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[Author's Note: This installment picks up after "Friendship is Like Outback Steakhouse: Part II". It is very important that you read the intro, Part I, and Part II in order before reading this part].

Part III---

It couldn't have been better timed: this guy I see in the halls a lot introduced himself to me today-only two weeks after my breakup with Cory! His name is Joseph Stillwind. I like his last name: it sounds poetic.
I know we're friends with just one meeting. It was only a few minutes after we told each other our names that we were chatting it up like old chums. I guess that means we have a lot in common-on the inside. Joseph's mien is rather ostentatious in a disorderly way: he has an earring in his left ear, and he dresses much like Snoop Dogg. But it's a look that he can pull off without being a total poser.
I have never before been attracted to people who look like Joseph Stillwind; as a matter of fact, I used to berate and even bully people of lower classes than me when I was younger. But when I began high school, my school was (and still is) completely devoid of social hierarchies and highly exclusive cliques, and I began to delve into the minds and souls of others as well as myself, thus making me more considerate and friendly-and truly igniting my creative spark into an explosive passion for writing. And there is something that sets him apart from other disheveled-looking lower-class people; I just don't yet know what it is.

***

The next time I saw Joseph, he didn't remember my name; however, most everyone-guys and girls alike-does, since 'Arlene' isn't exactly the most common name in the world. So I told him my name again, and, this time, it worked. We then sat down for lunch in the school cafeteria, and we made conversation. When it eventually veered to us talking about our passions, I was absolutely astonished at what he identified his passion as: writing! That must have been that something I sensed in him on our first meeting. Have I run into a gold mine?

***

It's been a few days since Joseph and I really bonded in the way of friendship, and now we are spending fourth hour at the library computers together, along with a friend that we didn't until now realize we both know; her name is Cecile. She is getting me started on an Anime chat and avatar website while Joseph is explaining to me a website that publishes your writings without usurping your ownership rights; they even label each of your published works with a 'Copyright [Year] by [User Name]'!
The chat community is not quite as appealing to me as the publishing website is, but I sign up for it anyway so I can talk online with Joseph and Cecile. I did, of course, sign up for the publishing website, and I have typed in one of my poems-the one that Joseph likes the best-and submitted it for publication. I can't wait for it to be revealed to the world online! There is a substitute teacher in science class next hour today, so I'll get a pass to come back to the library and max out the lineup limit of five works since I have more than twenty poems that I want published.
I'm talking to Joseph as I write this now, and I'm beginning to detect some potential in this friendship. I wonder how things can happen so fast at times.

(To be continued...)

------
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."-Jeremiah 33:3, King James Version

"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."-Psalm 119:105, New Living Translation

The present and future are not about who you were in the past-rather, they are about who you are and who you will become.

"Writing is truly glorious in that an author can put on paper the words that fear denies the voice to speak."-from my short story, "Set Free"

"...What you feel is what you are;
What you are is beautiful..."
-from "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls

Life surprises you! And I'm talking about the good stuff, because a bad surprise is not a surprise at all, it is just shock and horror. All of these good surprises, they are rewards, and the things that happen to remind you that you matter and that you should make yourself faithful so that you can be deserving of all of life's good surprises. Every wonderful surprise in life is a chance to flourish, so grab life by the horns-but don't ride, steer instead: life's horns are life's joystick. You can handle it, because your life's horns are made especially for you. If you don't give up, all of this will hold true and life will continue to surprise you.

Aubri, a. k. a. "Leopard Lady"


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