"Autism does not have me!" Ondrea exclaimed to Desiree, Raquelle, and Lucia a couple of weeks later. They were all sitting at their famous pink bench at their favorite restaurant The Pink Rug.
"No, it sure doesn't have you or anyone else," Lucia pointed out. She was grinning from ear to ear. "Ondrea, I'm so proud of you. You're not afraid to speak about autism anymore." Raquelle and Desiree nodded in agreement.
Ondrea smiled. "That's correct, Lucy. Autism does not have to be kept a secret although there are some people who think that we are weird and look at us like we are stupid. The matter of the fact is that they are the ones who are stupid. I'm sorry to say that, but that's how I feel."
"Chica, you have a right to feel that way, because we all agree with what you're saying," Raquelle said to Ondrea. "If people don't want to understand, then that's too bad."
"That's right," chimed in Desiree. "Mi amiga Ondreina, this is why God emerged you to be a leader despite the fact that you have autism. You are a wonderful person who cares about people. Even if you're not friends with everyone in Bella Rosa, you have that friendly personality, and that's what counts."
Ondrea thanked all of them for their beautiful words and said that God definitely made her the person that she was, even if she had to improve on some things. Raquelle said everyone in life had a chance to improve or change things that weren't right.
Moments later, Hector, one of the most popular workers at The Pink Rug, stopped by and said hello to the girls by name. "Hola, Ondreina. Hola, Desiree. Hola, Lucia. Hola, mi bella Raquelita." He had a grin on his face and gave kisses on the cheeks of Ondrea, Desiree, and Lucia. Then he and Raquelle shared a quick smooch on the lips; they were boyfriend and girlfriend for about seven months now.
"Hi, Hectorcito," Lucia said in a singsong voice, and Desiree followed her lead. Ondrea grinned and waved. But Raquelle was in shock.
"What's the matter, Raquelle?" Hector asked.
Raquelle managed to wave to Hector, but she was still in shock. "You are working, and you're not supposed to be kissing me while working."
Hector frowned. "Mi bella muchachita, it's okay. It was quick. Don't be afraid to take a good risk." Then he smiled. "This is why I love you. I have to admit that you are not afraid to speak your mind."
Raquelle hooted with laughter, and the other girls joined in.
Then Hector brought out two boxes of pepperoni pizza and one box of sausage, ham, pepperoni, and chicken pizza, since Ondrea ordered them before she and the others arrived at The Pink Rug. He also served Diet Sprite soda, mozzarella sticks, and curly French fries, too!
Lucia said a quick prayer once Hector left to go and cook more food. Then she, Raquelle, Ondrea, and Desiree all began to dig in.
Ondrea smiled, "Even though there is a lot of pizza, I think we can eat as much as we possibly can."
Lucia grinned. "If we can't eat it all, we can save pieces for Dayra, Paola, Erinne, Jacqueline, Myrtle, Linette, and Jeannette."
Desiree raised an eyebrow. "I don't plan on sharing pizza with them although it was a nice thought!"
Raquelle looked at her and said, "Desi, you should be considerate of other people."
Desiree smirked, sort of.
Ondrea saw that. "Desi, that's not nice."
Desiree quickly made an apology to Raquelle, who accepted.
Moments later, as Desiree predicted, the food was all gone, and there were four growling stomachs, but they were pleased that they were able to spend time together to eat and have fun. They knew even though they had autism, autism did not have them.