JULIA JONES - My Worst Day Ever! - Book 1: aged 9 - 12 (6 page)

 

To try and save the situation, I ran to get
my iPod and put on some cool music. Then, within minutes, everyone was settled
around Sara’s make-up and had begun testing the different products that were
stored in the large pink carry case.

The music certainly helped to lift
everyone’s spirits as well and before long, we were all singing to our favorite
hit songs.

I was pleased to see that Jackie was
laughing once again and having fun. There would be nothing worse than to have
your party spoiled by one of your guests. But as it turned out, we all had a pretty
good time.

The next morning, after very little sleep
because Sara was too scared to close her eyes in case the snake came back, we
dragged ourselves out of our sleeping bags so that we could head into the
dining room for breakfast. Sara’s mom had made pancakes and we sat around the
table in our pajamas, talking and laughing about how much fun the party had
been.

Unfortunately though, everyone’s parents
soon started to arrive and it was time to head home. Before leaving though, we
all agreed to try and fit in as many dance practices as possible during the
next few days at school.  The final dress rehearsal was scheduled for later in
the week and we still had lots of work to do before then.

As Millie and I hopped into the back of my
dad’s car, I overheard Sara commenting to some of the girls. “I can’t wait for
the musical! It’s going to be amazing and I’m sure everyone will be in for a
huge surprise!”

Just as I closed the door, I caught her
glancing in our direction but the strange expression on her face carried a
meaning that I couldn’t quite fathom. She waved as we drove off but the cold
look was what worried me the most. Regardless of the party being hijacked by
Sara, we had still thoroughly enjoyed it and now the musical was quickly
approaching. I should have been full of excited anticipation but the sudden
attack of nerves that I had been overcome with, caught me by surprise. Feeling
tired and a little anxious, I leaned back against the head rest on the rear seat
of the car and closed my eyes.

 
Oh no,
NOT today….

 

The eve of the musical finally dawned and I
had gone to bed early in order to get a good night’s sleep. Our dress rehearsal,
had been a roaring success with every single item being performed almost to
perfection. Miss Sheldon was beside herself with excitement. She seemed to
think that it looked to be the best show the school had ever performed. At
least since she had been teaching there, and she had huge expectations of a
stand out extravaganza.

The tickets had all sold out and the office
staff were asked to quickly print extras as well as hire more chairs to squash
into the already very crowded auditorium. This was necessary to accommodate the
overwhelming number of people who were keen to be a part of the audience. It appeared
that almost half the town were coming and it was just lucky that the hall was
big enough to seat everyone.

I rolled over in bed and closed my eyes,
determined to fall asleep quickly so that the morning would arrive and I could
begin the exciting day ahead. Then, what seemed like only a few minutes later,
I was awakened by a noise outside my bedroom door.

Sitting up, I realized that it was our dog,
Roxy scratching at the door and trying to get in. As I rubbed my eyes in an
attempt to focus, I became aware of daylight streaming into the room from
behind my curtain. Glancing at the alarm clock that sat on the bedside table
next to my bed, I rubbed my eyes once more. With a sick feeling in the pit of
my stomach, I grabbed hold of the clock and looked at the time again.

“Noooo!” I screamed loudly. “This can’t be
happening!” With my heart racing like the beat of a pounding drum, I
frantically sprinted out of bed, opened the door and looked out into the
hallway. Ignoring the eager tail wagging and expectant look from Roxy, I
bounded along the hallway and turned the handle of the bathroom door. But it
wouldn’t budge.

“Oh no!” I grumbled loudly, then heard the
familiar sound of my brother singing in the shower. “I need the shower!” I
yelled desperately. “Hurry up!!!”

Of all mornings to have slept in! I just
couldn’t believe that my alarm hadn’t gone off. I was sure that I had set it
accurately the night before, thinking at the time that I certainly didn’t want
to risk oversleeping and missing my bus.

“The bus! Oh, my gosh!” I yelled, running
back into my bedroom to double check the time. The early bus was due in five
minutes and there was no way I could get a lift to school. Because my parents both
had a seven o’clock start on a Friday morning, I knew that they would have
already left for work. I thought about my promise to Miss Sheldon, agreeing I
would arrive early to help with all the setting up which still had to be done. It
was blatantly obvious that I needed to get to school as soon as possible.

Deciding to go without a morning shower as
I’d had one the night before, I threw on my clothes and grabbed the bag that I
had already packed ready with everything I would need to take. Bolting down the
stairs, I literally flew out the front door.

I don’t think I have ever sprinted as fast
as I did that morning. But to my huge dismay, I arrived at the bus stop out of
breath, only to see the bus pulling away from the curb. Yelling for the driver
to stop, was a waste of time and I anxiously watched the bus head down the
street.

Dropping my bag on the ground in disgust, I
stood there in despair racking my brains for a solution. Waiting for the next
bus was not an option; that would get me to school just before the bell and I
needed to arrive much earlier than that, in order to get all the necessary jobs
done. It was then I decided that I would have to walk. A fast walk along with
running some of the way, would be the quickest alternative. And besides that, I
was too worked up to stand there waiting 40 minutes for the next bus to arrive.

