in yet? he asked his son.
"He is still in my pocket, he rides around in there very happily, he has been in my pocket for a few hours already."
"Don't you think he may need some water? his dad asked.
"I'll give him some," and with that he grabbed up the book and took off at a run to the back yard. Up the ladder he went and plopped himself down on his cot, pulling his pillow under his head, and Mr Nibbles Pebbles came out of his pocket to investigate where he was. He put the critter up on the table, and poured some water into the lid of the water bottle, and he seemed glad to have it. He also put a few raisins out next to the water, and turned over with the book to see what was inside. He found greetings from some of his friends in the front cover, and some next to their pictures, but most of his friends had chosen the back cover to write their autographs. There was one from Sandra, a blonde girl he had had a crush on in the beginning of the school year. She had written, " To Larry, one of my best boyfriends this year. I hope you have a good summer and I see you sometime, next year. Maybe we can be even better friends next year." The reason Larry lost interest in her, was because he felt like she was always after him to do stuff alone with him, and he just was not comfortable with that. So he had done things to make her leave him alone. There was Mario's scribbling, "Bye for now, see you next year." and the rest of the classes autographs were something very similiar. He kept going through the pages, one after the next, looking and looking for what Wendy had written. He couldn't find it anywhere, and he began fearing she had not written anything at all. It was blank next to her picture. He stopped at her picture, looking at it for quite some time, loving the way her hair came down in gentle curls, blonde curls, and covered her shoulders. He liked everything about the way she looked. Again he started looking for her handwriting. and finally, on the next to the last page, found it. She had really nice handwriting, and he began reading it. It swent like this....."Dear Larry, I really liked having you in my class this year. I had so been hoping that we would have been able to go to the dance together, but I understood about what happened. I have never told anybody this before, but I think that I might love you. I am not sure, but it sure feels like I do, for you are the only one I can ever think about, every extra moment we had in school. I was too embarressed to tell you this to your face, and I was even scared to write it down in here. I hope you feel the same way, for if you don't I will never be able to face you again. If you do feel the same way, could you let me know -- here is my phone number-- it is 555-2178, and if I don't hear from you, I will know that I was really a dummy for even thinking that you could feel the same way. I am so scared. Love, Wendy." Larry's heart skipped a beat, for he had been hoping and hoping that one day she would say yes and be his girlfriend. He was just to shy to simply ask her. He was so glad that she had been brave enough to tell him. He was thinking about what he was going to tell Steven. He was going to want to trade yearbooks and read each others, but there was no way he was going to let him see what Wendy had said to him. It was private, and he had to keep it private, for that is what boyfriends and girlfriends did. He was going to get a St. Christipher, a nice royal blue one on a gold chain, and sometime this summer ask her if she would go steady with him. After reading this, he was sure that she would say yes.
Again, just looking at her picture his heart began racing. He so wanted to run into the house and call her up right now and tell her that Yes, he felt the same way as she did, but he did not want her to think that he was too anxious, and he wanted everything to be just perfect. This was going to take some planning. Everything had to be just perfect....
Before his mind began wandering again about her, he looked over at the table where he had put his hampter, and realized that he was no longer on the table. Oh great, with all the excitement about Wendy, he had not paid attention to keeping an eye on him, and he had wandered off. Up in the treehouse, this was not a good thing, for he could very easily get out and travel around in the tree branches, and even fall down, and get lost forever outside. He panicked and jusmped up, looking all over in a hurry, before the animal could get too far.
It took him nearly 45 minutes, before he found him, and just in the nick of time, for he was just about to jump from the window sill out onto the tree branch outside. Wow, that had been a close call. He looked around the treehouse, and on one of the chelves, found a shoebox that had some keepsacks in it, but it had a lid. He dumped out the contents onto the table, dumped the rest of the box of raisins in, and climbed down the ladder to the ground. He collected some grass, and leaves for bedding, and Mr Nibbles Pebbles curled up and sent to sleep. He took him into the garage, but had purposely left the yearbook up in the safety of the treehouse where his parents would not be able to read it.
He went to see what his dad had in mind for him to help with, but for the rest of the day and into the night, no matter what he was doing, his mind was on Wendy, picturing her and her blonde hair, and blue eyes, and yes, by the time it was bedtime, he was convinced that he was indeed in love with Wendy. Yes, he was so positive, he was in love for the first time in his life.