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Rosanna to the rescue
The day was brisk and cold, but Anna's excitement kept her warm all day.
Anna walked into the dull room where they had math-not her best subject, but she had been able to catch up with the lessons. She spotted Rosanna sitting in her usual seat on the far side of the room, her nose buried in her book, her bangs falling forward. Anna's heart beat out of control and she was dismayed to find that her stomach was beginning to feel a bit queasy. She grabbed her middle, trying to massage the unwanted feeling away.
She had prepared a speech that she hoped would begin:
"Hi. I've been noticing you." And Rosanna would reply in her sultry low tones: "I've been noticing you noticing me."
Anna knew it was really corny, but, after all, it was a fantasy, and they could be as gushy as you wanted. What she actually said, though, was not the stuff of fantasies but was more suited to a medical drama.
"Oh, I think I'm going to throw up!" She put one hand to her mouth and the other out in front of her as if reaching for a place on which to lean.
Rosanna jumped up, grabbed Anna by the arm and half dragged her to the bathroom where she proceeded to be horribly ill. What the hell had happened? Had she been that nervous or had the damned sandwich meat been stale? Her mom was so bad at checking on the life of the food in the fridge. She was too busy painting. When Anna felt the abdominal spasms subside, she left the stall. Now she had a wicked headache, but that she could handle.
"I'm so sorry," Anna said weakly. She moved to the sink, washed her face and rinsed her mouth with cold water and searched blindly for the paper towel dispenser. Rosanna handed her a few sheets of the brown, rough paper.
"Are you feeling better?" she asked.
"I think so. I don't know what happened." Anna said, gingerly wiping her face.
"Were you drinking last night?" Rosanna asked with a slight smirk.
"Drinking? No. I can't drink. It makes me throw up." Anna said, realizing what she had said. They both chuckled.
"Did you have something bad to eat for lunch? Maybe you're coming down with a bug. Do you walk with that pink stuff?" Rosanna asked these questions in rapid-fire succession, looking at Anna with some concern.
"Wow! Is one of your parents a doctor or something? Anna asked, holding up her hand in mock protest.
"My mom's a pediatrician." Rosanna answered sheepishly.
"Ah...that explains the medical third degree. Do you want to become one? Anna asked a question of her own.
"Not really. I used to visit my mom's practice a lot when I was younger and I guess I picked up my bed-side manner from her." Rosanna smiled. "You still look a little pale. Maybe you should see the nurse."
"Nah. We've got to get back to class. Ms. Archer is already going to give us the evil eye. You know, she's trying to prepare us for the SATs," Anna replied soberly.
"Don't remind me," Rosanna said with a groan.
"Not a math person, eh?" Anna asked.
"Not a math anything. If it doesn't have to do with money, I don't want to have anything to do with it." Rosanna admitted, realizing she was talking more with this stranger than she had with anyone besides her abuelita and Casey.
"Do you have any gum?" Anna asked suddenly. Rosanna reached into her pocket and removed a pack, handing it to Anna, who took two sticks and gave it back to her.
"Thanks. I think I need a double shot." Anna said gratefully, sorry that she hadn't thought to walk with her toothbrush. Of course, who would have guessed that she would be puking her guts out instead of chatting up Rosanna with fresh, clean breath? She remembered her headache and asked shyly,
"Do you have any ibuprofen? I'm starting to get a headache. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me today." Anna placed both hands on her head and began to try to massage the pain away.