So off I took and just when I realized that
I was actually making pretty good time, I felt some droplets of water on my
face. Looking up, I spotted an accumulation of very dark clouds heading my way
so even though I was already breathless, I forced myself to run. However, I was
unable to beat the rain. At first it was a light sprinkle and then gradually became
slightly heavier. Within minutes though, it was bucketing down and I was
absolutely drenched.

Running through the school gates and trying
to avoid a huge puddle of water that sat right in the middle of the driveway,
the rubber bottom of my shoe skidded wildly. Feeling as though I was skating on
ice, I slid recklessly across the slippery surface, desperately trying to
maintain my balance. But then with an uncontrollable yelp, my legs went out
from under me.

I hit the hard asphalt with a thud, landing
flat on my back, my head coming down heavily with a bang. Dazed and very sore,
I managed to stand, the rain still pouring down around me. By this time, I was
absolutely saturated and had mud all over me along with a scraped and bleeding
knee. I could already feel the throbbing lump starting to form on my head and I
hobbled cautiously towards the Performing Arts building, not wanting to slip
over again.

When I entered, the room was full of
excitement and noise. People were scattered all over the place in various
stages of preparation. I ducked under a ladder that was blocking the entrance
and looked up to see Blake helping to hang a large banner.

“Not a good idea to walk under ladders,
Julia,” Miss Sheldon warned when she noticed me trying to weave my way inside
the door. “That brings bad luck you know!”

“As if I haven’t already had enough bad
luck today!” I muttered miserably to myself.

Then all of a sudden she did an abrupt double
take. “Julia!” she exclaimed in a worried tone. “You’re soaking wet! And what
have you done to yourself?” She looked down at the blood oozing from the graze
on my leg which now appeared much nastier than I had originally thought.

I could feel tears starting to form in the
corners of my eyes but then noticed Blake climbing down the ladder towards me
so I quickly brushed them away.

“I’m alright,” I said trying to muster a
convincing tone. “I missed the bus, so I decided to walk to school. But it
started to pour with rain and then I slipped on a puddle in the school
driveway.”

“I’ll get a first aid kit,” Miss Sheldon quickly
replied. “I don’t really like the look of that gash on the side of your knee. I
hope it doesn’t need stitches!”

“Oh, I’m sure it’ll be fine,” I said
bravely as I looked with a frown at the blood that had started to flow freely
down my leg.

“Blake, see if you can get something to press
onto that gash and stop the bleeding. I’ll be back in a minute.” Miss Sheldon
raced towards her office, on the way picking up a roll of paper toweling that
had been left on a chair. “Here you go, use this,” and she threw it towards
him.

I sat down while Blake held strips of the toweling
firmly on my leg as I miserably watched pools of water dripping onto the floor
around me. In no time though, Miss Sheldon was back and had cleaned the wound
with antiseptic and wrapped my leg in a sterile bandage.

“It looks like you fell on something
sharp,” she commented. “We’ll have to keep an eye on that. But in the meantime,
why don’t you try and dry off. There’s some towels in the cupboard in my office
and there might be some clothes in there that you can change into.”

“Thank you, Miss Sheldon!” I replied
gratefully. “I actually have a change of clothes with me. And at least my back
pack is waterproof, otherwise everything would be completely soaked, including
my costume for tonight.”  

Millie then spotted me and raced over, a
worried expression on her face. Rubbing my head tenderly, and wincing with
pain, I explained what had happened. When she realized that along with
everything else, I also had a huge lump on my head, she ran to get some ice
from the kitchen and then grabbed a couple of towels from the cupboard in Miss
Sheldon’s office.

After putting on dry clothes, I gratefully
accepted a cup of hot chocolate and a breakfast bagel that had been provided
for everyone who had offered to help that morning.

Holding the ice pack to my head, I looked
down at the tight bandaging on my leg and hoped that it wouldn’t restrict my
dance moves. “Maybe I can just take the bandage off later,” I said to Millie.
“The bleeding will have stopped by then and at least I’ll have more freedom of
movement!”

She looked at me with sympathy and commented
in her usual positive manner, “Well, thank goodness you got here, Julia! The
show just couldn’t go on without you!”

Grateful for her caring friendship, I
smiled warmly and sipped the soothing drink which was helping to make me feel
much better. Then with a determined resolve, I got to my feet and set myself to
work. There was lots to be done and I knew that I needed to get started. We had
a show to perform and nothing was going to stop it from being the best show
ever. We had all worked so hard and I knew that it had to be a roaring success!

I spent the morning helping as much as I
could. Although the throbbing pain I was feeling in my head had seemed to
intensify, I focused my thoughts on the celebrations we would be having later
that night, over the wonderful show we had performed.

And then suddenly out of the corner of my
eye, I saw Sara Hamilton walk into the room.

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