Staff Writer: Phoebe Kim
My name is Candy Candice, and I know, my name is pretty dumb. I don’t know if my parents were joking or not, but it’s hard to tell with parents like them. They’re crazy strict, but they do it ‘nicely’.They own a family candy shop, and we live on the second floor. I try not to tell anyone that, because it would just ruin my social status even more, if it can be ruined anymore. I have thick glasses, braces, and it doesn’t help that my clothes are from the 1920’s. My wardrobe is made of long dresses, and and the most revealing piece of clothing is an XL sweater. I’m 5’10 and so skinny the wind makes me waver sometimes. I’m lucky enough to have even one friend, let alone two. Their names are Annabelle, and Alec.They’re the reason I’m not home schooled, but there’s also Zac. I don’t even think he knows I exist, but I like him. A lot. He’s popular, a football jock, and he is totally out of my league. We’re meant for each other, because it can be like a Cinderella, right? The handsome prince sweeps the poor girl off her feet and marries her. Anyways, I pretty much hate everything about my life. Something special changed all that.
I was walking to school, and I saw Annabelle. She was talking to someone else, but for some strange reason I couldn’t really make out what they were saying. I looked around, and I saw Zac. I stared for a moment, astonished, because he seemed to be walking towards me. He stopped, and said,” Do you want to go to the movies on Friday?”Thrilled, I nodded vigorously. Annabelle was smiling at me, and the weirdest thing happened.
At the same time, everyone at the scene started yelling, “ BEEP, BEEP, BEEEP!!!”
I woke up in a jolt, and realized I was dreamin. It was a great dream, but it was definitely too good to be true. I felt like I was forgetting something important, so I looked over at the calendar. I groaned, because guess what? It was Valentine’s Day, my sixteenth birthday. It’s another thing to the cruel joke of being named Candy, but I cope with it. Most people would be excited, but birthdays for me isn’t a good thing. It’s just a day of my parents going on about my responsibilities expanding, and how better I should do since I’m getting older and ‘gaining wisdom’. I cautiously walked into the kitchen to avoid my parents, but there they were, holding a – candy heart pack? They smiled at me, and I was very confused. My parents always got a scrawny cake, had me blow out the candles, and then gave me the new responsibilities I had to do.
My mom came to me and said,” Happy birthday, Sweetie! You’re finally sixteen! Isn’t that great, Peter?”
My dad replied, “ Yes it is, Susan! Our daughter is growing up! “ They seemed a bit fake, and had nervous looks on their faces.
I asked, “Um, that’s great and all, but where’s the cake?”
My mom bit her lip and said,” Oh well, Candy, uhh… We couldn’t get a cake this year. I’m very sorry, but I got this instead! It’s a surprise present from a stranger. It’s all we have, so we decided for no new responsibilities this year.” I wasn’t mad that I didn’t get a cake, but I was a little ticked that I only got candy hearts for my birthday. Even better, it wasn’t even from my parents. It was from someone I don’t know, and they might have even poisoned it or something. I sighed, took the candy hearts and went back up to my room. My parents looked apologetic, but I turned away. I closed the door to my room, and started to get ready. I ignored my candy hearts the whole time, but couldn’t help being curious. I got my backpack and checked the box.
The box read,” The Candy Hearts of Magic! Make a wish, and it’s yours! Details in the box.” I frowned, and opened the box. Nothing was inside. I flipped it upside down and shook it, and a book came out. I didn’t know how that fit in there, but I picked the book and examined it. It said in fancy letters, “ The Candy Hearts of Magic”. I sat down, and started reading, because I had plenty of time. I woke up three hours before school every day, because I usually had chores to do in the morning. As I finished the book, I knew it was full of baloney. You were supposed to make a wish; it had to be mortally possible, and you ate a candy heart the color of the category. Green was money, pink was love, blue was luck, purple was beauty, and white was popularity. After you made the wish, you had to go to the person you wished about or the location within thirty minutes or it won’t work. You were allowed to one wish per three hours. The wishes lasted until you mess something up in destiny, whatever that meant. It sounded really cool, because I needed help in many of those categories, but it was impossible. It didn’t help that there were no candy hearts in the box. Ironically, I saw one candy heart fall out of the box. I looked inside, and the box was suddenly full. Confused, I took a purple candy heart just for the sake of it. I imagined a beautiful girl with blonde, long wavy hair, sparkling blue eyes, flawless skin, a perfect figure, and an amazing wardrobe. It was the opposite of my long and frizzy blonde hair, dull blue eyes, and acne filled skin. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, waiting for some kind of whoosh, bright light, something, but nothing happened. I sighed, feeling stupid for believing such idiotic superstition. I trudged over to my closet and opened it.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, I actually had clothes! Well, I usually have clothes in my closet, but these clothes were actually cool. There were some cardigans, tank tops, hoodies, and skinny jeans. Astonished, I picked an outfit and looked in the mirror.
