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Cricket the Early Years Part 9

"Marcia and Naomi meet a boy. Marcia it tormented again."
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Published 7 years ago
Cricket left school alone. Naomi's mom picked her up to take her to dance class where she studied jazz dancing and enjoyed it. Cricket walked home and instead of going straight home, she wanted to visit the wolf family. She worried about the wound the mother wolf had. It looked clean, but with life in the wild, anything could happen.

She walked through the woods and approached the clearing. She saw the mom wolf atop the big rock in the center of the clearing. The dad wolf was on the ground with the pup. He and the pup stood, as Marcia approached. The pup ran to her, jumped on her boots and ran around her. The big wolf stayed between her, the big rock and mom.

Cricket looked over at the rock. Mom lay on her side watching her pup but not moving. She noticed something on the wolf's haunch, which appeared to be a bandage. She wanted to get near and examine her closely, but the big wolf kept himself between the two. Marcia halfheartedly gave up trying to get near mom. She continued playing with the pup and the big wolf sat on his haunches watching them.

Suddenly, the big wolf stood and moved closer to the rock. Mom wolf sat up and looked at the woods. Cricket saw this movement and took the pup toward the cave to protect him. Walking into the clearing was a tall blonde haired young man carrying a canvas bag. He walked toward the big wolf and put his hand out in a gesture of friendship. The big wolf sniffed it and rubbed his head against the proffered hand.

The mom's tail moved slowly as if she was happy to see him. He walked to her and she rested her head against his hand. She licked his hand and moved closer. He put his bag on the rock and emptied the contents. He had a bowl and a bottle of medicine for her wound. He unwrapped her dressing and cleaned her up. He smeared the medicine on her and wrapped the wound in a new dressing. She rested her head on his arm and stayed motionless.

"Where is your pup, mom?" he asked.

Mom wolf looked at the cave. He followed her gaze and saw the pup running around Marcia in the darkened entrance. The pup grabbed Marcia's jacket in his mouth and pulled her out of the cave. She shyly protested, but went forward not wanting to rip her jacket. The pup dragged her to the rock and let her go. The young man turned to look at her and smiled. The pup ran to him and he bent down and rubbed the pup's head.

"Hello, my name is Cal. I came here to take care of this shot wolf. Why are you here?" he asked.

"Hi, my name is Marcia. I discovered the family living here. My friend and I come to visit them as often as we can. I like playing with the pup," Marcia stuttered.

"Mom wolf is healing very nicely. She will be fine in a couple more days. She kept her wound very clean on her own. I have come here daily to check on her. I have not seen you here," he said.

"We usually come early in the day. We hide if anyone comes because we do not want people to know there are wolves here. We like them and they seem almost tame to be around people," Marcia said.

"When I first encountered them, they were wilder. They slowly came to me and we bonded. When the pup was born, things changed and they got protective again." Cal continued.

Marcia listened as he told his story and got to like this young man. She looked at him and felt drawn to him, but knew he was a lot older than she was. She moved and sat on the rock with the mother wolf's head in her lap. She felt so comfortable with Cal and wondered where he went to school. He looked as if he was in high school. He also lived nearby because he came there every day.

Cal continued, "I have to go and do my homework. I will be leaving here when school ends to go to school in Europe. Maybe we will see each other here again. Have a nice evening, Marcia." He gathered up his stuff, put it in his canvas bag and left the clearing. As he left, he turned and waved goodbye to Marcia. She hesitantly waved back to him smiling.

She looked at the mom wolf and said, "He is such a nice kid. I like him. He has been so good to you. Maybe I can meet him here again." The mom wolf licked her hand and nuzzled her leg.

Marcia jumped off the rock, petted the big wolf and played with the pup a while longer. When she left, her thoughts were about the young man who cared for the wounded wolf. She wanted to meet him again and learn more of his life. She never met a more fascinating person close to her age. He was gentle, kind and handsome.

Marcia walked into her house past her mom and into her room. She was in a mental fog over the boy she met. Her mom followed her wondering what happened. Cricket dropped her book bag and jacket on the floor and with her back to the bed, flopped on her pillows and rolled. Her mom watched this and knew she was fine just dreaming of someone or something.

At dinner, Cricket sat and ate quietly in pensive contemplation. Her mom watched her and decided to talk to her about what was on her mind. This was unusual behavior for Cricket. When dinner ended, Cricket went through the motions cleaning up the dishes. Her mom kept things low key and let Cricket go to her room.

Mom knocked on Marcia's door, "Can I come in?"

"Yes, mom," she answered.

"What is going on, sweetheart?" Mom asked.

