Chapter Two: The Suggestion


Holly hit my arm. “Earth to Athena! Hullooo!” She waved a hand in front of my vision, startling me.

I blinked a few times. “Huh?”


“I said, let’s go over to my house and take a look at your new book, okay?”


Nodding, I moved to leave then pointed at Francisco. “Remember you’re going to my house tomorrow after school to work on our science project. ”


Holly added, “Four PM sharp! And don’t forget the snacks.”


“I won’t leave you damsels in a pit of despair.” He bowed with a flourish of his hand.


Holly rolled her eyes. “What-EVER.”

Whatever was right. Francisco and I hung our hopes on Holly’s giant brain of scientific information. I was great at art, Francisco was talented at marital arts, but Holly was supreme with facts and information. She was like a walking thesaurus, smoogle, and Simipedia all rolled into one.

“Later, San Fran,” Holly said, walking out the door.


I loved visiting Holly’s house. Everything about it whispered “home” to me. The hundred year old, 3 story house sat across from the town square of Brindleton Bay, walking distance from the bookstore. On the outside, it looked like an old Victorian inn, but on the inside, it felt as if I’d stepped into a bohemian dream.


As we entered, Holly’s mom, Desiree, greeted us, so unlike my parents. They were usually too busy fighting about money to say hello.

“We’re going to be in my room, Des,” Holly announced, already darting to the hallway toward her bedroom. Holly called her mom by her name since they were more like friends than mother and daughter.


“Okay, sweetie,” Desiree said. “See you later, Athena.” She grinned, flashing a set of white teeth which went nicely with her long auburn dreads.


She owned the flower shop in town. Holly and her mom moved here when she was five from Dragon Valley when her dad left them. It was easy for Desiree to start over as a flower shop owner since she had what I liked to call a sorcerer’s thumb. She could make flowers arise from the literal dried up, shriveled grave.


Opening Holly’s black door, I tried to avoid mashing Holly’s clothes flung from one end of her Goth Victorian room to the other.


“Okay,” Holly said, bouncing on her bed. “Let me see that book.” She opened it slowly as if it held a magic genie. I gazed at it as it sparkled in the light. For some weird reason, my heart was racing.


“Wish Book,” she said. “Hmm…I wonder if this is like a journal of wishes. People have been journaling their thoughts for centuries but journaling wishes? That’s something different.” She flipped through the glittery blank pages.


“Yep.” Holly said. “It’s definitely a journal. Because of the title, I’d advise using it as a wish diary. I wonder who bought it for you.”

“It’s such a mystery. I mean, first of all, it’s not like I have friends who would want to buy me stuff like this.”


Holly glared. “What am I? Thin air?”

I shook my head. “I didn’t mean it like that. I meant, I’m not popular. All my life I haven’t had any friends because…” I looked at my chair. “Let’s be serious. If you hadn’t broken both your ankles the summer before I moved here, would you have become my friend?”


“Of course I would!” she huffed.

But I didn’t believe her. When I’d arrived at Brindleton Bay Elementary, I saw Holly with a bewildered face, awkwardly wheeling around the fifth grade classroom, bumping into chairs and desks. I showed her how to wheel around like a pro. To maneuver the chair around in most places, you’ve got to pop a wheelie—it’s fun. And bam! Instant friends.

Holly slipped down to the ground, still holding the book. “What about San Fran?”

I shrugged. “What about him?”

“Uh, hello? He only has a mega massive crush on you.” Holly kept flipping through the  pages. “Don’t tell me no one cares about you.”


A pang of guilt rippled through me. I hated feeling like that. But Holly didn’t understand. She was born with two working legs. Well, so was I, technically, but after the car accident eleven years ago that I can’t remember, and an injury that shattered my L-2 vertebrae, having two working legs was not my reality. And besides, she was totally wrong about Francisco. “We’re just friends.”

“My point exactly. Hey!” Her eyebrow arched wickedly as she stood. “Do you think maybe he bought it for you?”

“No.” I ripped the book away from her. “First of all, Francisco doesn’t lie. And second of all, the story is just so bizarre, it has to be true. A little girl gave him the book to give to me so…” Flipping through the blank pages, I said, “There’s only one thing left to do.”



“Do you have a pen? I think it’s time to do some wishing.”


Holly squealed, scrambling through her ebony drawers trying to find a pen. She dropped a half chewed pencil with a small nub for lead in my lap.

I held it up to her nose. “Really?”

