Once Upon A Dream


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“Good time last night?”

Bella silently made a small cup of coffee, blatantly ignoring her friend.

“Earth to Bella?” Stephanie called. “How’d it go with Bas?”

Again, Bella said nothing. She put the coffee on the counter and returned to the kitchen.

“Bel, what’s the matter?” Steph asked after her. She hadn’t known her friend for long, but she could tell when something was up with her. She then noticed there was a pink balloon bobbing about in the air in the kitchen. It had deflated a little since last night. “What’s with this?” she asked, picking it up.

Bella sighed. “He just left me…” Tears filled her eyes.

Steph let the balloon go and put her arms around her. “What happened?”

“Everything was going so well…” Bella said sadly, walking out to the counter again, and Steph followed. “But then he just disappeared… without explaining anything.”

Steph rolled her eyes. “Boys, eh? Plenty more fish, I say.”

“But I loved him,” Bella cried.

Just then, Basil entered the café as he usually did and walked up to the counter.

“You only just met him yesterday!” Steph scolded Bella. Then she saw Basil. “Go serve the squirrel. Might take your mind of things.”

Steph made her way back into the kitchen as Bella walked up to counter. “Tea?”

“Please,” Basil said, seeing the sadness in Bella’s eyes. “You alright, Miss Bella?”

He’d hoped, somehow, that she would recognise him.

Instead, Bella said nothing and carried on doing what she was doing.

Basil made his way over to the table where Maddie was sitting. “She doesn’t realise it’s me at all!”

Maddie sighed. “Of course she doesn’t. Why would she? She thinks the boy she met last night still exists.”

And her friend called me a squirrel,” Basil half-joked. “I knew I didn’t like her.”

Maddie laughed.

Bella brought the tea over to the table, still looking sad. Saying nothing, she returned to the counter while Basil was still looking at her.

“Why is the squirrel staring at you?” Steph wondered.

“I don’t know, and I don’t care,” Bella replied.

“Anyway, I’ve got to do some cleaning up after last night. I can’t believe you had your prom here! Your school is so cheap!”

Maddie was surprised. “The prom was here?” she asked Basil.

Basil sighed. “Don’t even go there.”

Steph was just about to put a big bag of rubbish into the bin outside when she spotted the pink balloon. “Oops! Nearly missed one,” she said, reaching for it.

Bella grabbed it back. “That’s mine!” she snapped.

Steph giggled slightly. “Yours? How old are you again?”

“Bas gave it to me last night,” Bella said sadly.

Maddie looked at Basil with a face as if to say, you couldn’t have got something better?

“Hey, you didn’t tell me I had to get her anything,” Basil said in defence, “and I had to work with what I had, OK?”

Steph looked at the balloon. “Ugly lookin’ thing, isn’t it?”

“I could say the same thing about you!” Basil snapped at her.

“Who pulled your tail, squirrel?” Steph answered back.

“Leave it out, Steph,” Bella said, and she noticed her friend was untying the balloon. “What… what are you doing?”

“I’m gonna suck the gas out, then blow it back up again so it’s nicer for you. Cos that’s what friends are for right?”

“Oh, that’s really not necessary…” But before Bella could finish, Steph had already breathed all the helium out of the balloon.

“Too late!” she said in a squeaky voice.

“An improvement on your normal voice, I think,” Basil laughed.

Stephanie shot him an evil look, then proceeded to blow up the balloon again. She tied it off and passed it to her friend. “Now, don’t say I never do anything for you.”

Bella took the balloon. “Well, you didn’t really do anything for me, you just-“

“Ah! Don’t complain, or I’ll pop it,” Steph threatened.

Bella sighed. “OK. Thank you, Steph.”

*BEEP*

Bella’s phone went off signalling she had a new text message. She ran over to it with excitement. But as she picked it up to read the message, her heart sank.

“It’s Nick,” she said. “He wants me back.”

Steph looked at her wide-eyed. “And?”

“And what?” Bella replied.

“Well, are you gonna take him back?”

“How can I after last night?” sighed Bella. “I’ll never love another boy again.” She closed her eyes sadly and wondered into the kitchen.

“She’s got it bad,” Maddie observed from the table they were sitting at.

“I know! What do I do?” Basil asked her.

“Here’s an idea, why don’t you tell her the truth?”

“And say what, exactly?”

Maddie sighed. “I don’t know, but you’ll have to tell her somehow. You can’t leave her hanging like that.”

Basil sighed. She was right. He got out his phone and tapped out a message.

Bella’s phone beeped again. She read the message and this time her heart began to pound. “It’s him!” she screeched. “It’s Bas!”

“What does it say?” Steph asked excitedly.

Bella read the message.

Bella, sorry I left so suddenly last night. Meet me in the park after you finish work. I need to talk to you.

She began to jump up and down with happiness.

 But Basil knew she wouldn’t be jumping up and down once she knew the truth.

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