"I met a boy today who was kind and gentle. He cared for a family of wolves I visit. I liked something about him and he seemed to like me. I only know his first name and he is a lot older than I am." Cricket told her.

Her mom smiled and told her, "It was just a happy meeting of two people who share a common interest. You will forget him in a few weeks."

"Oh, OK mom," Cricket said, but she did not believe she would ever forget him.

Cricket went to bed early that night and dreamed about Cal and her wolves. She dreamed that Naomi and she went to the big rock and met Cal again. He was nice to both girls and spent time talking to them. He showed them how the wound healed. He talked about wolves to teach the girls more. They sat with rapt attention and hung onto his every word.

Marcia's mom knocked on the door to wake her up and to get ready for school. Usually she waited awake in bed for her mom to knock. Today the dream kept her focused on sleeping. Slowly she rolled out of bed and went to get her clothes and dress for school. As she dressed for school, she still thought about her dream. She hoped Cal would be there today when she walked home.

Cricket got to her locker and met Naomi. Naomi looked at her and asked, "What happened to you?"

"There was a boy with the wolves, yesterday afternoon. His name was Cal and he was in high school. He treated mom for her wound and she is doing well. He told me about the wolves. I had a dreamy time with him." Marcia told her.

Naomi looked at Marcia and shook her head. She knew that Marcia liked this boy and wanted to meet him again. Naomi slammed her locker door, which jolted Marcia back to reality. Marcia grabbed her books, stuffed her lunch and jacket in the locker, closed the door and walked with Naomi to class. They got to class and sat quietly as the day began.

The next few days were uneventful. Marcia walked to school each day and went to visit the wolves every afternoon. Cal was never there and Marcia began to lose hope of ever seeing him again. She knew he was there because fresh dressings were on mom wolf's wound. This went on for over a week, but Marcia watched mom wolf get stronger and move around better.

Ten days before the Spring Concert, the lunchroom filled up with students who wanted to see the menu for the special lunch. The menu was varied and complete. The lunchroom would serve a complete meal with waiters, linen, plates and metal utensils. A sample setting was next to the table Marcia and her friends used.

R.W. sat at his table and watched Marcia and her friends. Lunch proceeded normally with groups of students gathering around the special table to examine the menu. Marcia watched as the groups moved through and waited until the flow dwindled to a trickle. She finished her lunch and got up from the table. She threw her trash away. As she approached the table, music came from under the table and silver confetti rained upon her from the ceiling. A small sign appeared which read "This is all for you Cricket, R.W."

Marcia's stalker watched her and smiled as the confetti floated down on her. She stood shocked with what happened. Two teachers and a group of students gathered around her. A murmur ran through the crowd as the sign descended addressed to Marcia. Marcia grabbed the attached note and ran out of the lunchroom.

She never stopped running until she was outside the school in the bleachers of the football pitch. Her shoulders heaved, as she caught her breath. She looked at the card in her hand and tears flowed down her cheeks. Naomi found her, sat next to her and hugged her shoulders. Marcia buried her face against Naomi and shuddered violently, as loud sobs escaped her lips.

"Why is this happening to me? I have not done anything. I don't want any of this. Please whoever it is leave me alone!" uttered Marcia.

"I don't know, but it is just teasing you. It is hurting you by calling attention to you. Can we stop it? We have to figure out who 'R.W.' is," cried Naomi as she wept with Marcia.

The principal approached the girls in the bleachers. He cautiously sat below them and looked up at Marcia. His face appeared saddened by what he saw and heard. He knew it was not Marcia's doing, but that of someone who felt threatened by her presence in the school. He had to stop this harassment of one of the students, but not at the expense of losing her and her academic achievements.

"Miss Shaw, I am sorry you are the target of these seemingly harmless pranks. What can we do to stop them? Can I help you? I want them to stop just as much as you do. Please help us find this person?" the principal pleaded with her.

Marcia looked down at him and shook her head, "We need to find someone whose initials are 'R.W.' That is who is doing this to me. Can you help us or at least look that up for us?"

"I am not sure I can give you that information, but I can at least help you narrow your search," the principal reluctantly said.

"That will help me a lot," she replied thankfully.

"What will you do, when you find out who it is? I don't want any violence here, but a prank or calling out would seem appropriate," he reluctantly added.

"I will keep that in mind. I am not sure what I will do when I figure out who it is. Can I talk to you when I find out who it is? Getting expelled from here is not what I want. This is the first place I felt at home and want to stay," Marcia pleadingly asked the principal.

"When you find out who it is, I want to know, but do not tell me what you are planning. I would have to act if I knew," he quickly replied.

Marcia shook her head. She sat up, wiped the tears away and sniffled into her tissue. Naomi moved away a little. The principal relaxed and smiled. Marcia handed the card to the principal. He looked at it and a grimace crossed his face. Marcia noticed it, but said nothing.

