After spending that week in Boston visiting her old friends and going on a trip down memory lane, Allie considered herself a happy child once again. But the true reason she had been so much on Cloud Nine was because of Quincy. She thought about him 24/7, every day and night while at Boston, especially when she was about to go to sleep at night and she lay wide awake in her own bed that she hadn't slept on in forever, just thinking about him. And whenever an image of him entered her mind, it brought a smile right to her face, and her heart would skip a beat as if it were absorbing all his affections for her. She had never felt like this before, and she didn't know how to explain it, except one obvious way---she was in love with Quincy. Just like he was in love with her.
After the trip back from Boston, Allie couldn't have been more relieved to see Quincy again. They met again at her backyard, and Allie was taking a dive inside her pool. Quincy said to her, "So, how was Boston? Did you get to see all your friends?"
"Oh, it was really swell," Allie replied. "I told all my friends all about you, and they think you sound really peachy keen."
"Aw, I must be famous," Quincy said jokingly, and they both laughed.
"You wish, Quincy MacKenzie," said Allie. "Anyway, how was it over at your cousins' house?"
"Ah, it wasn't half that bad." Quincy shrugged. "I realized that it's been eons since I've seen them last. Jerry and Terry are going off to college soon, and as for Willy, he just turned twelve on the Fourth of July. He's getting older now but still somewhat of a pest as usual."
"Ah, the pre-teen years," Allie said. "That's you and me." She giggled. "Once we reach thirteen, then we are officially teenagers."
"Yeah, by then, we'll be on the verge of starting high school," Quincy said. "Sounds pretty creepy, but we'll learn to make the most of it."
"Yeah, that's right." Allie got out of the water for a minute and sat down by the pool, just gazing deep into Quincy's eyes. She was attracted to his sense of humor, the way he could continue a conversation, no matter how silly or strange it was, and mostly, the way he showed some eager and interest in her everyday life. She was like an enigma to him, and he wanted to know many things about her. Allie never thought that she would discover love at her young age, but now she certainly knew that love was real, and it was only as real as you could ever make it out to be.
"I'm really gonna miss you when you're gone next month, Allie," Quincy said.
"Hey, don't worry about me; I'll probably surprise you with a little souvenir or something," Allie said. "How would you like that?"
"Very much. I'd like that a lot. I could just entertain myself by catching up on my summer reading and all that other junk."
"I'm gonna catch up on my reading too, and I promise you I'll take lots of pictures and show them to you, and I'll write to you. I love to write, you know."
"You're a very good writer, Allie. And just in case this may be the last time we'll ever see each other again......." Quincy leaned over to give her a kiss on the lip. "At least you have this to remember me by."
"Oh, Quincy," Allie said as she and Quincy were engaged in yet another passionate kiss. "This is just what I needed---a farewell kiss."
And the rest of that summer had gone by, with Allie packing for Florida while Quincy busied himself by making plans with other friends, reading books, and many other things. Allie and her parents had such an adventurous time while visiting Disney World. For one thing, she got a chance to see Mickey Mouse along with the other kids, and she couldn't have been more excited. But the best part was, she got to celebrate her eleventh birthday in an exciting way---which was actually months ago, but due to the busy schedule of school and work and after school activities such as the Dance Team rehearsing for the Spring show, Allie never really had a chance to invite some of the other kids to her house for a get-together for her birthday. Fortunately, she had the chance to celebrate here in Disney World with the other kids. Eleven years was a milestone, and Allie was definitely getting older by the minute, becoming a young woman. A young woman who was in love.
Eventually, it was nearing the end of August, and Allie and her parents were now going back to Fort Chester. They had had themselves a great number of adventures, and Allie had written a million letters to Quincy and taken a bunch of pictures to show him everything. They met once again at her backyard, and despite it was raining out, Allie and Quincy were sitting on the grass as usual, having their normal talks. Quincy said to her, "How was Disney World?"
"I got to meet Mickey Mouse," Allie grinned.
Quincy laughed. "You're so lucky, I'm jealous."
"How did you spend your time without me?"
