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Published by LaSaunda Mullinax, 2017-01-10 10:38:13

6thgrCharacterPlot2

6thgrCharacterPlot2

The Theme Park Blues

On the last day of school, Susannah and Manny
cornered Melanie outside her locker. Manny said,
“Susannah’s mom is taking us to Siddha Park for the
whole day. We’re going to celebrate the last day of
school. Are you up for it?”

Melanie mulled over what to say. She didn’t want to
tell a lie, but she didn’t want to tell the truth, either. She
knew that her parents couldn’t afford to send her to the
expensive theme park. So she said, “Oh, that’d be great!”
(That was the truth.) “But I’ll have to ask my mom and
dad.” (Also true.)

“We need you there!” Manny yelled in the most
authoritative voice as he walked away from her and down
the hall.

The bell rang, and Melanie ran to their next class with
the dilemma in her mind. “It isn’t fair,” Melanie thought.

That evening at supper, Melanie frowned harshly and
didn’t say a word.


“What’s up?” Mom asked. “Where is my normally
cheery child who chatters her way through dinner?”

“I’ve got the theme park blues,” Melanie moaned. “My
friends are going to Siddha this Saturday and asked me to
go with them.”

Melanie’s mom and dad exchanged glances. Mom
had lost her job six months ago, and the family was barely
making ends meet.

“The family reunion is this Saturday,” Dad reminded
everyone.

“Great. So, I have an excuse for this Saturday, but
what about next week and the week after that?” Melanie
looked pointedly at her mom and said, “Why can’t you get
a job?”

Her mother’s face looked shattered, and Melanie
immediately regretted her sharp words. “I’m sorry, Mom. I
know you’ve tried really hard.” Then a lightning bolt of an
idea flashed through her mind, and she said, “But I
haven’t! ​I’ll get a job!”


That evening, Melanie brainstormed on what to
do and how to do it. Because there were so many working
families in her neighborhood, she decided to be a “Go
Girl.” She would run errands, babysit, and anything else
people needed doing. That night, she created an
advertisement, and the next day she placed them at her
neighbors’ front doors.

Three mornings later, Mrs. Gonzalez knocked on the
door. She was on her way to work and said, “Melanie, I
ordered my groceries, but may I hire you to pick them up
this afternoon and deliver them to my house?”

Melanie agreed and took the list from Mrs. Gonzalez.
She closed the door, and her face beamed with pride.
She had her first job! Later that day, she got a call to do
an hour’s worth of weeding in Mr. Gordon’s flower garden.
After that, requests for help came in so fast that Melanie
made an hourly calendar to schedule all her jobs. Two
weeks later, Melanie had a full schedule and two hundred
dollars in her bank account. She was a real business
woman!

That week, Susannah called and invited her to go to
the beach with her family, but Melanie had to say no. Last
year, she had gone with Susannah’s family and it had


been great fun, but she wasn’t tempted. She had already
filled her calendar, and besides, her clients depended on
her!

A week later, Manny and Susannah knocked on her
front door. They both looked very serious. “We’re going
to Siddha Park again, and this time you’re coming with
us,” Manny told her.

Susannah insisted, “I refuse to ride the Rumbling
Roller Coaster or go down the Log Jam Splash without
you.”

Manny said, “We’ll even pay your way into the park
and buy your food all day. We know money is tight for
you.”

“But we need you,” Susannah added. “We miss you
and things are much more fun when you’re with us.”

Melanie’s heart warmed. “I miss you, too, and I’ve
earned enough money to go with you,” she replied as she
reached for her calendar. “So what day do you want to
go?”


That night at dinner, her mom announced that she
had gotten a new job, and this one was even better than
the old one. Mom asked, “Now that we don’t have to
scrimp anymore, are you going to close your business?”\

Melanie quickly replied, “Are you kidding? This is the
best summer I’ve ever had. I get to help people, make
money, and still hang out with my friends. But if you ever
need a loan, just let me know.”


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