The boy, who watched Marcia, stood in the shadows and observed the interlude with the principal. He did not like what he saw, but then graduation protected him from punishment. He watched as the principal stood and helped the girls off the bleachers. He moved away from the shadows back inside the school. He continued watching until the principal left the girls and went to his office.

He smiled as he walked to his classroom. His prank worked and he got the reaction he wanted. He took her down and humiliated her. He hoped that she would guess who he was before the Spring Concert. He did not want to play any more pranks on her. When he entered his classroom, his smile faded as his friends looked at him. He knew they wondered if he played the pranks on the 'Cricket Girl.'

Naomi and Marcia entered the school and walked quickly and quietly to their classroom. As they entered the classroom, several friends gathered around. They wanted to know what happened. Marcia ignored them, but Naomi explained that the principal helped them. They would find out who played these tricks on her and exact some type of revenge. Satisfied with the explanation, her friends went back to their desks and waited for the teacher.

The next few days passed without any new pranks. The boy watched Marcia during lunch, but never thought to hurt her again. Marcia sat every day in the lunchroom laughing and joking with her friends. She looked at the boy a few times, but never acknowledged his existence. She glanced over at him several times during lunch and caught him watching her. She noticed that every time she looked up he looked away as if not interested in her.

The Friday before the Spring Concert, the principal came to the lunchroom. He called to Marcia and Naomi and asked them to follow him to his office. Marcia knew why he wanted them. He had the information she needed to trap her persecutor.

The girls entered the office and sat in front of the big wooden desk. Even though the girls did no wrong, it size intimidated them. The principal smiled at the girls and sat on the edge of his desk in front of them. This made the girls feel more at ease. He held a piece of paper in his hand, which contained a very short list of names. He handed the list to Marcia.

Marcia took the list and read it slowly. It contained four names of boys whose initials were 'R.W.' Naomi read the list too. None of the names registered as being important. Marcia looked up at the principal.

"Do any of these boys come from rich families?" she asked.

"Two of the boys are here on scholarship and can be eliminated," replied the principal. "The other two come from rich families."

The principal crossed off two names. Marcia asked, "Do either of these boys graduate this year?"

"Yes, one of them graduates in June. Why do you ask?" said the principal.

"If he graduates, he does not have to concern himself about punishment for the pranks he played," replied Marcia.

The principal crossed off one more name. The last remaining name was Marcia's tormentor. She looked at the name and imagined what he looked like. Was he a spoiled son of indulgent parents? Was he a friend of Sarah's? Why was he tormenting her? These thoughts invaded her mind, as she sat there. She had to find this boy and confront him as soon as she could. Monday could not come soon enough.

Marcia thanked the principal, grabbed Naomi's hand and left his office. They returned to class with a feeling of jubilation. They had to plan the revenge against this boy. Naomi planned to spend the weekend with Marcia. They had a serious plan to work out for the ultimate revenge against this boy.

On the way home from school, Marcia and Naomi decided to visit the wolf family. As they walked through the woods, the animals were quiet and hid from view. Something scared them into hiding. As they approached the clearing, Marcia saw a head of blonde hair and her heart skipped a beat. Cal was there. She wanted to run to him, but held back for fear of alarming the big wolf to attack Cal.

The girls entered the clearing. The pup bounded towards them and pounced on Naomi. Marcia walked to the rock, as the big wolf sat back down and watched the pup. Cal looked up and smiled at Marcia.

"How is she doing?" asked Marcia.

"I take the bandages off today and they stay off. She is healed and ready to be on her own. The wound completely healed. I will miss coming here, but I have to go to Europe soon. Will you continue to visit this family?" said Cal.

"We will visit as often as we can," Marcia said. "Naomi, come over here and meet Cal."

Naomi stood and walked to the rock. The pup followed her and ran around her legs. The pup almost tripped her when she slowed. Cal caught her and held her from falling. She blushed with the feel of his strong arms on her arms. She stood and looked from Cal to Marcia. Her face registered shock and surprise at his close contact.

Marcia introduced them and talked to Cal about what was next for the mother wolf. She learned that the wolf healed well, but may still have some problems running for a while. Cal told the girls what to watch and do for the family over the next few weeks.

Satisfied that he told the girls everything they needed to know, Cal packed up his bag and said his goodbyes to the girls. As he walked from the clearing, he turned and waved. The girls waved back, as he disappeared.

When he was gone, Marcia and Naomi grabbed each other and jumped around in a circle as they squealed in delight. The girls had an older boy friend and he liked them. They were so happy. The weekend was off to a wonderful start.

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