"Ah, just read my book, made plans with friends, and all that other fun stuff. And I also went out to buy new clothes for school. Gotta start off the sixth grade looking your best, don't you think?"
"That's right," Allie said. "I'm probably gonna need some new clothes too."
"But don't wear slacks," Quincy said jokingly.
Allie chuckled. "I won't."
"Allie, I didn't even know it was your birthday," Quincy said as he began glancing through Allie's scrapbook and saw one recent photo of her at Disney World wearing a party hat with the other kids singing Happy Birthday to her.
"Ah, that was sometime during Dance Team rehearsals. I never told anyone about it because I figured we would all be too busy to wish a new girl like me a happy birthday," Allie said.
"Ah, that's okay. Happy belated birthday, anyway."
"Thanks, Quincy." She gave him a kiss.
Pretty soon, it was fall again, and everyone was getting ready for the first day back to school. Allie was excited and at the same time, somewhat nervous, about starting the sixth grade. She had had herself a very relaxing and enjoyable summer, and the best part of it was spending all those times with Quincy. Even when they were afar, they still had the ability to communicate with each other without losing that special connection they shared. Most of the other kids had themselves a somewhat good, if not mediocre, summer. Betty Jane had gone to Paris for some time, Mary Beth had written to Esmeralda, and to her surprise, Esmeralda had replied her back. Mary Beth wrote about how horrible she felt to chase her only "true friend" away, and Esmeralda wrote back saying that she forgave her and that the boarding school wasn't actually too bad after all, since it was an all-girls boarding school. Now it was another day back at Fort Chester Middle School, and everyone was starting different grades.
Allie had a feeling that she was going to have a better year than last year, and she knew the reason why---she was in love with Quincy, and she wished to go steady with him. However, she might be going a little overboard thinking about Quincy because her focus on her schoolwork seemed to be drifting away. She also found herself participating in the Drama Club only because Quincy was there. She would do anything to get closer to him, even if it meant flunking tests or quizzes, or just following him around everywhere.
One day in History class, Allie made such a huge fool out of herself for the first time, and it would be helpful if you knew that Quincy was now in every single class with her, thus giving her the inability to concentrate very well. She was too busy doodling hearts all over her notebook that she wasn't even paying attention to Mr. Perkins as he was speaking and jotting down notes on the board. But then, Allie decided to do the most unexpected---write a love note to Quincy, which was probably not the very best idea. She tore out another blank sheet of paper from her notebook, wrote on it, "Quincy, I think you are very cute. Allie." Then she drew three small hearts under her name, neatly crumpled the paper, tapped the shoulder of the girl sitting in front of her, and gave her the paper. "Pass it down," she whispered to the girl. The girl read the note, then she and Allie giggled as the girl passed the paper to the boy sitting next to her, who read it and passed it to the next person, and so on and so forth. Basically, it was just like playing a game. The note was going around the room, each person giggled as they read the note, until one girl who was sitting next to Quincy gave him the paper, and Mr. Perkins then turned around..........
Mr. Perkins cleared his throat. "Um, is anything going on back there?" he asked.
Everyone became awkwardly silent. Allie was doing her best to act like she was paying attention. Mr. Perkins was rather strict, and everyone in the class feared him sometimes. "That's what I thought," Mr. Perkins said, then turned around and continued writing on the board. Quincy read the paper and blushed as a few of the students started laughing to themselves. A guy sitting next to him took the paper, read it, giggled, and gave it to the girl sitting next to him, who was also sitting next to Allie. The girl returned the paper to Allie, and whispered to her, "Next time, try being a lot more subtle. That's how a normal person does it." She then gave a smirk, and Allie stuck her tongue out at her.
Mr. Perkins turned around again and said, "Hmm, I could have sworn I heard some chattering. Would anyone care to explain what is going on?"
Everyone remained silent once again. Even Allie was doing her best to look like she was paying close attention. After what seemed a long moment of silence, Mr. Perkins said, "Okay, very well, then. Please write down these notes, and when you are through, sit quietly and I will discuss the assignment."
