“Elizabeth Amelia Smithans! Did you not hear what I said?” The gruff voice of Mrs. Melee broke Elizabeth’s thoughts. “I am sorry, Mrs. Melee. My mind was in a whole different place. Won’t you forgive me!” Mrs. Melee made a face. “I GUESS I can let you off this time, Miss Smithans. But don’t make me repeat what I say again! Now go off to your recess, you can finish your work tomorrow morning.”
But Elizabeth didn’t feel like playing. She sat on a bench in the yard of the huge Smithans Manison. She sighed and looked through her satin purse that held her most valuable items. In it was a beautiful trimmed hankerchief that belonged to her great-grandmother. Wrapped inside the beautiful item was a tiny coin that belong to her great-grandfather. The coin was very old and one of the rarest of its kind. It was worth fortunes, and only her parents, great-grandparents,and God knew she had it. No one else in the entire universe. But Elizabeth wanted just one more person to know. And that was a best friend. There were no more kids at the mansion, and she was more lonely than ever. She often thought about it in school, and her thoughts carried her away. Suddenly, Elizabeth heard a rustling noise. She looked up to see a flash go by her. “Hello?” she called, and stood up.
The flash went by again, and now Elizabeth could see that it was a girl about her age. Elizabeth tingled with fear and exitement. Could this be who she was always waiting for? The flash went by one more time, but Elizabeth stopped it. But when she saw that she was holding on to a dirty, unkept girl, she jerked her hand away. The girl was breathing hard. She had on old, patched overalls and nothing else. She had short, dirty hair which was a pale brownish-blonde color. The girl had freckles all over her face, and had lips which were almost the blue color of her eyes. She had tan skin and was carrying a bag made out of a flower sack. Elizabeth gasped. This must be one of those people her parents told her about. “They are disgusting, mean little people,” Mother had said. “Why?” Elizabeth had asked. “Because,” had said Father. “They don’t have money. They can’t afford anything so they turn sick and rotten.” Elizabeth had believed her parents but now that she looked at the girl, she noticed something different about what her parents had described.
The girl WAS sick. She HAD disgusting features. But she wasn’t mean or rotten. Elizabeth could tell by looking in her eyes. They were a beautiful blue and were sweet. When Elizabeth met face to face to her, the girl looked down at her toes and waved a little at Elizabeth. “Hi.” The girl coughed. “I’m Millie. Short for Mildred.” Millie had a sweet southern accent. “Hello,” said Elizabeth. “I’m Elizabeth. Short for Elizabeth Amelia Smithans. The girl named Millie giggled. “You’re nice.” she said. “Thank you,” said Elizabeth said. She led Millie to the bench, but then stopped. What if her parents or anyone else saw her with Millie? They would both get in big trouble. “But we can’t talk her. Follow me to my secret hiding place. It’s only me and my special friends!” The girls talked and talked, and Elizabeth had an idea. “Millie, come to my house on Saturday. Wear really nice clothes and comb your hair, and we can have tea!”
As Elizabeth skipped back to the house, she thought about something. She liked Millie just the way the girl was, poor or rich. But for the tea party, Elizabeth strictly told Millie to wear something really nice. If her parents saw how “nice” Millie was, then they would let the girls play. But if they saw who Millie really was, they would never let Elizabeth even go near her. Was she tricking Millie??? Elizabeth wasn’t sure.
When she got back, Mrs. Melee stomped towards her. “Elizabeth Amelia Smithans!!! You were out late!!!!! And you left your stink “prize possessions” on the bench. I thought I should throw them away, but then your mother would be furious. But she’d also be if she knew about you leaving them!!!!! I am going to hold on to your little “prizes” for ahwile, so I hope you didn’t get too comfortable with carrying them around! Now go to bed!!!!” Elizabeth sobbed to bed, having so much on her mind.
Saturday came fast. Elizabeth had lied to her parents about a Millie the night before and wasn’t sure if she should tell them the truth. She wondered how she could pull this off. Even if she did, she didn’t think she would feel so good about it. But no turning back now. Millie was on her way and Mother was setting up the Tea Room. When Elizabeth opened the door, she gasped. Millie was wearing rags. She had some pants on that were too little for her and made out of feedsack, and Millie was also wearing a robe much to big for her on over that. The robe was flower print and very nice, but it wasn’t used in the right way. She had no shoes and had a brown lace for a hair ribbon. It looked awful. But Elizabeth couldn’t say anything. It must of had to been Millie’s very best.
“Millie, come in. Oh, don’t mind meeting my parents, I’ve already told them about you. Quick, come in the Tea Room.” Elizabeth rushed to make everything hidden and perfect. ” ‘Lizabeth, you’re acting kind of strange.” Millie said. “Oh, it’s nothing. Just don’t let my mom and dad see you.” Elizabeth said. “Why?” asked Millie. “Honestly, ‘Lizabeth, something must be wrong. Tell me.” Elizabeth let out a shaky breath and began her story. “Millie, you’re right. There is something to tell you. When I met you I was so happy to find a friend. I was happier than ever and you were so sweet, and I loved you for who you were. But, something was wrong. I was rich, you were poor. It doesn’t seem to matter, and it doesn’t, but to my parents it does. They….they…. they’d be embarressed to know that I was playing with somebody like you. So when I made friends with you….I..I lied, ok??? I’m sorry.” Millie’s eyes widened. “Oh, so that’s the truth! I knew I should have listened to my Mama when she said not to mess with those rich girls! You may like me for who I am, but you just want to make yourself look good!!!! You don’t care about me, you lie your head off so your Mama doesn’t think you’re playing with “a girl like me.” Well, you know what??? I think you should just go tell her the truth, because I am leaving!!! I thought you were a true friend! Ha! SILLY ME!!!!!” Elizabeth tried to stop Millie but the girl stomped out. “OH,NO!” said Elizabeth to herself. WHAT HAVE I DONE???”