Become a Fan
By Harold F. Hester
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Story was entered in a 24 hour writersweekly contest. You are given a phrase or sentence you must build a story around - in a few hours. This is about a single lady that isn't young anymore, has little money but sponsors a young female exchange high school student.
Since her phone rang last hour telling her the application had been approved Dixie has been busy tiding her home. The air conditioner was straining to keep the inside house comfortable, but this hot humid August day seemed to be winning the battle. Max was not proving to be of any help either as he was under foot and barking at the patio sliding glass door. That door was the last barrier between being hot and uncomfortable and swimming in a cool lake. Dixie let him out. The lake is inviting and exceptionally busy with jet skis and boats of all sizes. All the boats seemed to have young ladies working on their overall tans. The girls, boats and activity didn’t seem to bother Max as long as he could get wet and cool. The day was perfect.
“You going down and play in the water with Max?” Julie asked.
“Sure am, as soon as I can get the house cleaned and squared away”. Dixie said over her shoulder as she dusted everything within arms reach.
“The house is spotless. Why the rush to clean? It’s only Wednesday and your bridge club doesn’t meet till this week-end.” Julie said with one hand on her bikinied hip.
The question was sincere but caught Dixie a bit off guard as it registered with her that she and her visiting daughter-in-law were not on the same sheet of music. Dixie grinned as she answered, “No… no... It’s not the bridge club I’m worried about.” She paused. Then said, “The school board just called and told me I have been approved to sponsor an exchange student this fall.” She was on a roll as she continued with “She is a girl from Germany. Seventeen I think they said. They said her name is Ann Smyth, lives in Heidelberg and I will have her for her senior year”. This pause was a bit longer then the others as she took another deep breath and said, “She arrives tomorrow afternoon, I am so excited.”
Julie didn’t voice her concerns and let Dixie have her excitement as morning slowly became mid-afternoon. Max didn’t have a care in the world as he played in the lake water. He even stopped barking at the ducks when they would paddle within a few feet. The house clean, Dixie and Julie worked on their overall tans while chatting about current events, new recipes, grandkids and the exchange student.
“We are going to have so much fun. I can take her all over, show her all the sights and introduce her to a whole new world and culture. I was told she has never been outside Germany but the school board said she speaks pretty good English.” Dixie babbled.
Julie was listening but still appeared concerned. She didn’t say the words but they were there. Would Ann be trouble? Was she into drugs, boys… girls? Ann is younger then all of Dixie’s grandkids, would that be a problem? Max didn’t care.
The hot steamy days of August slowly became the hot steamy days of September and the first day of school.
Ann was a slip of a girl at just over 5’-1”, 98 pounds, slim hips, knobby knees, ugly feet and breast already overflowing a “C” cup. Her hair style was twin pony tails with bangs. Her favorite food proved to be pizza; she loved soft jazz, hated hip-hop music, and all her boy dates were supervised by either, Dixie, Julie or Max. She did not smoke and drank only wine at meals. School days were strictly obeyed as were weekends. Ann always said “Yes mama or no mama” and when the conversation was something she did not understand, you could expect “Ja” or “Mit Ja oder Nein” and usually with a blank silly crooked grin.
When the police car pulled into the driveway on a chilly fall day just before Christmas the timing could not have been worse. Ann was nervous.
Dixie explained over dinner, “It was nothing Ann. Nothing you need to worry about. The school board and some Immigration folks was just doing their job and checking your well being, grades, visa and stuff. They were concerned if I had made plans for your return to Germany after graduation. Nothing to worry about…. Honest.”
Ann didn’t believe a word. She knew her grades were fine and she knew she had done everything required of a transfer student. There was that one thing she thought was still a secret that no one knew about. That had her apprehensive. Would she be required to return to Germany before graduation? Have I done something illegal here in the States? “Wenn die Kacke am Dampfen ist” Ann muttered under her breath.
The cold and hectic Christmas holidays turned agonizingly fast into Valentines Day followed quickly by Memorial Day. The days were coming all too quickly and Ann was on the verge of panic. If her plan to stay in the States was to come to fruition she had to act… fast… now. Dixie had been a friend, her mentor and many times, her mother confessor. She looked over her shoulder once before pushing open the large office door. Ann felt badly as she slipped into Dixie’s office, but she had to find the documents that would help her.
Dixie had only just gone to the store and would be back shortly. Ann had but a few minutes to search the office or risked being caught and maybe being sent back to Europe early. Her eyes were immediately drawn to a handwritten note sitting in the middle of the desk by the open window. A chill ran her complete spine as she read, “…if you or someone you know is trying to get a green card - the right to live in the United States permanently - be on the lookout for unscrupulous businesses and attorneys. They'll claim that, for a fee, they can make it easier to enter the U. S. State Department's annual Diversity Visa DV lottery also known as the green card lottery.”
Ann never heard the door open but she did hear the words Dixie said. “Good, you found it. I wasn’t sure how to tell you. I know some people that know some people. That was to be for you… your green card.” She paused as she kissed Ann’s cheek and said, “Happy Birthday”.
Site: The Visa
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|Reviewed by Eddie Thompson
|good twist at the end....liked it.|