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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Those Cherry Red Lipstick Hearts
By Willena Flewelling


I was an aunt before I was even born. Truth is, my mom blames Kerri for the fact that I am here at all. She thought she was done having babies, but being there helping with Kerri's birth did her in. Says she fell hopelessly in love with those big blue eyes and adorable fat cheeks... and along I came nine months later!

People ask me what itís like to have a niece who is older than I am. I just shrug. I mean, most of the time I donít think about it. Once in a while Kerri will try bossing me around because she is older. I hate it when she does that, because it doesnít work if I turn it around and remind her that Iím the aunt and sheís the niece. It makes it kinda hard to command respect. I mean, how do you get your niece to call you Auntie Emily when she is older than you are and three inches taller? Not only am I younger, but Iím small for my age. Ugh. Double whammy. For that matter, how do you get your best friend to call you Auntie? For you see, that's what Kerri is.

We've been best friends for as long as I can remember. Even when she didn't live down the street from us it seemed like we were always together. We did everything together... even have baby brothers. She says I'm a copycat because when Ryan came along a few months after her fourth birthday, my own baby brother was born just four months later! Which means Josh was an uncle to his best bud before he was born too! Hmmm... I wonder if thereís a place in Guineas Book of Records for us!

Mom used to say I was a handful when I was little, but get Kerri and me together and watch out world! She just rolls her eyes when I ask her what she means by that. But really, doesn't every little girl borrow her mom's lipstick before sheís old enough to color inside the lines? Yeah, we probably shouldnít have cut each otherís hair on the same day, but we were quite proud of those cherry red lipstick hearts we drew for Mom all over the mirror and dresser and wall! And doesn't every little kid try to give the puppies a bath in their motherís bath oil? We thought we were doing great by getting all five of the squirmy little guys in Mom's bathtub at one time. It wasn't our fault they all got away and shook themselves off in every room in the house before we got the oil and shampoo rinsed off them!

Okay, maybe we were brats. But things are different now. We arenít little kids any more. Kerri will be 15 this summer, and Iím turning 14 next week. And Kerri is moving away. Far away. Not just an hour or two away, but across the country. Thereís an art school there that Mom went to when she was young. Some of the same teachers are there now, and one of them is famous for some special technique in painting. Kerri is dying to go there, and both Mom and Tammy think she should. So when Alanís boss gave him a chance at opening a new office down east, he jumped at the chance.

I am glad for Kerri. It will be so cool for her to learn from the best art teachers around. She wonít even have to wait till high school grad to start taking lessons. Private lessons are available.

But man am I going to miss her! Mom says itís not the end of the world, and that we can always chat and email. But itís just not the same. How can you color each otherís hair over email? And how can you cry on someoneís shoulder in a chat? At least I know Mom knows how I feel. Sheís going to miss them all something awful. She says now she knows how Grandma and Grandpa felt when she got married and moved so far away from them.

Seems kinda funny. At least I can laugh through my tears a little when I think that maybe those cherry red lipstick hearts were good for something after all.

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This article has been read 914 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 04/24/08
I could see those cherry red lipstick hearts! A very good visual image here-it helped me see the aunt/neice together as best friends. I loved the dry humor and the POV, it was great for showing the relationship and the emotion. Nice job. ^_^
Joy Faire Stewart04/28/08
I enjoyed the voice and unique take on the topic. The account of the puppies bath was delightful, a fun read.
Jan Ackerson 04/28/08
Great job on the young teen's voice...this is very good.
Tim Pickl05/01/08
I love the memories here--it reads like a narrator speaking, with scenes flashing back to those days in the past--like a good movie.
Patty Wysong05/01/08
This was delightful! I loved the voice--it was just right, and the take on the topic was great. A fun read!
Carole Robishaw 05/01/08
Very well written, I loved the personality that showed thru the MC's voice.

I could see my granddaughters doing this.