Allie was about to start writing when she accidentally dropped her pencil, and the love note on the floor. She picked them up, Mr. Perkins was glancing straight at her with suspicion, and she quickly hid the note under her notebook. Mr. Perkins then said, "Miss Sampson, I noticed that you picked up another sheet of paper on the floor. I take it that it must be part of your notes, correct?"
"Yes, Mr. Perkins," Allie replied, a little uneasily.
Mr. Perkins, however, was not convinced. "Hmm, just so we're clear, why don't you take out that sheet of paper and let me see for myself?"
Did he just.......? Allie didn't know what to do now. "Excuse me?" she said.
"I would like to see that paper which you picked from the floor," Mr. Perkins said, and now everyone knew that that was the paper with the love note. "Just to ensure that that is indeed part of your notes. I can always tell when a student doesn't pay attention in my class." He started getting up from his desk and walking over to her desk, which Allie knew spelled trouble.
"Well, sir, I was paying attention," Allie said. Of course she knew that wasn't true.
"And I need to see some proof." Mr. Perkins sounded a little impatient now. "If you don't show me the proof in ten seconds, you will be asked to leave this room at once, Miss Sampson."
"Yes, sir," Allie said with a reluctant sigh as she took out the love note and gave to Mr. Perkins. Mr. Perkins read it to himself, then said to her, "Now why don't you read your note out loud to the class?" He gave a knowing smile.
Allie sighed as she got up and began reading aloud her short love note in front of the classroom. "'Quincy, I think you are very cute. Allie.'" She cleared her throat as she felt herself blushing with embarrassment, and the class burst into laughter. Everyone, except Quincy, who was probably a lot more humiliated than she was.
"Thank you, Alessandra. Now please return to your seat," Mr. Perkins said. Then he said to the class, "Do you all find this amusing? I should hope not, otherwise I may have to assign a pop quiz." Everyone immediately quieted down. He turned to Allie and said, "Alessandra, you know that passing notes is not acceptable in my class, and I will never accept that kind of behavior from any student of mine. This is your first warning; if this behavior keeps up, I'm afraid I will have to give you detention. Next time, you should learn to think twice before you go around disrupting my class with your lack of participation. Is that clearly understood, young lady?"
"Yes, Mr. Perkins," Allie said. "I understand."
And for the rest of that day, Allie faced complete humiliation from the other kids for writing that love note to Quincy. She even felt ashamed of herself that she would even do such a thing like that to get Quincy's attention. She didn't do it in the best way, but she certainly did not deserve any of this. She was now the laughingstock of Fort Chester Middle School, and they were just five weeks into the beginning of sixth grade. Allie was so humiliated that she ate her lunch in the bathroom, and when other girls came into the restroom, all she did was eavesdrop on the conversation about her among all the girls.
Three girls came in, and one of them said to the other two, "Boy, that Allie sure has some nerve pulling a stunt like that in History class, doesn't she? She nearly caused Mr. Perkins to give us a 'pop quiz'!"
"Yeah, some nerve," said the second girl in agreement. "I feel sorry for poor Quincy for having to go through that embarrassment. She may be the new girl in town, but it's quite obvious that she doesn't know anything about crushes."
"She knows nothing about nothing," said the third girl with a giggle. "Believe me, I sit right next to her in History, and all I ever see her doing in that class is scribbling and doodling hearts and all that other junk all over her notebook instead of taking notes like she's supposed to be doing. There's no way that an entire classroom can get into trouble just because of that bad seed."
"She does look like a bad seed," said the first girl. "And a complete mama's girl as well. I wonder where she gets her bad seeds from?" They giggled once again.
"Well, idiocy must run in the family for her, doesn't it?" said the first girl. "I swear, Esmeralda was correct when she said that Allie Sampson was like a virus that spreads fast."
"Ah, we miss Esmeralda," said the second girl with a sigh. "Too bad she's all the way in San Francisco. There's not a single way to communicate with her."
"We'll figure out something," said the first girl. "But for now, let's get through the rest of the day without having to worry about that spoiled new girl in town who was this close to making our day a living nightmare." The three girls giggled as they left the bathroom. Allie was still inside the stall, hiding in her shame and guilt and refusing to come out. Her beginning of sixth grade, and it was now crumbling into a million pieces.