There I was, or at least I think it was me. I was beautiful, and that is not a word to normally describe me. I was staring for a while, and suddenly realized I had to go to school. I walked out of the house, and started laughing. I was hysterical, I never felt so pretty before in my life. I heard a voice behind me say,” Candy?” I turned around, and it was Annabelle.
I hugged her and said, ,” Yeah! It’s me, Candy Candice! I’m so happy! Do you see anything different about me today?”
She gasped and said,” Yeah, happy birthday! What happened to you? You… Changed!”
“ I know, right! Uh…” I thought about telling her about the candy hearts, but I decided she would think I was crazy. “ Got a makeover! My parents got abducted by aliens or something, because they would never let me do this!” She laughed and gave me a bear hug. We walked to school together doing a happy dance along the way. When we arrived, she went to go look for Alec and I rushed into the bathroom. I took out the candy hearts, and looked for the love color, I think it was… Pink? I took it out and thought of Zac. I smiled and realized he could finally be mine! I ate it and went back out to reunite with my friends.
Alec gawked at me, cleared his throat and said,” Oh, hello. Did you see my friend Candy Candice anywhere?”
I snickered and punched him and replied, “ Um, yeah! She just punched you!” He smiled, his green eyes gleaming, and we walked to the cafeteria for breakfast. Annabelle went off to water polo practice, she always had practice in the early morning. Alec and I entered, and I could feel the eyes staring lasers into me. I smiled and chatted with Alec as we got our food and sat down. I carefully eyed the cafeteria, looking for Zac. I imagined what was going to happen next. Zac will see me, fall in love at first sight, and we’ll date and get married. It made me giddy just thinking about it. I saw him, normally eating with his friends and laughing. He looked over at me, and stared. My heart thumped in my chest, waiting for the spark. Zac stared a little longer, then just looked away. My heart now sinked, and I was confused. Why didn’t the candy work? Did I not pick the right color? As I was worrying, I remembered you can only make one wish per three hours. I sighed, and calculated the time. It was 7:30 right now, and I think i made the wish around 6:00, after the no birthday cake incident. I had to make the wish at 9:00, if I wanted it to work. My dream just had to wait little more until it came true.
First period was a blur, and in second period I got an hall pass to go to the bathroom again. Our school wasn’t really that strict, so I didn’t have a problem. I checked my watch, and it was 9:15. I beamed, and took out the candy again. I took out a pink one, made my wish, and crunched on it. After second period was over, I had free period, along with Alec, Annabelle, and Zac. I met my friends at the lockers and we went to the field together. Zac seemed to be looking for something, and he locked eyes with me. He walked over and asked, “ Well, hey. Candy, right?”
I blushed and said, “ Uh, yeah. What brings you here?” At the corner of my eye, I saw Alec mouthing something, but I wasn’t really paying attention to him. Annabelle was casually reading a book, but I knew she was listening.
Zac cleared his throat, and asked, “ Um, then… Just asking, but are you free this Friday?”
I replied, “ Well, why wouldn’t I be?”He laughed, and I was surprised I didn’t die from butterflies in my stomach.
Zac continued, “ If that’s the case, then I’ll see you at the movies on Friday?” I nodded, and he left. I excitedly turned to my friends, and Annabelle thrust her book down.
She said,” OMG! Did that just happen?” I vigorously nodded, barely able to contain my excitement. We shrieked together and turned to Alec. For some reason, his face seemed a little red.
He muttered,” Yeah, that’s great. I have to go finish a project. See you later.” With that, he walked away. Annabelle and I just shrugged, and continued to beam.
By the end of the week, I was the most popular girl at school, with a little help from some candy. After school on Friday, Annabelle came over to help me decide my outfit. After we picked it out, we sat on my bed, going on and on about how great this would turn out. I kept on agreeing with her, because she took the words right out of my mouth. I was really nervous, and excused myself to the bathroom. I took out a blue heart from the box for luck, and ate it. I didn’t make many wishes because I had only one box, but this was important. For some reason, Alec kept on popping into my mind. He was acting a little more distant and started hanging out with the student council kids more. I wasn’t sure if he was mad or not, but I was always too busy talking about Zac with Annabelle so I didn’t have the time.
I heard Annabelle yelling, “ He’s here! Get out of the bathroom, you were in there for ten minutes!”
