Outcomes Offered

■ Friendship

Lucy Mac was in my year for mentally gifted kids. I was one of her best friends at the time and still am. We shared a room at the boarding school. My favourite subject was math. Hers was, well, she didn't really have one. She loved them all.

I was chosen to come 2 years before the event. Lucy was chosen 5 years before. It was summer holidays. Lucy and I were both planning to go home for the summer. Lucy got a phone call one day before she was due to go home. She ran to her bed and cried and cried. I went up to her and asked her what was wrong. She snivelled, "My mum and dad are dead!" I stepped back shocked. I asked, "How?" She yelled, "Their house burnt down!"

She didn't go home for the summer and neither did I. I stayed to help Lucy get over it and to comfort her. I got her breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the cafeteria. She didn't eat any of it though. When school started again, I persuaded her to come back to some classes with me. She came but sat at the back of the classroom and wasn't happy at all. All night I heard her mumbling. I thought that she was sleep talking. She wasn't. She told me in the morning that she was the only one left in her family. She also said that her brother died when she was four.

That's when the idea hit me. After all of my classes for the week I ran to the four-story library. I looked all weekend. Just before I was about to give up I found what I was looking for. Family files. I found the Mac file and looked in it. It was there! I raced back to Lucy who was talking to herself that she was the only one left in her family. I showed her the paper I got out. Her face lit up. I found a sheet of paper and on it had a photo and some writing. The writing said Nicholas Mac, archaeologist, based in Arizona, and a phone number.

I had another great idea. I jumped on the phone and rang the number on the paper. I chatted for an hour or so. When I got off I had a grin on my face. I told Lucy that I had arranged for her to stay with her cousin, Nicholas, in Arizona for three weeks. She hugged all the air out of me. Two days later she left for Arizona.

When she returned she was smiling. I hadn't seen her smile since her parents died 4 months ago.

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