"Phil, you have to help me understand Mr Hackett's homework. He says that it has to be one hundred percent correct, and I'm one hundred percent clueless!" Keely demanded, flicking through the ten pages of stapled sheets that had been handed to them, just as they were walking out of algebra.
"Sure I'll help. But isn't it time you learnt how to do the equations yourself?" Phil asked, looking over Keely's shoulder.
Keely turned to face him. "Now why would I waste my time doing that, when I have a best friend who knows how to do them all?"
"Because you'll get somewhere in life?" Phil suggested.
Keely shook her head. "Uh, no. Algebra isn't going to get me anywhere at all. Broadcasting doesn't require algebraic skills."
"You never know," Phil said, and dodged in front of Keely.
Something shining on the floor caught Keely's eye. She bent down, and picked up the shining coin. "Phil! Find a penny, pick it up, all day long, you'll have good luck!" Keely announced, looking carefully at the coin.
"Please. You don't actually believe in that stuff, do you?" Phil snorted, and carried on walking.
Keely ran to catch up with him. "Actually, yeah, I do. And as soon as something lucky happens to me, I'll prove it to you."
"Okay. You do that," Phil said, knowing the probability of something lucky happening as a cause of finding a penny was very low.
Keely tilted her head, and then looked back at the algebra equations. "Phil, look at the fifth page. The first one. Isn't the answer x234?"
Phil looked over her shoulder, and did some mental calculating in his head. Then he turned to Keely, staring at her in disbelief. "How did you work that one out?"
"It was right? Yeah! That's what I'm talking about!" Keely punched the air.
Phil grabbed her arm halfway down. "Keely…how did you work that out?"
"I guessed. I looked at the sum, and 234 seemed to jump out at me," Keely said, as if it was no big deal.
"That's lucky," Phil muttered.
Keely grinned, "See? I told you the penny was lucky! Maybe I'll get some more answers right…I hope it's not just a one-off lucky penny."
"Keely, you can't think that one penny made you guess the right answer," Phil said.
"Yes, I can. You heard me Phil. I don't understand algebra. The sums were impossible to me; like they were a foreign language. And as soon as I found the penny, I got the right answer. It's the only logical reason," Keely insisted.
"Keely, you got one answer right. Maybe you just guessed…maybe we'd done it before in class," Phil tried to convince her.
Keely narrowed her eyes. "You don't believe me? Fine, let's just say it wasn't the penny. I don't want to argue with you."
"Fine," Phil agreed.
They lay in Keely's back yard, looking up at the clouds. Keely had suggested, when her Mom had banned them from going out, that they play one of those stupid games, where you say what shapes the clouds are. Phil personally, found it pointless. Which it was, Keely said, but why not do something pointless when your life is pointless?
"Heart," Keely said for the fourth time that afternoon.
Phil rolled his eyes. "Why not just say that like all the time?"
"Because some of the clouds don't look like hearts," Keely sighed, and then turned over onto her front.
"None of them look remotely like hearts. You just say that they do," Phil argued.
"They do look like hearts. If you look at them from another angle. Tilt your head a bit," Keely commented.
Phil shook his head. "No, they don't look like hearts."
Keely rolled her eyes, but as she did so, something caught her eye. "Phil! It's a four leaved clover! Luck of the Irish. I have Irish blood, you know."
"Um…well I have Israeli blood in me, but that doesn't seem to make me any luckier than any other kid," Phil said.
Keely looked up at him. "No. Having Irish blood doesn't make me any luckier. But finding this will."
"And that makes you lucky, how?" Phil asked, looking at the four leaved thing in Keely's hand. First the penny, and now this small plant. What was wrong with Keely today?
"It's rare to find a four leafed clover. Really rare. You see all these three leaved clovers around? There's so many of them, but not many of these types. Today must be my lucky day! A penny, which helps me get the answers to Hackett's homework, and now this. I wonder what luck this'll bring me…" Keely twirled the stem of the plant in her hand, staring at the grass.
Phil sighed, and carried on looking up at the clouds. As boring as 'The Cloud Game' was, 'The Superstition Game' was even more so.
"Keely!" They heard a cry from in the house. "Keely! Your grandma just phoned. She was going to take a holiday, with grandpa, but they both decided that they can't go. It's too long of a flight. So, guess who they've offered it to! Us! We're off to Europe in the summer!"
Keely just raised her eyebrows at Phil and pocketed the four leaved clover.
"Can you pass the salt please?" Keely asked, as they sat down to dinner. It was Phil's turn to eat at Keely's house, and Mrs. Teslow had made pasta.
Phil picked up the shaker next to him, and handed it to Keely.
She shook it carefully over her dinner, and then put it down on the table.
"So, what have you kids been up to today?" Mandy asked, putting a fork of past into her mouth.
Phil shrugged, and tried a bit of the pasta. Unlike his mother's meals, it was actually edible. And it wasn't sprayed out of a can. Which made a nice change.
"Not much," Keely said, reaching for her drink. As she did so, her arm knocked the salt, and a sprinkle fell on the floor. Immediately, Keely looked panicked. "Oh my god. I just spilt salt on the floor!"
"What happens if you spill salt on the floor?" Phil asked, confused.
