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TITLE: A Ballerina In Cowboy Boots-Chapter Three
By Marilyn Klunder


“Hey, Maggie, wait up!” Ashley yelled.

“Hey, Ash.”

“Have you seen the new kid yet? He’s so cute! His name is Christian. He attended over at Parkview until his parents moved across town. I can’t wait till you meet him. You’re going to fall in love!” Ashley giggled.

“Get real, Ash. I don’t care about boys and you know it!” Maggie replied. “Besides I’m going home to ride Lucky.” We only have a few hours before dark and Dad’s new rules say I have to be in the house before it even starts to get dark.”

“What is so exciting about riding a horse? You do that every day; but meeting the hottest guy to hit eighth grade at Jefferson Middle School only comes once in a lifetime. You’ve gotta meet him!” Ashley squealed.

“Oh, Ash, will you ever grow up? Boys are for the drippy girls that can’t stop looking at themselves in the mirror. Not me. I‘m never going to be that way.” Maggie turned and walked toward the busses leaving Ashley still talking. Maggie stepped on the bus and turned and looked at Ashley. No matter how silly Ashley seemed, Maggie still appreciated her friendship.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Ash.” And she waived and boarded the bus. Maggie took her usual seat which was right in the middle of the bus. She plopped down in the seat and sat her book bag on the floor. She pulled out her CD player and put on her headphones and started to listen to her favorite artist, Carrie Underwood. It would take about forty minutes to get to her house and then she would saddle up Lucky and hit the trail.

Maggie closed her eyes and started thinking of the conversation she just had with Ashley. She and Ashley had been friends for a long time; since kindergarten she thought. They had been through a lot together and without Ashley, she didn’t know how she would’ve gotten through her mom and dad’s divorce. But she and Ashley couldn’t be any further apart in what they thought was important. Ashley was caught up in the whole boy thing, and Maggie could care less. Maggie loved nature and Ashley couldn’t survive without television, Playstation, cell phones and curling irons. Maggie loved animals and Ashley was mostly afraid of them. It was an odd friendship to say the least.

Maggie closed her eyes to listen to the song on the CD. Closing her eyes blocked out the distraction of the other kids on the bus. The song playing on the CD player wasn’t Maggie’s favorite song, but she continued to listen. This song actually told a story about a young mother who calls out to Jesus to help save her and her baby from spinning out of control in her car. It’s easy to make up stories about how Jesus answers prayers, but Maggie knew different.

All of a sudden Maggie was jolted out of her seat and she heard the squealing of tires and felt the abrupt stopping of the bus.

“Is everyone O.K.?” The bus driver yelled. He unbuckled his belt and made his way down the center aisle.

“Is anyone hurt?” He asked this time. He continued to the back of the bus.

A few of the little ones started to cry.

“What happened?” Someone asked.

The bus driver helped pick up the strewn books and book bags. He asked the older kids to check on the younger kids.

“It was a herd of deer crossing the road. They came out from behind the trees. I couldn’t stop. The bus driver was shaken too, but he tried to keep calm for the sake of the younger children who were already crying. By this time other vehicles came upon the scene. They stopped and checked on the children. One person even called the local police.

Oh great, Maggie thought. There goes my ride with Lucky. Maggie picked up her book bag and CD player and placed it on her seat. She looked around to see if there was anyone who needed help. Everyone looked O.K. and now the bus was getting noisy again.

“Everyone please, if you’re O.K. and don’t need any help, please stay in your seat. We will be making a report with the police department and then we will be on our way,” the bus driver said.

Maggie looked out the window. What she saw sent shivers all the way down her body. Laying along the side of the road was the crumpled up remains of two of the dear that had tried to cross the road.

“How awful,” Maggie whispered. Maggie thought of Lucky and tears filled her eyes. The thought of seeing Lucky in a mangled mess was just to unbearable for Maggie. Lucky was the only peace she had in this world.

Maggie looked away and sat back down in her seat. She placed her book bag on the floor and put her headphones back on. She closed her eyes again to block out the noise, but also to block out the image of the two deer beside the road.

“Is this seat taken?”

Maggie was lost in her music and thoughts and did not respond to the question.

“Is this seat taken?” This time she felt the nudge on her shoulder.

Maggie opened her eyes and pulled the head phones off her head.

“Oh, hi.” She sat up in her seat and scooted her book bag under her feet.

“Can I sit here?” He asked.

“Knock yourself out.” She replied.

“Hi, I’m Christian,” he said.

“I don’t care if you’re a Christian, you can still sit there,” Maggie said.

“No, my name is Christian. I’m the new kid,” he replied.

“Hi, I’m Maggie. I’m the old kid.”

Christian ignored the sarcasm and continued.

“I don’t think I saw you at school today. What grade are you in? What classes do you take?” Christian asked.

“I’m in eighth grade and Biology-World History-the usual junk.” She said uninterested.

“You don’t sound like you like your classes.” Christian said.

“Borrrring!” Maggie said. “Actually school is boring and I can’t wait till I’m done with all that.”

“What’s your hurry?” Christian asked.

“I just want to do other things.” Maggie replied. Maggie looked out the window and saw the policeman and the bus driver talking.

“Other things?” Christian asked.

“Yeah, you know, like ride my horse and work in the barn and take care of the animals,” she said. “Important stuff.”

Maggie couldn’t help but notice Christian’s good looks. He had dark curly hair and green eyes. He was tall and thin and wore the latest style in clothes.

“Hey, we’re moving.” Christian said. Clapping and shouts of relief filled the bus.

“It’s about time,” Maggie whispered.
Maggie’s thoughts went back to her horse. She would at least get to spend extra time in the barn with Lucky, she thought. It wasn’t the same as when they road together, but just being around her horse brought her much peace.

“Well, maybe I’ll see you at school tomorrow?” Christian asked.

“Could be,” Maggie replied uninterested.

Christian couldn’t figure Maggie out. She was different than most of the girls he’s met so far. She was just as cute maybe even prettier than most, but she also had a tough exterior. Christian wondered what she was really like, on the inside.
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