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So, the first day of summer. Summer is my least favorite season by far. Everything just seems so happy when it's not. I also hate how well my name goes with this season. My name is Sunny, and I live in beautiful, sunny, Los Angeles. In fact, that is why my parents named me Sunny. Because of this city. They always say it was because I am the light of their lives, but I'm positive that's not true. The real light of their lives is my brother, Teddy. He looks just like I do, blonde hair, blue eyes, even the freckles are the same. He's just a whole lot shorter. and younger. He's three. Oh yeah, and he has down syndrome. Because of this, my parents pay more attention to him then they do to me. Which is fine, I guess. They let me go wherever I want during the summer.
I woke up way too early this morning in my apartment in Studio City. I hate this apartment building. The walls are plain and beige, the carpet always looks dirty, and even though we have lived here since I was born, it still looks like we just moved in. I roll out of bed and pull on my once black converse. I don't even change out of my pj pants before grabbing a box of fruit loops and heading out the door. I bound down two flights of stairs and push out of the heavy doors that separate us from the rest of the city. The smell of cigarettes slams me right in the face. I love that smell for some reason. I proceed to go on my morning walk. It became a part of my routine last summer, and I just can't seem to shake it. I finish my box of fruit loops, and toss them into a dumpster. As the sky lightens to a soft white, I head to the bus station.
I catch the 8:15 bus to ChinaTown after waiting at the station for about an hour. The bus driver gives me a strange look as I climb up the steps.
"Hey, kid. You going to ChinaTown?"
He was probably just confused by my pajamas. I like getting weird looks from people sometimes. I choose a seat in the way back, and spread out. I really shouldn't have woken up so early, because as soon as the bus starts, I start to drift.
When I get off the bus, the world seems too bright. And hot, the temperature rose like 20 degrees. As I walk down the streets of ChinaTown, I listen to the sounds of people yelling. Weirdly comforting, like the smell of cigarettes. I arrive at Vanessa's apartment building. I can always tell which one it is because it always has that weird red Jeep parked in front. Me and Vanessa sometimes like to make up stories of whose it is. Right as I open the door, I hear an ambulance approaching. It stops right in front of our building, and paramedics rush out. They push past me like I am invisible, as I rush up the stairs with them. I start to panic when they get to the 6th floor, because that is Vanessa's floor. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest as they approach her door. I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders when they open the door right next to hers. I pound on the door, and Liz, Vanessa's older sister, opens it.
"Why are you knocking like that?" She sounds irritated.
"Because I think someone just died next door. Can you seriously not hear what is going on?" I notice the earbuds in her ears. She rips them out.
"Wait what? What happened?"
"I don't know. Where's Vanessa?" I push past Liz, into the living room.
"Vanessa?!" I yell.
It doesn't take me long to find her, since the apartment is so small.
"Vanessa! I called your name like 20 times."
She is sitting on her bed. When she looks up, her eyes are red and puffy.
"I just saw someone get murdered."
"No you didn't."
"Yes I did. Mr Peters. He's dead."
"Wait that's what's going on? He probably just had a stroke or something. He was like 80."
"No. I was spying on him. And he was with someone" Her voice becomes shaky "and that someone put something in his drink. And he drank it and now he's dead."
"What? Did you see who?"
"No. But I think that they saw me."
Oh crap. That means she's probably next on their list.
"You have to tell your mom."
"No way. Martha won't believe me. She's too involved in her femenist protests to even notice."
We sat in silence for a few moments, and I started to wonder if Vanessa was crazy. Like, she always spies on the neighbors. She has different ways to get into their business and into their apartments. She knows everything.
I spent the whole day being sad with Vanessa. After the L.A sun finally sets, I head home. As soon as I get down to the street, something seems off. And then I notice it. The red Jeep is gone. In the 3 years Vanessa has lived here, it has never been gone.