For Just Being You

Chapter 1

Author's Note: Yay!! My alter ego gets to go Where the Wild Things Are!! I just wanted to mention that beforehand, and also that the evnts described in the first couple of paragraphs have actually been happening in my life right now. Enjoy!!

Pink was always tortured by acute anxiety, especially on the days when her parents approached her, asking to see her grades on the school website. Her parents always tried the hardest to reassure their daughter that it did not really matter if the grades she currently had were good or bad; she would always get them back up again, and when she had reached middle age (as they had) she would look back on the whole circumstance and realize that it had not really been that important.

Still, that did not change the fact that all the things Pink worried about were always still there, no matter how much reassurance she was given. In fact, the there – ness of all the things Pink dreaded persisted to the point where she suffered an anxiety – induced blackout on a Tuesday morning; a day when she knew they would ask for her grades.

"College isn't everything," Pink's stepmother reassured her. "Lots of kids stop going after a year or two. My stepson did the same thing! Why, he only went to college because I made him! It's whatever you decide is best."

I wonder how long she's going to buy her own false reassurances, Pink mused to herself. For years now, her parents had dreamed of her being an academic success. At the age of ten, she was knocked over the head with the threat of her father having apoplexy if she decided anything against their wishes for furthering her education. All this made her wonder at the sudden change in tone.

One afternoon, as Pink walked meditatively down the sidewalk near her house, she heard a squeaky sort of noise; such as the kind of noise a duck would make. She looked up into the boughs of the tree she stood next to in order to get a better look at this duck. However, when she looked up into the tree, she did not see a duck, but rather a very cute – looking snowy owl with ruffled feathers.

"Why, hello, you cute little owl," Pink greeted it. The owl squeaked two times and cocked its head to one side in order to get a better look at her.

"I'm all right," Pink assured the owl. Somehow the owl gave the impression that it wanted an explanation of some kind for her being out for a walk. "I've just got a lot to deal with right now, and I'm probably a head case, even though no one will come right out and say it. I have fainting spells because I get nervous."

The owl's forehead seemed to furrow, and it fluffed out the feathers around its neck.

"That's odd," Pink observed. "You seem to be able to understand what I'm talking about. But, I mean, how can you? If you'll forgive me for saying so, you're only an owl."

The owl stared at her briefly, and then spread its wings to fly out of the tree. As it flew ahead, it looked back at Pink, as though it wanted her to follow behind.

"You want me to follow you?" Pink asked the owl. The owl squeaked once more in an urgent sort of way, and began to fly off again.

"Wait for me!" Pink cried, rushing after the owl. "Where are we going?"

The owl led her to the area of the neighborhood where a creek lay. The owl swooped down under the bridge that lay over it, and Pink followed after it. In doing so, she encountered two surprises: one; there was another owl waiting there for them, and two, there was a small boat floating near the shore of the creek.

"Huh," Pink murmured, inspecting the small boat. "I've never noticed this here before. Maybe some kids left it here."

The owl that had been waiting there turned to the other owl and said in squeaky owl – speak: She's clueless. She can't be the one that the Horned – Nose saw in her vision.

The owl that had led Pink there replied, Don't worry, Bob. I'm very good at following descriptions. I know this is the right girl. Besides, from the way she talked, she needs to do something like this.

The other owl rolled its eyes and replied, Okay, Terry, but you know that if she turns out to be the wrong one, the Horned – Nose is probably just gonna swallow us whole like the problems she thinks we are.

Pink approached the two perching owls warily. "Are you two arguing or something?"

Both of the owls squeaked at this, and flew over to the small boat, which they promptly nestled in, side by side.

"Aw, are you two going somewhere?" Pink asked them, admiring how cute they looked.

At this, the first owl gently latched onto Pink's jacket with its talons, and guided her over to the boat.

"Oh, you want me to go with you guys?" Pink asked. Both owls squeaked affirmatively.

Pink sighed. "Well, okay, but let's not be gone for too long. I have school tomorrow."

As Pink and the two owls set sail in the creek, Pink glanced down at the hull of the boat and noticed the name "Max" carved into it.

What in the heck can all of this mean? She thought to herself.