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Title: Aluminum is Better than Gold
Author: thefragyle
Rating: G
Feedback: is wonderful.

Joshua stared at the ball of foil on his desk, and a small smile grew across his face. It would seem like a piece of trash to anyone else, but it was much more. He reached out a tentative hand to touch it reverently. It was cool to the touch, its sharp ridges pressing against his fingertips. He closed his eyes and recalled the scene in the lunchroom that afternoon.

It had started as a typical lunch hour at Eastview Middle; two hundred seventh graders poured into the cafeteria and promptly divided into their cliques. The basketball team set up in the middle, an impenetrable oasis. Slightly to their right were the loud ghetto kids he normally steered clear of. The goths were in the right-hand corner, away from the line and close to the door. Geeks and invisibles scattered in the spaces in between. Easy to overlook on a quick scan but glittering once it caught one’s eye was the group of tables to the left of the basketball team--who were busy throwing Cheetos in the air and attempting to catch them with their mouths--where most of the girls sat.
As he moved toward a table full of his friends from quick recall, tray in hand, Joshua’s eyes fell on one of the figures at the girls’ table. Cheyenne Robertson. She wasn’t the hottest girl in their grade—that was Courtney Reilly, but everyone said she made out with a lot of people—but he almost choked on his heart when he saw her, anyway. Bright red hair cascaded down her back in waves that bounced when she moved. Freckles dotted her face, and bright blue eyes sparkled. She wore no make-up, and that was oddly part of her appeal.
He started to stumble on an errant shoelace and hurried to plunk down next to some of his friends. Luckily, he managed to land in a seat where, by turning slightly to the right, he just see Cheyenne without having to worry about what to do if their eyes accidentally met.
“Hey, Josh, did you finish that homework for Morris’ class?”
He blinked before digging a notebook out of his backpack. “Yeah. Oh, let me see your language arts homework when you get done.”
“All right.”
Lifting his pizza—one of two safe items that you could get in a school lunch—Joshua started to listen to the conversation around him—something about the football game that was on last night.
Suddenly, a gob of mashed potatoes—definitely not a safe item—landed in the middle of the table. All heads jerked toward the direction it had come from—the jocks’ table.
Moments later, half the cafeteria was in an uproar. Josh couldn’t remember who else had thrown what when, but within moments, food, Styrofoam trays, and milk cartons were flying through the air like bullets in a war zone. Josh joined in the mayhem, flinging his mostly full carton of chocolate milk at the back of a boy he really didn’t like.
His revelry was cut short a few minutes later when a baseball hit his forehead. When his eyes managed to refocus after a second of flashing red lights, he saw it wasn’t a baseball after all, but a tightly balled piece of aluminum. Dizzily, he bent and picked it up before scanning the room to find the culprit.
His heart stopped when he saw Cheyenne running toward him, something similar to orange soda splattered on her white shirt.
“Ohmigod, I’m so sorry,” she cried, one small, cool hand clasping his elbow and the other lightly touching his forehead. Pain flared, but that was nothing next to the smoothness of her hand. “I didn’t mean to, I swear, I just—“ Her blue eyes widened. “You’re bleeding?”
“Am I?” he asked dazedly. He thought he was dreaming.
“Not too much…” She pulled a tissue from her jeans pocket and offered it to him. He wiped it across his forehead.
“You’re aren’t too upset, are you?” A slight smile met the concern on her face, and he felt lighter.
“I’m fine,” he insisted, not wanting her to think he was weak.
She smiled fully now. “You’re Joshua, right? In my math class.”
She knew him! “Y-yeah, I am.” He grinned.
She smiled shyly, tucking a lock of her shiny hair behind her ear. “Well, um—I’ll see you in class. I’m sorry.” She hesitated, then tiptoed, popped a kiss on his cheek, and ran into the crowd.

“Yep,” Joshua said aloud with a sigh, grinning down at the ball of foil. He’d certainly never forget the significance of that piece of lunch trash.
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On October 28th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC), wondrlandchic15 commented:
SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!! Very cute. Are we going through a fluff week or what?
Anyway, two things I noticed...how does a ball of aluminum foil feel like a baseball? Aren't they really light? And why did she throw it if she was worried it would hit someone? (Just confused me).

Oh, and the hyphens kind of interrupt the flow of the story...I mean, I see where you're going with them, but they just interrupt things and make it hard for the reader.

But the content made me happy. So cute! You know what? Cheyenne reminds me of red-head Emily in our play...except without the freckles. But she's kind of shy-ish and sweet like that character is.
On October 28th, 2005 03:01 am (UTC), thefragyle replied:
Re: Awww!!!!!
Obviously, you've never been hit in the face by a hard-packed ball of foil. They hurt.
And there's a difference in throwing something to hit someone and busting someone in the face with something.

Thanks for the input.

Hmm. Kind of. It's more like a natural red, like...actually I don't think you know any of the people I was getting ready to use as an example. The bright orange-red. That color hair.

But. Yep. Thanks. This prompt took me forever. *grins* get to work on mine now!
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