Making New Friends

This little vignette was inspired by a prompt from Tomi Adeyemi’s site.

**

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a soft voice said.  Liesel turned to see a girl about her own age standing behind her.  She had a slight figure and thick dark curls.  They weren’t like the loose curls that Liesel had.  They were little ringlets that fell around her shoulders.  The girl looked from the bag in Liesel’s hand to Liesel’s face.  Nodding, she added, “Ghosts hate McDonalds.”

Liesel tilted her head and stepped over to the girl.  “You’re cute… like a little doll,” she said.  Her eyes were a rich brown and Liesel smiled.  “What’s your name?”

“I’m Keziah,” she said, frowning.  “What are you doing here, anyway?  Don’t you know about this house?  It’s haunted.”

Shaking her head, Liesel said, “I know it’s haunted.  A friend of my father’s lives here and I was going to stay with him until Teva gets home from work.”  She tilted her head and then sat down on the steps.  “Why do you say that ghosts don’t like McDonalds?”

“The ghost in my house rattles the cabinets when we bring fast food into the kitchen,” Keziah said, as she sat down beside Liesel.  She pointed at an old house across the street, three doors down from the house where Liesel lived.  “I live there.”

“I live there,” Liesel said, frowning and pointing at her own house.  How come she had never seen Keziah before?  She’d lived there for seven years and they’d never crossed paths before.  “Did you just move here recently?”

Keziah nodded.  “A month ago,” she said.  She watched as Liesel pulled a container of French fries out of the bag.  Next, she drew out a box of chicken nuggets and then a burger out of the bag.  “Are you gonna eat all that?”

Liesel chuckled and shook her head.  “I was going to share it with my sister,” she said, waving towards the house.  “She’ll be out in a moment.”

Frowning, Keziah opened her mouth to say something.  Her mouth shut again when the door opened and Frieda stepped out onto the porch.  “Liesel,” Frieda said, “why didn’t you come inside?”

“The ghost might not like fast food,” Liesel said, nodding.  “The ghost in Keziah’s house rattles cabinets when you bring fast food into the room.”

Frieda looked thoughtful for a moment and then sat down on Liesel’s other side.  She smiled at Keziah and said, “I’m Frieda Engel.  You already met Liesel.  We’re twins.”

“You don’t look alike,” Keziah said, looking from Frieda to Liesel and back.

Shrugging, Frieda said, “I look like our Vati and Liesel looks like our Muti.  They didn’t look alike, so neither do we.”  She took the box of nuggets and opened it.  After she had carefully ripped it into two pieces, she divided the nuggets and took some of the fries.

“Do you want some nuggets?” Liesel offered.  She looked thoughtful and said, “or you could have the burger, but there’s no cheese on it, because we can’t have cheese on our meat.”

“I can’t have cheese at all,” Keziah said, grinning.  She took the burger and unwrapped it.  “Thanks,” she added, before taking a bite.

They were just finishing their snack when a tall man strode over to them.  “Keziah,” he said, “I hope you’re not ruining your supper.”

“It’s just a snack, Daddy,” Keziah said, grinning.  She looked at Frieda and Liesel.  “This is my dad.”

“Amos Johnson,” he said, nodding at them.

Frieda wiped off her fingers and offered him her hand.  “It’s very nice to meet you, Mr. Johnson,” she said.  She smiled when he shook her hand.  “I’m Frieda Engel and this is my sister, Liesel.  We live across the street.”

“Mrs. Tiefin is watching us until our Teva gets home from work,” Liesel said, nodding.  She also stood and shook his hand.  “We were having our snack and Teva said it’s rude to eat in front of people and not offer them some.  I’m sorry if Keziah wasn’t supposed to have a snack.”

Shaking his head, he said, “No it’s fine.  Thank you for sharing with my daughter.”  He looked at Keziah and arched his brows.

“I already thanked them,” she said, hopping to her feet.  She smiled at them and added, “Maybe I can return the favor sometime.”

“Sure,” Frieda said, grinning.  She waved while Mr. Johnson and Keziah headed back over to their house.  Then, she looked at Liesel.  “Now that the fast food is gone, it’s probably safe to go back inside.”

“Probably,” Liesel said, gathering the garbage.  It was nice to have a new friend.

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