“Amie, the phone is for you!” I hear my Mom call from the other room. Phone calls are a big deal when you’re the new girl, especially when your Mom hands you the phone and mouths “It’s a boy.” I give Mom the look that begs her to tell me what my immediate fate will be. She gives me the desperate shrug that tells me she’d like to, but she just has no idea. “Hello?” I say into the phone. “Hey, do you want a ride to the church activity?” Oh. My. Gosh. It’s Ryan. “The activity?” I say. “Yeah, we have that Halloween party tonight.” “You’re kidding. That’s tonight? I didn’t realize. I forgot. I…I…” “You’re coming,” he says, anticipating the excuses I’m trying to come up with. “I can’t come! Aren’t you supposed to have a costume?” “Yeah…. and… you’re coming.” “No! I don’t have a costume! I’ll come to the next one I swear, but I just dropped the ball on this one and now there’s no way-“ Unaffected by my blathering, he draws out another, “Youuuuuuu’rrrrre coming.” I gasp the “you’re being unreasonable” gasp. “What time does it start?” “It starts at six-thirty.” “SIX-THIRTY? That’s like, right now! Are you crazy?” “You’re coming. We’ll be leaving to pick you up in just a minute.” Excitement and nervousness are dancing with each other inside my stomach. “No, no. Thanks for calling, really. But I just can’t.” “Okay, we’ll see you in a few minutes then.” “Don’t you dare-” Silence. “Agghhhh! Mom!” I scream. “What?” Mom asks with the voice that says I’m a Mom so I’m not going to let this be a bigger deal than it is, but with the demeanor that says we just moved our daughter again at an impressionable age and I’m worried about her. “It was Ryan! It’s the church- There’s a church- I completely forgot!” “Amie, for heaven’s sake what is it?” Mom asks, attempting to pull my thoughts together. I take half of a deep breath. “That was Ryan, from church. There is an activity like right now and it’s a Halloween party and I’m supposed to have a costume and they’re coming to pick me up any minute!” “Okay,” Mom says, “I once heard of someone taking white shoe polish and putting it on their face and dressing up as a mime.” “Just white shoe polish? Wha- what am I gonna wear?” “You just need to dress all in black.” Within minutes mom and I have smeared white shoe polish all over my face, outlined it in eyeliner and giggles and I’m rushing out the door. Ryan seems impressed by my resourceful wardrobe change. He smiles at me and says, “Does this mean you’re not gonna talk?” It occurs to me that this isn’t a bad idea. “I’ll talk if I’m so inspired,” I say. We drive to a warehouse at the rodeo grounds in town. There are bleachers set up there, a Halloween movie, hay bales and refreshments. Never has a mime been as well received by a crowd as I am on this night. Oddly enough, my “meant to be silent” costume provides for plenty of conversation in the form of good natured teasing. “How do you like the house you’re family is renting?” Ryan asks me. “It’s okay I guess. We had just built a brand new house when we moved. I got to design my own room. My Dad let me choose my own carpet and even where the phone and TV jacks would be wired in.” “Oh. I bet that was hard to leave.” “Yeah. The house I live in now is kind of weird. The downstairs is like a whole separate apartment. I’m the only one who has a bedroom down there, so I kind of have my own kitchen and living room even.” I don’t mention that at night it scares me to walk down that long flight of stairs, through a partially finished area and into my bedroom, so separate from my family. I don’t mention that I’ve been sleeping every night upstairs on an extra mattress on the floor of my twin brothers’ bedroom. I’m already facing a lot of change. A girl can only be expected to be so brave. Of course, the idea of having a little separation from parental supervision is an exciting thought to friends my age. Ryan says, “Really? That’s cool. We’ve got to get a group together and watch a movie down there. It’s perfect!” A new appreciation for my little downstairs apartment starts to warm me. “We should,” I say. “It even has its own entrance. You could come and knock on my own personal door.” He looks into my eyes as though the invitation is a very specific and individual one instead of maybe the general one it started out as. “Okay,” he says. The mime he's looking at hears a lot of promise in that one word and she only needs respond with a subtle smile to communicate how much she’ll look forward to that knock.