November was Sammy’s least favourite month of the year. It was always too cold outside to ride her bike, but too warm for the annual snowball wars to begin.
 
But as luck would have it, the temperature outside on this day was 10 degrees – almost unheard of in the middle of November. Every kid within a thousand miles was on his or her bike.
 
Not Sammy. She didn’t have a bike.
 
Oh, she had begged and pleaded with her parents to get her a new one, but they had refused on account of the time of year. Late September was no time to be buying a new bike, they had told her, since she would only get one or two uses out of it before it would be time to put it away for the winter. Sammy had argued that one or two good bike rides was enough reason to justify making a purchase, but to no avail.
 
As such, Sammy sat on her front porch all alone, listening to the laughter of her friends off in the distance. Then a voice called out to her.
 
"Hey you!"
 
Sammy looked up. It was the boy from a few weeks ago, minus the bike.
 
"Hey." she said.
 
The boy walked up to her porch. "You’re the crazy girl who thought I took your bike, right?"
 
"Yeah, that’s me." Sammy replied. She was hoping that the boy had forgotten her.
 
"Well… what are you doing on your porch?" he asked.
 
"I don’t have a bike, remember?"
 
"You didn’t get a new one?"
 
"Not yet," she said, and proceeded to tell the boy how she had begged and pleaded with her parents, and had been rejected. "Parents just don’t understand kids sometimes." she finished.
 
The boy pondered all she had said for a moment, and then replied "They’re right, you know."
 
"Huh?"
 
"You make it sound like your parents are condemning you to a life without fun. They’re not. All they’re doing is saying that you can’t have a bike right now."
 
"But then what am I supposed to do on Saturdays?"
 
"Whatever you want," The boy said. "I don’t know why everyone feels like the only way they can have fun on Saturdays is by watching cartoons all morning and bike riding all afternoon. There are plenty of other ways to have fun."
 
"Like what?"
 
"Look, were you having more fun before or after I got here?"
 
"After," Sammy said. The boy was certainly amusing, if a little strange. Besides, almost anything was better than sitting alone on her porch.
 
"But we’re not bike riding. All we’re doing is sitting and talking, right?"
 
"Yeah, I guess…"
 
"Well there you go. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about who you’re doing it with."
 
"I guess that makes sense," she said. The boy nodded. "I just have one question though."
 
"What’s that?"
 
"You said it’s not what you do, it’s who you do it with. But when I met you, you were riding your bike all alone, and today you were walking all alone. What’s up with that?"
 
But the boy just said "I have to go now," and walked away.
 
 
 
*********************************
 
 
 
 
I recognize that these characters aren’t realistic. I’m well aware that kids don’t talk like this. But this is fiction. I think that writers are often overly concerned with making sure that their characters are true-to-life, and this often hampers the writing. 
 
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that using realistic characters is a bad thing. Some of my favourite characters (e.g. Charlie, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower), are of the realistic variety. At the same time, using characters that defy reality (e.g. Peter Pan and the Little Prince) gives you the ability to go almost anywhere with your writing. Personally, I like that freedom.
 
Besides, I’m trying to send a message here. Hopefully you can figure out what I’m trying to say here. It’s not all that difficult.
 
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