I didn’t realize that I was in there for so long, but I heard him honking his truck. It was a little rude, since I gave him my number, but I pushed that thought out of my mind. As I greeted Annabelle goodbye my mom stopped me.
She said, “ I hope you know you have a curfew to keep.”
I groaned. “ I know, Mom. I’ll be back before eight. Now can I go? He’s waiting for me outside.” She looked at me one last time, and I left for the door.
I saw him in the car, smiling. He seemed a little too overconfident, and it was a little annoying. I mentally slapped myself. This is Zac, the guy I have been waiting for since 6th grade! I took a deep breath, and got in the car.
“ Hey, Candy!” his breath smelled like vegetable soup.
“ Hey.”I slightly cringed, and smiled a little.
“ Do you know the movie we’re watching?”
“Uh, no. Do you have something in mind?”
“ Alright then. I have something. Let’s go!” He cheesed, and I felt warm all over again. Good, Candy. This is how I should feel. We drove to the mall, and he played heavy metal very loud the whole way.
When we arrived, we got our tickets for… Zombie Apocalypse Survivors two. I was not a fan of horror and action, but I figured I can just close my eyes on the scary part. I won’t go into how the movie went, because it was just blood and zombies everywhere.
When we walked out, Zac seemed to be in a daze from the movie. He started going on how cool that was, and how amazing it was that his favorite actor was in it. I wasn’t listening very much until he got in the car. He smiled at me so brightly it made me sick. He had kernels stuck in his teeth. He also seemed to really like me, though. I felt bad that I just couldn’t care about him as much as I did a week ago, or even a few hours ago.
He said goodbye and I hopped out of his truck. I called Annabelle and she was pouring me with questions.
“ How was the movie?Was he really sweet and opened the door for you?Did he pay and got you a bunch of snacks? Details. Now.”
I answered with no enthusiasm.
“ It was horrible and gory. He let me help myself. I paid for the tickets and snacks because he forgot his wallet in the truck. Dashing. He had food in his teeth, and smelled like rotten veggies.”
She was silent for a moment, then said,” Man. That really sucks. Too bad then! Oh, wait a second.” I heard the doorbell in the background, and someone came in. There was some talking, and she came back on.” Oh, as I was saying, uh. Do you have anyone else you’re interested in?”
Suddenly, I saw Alec pop up in my brain again. I answered,” Um, I’m not sure.”
“ Is that so? Well, see you at school tomorrow.”
She hung up, and my face was burning. I don’t know why I saw Alec in my mind again, but I decided not to think about it.
The next morning, and I looked in the mirror again. I looked horrible again, and I was very confused. The book never said anything about the wish losing it’s magic, unless.. Destiny. I changed something in destiny and I didn’t even know what that meant. I looked for the candy box, and couldn’t find it anywhere. I felt really bummed, because the life I dreamed of was gone, just like that. I got my ugly clothes on again and went to school.
Everyone ignored me again and I was back at rock bottom in the popularity pole. Zac acted like we never had the date and Annabelle and Alec comforted me, but it was mostly Annabelle. Alec just stood there, not saying anything.
After school, I was at the park alone, just staring at the sky. I felt someone lay down next to me, and I realized it was Alec. I felt my heart beating faster, and I looked back up at the sky.
Alec coughed and said,” Why are you like that?”
“ Like what?” I replied.
“ Whenever I try to talk to you, you always look away.”
“ What do you mean look away? You’re the one that was ignor-” Then I finally realized. I was ignoring him. When I ate breakfast with him the first day I got the candy, he was talking to me. I was so sucked up into finding Zac I didn’t listen. When Zac asked me out, I acted like Alec didn’t exist and kissed up to Zac instead.
I looked at him in the eye, and just stared, not knowing what to say. Out of nowhere, he hugged me. I felt warm and happy, and finally knew that I liked him after all, not Zac. I smiled and hugged him back.
I walked home with him, holding hands. I enjoyed the crispy frost in the air, and I could see my breath. I barely remembered how ugly I was, because he made me feel like the most beautiful person on earth. I kissed him on his cheek as I went home.
I walked up to my room, and plopped down on my bed. I looked over on my drawer, and gasped. My candy hearts were there, acting like it never disappeared. Strangely, I didn’t really feel like I needed it anymore. I felt like I should appreciate what I have, and it felt genuine. I found the box that it was delivered to me with, and put the candy hearts in. I taped it shut and wrote “RETURN TO SENDER.” As I turned away I felt a gust of wind on my back, and I looked to see what happened. The box was gone, and in place was one last yellow candy heart. On it said, “happiness”. I smiled and ate it, one last time. I don’t know if it was the candy or not, but I felt truly happy. About everything.