Status: Most recent update: July 7th, 2019

Haner to Save the Day

We All Scream For Raspberry Ice Cream

Saturday strolled on by and shone its bright smile on Veronica’s soul while she sat on her porch, soaking in the cool California weather. The morning somehow tasted sweet as she sat back in her chair and felt alright with the world. In that moment, she forgot how upset she was with Alana, she forgot how much she missed home, and she forgot to go over to the neighbors’ home and give them a bag of basil.

Groaning, Veronica jumped out of her seat, ran into her home, grabbed the bag of basil, and dashed over to her neighbors’ home. She hadn’t met the family yet, but she did know they were Vietnamese as well. Naturally, her parents became fast friends with the couple. Regardless of Veronica’s constant negativity, she did think it was nice her parents felt welcome to their new “home.”

After dropping off the herbs, Veronica walked back into her house. In the next blink of an eye, she fell backwards with a huge ball of fur on top of her.

“That was not supposed to happen!” Veronica’s dad, Peter, sighed as he helped her up.

Veronica sat up and looked at her dad. “Is that what I think it is?” she asked in disbelief.

Peter smiled and nodded. “We rescued a Siberian Husky. We know you always wanted one and we made you move. I was hoping it would help you feel better?”

The six-month puppy and Peter eagerly looked at Veronica for her response. A few emotions welled up inside her. She didn’t like the reminder that she was stuck in California without a choice. She despised that her parents thought they could buy her love and take advantage of something she had wanted for so long. But she also got a dog after four years of complaining…what was the harm in that?

“Come here puppy!” Veronica squealed, waiting for her new dog to jump into her arms. “I am going to name you Jack.”

“Why Jack? Is that even a good dog name?”

“That’s the first name that popped into my head. I hope he’s a boy.”

Peter laughed heartily. He missed his daughter’s humor. He hadn’t seen it in awhile since the family transition. “He is. Maybe you should take Jack for a walk. It’ll help him get used to the neighborhood.”

Happily obliging, for once, Veronica helped Jack put on his harness and leash before departing for the door. The instant she stepped outside, she crashed into Jimmy.

“You got a dog!” he yelled, causing Jack to reach the ultimate level of hyper.

Jimmy fell down to the grass letting the puppy lick all over his face. Veronica watched in amusement until she noticed her neighbors looking over at her. She tensed up and called for Jack to make him stop. His ears perked, and he sat down, tail wagging heavily.

“At least he listens,” she mumbled, trying to hide her face with her hair.

Jimmy laughed and sat up before noticing Veronica’s neighbors look over at them. “Jo! Nick! My favorite Asians. Get your asses over here.”

Jo and Nick prided themselves on being each other’s twin even if they looked so different from one another. The only common physical quality they shared was how tan their skin was. That and they shared a twin telepathy that often intrigued and made Jimmy nervous concurrently.

The twins looked at each other quickly. They had heard of Veronica through their parents. In truth, they didn’t know much about her except for the fact the three of them were the same age group. She didn’t look weird, probably just nervous.

Jo smiled at Nick and turned to Jimmy and Veronica. “That’s a huge ass dog!” she screamed, jogging over to them. Nick shook his head, putting his hands into his jean pockets as he walked over.

It took a few seconds for Veronica to comprehend what had just happened. She knew Jimmy was friends with her neighbors, but she wasn’t sure if wanted to be their friend. She made it a point to run in the other direction whenever any Vietnamese person tried to speak to her. But as she stood there and watched Jo and Nick play with her puppy, she wondered if it was so bad to bend her rule just once.

“You’re Viet right? Jo asked in their native tongue.

“Yeah I am,” Veronica replied in English.

Jo smirked and elbowed Nick. “I’m Jo and this is Nick. We’re twins. You wanna stay away from my mom though. She finds out you’re one of us and she’ll make you fat.”

“Same with my mom,” Veronica laughed.

Jimmy’s eyes darted back between his Asian friends. He was on high alert in case Veronica decided to high tail it and ditch everyone. She purposefully made it difficult to be her friend. He didn’t know whether that was because she was uncomfortable in a new place or that she liked being alone.

“Do you guys want to walk my dog with me?” Veronica asked.

‘That’s a first,’ Jimmy thought as everyone yelled their agreement.

This became their routine every Saturday morning. Having Jack and friends to talk to helped ease Veronica’s moodiness. She stopped arguing with her family about their move. Granted it took one month for her to be at peace, but it was better than the constant temper she adopted.

Perhaps one of the few things Veronica did appreciate about Huntington Beach was the fair weather. It was mid-September, so the weather was blistering, but there was also a breeze that danced around the city. It was different weather from New Jersey where it was really hot or really cold.

As the group walked along the beach with Jack leading, Jo and Nick once again tried to convince Veronica to cut school.

“Come on it’s just one day. Live a little,” Nick begged.

Veronica shook her head, puffing out her cheeks and letting the air escape.

Jo poked Veronica’s cheek and giggled. “You always do that dude. We’re calling you Chip.”

“How does that even make sense?” Veronica asked, wrinkling her nose.

