I’m here with the fifth chapter of Leona this week!
I hope you like it!
May passed quickly. Too quickly. But, in another sense, I was glad it hadn’t gone any slower. I was tired of the tension.
Tuesday night at supper, Mama said, “It’s time to start packing. We’ll be ready to move in next week.”
Bud stared at the floor.
“Isn’t school out on the sixth?“ she asked, glancing at our long faces.
“Yes m’m,” we answered.
“I thought we could move in on Monday,” she said. She was excited to live in town again.
“You and Bud can start packing anything you want to bring after school tomorrow,” Mama told us, “We’ll be buying necessities so you can leave those here.”
“Yes ma’am,” I replied.
After school on Wednesday, Bud and I trudged home. Mama was in Beaver, getting things ready. I went upstairs and began to lay all the things I’d need out. Three everyday dresses. One special dress. I picked up my worn, faded dress for swimming. “Guess I’ll need to leave that here,” I said out loud.
I went to get a pencil and some newspaper. “I’ll need some dresses for school, and a new pair of shoes, since mine are so cracked,” I talked to myself as I wrote things down.
I pulled out the necklace I owned. I pulled out my only other pair of shoes: my boots. I folded the dresses, but left one out for school. I slipped my necklace in one of the dress pockets. I stacked all this and tucked it into the wooden crate Mama had left on my bed. I pulled my sweater and jacket off the hooks on my wall. I put the jacket back. “I might need that here, too,” I mused. Looking around, I put the few books I owned in the crate, too.
I got two of my dresses out of the crate again. “I guess I’ll leave these here,” I said. “We’ll be coming home on the weekends.” I pulled out a blanket someone had made me when I was a baby. “I’ll bring this. It’ll make it more homey,” I thought. I tucked some special papers in the crate.
“There,” I said.
With such few possessions, my packing had taken less than an hour.
Bud had been done for a while now. I laughed.
“Did you pack at all?” I asked.
He nodded. He had been sullen for the last few days. “Make sure ‘an leave clothes for the weekends here,” I reminded him. He nodded again.
When Mama got home, I ran out to her.
“I’m done packin’. I left clothes here for when we come, so I’m gonna need some for school,” I told her. She nodded.
“We’ll get you some pretty dresses,” she assured me. “You’ll be the prettiest girl in the high school.”
“I’ll bring you into Beaver to buy a couple for the summer tomorrow,” she said. She wasted no time. “We’ll wait ‘til closer to time for the school ones – I expect you’re still growin’,“ she added.
I smiled. It wasn’t usual to buy ready made dresses, but I guessed Mama wanted them fast. “Thanks, Mama.”
Mama took me into to town the next day and bought me two dresses for the summer. One was cotton, and it had a flower print. The other one was bright yellow with a white belt and collar.
“These are so pretty,” I crooned.
“You’ll look pretty in ‘em,” Dad had told me when I showed them to him at supper that night. After he saw my shining eyes, he didn’t seem to mind the price tag as much.
Friday came and went, and school let out. Rachel and I walked home from school together for the last time.
“As soon as we get settled, I’m going to invite you to see the house,” I told her.
I went on grandly. “You can get all dressed up, and we can go out in town by ourselves, and pay for stuff and everything.” I spread my arms out like a fashionable lady.
Rachel’s face fell.
“I don’t have much money,” she said quietly.
“Oh, no,” I interrupted, “I would pay for it.”
She smiled gratefully. “Well, I’ll come say bye before you leave. See ya,” she called, as she walked home.
I waved, and went inside dreamily. Our life was about to change, and I knew it.
It was Monday morning, and I stood on the front porch, waiting for Rachel. She ran into the yard. I ran to her and was enveloped in such a hug, it was as if she was trying to keep me from leaving. I cried a little, but straightened up. This wasn’t the last time I would see her, I reminded myself. I brushed away a tear.
“Remember, I’m going to invite you to see the house soon as we get settled in,” I said, with forced cheerfulness. She nodded and bit her lip.
“Bye, Sis. See ya.”
It was my turn to bite my lip. Beaver suddenly seemed too far away. I sighed. “See ya,” I said.
Mama called us. Dad came out with Bud, and he gave each of us an awkward smile. Rachel stood there silently.
Mama put the last thing in the automobile, and called for us to get in. Dad and Rachel watched us drive away, their faces somber.
I pressed my face against the glass until I could no longer see them.
Once they disappeared, I sat up straight. This was the beginning. Of something.
I’d love to hear what you think so far!