The Student News Site of Delaware Valley High School


Issue 6 Distribution on April 18
The Student News Site of Delaware Valley High School


The Student News Site of Delaware Valley High School



Time to Shine


I was not pleased. I may be considered dramatic at times, but this was all new territory. My brother has been taught well. (He was taught by me, but that’s beside the point.)

It started on a Sunday afternoon, right after church. My mom and dad decided to take my little brother and I out to Flibby’s Diner.

It has to be said, Flibby’s Diner may sound weird, but they have the best waffles I have ever eaten in my entire life.

We walked in, found a table, and sat down. There were already menus at the table, but we all knew what we were getting anyway.

Mom gets a stack of French toast.

Dad gets a BLT club.

Mark gets a cheeseburger. medium rare with extra French fries.

I get two Belgian waffles with extra strawberries, chocolate sprinkles, fudge sauce, and lots of whipped cream.

When the waitress came over to give us our orders, Mark decided to scream really loudly, “Ya know lady, your boobs are REALLY big!” (He’s ten and doesn’t know what an inside voice is. Mark also doesn’t know any manners!)

The waitress, and everyone else in the restaurant, took a collective gasp while I sank under the table and pretended I was not there.

Then my parents asked for the check, five to-go containers, and forgiveness. When we got home, my brother went straight to bed without anything to eat. Serves him right.

That had happened a month ago. My parents, instead of shipping Mark off to boarding school like sane people, sent him to Alabama, where my Aunt Ida and Uncle Henry lived a very Southern lifestyle. Aunt Ida is my mom’s older sister. She has one child, my cousin, Ava. Ava’s a year older than me. I don’t really know more than that. We were very different and distant from each other at that time.

And how is this my problem exactly? well, my younger brother decided to pine for me. he said he cried himself to sleep every night because he “missed his sister.” What a bunch of B.S.

What he really wanted was for me to suffer with him. Thanks, mark. You’re the best.

So, Mom and dad sent me to be with Mark for the summer . . . or until he got his act together. (I’m gonna be there for a while). And lucky me, I get to experience my 15th birthday in the small town of manning, Alabama with my very distant relatives and very annoying brother. I may be exaggerating a little bit, but to me, this also feels pretty accurate. Yippee for me, this summer is gonna be a long one.


Chapter 1

Reunited and It Feels so Awkward

I had arrived. I was now standing on the porch of Aunt Ida’s house. I was now ringing the doorbell. mark had just answered the door. his small, round face, full of excitement fell to surprise.

“I thought they wouldn’t send ya.”

“Already talking like a southerner, huh, Marsbar?”

“I-I-I-,” he stuttered.

“Aren’t you gonna let your sister in?” I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm and 10 years of acting experience, “The on you’ve been crying for every night? Who you can’t live without? Who has been a part of your life forever? The one who changed or stinky, smelly, shi-”

“Okay! Come in!” He opened the door wider and grabbed one of my suitcases. I smiled and followed.

Annoy little brother into submission. CHECK. Next, unpack my many things ad say awkward hellos to relatives. 

“Aunt Ida and Uncle Henry hate cuss words and tomfoolery,” mark explained.

“You don’t think I know that Marsbar?” I said, as Mark led me upstairs. I call Mark ‘Marsbar’ because of a little incident on Halloween., His favorite candies are Mars Bars, and he may have eaten one too many when he was three. You can guess what happened next.

He took me to the modest guest room which was located right across from his temporary room. Lucky. Us.

My room was nice. It had a queen-sized bed with floral designs on the bedding. There was a closet and chest of drawers. But the best part was the floor to ceiling windows which served as doors to a balcony with a chair, a few flowerpots with tiger lilies in them, and a small circular table. I thought it was really nice. I could totally picture myself sitting out there, drinking strawberry lemonade and reading a book or one of my many scripts and playbooks.

The balcony was where I went first. I set my bags down on the bed and whisked the doors wide open. A cool summer breeze swept my long hair away from my face. Ah, summer. A time to strengthen new beginnings, to build new relationships, a time for romance and love. Not that I thought about finding a boyfriend on this trip, but a girl could dream.

Mark slammed my suitcase to a loud stop near my closet, “I’m gonna leave you to unpack your gross, girlie stuff by yourself, mmkay?”

And with that, he left the room, and me, in peace. I kept the balcony doors open as I started to unpack. It’s the same stuff I always brought with me when my family would go to San Jose, California to visit my grandparents. Pajamas, day clothes, flashy outfits, hairbrush, hair bands, toothbrush. everyday makeup, jewelry, and hygienic stuff. The works.

As I was hanging shirts and a few dresses in the closet, Ava surprised me by coming into the room and saying, “Wow, that’s a lot of stuff.”

