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Pen Your Pride

Chapter Songs: Never grow up by Taylor Swift and In The Dark by Billy Squier

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“Come on Riley, we should get going.” I say against her closed door. I knock lightly, letting her know I’m serious. I’d been calling for her for the past ten minutes; she just wasn’t able to set down her Barbie Dream house.

“Coming!” She calls. I can hear her feet pounding against the floor as she comes to open the door for me. I smile as she appears with a doll in hand. “I’m ready to go. Can I bring Molly?” She asks, holding the doll up to me.

I nod, “Of course you can, now let’s go.” I hold my hand out for her to take and we head down the stairs.

“We’re going now!” I call to Scott in the living room. I knew he wouldn’t respond but he’d want to know where Riley was. Miranda was out at a friend’s house and I decided I needed to spend some time with Riley. We’ve not gone out by ourselves for a while.

We spend the next hour walking around town. We visit the shop square and go into the antique stores where Riley and I bought matching pairs of bracelets then made our way to a small convenient store across the street. It was like a miniature Walmart with less stuff.

While inside we went through the card isle, reading all of the funny birthday and anniversary cards. We always did this, searching for the funniest one. After a while we headed towards the toy section where I bought a stuffed horse for Riley, one that she named Misty, and then we headed out of the store.

“Do you want to go get ice cream? I think I’m in the mood for a milkshake.” I ask her as I grab her hand so we could cross the street quickly.

“I want an Oreo blizzard! Those are the best.” She licks her lips and pulls me in the direction of McDonalds. I laugh, following behind her.

We enter the building as we move to stand in line. It takes me a moment to realize who is standing just in front of us. “Derick?” I ask, moving to the side to try and see his face. I would be embarrassed if that wasn’t him.

I smile as Derick turns around, his face lighting up as he sees me. He looks down at Riley and smiles. “Hey! Didn’t think I’d be seeing you here.” He says as he looks back up to scan the menu.

“Same here.” I say. “So what are you getting?”

“I was in the mood for something sweet, like a milkshake.” He answers.

I laugh, “actually that’s what Riley and I are here for.”

He looks down at Riley and holds out his hand to shake. She giggles and reaches up to shake his hand. “I’m taking that this is your sister?”

Riley nods, “Yup! Are you a friend of Ronnies? She’s never had many friends before! Now she has two!” She grins, looking up at me with excitement.

I roll my eyes, “I’m not a people person, okay? Besides, who needs friends when I’ve got you?” I ask her, poking her in the side. She giggles, skipping out of reach from me.

“Excuse me? What can I get for you.” The older lady behind the counter asks Derick. She has a scowl on her face as she waits for him to tell her his order.

He turns around to face her, his face looking guilty. “Oh yes, I’m sorry. Uh, I’ll get a vanilla milkshake, and whatever these two ladies would like.” He turns to look at me with a smile.

“Oh no, we’ve got money.” I dismiss him.

He rolls his eyes and continues to wait for my response.

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