Nick rolled his eyes. “You have chipmunk cheeks.”

Whizz. A frisbee flew right past Jack. His first instinct? Run.

“What the fuck!” Veronica yelled, having to run after Jack because her upper body strength was as strong as a slinky. “Jack stop!” she ordered, but that only gave him the inclination to sprint even faster.

Here and there Veronica’s belongings dropped from her pockets. She wanted to pick up everything before thieves did but Jack would not relent with his mission to catch that green frisbee.

“Pick up my shit!” Veronica damn near screeched from behind her. Jo and Nick were clumsily diving into the sand, picking up keys, a wallet, a bottle of water, treats, and for some strange reason, deflated balloons.

“Jack, stop!” Nick ordered. And just like that, Jack stopped in his tracks, standing at attention with his wagging tail. The sudden halt caused Veronica’s momentum to falter, and she flew in front of Jack, landing on her back.

Veronica’s face was burning from embarrassment. She could hear strangers muttering to themselves, unsure whether to help or leave her alone with her pride severely bruised. She stayed in the sand in case she had broken anything, but nothing felt damaged. Still, the sand felt warm and more inviting than the people surrounding her.

Damn! That was fucking epic!”

That voice sounded so familiar...

“Shut your face. Is she alright?”

And then there was a new voice...

Finally, Jo caught up with Veronica, dropping all her things next to her as she sat down on her knees in the sand. With her head hovering above Veronica’s, she gasped, “Chip! Are you dead?”

Veronica huffed, breathing heavily after. “Yes, I am. I’m a ghost right now.”

“No need to be a prissy bitch,” Jo muttered. “Jack, sit!” He did so. “Ha ha! He listens to me.”

“Shut up dude.”

In a foul mood, Veronica slowly sat up and held the back of her head. Jimmy decided to help at the very last second and kept his face mere inches away from Veronica’s. She screamed and pushed him.

Everyone else laughed.

“Jack!” Jo called. The Husky’s ears perked up. “Lick her!” Jack obeyed, barked, and licked Veronica’s cheek.

“Hey, I wanna lick her too!” Jimmy cried and licked her untouched cheek.

“You’re freaking her out,” said the unnamed person. He could tell by the look on Veronica’s face that she was ready to run away from Jimmy. He seriously had to learn to calm down his eccentricity around girls, especially girls that could staple a restraining order to his forehead.

Veronica’s face paled and fell. “Ewwwww!” she cried to the world.

Jimmy grinned. “You’re alive!” he screamed and tackled her to the sand for a hug.

She was so done with dealing with the day’s craziness. “Get off!” she muttered, trying to breathe.

Jimmy jumped up with an accomplished smile on his face. His unnamed friend held his hand out to help Veronica up. She took his hand and practically hopped up to her feet when he pulled her up.

“You’re so skinny,” he stated.

There was an abundant amount of criticism that Veronica could take with stride. One of the things not on this list was her weight. It must have been a warped Vietnamese tradition because all she remembered as a child was her obesity and how her mother always told her she was so fat and needed to lose weight. It wasn’t until Veronica was 15 years old that she and Alana went on a strict baked chicken diet. The diet and exercise worked and awarded Veronica with an average weight, but she would always feel self-conscious. She would always believe that she wasn’t skinny enough. And so, when Jimmy’s friend told her she was too skinny, she took offense and could not believe it.

“Am not!” she argued.

“Yeah you are. You were like riding your dog-”

“That’s what she said!”

“Shut up Jimmy!” the twins said in unison.

“-and he was still running. How much do you weigh?”

“Your mom,” Veronica replied nonchalantly.

He rolled his eyes. “You look like a fucking twig.”

Veronica crossed her arms over her chest and stood with her foot out to the side. She didn’t know this person and already disliked him. No person, especially a boy had the right to chastise her body.

“It’s okay that you are.”

“But I’m not!”

“Uh huh sure. You weigh like ten pounds.”

Jimmy’s friend was severely testing Veronica’s patience. She didn’t know why she was still responding to his comments. Maybe it was because she always felt like she had to have to have the last word, and it showed with her award-winning reply: “My ass.”

“Yeah, it’s nice,” he said with a wiggle of his eyebrows.

“I don’t like you.”

“Everyone loves me.”

“Your teddy bear doesn’t count.”

“You love me.”

“Okay douche bag.”

“Trust me, you will.”

He knew the argument was circular and couldn’t think of a comeback to shut her up, but he did have an idea brewing in his thoughts. He smiled finally. He could tell her was making her uncomfortable. Before Veronica could run for the hills, he hugged her, and raspberry kissed her cheek.

“Ewwwww!” she screamed all over again, catching the attention of strangers within 15 feet of the teens.

“I’m Brian by the way.” He laughed, said bye to the twins, and left with Jimmy.

Veronica stood in the same spot trying to wipe away Brian’s germs until her cheek was red. Jo and Nick’s twin telepathy revved into high gear as they smiled at one another before looking at Veronica and Brian.
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I'm doing my best to write longer chapters!