I jumped and exited the closet. I saw Ava. She looked nothing like the girl I had seen in San Jose last Christmas. She had longer wavier hair, for one. She was now a bit shorter than me and had actually developed quite nicely. I’m sure Mark had made some rude comment about Ava already. (No surprise there.)

“I’m staying here all summer, aren’t I?”

“It’s ‘ain’t’ when you’re down here,” she said.

“Ya know, for a southerner, you don’t sound very southern,” I pointed out.

“You don’t look very northern for someone from Michigan.”

She had to go there? Ava’s right though. I look NOTHING like my parents except for my height and eye color. (Height from dad. Eyes form Mom.) Aside from that, I’m the spiffing image of my great grandmother.

I have bright red hair that is slightly wavy. My skin has never been extremely pale ever and I’m the only one in my immediate family that has freckles across the bridge of her nose. Plus, you can usually see me wearing plaid shirts and my hair braided. Today however, I wanted to look as Northern as possible. Guess it didn’t fool Ava enough.

“Why are you in here?” I asked, rather rudely, considering that I was in her house.

“I just wanted to say hi,” Ava said, with a very flat and dry tone in her voice. 

“Well, thank you,” I answered, and went back to unpacking. Then I heard Aunt Ida yell from downstairs, “Markus Anthony! Git down here’n start them dishes!!”

Mark groaned from the other room and I heard him stomp down the stairs. Ava took that as her cue to leave. She walked briskly out the door and I heard her go downstairs as well. Then I heard Aunt Ida yell my name, “Mick Anna! Git down here too!” 

My real name is McKenna, but that’s how it sounds when my aunt said it with her accent.

I dropped whatever shirts I had been holding, and bolted downstairs. I now know why Ava went downstairs. To tell Aunt Ida I was here.

I ran to the kitchen where Mark stood, doing dishes, Ava was leaning against the large stainless steel refrigerator, and Aunt Ida was just standing in front of the counter with a cutting board on it and a chef’s knife in her hand.

“Hi Aunt Ida,” I said nervously.

“Well, hello Mick Anna. Ya think ya can sweevel away from me that way? Git o’er here’n give ya sweet aunt a hug!”

Sweet? Um . . . Did I miss something?

Aunt Ida set her knife down and gave me a hug. It wasn’t right at all. It was barely a hug. She let me go rather quickly as well. 

I could hear Mark snickering a bit. “Shut up, Marsbar,” I muttered. I don’t think he heard me. 

“Are ya hungry, Mick Anna? I’ve got ambrosia salad and shish kabobs or poppy corn or-”

“Poppy corn?” I was confused. 

Aunt Ida reached into a cabinet and pulled out a large bag of buttered popcorn. “Oh! You mean popco-”

“Poppy corn!” Mark suddenly yelled. 

“Yea, That’s what I said. Poppy corn,” Aunt Ida repeated. 

I looked at Mark funnily. His eyes were wide with fear. He shook his head, slowly at me, and then went back to doing the dishes. I said to Aunt Ida, “Sure. I’ll have some . . . poppy corn?”

“I thought ya’d say ‘yes!’” Aunt Ida grabbed a bowl out of a different cabinet and poured a lot of “poppy corn” into it and handed me the large bowl. 

I took it and thanked her. Then, I went back upstairs to finish unpacking. Poppy corn and Marsbar doing dishes. I like this place. 

While I chowed down on the poppy corn, (I’m gonna call popcorn poppy corn for the rest of my life) I decided to take a break from unpacking and rest on my balcony with my favorite play Our Town, written by Thronton Wilder. On the back of my playbook is a short summary of the play. It said, ‘People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and newspapers get delivered every morning and nobody locks their front doors. Mr. Morgan, the town druggist, acts as the Everyman to tell the story of his town, Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, which in turn acts as the Anyplace.’

I like this play because it’s normal everyday life with a bit of drama added to make it interesting. It’s kind of like my life. It’s normal, but I add some flair and spice it up with drama and theatrics. 

After reading the first few scenes, I was almost done with my bowl of poppy corn. I heard a car pull into the driveway below me. I looked down. Uncle Henry was here. Oh, joy. Out of my entire family, Uncle Henry was definitely my least favorite relative. He dressed in boring attire, styled his hair in that middle aged man way, and spoke in a monotone voice set to extra deep. I rolled my eyes and was about to go back to my script and poppy corn when something else caught my eye.

Across the street was a two story house painted a mahogany red with cream colored shutters and flower boxes, with carnations and roses in them, on each window. At that moment, most of the shutters were closed, but one of them suddenly opened. I expected an elderly woman to poke her head out and water the flowers with an old clunky watering can. Instead, it was a young girl, no more than Mark’s age who watered those flowers.

This just got interesting. I thought as I pictured Mark going on a romantic date with this young girl. I smiled even though I was done with my delicious poppy corn. I now had something to do all summer. Play matchmaker with my little brother. How fun!! I bolted out of my room, leaving my script and empty bowl on the balcony. 

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