Word generator words: multiply- absorbing- art -stew- possess- halting- plot -sun- perpetual
I could go on and on about all the rotten luck leading me to a summer camp where I’d meet my best friend but the “before stuff” doesn’t matter.
It was my first day at summer camp. Mom and Dad wanted me to get to know the kids from our new town. My name is Daisy. My mom’s a florist, enough said. Our house has a perpetual odor of a funeral parlor so I have to put cinnamon sticks in my dresser drawers to counteract it. Sometimes, I dab lemon juice behind my ears, too.
There were about 200 kids gathered in the parking lot of Camp Summer Breeze when, suddenly, the crowd parted like the Red Sea. A tiny, nib of a girl was marching through with arms waving above her head. A great squawking sound filled the air as the crowd fell silent. I thought it was a loudspeaker coming to life but that enormous noise was emanating from that three foot tall child! Her name is Bitsie Banks.
I would come to know that Bitsie’s given name was Bertha after her grandmother. Bertha was a large person’s name, and although her personality was certainly large, she went by the nickname given her by a student body who felt inclined to pick on her.
As I was absorbing the odd scene, Bitsie marched up, halting right in front of me. She lowered her arms, and shouted, “What are YOU lookin’ at?!”. The volume of her question just about knocked me over!
” You. I’m watching you. ” I said. The crowd gasped in unison. She was such a petite, cute, little girl it was hard to imagine she could possess such an intimidating presence.
She seemed momentarily disarmed by my honesty and walked a circle around me like a drill sergeant.
“You smell like my Grandma’s house!”
” Yeah, I hear that a lot. Why are you shouting?” This time, the crowd didn’t react. Everyone had escaped to the main lodge while we were engaged in being somewhere else. This was the plot twist that would change us both forever. With no audience, we were free to be ourselves.
No one had ever talked to Bitsie the way I did. Like a real person, I mean. Her big brown eyes beneath uneven dark brown bangs, softened. She looked like a sweet, baby mouse. I wanted to pick her up and pet her but I knew better. If you multiply the number of kids, in the earlier crowd, times the ones left, a person knows the odds of getting away with crossing her.
“What’s your name, Smelly?” This time her tone was almost normal.
” Well, close. My name’s Daisy. They aren’t the sweetest smellers. I’ll bet yours is Godzilla.”.
This was the make or break moment. The sarcasm stew that would make me, by day’s end, happy I took a chance.
Bitsie threw back her head and howled with laughter.
“Ain’t you skeert? I can chomp your head off!”
“I’d taste just like your Grandma’s house. You’d get sick.”
From that moment on, the shouting stopped.
As the sun set, there was pink, and orange, on the horizon. Bitsie and I were sharing a bench painting a watercolor for an Art badge. We would be entering the same fifth grade class in the Fall. Our talk went from how we had gotten our names, to our hilarious first introduction, then finished, with our plans for after this camping stint.
I told Bitsie that I liked the mean spirited name she’d claimed and how cool it was that she didn’t let it bother her. She admitted how much she loved her Grandma’s house AND my aroma. Somewhere along the way we became fast friends.
” Daisy? You probably ought to make other friends tomorrow. Don’t you worry about me.”
“No thanks, Bitsie Banks. You’re all a person can handle… and more than I could have hoped for.”
Crickets seemed mighty loud that night.