Mandy looked at Keely calmly. "Keely, leave it."
"But mom -" Keely begged.
Mandy shook her head. "You're eating. Keely, why you've become so superstitious, I don't know."
Keely pouted, but carried on with her dinner.
There was suddenly a knock at the door. Mandy looked at the two teenagers at the table, and then got up. "I'll be right back."
Phil and Keely heard voices at the door, and then Mandy came back into the room.
"Guys, I have to go. Keely, you remember your old friend Sammy? Well she's in hospital…" Mandy excused herself, as she fumbled in her bag.
"What?" Keely looked horrified. "Will she be okay?"
Mandy nodded. "I'm sure she will. It's probably just her mother being overprotective again. I'll be back by ten. At least. Probably before. You could go over to Phil's?"
"Yeah…" Phil nodded.
"I have to go now. I'll see you later, pumpkin," Mandy said, and then left the room.
Seconds later the door closed, and they were left in the house on their own.
"I wanted to throw it over my shoulder. But Mom wouldn't let me," Keely muttered, stabbing at her pasta.
"Keels, I think the pasta is already dead. What were you saying?" Phil asked.
Keely shook her head. "Nothing. You wouldn't believe me anyway."
"Is spilling salt bad luck?" Phil asked, reading Keely's mind.
Keely just nodded. Then she threw her cutlery down and ran up to her room.
"Keely?" Phil asked, knocking timidly on her bedroom door.
"What?" Keely asked, her throat sounding blocked.
Phil pushed open the door, and looked at her. She was lying on her bed, having changed into her pyjamas. Her eyes looked red. She had the remote for her small portable TV in her hand, and The O.C was on.
"What is it Phil?" Keely asked, sounding less aggressive than before.
"Keely, why are you mad at me?" Phil asked, sitting on the edge of her bed.
Keely looked at her flowered duvet. "I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at myself. For dropping the salt."
"Keely, why do you believe all these superstitions?" Phil asked, saying the question, that he had been trying to figure out the answer to, out loud.
Keely looked up at Phil. "I have no idea. I guess…I just wanted a bit of luck in my life, you know? I found that penny, and got the answer right. And then the four leaved clover thing. So when I dropped the salt, I was convinced that something bad would happen. And it did. And it's all my fault!"
"Keely, those things were coincidental. None of it happened because you found a penny, or a plant, or knocked over a salt shaker. Can't you see that?" Phil told her.
Keely sighed, and then wiped her eyes. "I must look a mess." She picked up a small mirror, and peered into it.
"No, you look perfect," Phil said, and Keely dropped the mirror.
It smashed into four pieces, and Keely just sighed and sat down. "See? Breaking a mirror. Seven years bad lu -"
She was broken off by Phil leaning in and kissing her. She broke away, surprised.
"Still bad luck?" Phil asked.
Keely opened her mouth, but then closed it again. Suddenly breaking the mirror didn't seem like such bad luck. She leaned in and kissed him again, making sure that it wasn't a hallucination.
"So?" Phil asked, when they split.
Keely smiled and then shook her head. "I guess not."
"Keely! You look wonderful!" Mandy Teslow cried as she ran into the room, where twenty year old Keely Teslow was standing, admiring herself in the full-length mirror.
"Thanks Mom," Keely said, and kissed her mother lightly on the cheek, so as not to ruin the carefully applied make-up.
Keely then turned back to the mirror, and smoothed down an invisible crease in the long white dress.
"Keely!" Two dark haired girls practically ran in and piled on top of Keely, smothering her in a hug.
Via leant back, and examined her. "Hmm…twinkle in eye. Someone's happy."
"It's the best day of her life, of course she's happy!" Tia cheered. "Doesn't she look beautiful Mrs. Teslow?"
Mandy nodded. "Obviously. It's Keely."
"Keels, you totally deserve this. I mean, come on, you were an A plus student, you've never been out with more than one guy - well not properly anyway. Plus, you're like…a saint," Via said, hugging Keely again.
"Well it's going to be the perfect wedding day, I can tell you that," Tia clapped her hands. "You left the planning details in the right hands. Me and Via have everything sorted. So just relax, and enjoy the best day of your life."
Keely reassured them that she would, and slowly they filed out, to take their seats.
The music started up, and her dad began to walk her down the aisle. She felt her cheeks redden slightly, as every eye in the room turned to her.
When she reached the altar, she looked into her soon-to-be husband's eyes, and smiled. Best day of her life was right. Nothing would ever, ever top this.
"We are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of…" the vicar began.
Keely looked at her fiancé, and she knew that she was doing something right. So much for seven years bad luck.
The 'I dos' went without a hitch, and the service was just wrapping up, when suddenly the realisation dawned in Keely's mind. Something old…she had her grandma's necklace. Something new…her dress. Something borrowed…Via's earrings. But something blue? She didn't have that.
"Phil, I haven't got anything blue. That's bad luck!" she whispered.
Phil raised his eyebrows. "Keely. Relax."
Keely breathed. "Okay. I guess it's not that bad…"
"You may now kiss the bride…" the vicar finished dramatically.
They sealed the marriage with a kiss, and cheers rung around the room.
Yay! 2000 words! Woo!