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Word count: 1000
Prompt: ROYGBIV challenge. So, the first letter in the first sentence for the first seven words had to start with the colours of the rainbow, especially for St Pat’s Day!
Oh, and happy St Patrick’s Day for Monday! 🙂
Rosie often yielded gabbling, bringing insensitive virtue to our classroom. Her Irish accent and bright, ginger hair made her an easy target for us Southerners, but she fought right back.
Although cruel in her remarks, she was nearly always right, and I found her becoming my fast friend: I was an easy pick for them, too. She spoke so fast that the bullies couldn’t even understand her; sometimes, I couldn’t, either, for her Irish accent was still strange, even after being friends with her for months.
“Leprechaun! Go back to your hole!” one of the boys shouted, his unoriginal remark making others look in our direction as we made our way into school. Rosie spun around, her green eyes sparkling with malice as she sought out the abuser.
“’Least I’m not two feet tall! You and my mate Clare would make a good match, if you could reach her head!” It wasn’t the best she had ever come out with; the boy was often called ‘rat’ by his classmates, thanks to his small, watery eyes and, yes, because of his height (or lack thereof). But it worked, and the boy backed off with a glare. “Come on, Leah,” she said to me, stalking off, her head held high.
Rosie was confident in her originality, but as I stumbled after her, pushing up my glasses so I could actually see where I was going, I felt worse than ever. I couldn’t stand up for myself; I could barely answer a question in class. Even more annoyingly, I was from Essex – which meant I had an accent. Sure, Rosie might have been teased because she was Irish, but they aren’t thought of as being air heads. Some people say horrible things to me, and then laugh if I try to retort. Apparently, if you’re from the South East, you aren’t considered competent enough to be able to think.
I cradled my decaying satchel to my chest. Rosie flipped her long, red hair over her shoulder, nearly taking my eye out with one of the thin plaits she tangled in it frequently. She pulled out a chair in our tutor room, chucking her bag onto the table top as we waited for the bell; her eyes were sparkling, but this time with excitement.
“So,” she started, “it’s St Patrick’s Day next week! We’re doing something as a family, but ma said I could do something with you too, if you wanted?”
Smiling toothily, I said, “Sure, what do you want to do?” I fiddled with the strap on my satchel, still amazed that I had a friend as great as Rosie; Irish, pretty and popular with other girls, she was everything I wasn’t. The only way I was better than her was in class, but who likes an intelligent girl nowadays? Nevertheless, I still fell asleep smiling when I thought of the fact she had chosen me to be her friend – or, as she said, we’d chosen each other.
“We could dress up as leprechauns and go around the neighbourhood? That should give those wee boys something to talk about!” I raised my eyebrows in disbelief mixed with horror, but Rosie’s infectious personality meant that I normally gave in to whatever she was on about.
Not really believing what I was saying, I replied: “Yeah, ok!”
And that’s how I find myself, on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of the street, a skinny child of 13 wearing a green suit with red fluff poking from a hat perched on my head. According to Rosie, it’s meant to look like hair. “I can’t believe you made me do this,” I hiss. Rosie, completely in her element, is oblivious to any doubts I have.
“Oh, come on, Leah, lighten up! It’s just a bit o’ fun,” she says, winking. She’s back-combed her hair so it sticks out in a frizz around her head, and she has a pipe sticking out of the corner of her mouth – I think she nicked it from her dad.
“What are we doing here, anyway?” I ask, drumming my fingers on my knee, perched on a brick wall. Cars speed past, and I’m amused to see them slow down when they see us; the people in them stare, either with curiosity, disbelief or scorn. I can’t be sure.
“Waiting,” Rosie replies mysteriously, winking. “Oh, no,” she continues a moment later, “we’re not waiting any more!” Gleefully, she lets out a wicked cackle, clapping her hands.
Dancing, she crosses the street into the path of some boys – unfortunately, I recognise them. I follow her, probably against my better judgement. Rosie has no fear, and she laughs in front of them. They stare at her, bemused. I can only think of one word to describe her: leprechaun. Wicked, sly, but hilarious.
Soon, she is jumping from one foot the other, and I find myself copying. The boys get more and more frustrated and start to mock us, but we just dissolve into giggles, clutching each other. I glance at the boys’ faces, and wish I hadn’t, for it just makes me laugh harder.
“Come on!” Rosie laughs, dragging me away. I grab her hand and we run together, back to her family house-hold, where her mum stares at us like we’re a pair of nutcases.
“What do you two think you’re doing?” she asks, her Irish accent climbing a few octaves.
“We’re Irish!” Rosie cries, deliberately thickening her accent so I can barely understand her.
“Irish,” I say in my best Essex accent, which just makes us laugh again.
“Ho diddly ho!” Rosie mimics, jumping from one foot to the other, her hair bouncing.
“And you wonder why they think we’re mad,” I say, once the giggles have gone, leaving my stomach feeling like I have gained an 8-pack.
“Hmm,” Rosie agrees, nodding thoughtfully. “Oh, I do love being Irish.” She grins.
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