Sunday, December 29, 2013

Can I Phone a Friend?

Celia Humbert was bored. She went looking for her older sister, Gordanna. As usual, Gordanna was on the phone. "Do you mind?" Gordanna exclaimed angrily as Celia approached. She practically slammed the door in Celia's voice. For lack of anything better to do, Celia hung around outside her sister's door. She put her ear to the door and listened to Gordanna's half of the conversation. Gordanna laughed into the phone. Celia was jealous. She couldn't wait until she was old enough to call her friends and spend hours on the phone with them too just like Gordanna.

"What are you doing, Celia?" asked Mommy as she walked by holding a load of laundry.

"Nothing, mama." said Celia quickly moving away from her sister's door. She followed her mother off down the hall. When Mommy put the laundry down on her bed, Celia sat down beside it. "Celia!" exclaimed Mommy giving her an unhappy look. Celia bounced off the bed and landed in front of the wooden night table. She starred at  the cordless phone lying on the table.  She thought about how much she wished she was old enough to spend hours on the phone like Gordanna and sighed heavily.

"What's the matter, sweetie?" asked her mother with concern.

"Nothing." replied Celia. Her mother gave her a look that said she knew something was going on. Celia sighed again. She never could keep anything from her mother. "When am I going to be old enough to talk on the phone with my friends like Gordanna does?"she asked finally.

Mommy smiled. "Don't be in such a rush to grow up." she said. "It'll happen before you know it.

Celia frowned. That wasn't much of an answer. She wanted to grow up now. She went off into her own room and picked up her little pink toy princess phone from out of her toy box.  She pushed a bunch of buttons and then, put the phone to her ear. "Why,  Hello Maryellen." she said into the phone "It's me, Celia."  Maryellen was her pretend friend. After a minute or two, she got bored. Real friends were better than pretend friends and real phone conversations were better than pretend ones too. It was no fun just talking to herself. She frowned and disappointedly threw the phone back into her toy box. She wanted to phone a friend for real.

Celia went back to her mother's room. Mommy smiled when Celia entered the room. "Are you feeling better?" Mommy asked cheerfully.

"I want to talk on the phone with my friends like Gordanna does!" insisted Celia. "Can I? Can I please call Bianca?" she begged. Bianca Tate was her best friend. They'd grown up together since they were babies.

Mommy still didn't think Celia was old enough to talk on the phone with her friends. "Maybe, when you're a little bit older." she said.

Celia frowned and wandered off unhappily.

Every day, after that, she asked her mother. "Am I old enough now?"

Her mother constantly put her off until one day, she finally wore her mother down. "Okay." she said as Celia was sitting down to lunch  and asking for the hundredth time when she could call Bianca on the phone. "after lunch, you can call Bianca."

"Yeah!" cried Celia excitedly. She gulped down her milk and practically swallowed her peanut butter and jelly sandwich whole. As soon as she was done, she jumped out of her seat. "I'm ready now, Mommy." she said.

She went into the living room and sat down on the couch. She made herself comfortable. Mommy helped her dial Bianca's number. The phone rang twice and was picked up by Bianca's mother. "Hello, Mrs. Tate." Celia said politely into the phone. "Is Bianca there?" Mommy nodded approvingly at Celia's polite manner.

After a minute or two Bianca came to the phone. "Hello?" she said.

"Hello, Bianca. It's me, Celia."

"Oh hello, Celia. How are you?"

"I'm fine." answered Celia. "How are you?"

"I'm fine too." replied Bianca.

After that, Celia didn't say anything. Seconds went by and then minutes. Still, Celia did not say a word. Mommy couldn't believe Bianca was doing that much talking. She was usually quite a shy and quiet little girl. Mommy put her ear near the phone. She didn't hear anything. Apparently, Bianca wasn't talking either. It was just dead silence. Celia was so happy though and so proud of herself. She sat there with the phone to her ear not saying anything and not hearing anything but with a huge wide smile on her face. Mommy couldn't help smiling too.

Just then, Gordanna stormed into the room. "Who's on the phone?" she asked accusingly as though the phone were her private posession.

"What happened to your cell phone?" asked Mommy.

"It needs a charge." replied Gordanna. She looked around and saw Celia on the phone and looked at her mother in surprise. Then, she waited a minute or two impatiently stamping her foot. "Is she really talking or what?" asked Gordanna angrily when Celia still hadn't said anything.  She went over to Celia and leaned over and put her ear near the phone. There was  still no sound coming from the other end of the phone either. "Mom!" she whined. "She is not even having a conversation!"

Celia gave her a nasty look. "Do you mind?" she hissed in a whisper. It was something Gordanna had often said to her.

"I think it's time to say goodbye." said Mommy.

Celia gave her mother disappointed look, but did as she was told. "Goodbye, Bianca." she said into the phone.

"Goodbye." replied Bianca.

"It's about time." exclaimed Gordanna instantly grabbing for the phone as soon as it slipped out of Celia's fingers.

"How long was I on the phone, Mommy?" asked Celia.

"For about ten minutes." replied Mommy.

"Next time, I am going to be on for twenty minutes." declared Celia.

"Next time, you might try talking." said Gordanna.

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