It’s time for chapter 5 of my youth mystery novel, What Was Lost. If you are wondering why I am suddenly writing youth fiction, please read the explanation by clicking here.
Chapter 5 – More Than Just a Haircut
Hannah Meadows glanced over at her phone her bookshelf. Still no reply from Milton. She went back to her closet to think about what she needed for the new school year. She had pretty much already decided what she wanted to get when her mom took her shopping, but at least it was something to take her mind off Milton. Milton, Milton, Milton. She had no idea how he would respond to her, but she simply couldn’t wait any longer. Did he not notice how things had changed? She had put up with his nonsense through all of junior high, waiting for him to grow up, but finally she just got tired of trying. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the day she got her hair cut. She was pleased with how it turned out, and when she came to youth group some of the girls had mentioned how cute she looked. Then Milton opened his fat mouth.
She remembered hearing his voice suddenly from behind her, “Hey Hannah, bad hair day?” he teased.
Hannah whirled around, her eyes locked on him in rage, as she said condescendingly, “No Milton, it’s called a haircut.”
Milton gave his obnoxious smirk, “Oh, oops. My bad.”
He and a couple other guys walked past her, snickering. Hannah stood alone; a single tear trickled down her cheek.
A buzz from her phone jolted Hannah out of her sad daydream. She walked over to her phone. It was a text from Milton,
“Yeah, I can talk. What’s up?”
She picked her phone up and typed out. “How r u doing?”
“Im OK. Been kind of a crazy weekend. How bout u?” He replied.
“Here it goes,” Hannah thought to herself. She bit her lip as she typed, “Well, honestly, not very well. I don’t know if u noticed, but I haven’t texted much recently.”
Milton paused, then texted back, “Yeah, I noticed.”
At least he wasn’t totally ignorant. She went on, “I don’t really know how to say this, but you remember when I got my hair cut?”
“Yeah, I remember,” came the reply.
“I felt like that day you weren’t very nice to me. It hurt my feelings.”
There was a long pause.
Milton typed back, “You mean my ‘bad hair day’ comment?”
Hannah’s heart began beating faster, she felt a lot less sure of herself than when she started. “It’s not that it was a big deal… I mean, I just don’t like being teased…like that,” she replied.
“It’s just it’s been happening a lot more…” Hannah said.
Another long pause. This was agonizing and awkward. Maybe she shouldn’t have even bothered. How could she expect Milton to “get” something he should have noticed a long time ago, but didn’t? It wasn’t her fault, and she couldn’t make him change.
Her phone suddenly buzzed—Milton was calling her.
She wasn’t ready for that. But what else was there to do? She was the one who had said she wanted to talk. She answered the phone.
“Hey Milton,” she said.
“Hey Hannah,” answered Milton.
There was an awkward silence; Milton cleared his throat, then began, “I just wanted to say to you I am so sorry. I didn’t realize how much that hurt you. I guess I was just trying to have some fun. But I shouldn’t do it at your expense.”
“It’s OK Milton,” Hannah said. “And yes, I do forgive you. It seems kind of silly now, but at the time it was really hurtful.”
“No, it’s not silly,” Milton said, “It was important to you. I’m your friend, so it should be important to me, too.”
Hannah smiled, “Does this mean I can make fun of your next haircut?”
“Uh, we’ll my current haircut is pretty dorky. You could probably start there.” Milton joked.
Outside Milton’s door his mom was putting down his lunch plate on the floor. She heard Milton laugh from inside his room. She smiled to herself and went down the stairs. Mr. Maxwell was enjoying his own sandwich at the dinner table. He looked up at Mrs. Maxwell as she settled into her chair and took a sip of tea.
“Where’s Milton?” He asked.
“On his phone upstairs.” Mrs. Maxwell replied. Then added, “with Hannah.”
“Oh?” Mr. Maxwell raised an eyebrow.
“It’s not like that, Steve,” said Mrs. Maxwell, giving him a reproachful push on the arm. “Hannah and Milton are restoring their friendship. And I’m thankful.”
“Well, then, that is good news.” He replied. “And I’m thankful, too. Let’s just hope it stays there,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
Meanwhile, Hannah and Milton were wrapping up.
“Oops, it looks like I need to go. My mom is taking me shopping this afternoon.” said Hannah.
“Ok, have a good time.” Milton said.
“I will,” said Hannah, “Oh, and Milton?”
“Thank you for calling me.”
A few minutes later Mrs. Maxwell came up the stairs. The plate was gone from the hallway. She didn’t hear Milton anymore, so she pushed the door open a crack to peek in. There he lay on his bed, sound asleep, with an empty plate on his nightstand.
Click here to read chapter 6.