Cryptic Text Message by Rebecca
My mom and I don’t have secrets. We are best friends. I tell her everything, and she…well sometimes she keeps secrets.
It was a Thursday, like any other day. My mom was dropping me off at school. As I opened the door to get off at the bus ramp, I noticed a piece of paper caught between the front seat and the belt buckle. The paper had been torn and had several stains and smudges as if it were important enough to get carried around for awhile. I peered over the front seat just enough to catch what was written on the page “py ay Rebecca.”
Picking up the piece of paper I handed it to my mother and asked “What is this about?” Her face turned red. “You’d better get to school. Go on now the bell is about to ring,” she hurried me. I jumped out of the car puzzled. As I shut the car door, my mom sped off without explanation.
“py ay Rebecca?” Clearly, it was something about me. Clearly, my mom didn’t want to discuss it. “Odd,” I thought.
All day that note bothered me. “What could it have meant?” I thought. About fourth period when Mrs. Clark was giving endless instruction on how to diagram a sentence and half the class was falling asleep, I hatched a plan. I would do a little investigating.
The bell rang at 3pm. I usually walked home with a few friends, but this time I ran without explanation. If I hurried I could get home before mom and dad. I could snoop a little and perhaps find out what was going on.
I searched. I rummaged. I found nothing of interest. Until I stumbled across small glittery chunks of paper, looking like stars among the mail and other loose paper placed on my mom’s desk. I couldn’t make out what these shiny scattered bits were, but I’d never seen them before.
Next, I came upon a list of all my friends. Shoved between a book of poetry and my mother’s errand calendar was a tattered list: Hannah, Ava, Emerson, Janella…the list had every one of my friends on it. Some had a check mark, others did not.
As I was reading through the list I heard a car pull into the drive. Mom was home. I quickly shoved the list of people back into the desk pile and did my best to look “normal” trying several positions as I did so…reading a book, just relaxing in a chair, and finally standing in the kitchen.
When Mom walked in she was carrying a grocery bag in one arm and her purse on the other. She looked tired. “Hi,” I innocently greeted her. “Hi honey,” Mom replied. Placing the grocery bag on the kitchen counter and her purse on the foyer table, my mom went to her room to change. When she placed her purse down it fell over on one side and I noticed something fell out. “Could this be another clue?” I thought.
Once mom was out of the room, I raced over. “Hmmm…nothing important.” It was just her keys…but wait…underneath the “#1 Mom key chain I saw several white objects. They appeared to be little white sticks. I didn’t dare get to close because Mom was about to come back into the foyer.
My mother reentered the room. She had changed her clothes and freshened up a bit. “Rebecca, why don’t you run down to the post office on the corner and mail this letter?” she asked. Feeling very guilty for my snooping, I agreed. The walk was a long one. I went over every clue in my head. The clues were now more confusing than ever: a ripped piece of paper with “py ay Rebecca,” some sparkly tiny pieces of glitter, a list of my friends, and now little white cylinders. I’d have to take some time to figure this all out.
When I returned home from the post office the house looked strangely dark. Usually my mother would be cooking dinner and the kitchen lights would make our windows beam. Perhaps she went for a walk. I opened the front door, letting out a loud creaking sound. Just as I entered, my mother and several friends jumped out yelling “Happy Birthday Rebecca!” They threw tiny pieces of glittered confetti and mom approached me with a giant vanilla cake with those tiny white sticks all lit up.