“Okay, fine.” She dug through her clothes on the floor and came up with a blue ballpoint.


My mind raced with the possibilities. Of course, this wasn’t a real wish book, but it was fun thinking about it. “Holly, if you could wish for anything in the world, what would you wish for?”

“That’s easy.”


The corner of my mouth lifted. “That your dad would come back?”

“Seriously?” She shot eye-lasers at me. “I’m very happy with Des just as we are. No, I wouldn’t wish something for myself.”


She gave me a look I’d known most of my life. The look of pity on the poor cripple. I scrunched my face. “You’re not thinking about me, are you?”

“Well, why not? You’re always complaining about being confined to that chair and about how your legs have withered. Why shouldn’t you wish to walk?”


I tilted my head. “Maybe because I know in all the possibilities of possibilities that can’t happen. And honestly, I learned a long time ago to be okay with that.” I focused on the blank glitter dust page. “I want to wish for the possible,” I whispered. “For something that actually could happen. Like when you get a fortune in a fortune cookie and it gives you hope when the words ring true for your life, you know?”

My life.

“Oh my God!”

“What?” Holly cried.


Panic beat against my chest. “I forgot Mom wanted me to babysit my sister today. I was supposed to come home right away. I’m dead!”


Holly winced. She knew I was headed for certain grounding by coming home late. Again. I’d been late for the past two days and my mom and dad said they’d personally string me up by my pinkies if I didn’t come right home today. But could I help it if I got distracted by a freaky book? I tried to calm down my heart.

It wasn’t working.

Flying through the door, I yelled a goodbye to Desiree, then wheeled down the street toward my house. With lots of good luck, I’d make it before Mom left for her meeting.










I’m going to update every Wednesday now.

SO, next update Wednesday, October 10th.

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17 thoughts on “Chapter Two: The Suggestion”

  1. Wow, looks like Holly has a pretty unique home life (and it sounds like poor Athena’s is pretty different… I’m both intrigued and nervous to meet her parents haha). I loved Holly’s house (and bedroom) so much — so cool and they totally fit her personality!

    I wonder what Athena’s first wish will end up being… I have this feeling at some point she’ll make a wish related to the guy she has a crush on (and perhaps said wish will backfire 😈 Sorry, my cruel heart can’t be helped 😂😂😂)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holly’s homelife is very unique. 😉 Athena’s isn’t that different…except the family is under some money pressure right now. I don’t blame you for being nervous for Athena. 😉

      Holly’s messy bedroom fits her, huh? Athena’s first wish will come out of desperation. 😉 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly’s mom cracked me up. I love her and her cool old house. She’s right that ‘San Fran’ (love her nickname for Francisco) really does have a crush on Athena. But beyond those two, I guess she does feel quite insecure in the friend department.

    For some reason, I didn’t think she would wish to walk. That didn’t even enter my mind and her reasons were sound. Wish for something that’s possible, like more friends or the guy SHE has the hots for to like her. Which will probably crush poor San Fran.

    Ready to meet her family. Sounds like they might be a little disfunctional.

    I loved the poses with book! Are those yours?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That house is the best! (And I got “San Fran” from my daughter. She called one of her friends (whose name is Francisco) that, hence where I got his name. 😉

      Athena is very insecure…and yes, her family is dysfunctional (you nailed it.)

      All of the poses in the wheelchair were mine (with the book). Glad you liked them!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Holly’s house! And her room. And her mom. Holly’s a great BFF. But hmmm, Athena does seem to be in denial about (rofl I wrote Charlie Jr.) Francisco’s feelings for her. I’ll trust Holly’s word over hers on that subject.

    Funnily enough, when I asked my mom what she’d wish for if she could wish for anything, she’d say “to win the lottery.” LOL.

    So curious where this book will lead…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Athena should have wished to win the lottery…but she really didn’t believe in the magic…yet. (I love your mom!!!)

      Yes…Holly’s got a cool vibe, huh? And she’s the greatest BFF. (Charlie Jr…bahahaaa!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad she has Holly as a friend! I mean look at them! They’re bonding so well! In addition, Holly has a nice room and her mom has a great personality.

    Awww, Athena could’ve wished that she could fly home or have her mom’s meeting canceled. I look forward to meeting her family and what her first wish is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aw… Francisco has a crush on Athena but he’s been friend-zoned? That’s the worst. I’m anxious to see what Athena’s first wish will be. I can’t imagine she wouldn’t wish to be able to walk once she realizes what she can do with the wish book.

    Liked by 1 person

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