“Okay, again. Eight, seven, six, five, up, three, two, o-“Suddenly a scream from one of the girls in the back of the upper part of the pyramid and I see a girl with blue dyed hair in the arms of one of the spotters.
“Alli, are you alright?” I call to her as the spotter sets her down. Alli nods and everyone else disperses to the locker room as my clock rings to signal the end of practice.
“No Saturday practice this week. See you all Monday for practice at six.” Most wave back to acknowledge my schedule change, but Laura, the queen-bitch of Gilligan J. Lonesomhel High School, and her Minions Alli and Roxi walk straight up to me.
“Here are the designs for the perfect winter uniforms so you can throw away the other entries.” Laura says with no intension of letting me disagree. However, as captain of this cheer squad, I intervened.
“No, I will consider your entry along with everyone else’s. Just because you think you are the center of everything doesn’t mean I do. And it also doesn’t mean you will win this. You may or may not. It all depends on me and what I like out of everyone’s submissions.” She huffs and stomps off to the locker room. Lee Anna, my best friend, puts an arm around my shoulder and laughs as we walk off to my car.
We walk up to my house and as we walk in, a sense of relaxation comes over me. I know that I can be myself in this place. My nerves, having been tense all day in a crowded setting, loosen themselves while I feel a warmth from my home. As usual, my snow leopard Zephan tackles me at the door. Then he gets even more excited to see that I’ve brought home a friend. Lee pats his head and smiles as he purrs enthusiastically.
I smile and say “You remember when you and Zephan first met right? It was way back when I was first able to have someone spend the night.” We laugh, “I had to tell you everything.”
“I still can’t believe it sometimes.” I grin at her continued disbelief as I search through the fridge for a snack.
“I wouldn’t either if I were you.” Suddenly, my dad walks in. “Hey, Daddy!”
He smiles at me then says, “We have a meeting to go to. Now. Go change. Lee can come too if she wants.” I nod silently, and then pause, thinking.
“But she is…”
“I know.” Dad says, cutting me off, “We will have to wing it. She can pretend to be like us. And, if anyone asks, her familiar is ill and is being cared for in the infirmary.”
“Oh. Okay,” I say, pausing for a moment to gather my thoughts. “Her familiar would be young enough to still become ill.” I take Lee Anna’s hand and we run up to my room. “Okay. We need to change into street clothes so that we can leave.”
We run to the backyard about fifteen minutes later where my Dad has already opened a portal. Lee, Zephan, Dad and I all run through and appear in an open field a few miles away from where the meetings usually occur.
“Dad, why are we here?” I ask as I turn to face my dad and I notice that his familiar a Black Hawk, named Apollo, had already transformed from his usual size of a normal Hawk to the size of a minivan and Dad leaps onto his back.
“We need to refresh Lee’s memory. And you can talk to her about everything else.” Dad said. I nod and turn to Lee Anna, who looks puzzled.