“Just like you, Mrs. Parr-Teague.”
Donna giggled softly.”Why thank you.” She smiled politely.
“Mrs. Parr-teague.” Donna repeated. “You know, I must say that feels rather silly to hear! I will have to get used to that.” She smiled.
“I have to agree with you, it does sound silly. But I’ll be forever grateful that I was blessed with the opportunity to say it once more.” Montgomery said.
Montgomery and Donna stood up to walk the perimeter of the pond. They shared all the adventures they’ve been on since coming back from the afterlife.
“Donna, it sounds like you really cherished your life you had in Pony-bones Island. It sounded Marvelous. I can’t believe you gave it all up for me.”
“I did cherish it.” She said. “I always will! But I could never just continue through life knowing that my husband was somewhere out there doing just the same. I believe that would drive me mad.”
“What do we do if you regret your decision, and wish to return? I don’t want to lose you again.” Montgomery frowned.
Donna stopped Montgomery, and gently placed her dainty coral hand on his shoulder.
“Is that what you think will happen?” She asked. “Montgomery, I married you for a reason. I wouldn’t have given up my magical abilities if I wasn’t certain about this. I almost died once again. You are my husband, that is final.”
“I’m relieved to hear you say that. I have to say though, I feel guilty. It sounds as though that young gentleman really cherished you.”
Donna bit her lip to hold back a frown. She too, felt an overwhelming guilt for the pain she caused Yellow, and ultimately, herself.
With glossy eyes, she forced a smile.
“Yellow is an extraordinary human being!” She enthused. “I… I truly adore him. I’m sure you’d love him too!”
“I’d be honored to get the chance to meet him one day.”
“So what about this Evalace character? You told me that she was the one that brought you back several times, and even killed you as well. Why are you still her friend?”
“..Well…” Montgomery began, covering his mouth in an attempt to choose his words carefully. “Evalace isn’t all bad. And while her hands aren’t thoroughly clean like Mr. Darling’s, she’s always been there for me, without needing a reason to be.”
“Well that’s very gracious of her.”
“Yes, very. She is dangerous though, and I must be honest, I don’t quite feel safe with you around her.” Montgomery worried.
“I appreciate your concern, but I am unafraid of her.”
Montgomery let out a hearty laugh. “Still brave as ever, I see. That’s one of the things that made me fall so hard for you, Donna. It seems as though you’re still the same girl deep down inside. Well… aside from being completely red.”
Donna laughed along with him. “I prefer pink! Well maybe more coral. Salmon?”
“Coral, yes, coral.” Montgomery agreed. “So what would you like to do for the rest of the day?”
Donna’s face lit up as if she’s been waiting all day for that question.
“Oooh! Uncle Barry told me about the renaissance faire in Dragon Valley. Could we go there?”
“We’ll go wherever your heart desires, my love.”
“Ugh. This is so lame, can we go home now?” I grumbled. “It smells like… nature.”
“Do you ever stop complaining?” Ghost nagged.
“Do you even own a shirt?” I retorted.
It was hot, sticky night in Appaloosa Plains, and Clementine wanted to pointlessly wander around questionable places in town for no particular reason, other than ‘the thrill of it’. And of course, she had to bring her other best friend, Ghost, who was exceptionally annoying me tonight. I’m convinced he actually wants a broken nose.
“Can you two please get along tonight? At least for me?” Clementine pleaded.
“NO.” The two of us said simultaneously.
I was thankful for getting to spend the summer in my home town with my best friend. But Mr. Pride and Prejudice was always clinging onto Clementine like a pile of dog crap on a beautifully crafted shoe.
Not being able to keep her mouth shut as usual, Clementine somehow let the cat out of the bag about our kiss, and now Ghost knows all about it. Needless to say, the awkward tension between the three of us has reached its highest now. I think Clementine is finally catching on to that, and she believes making us breakfast will somehow ease that tension. I hate morning people, and Clementine was the biggest morning person I know.
“I thought I smelled pancakes!” Squealed Gracie, clapping like a retarded seal, as she waddled down the hall.
Ugh, speaking of morning people.
She made herself a plate and joined us at the table.
“Good morning kiddos!” Cheered Gracie. “Ghost sweetie, I know the guest room is filled with baby stuff right now, I hope you were able to trudge through all that stuff and sleep comfortably in the bed. I’m hoping that you didn’t spend the night in Clementine’s room, I don’t think Brandt could handle the thought of boys being in her room.”
“With all due respect, ma’am, I don’t think it’s the boys you should be worried about.” Ghost sassed.
I chuckled to myself, and had to admit, that was a good one.
Clementine hastily kicked Ghost’s shin laughed nervously.
“Heh, don’t listen to him… He had too much syrup on his waffles I think..” She said.
Gracie knew something was going on, but she was confused as to what exactly it was.
She quietly sighed, “I don’t even want to know.”
The beginning of the end was here. I was trying my best to make it last. Other than the night she told Ghost about our little practice make out session, Clementine didn’t mention it at all for the rest of the summer.
As awkward as it might have been, I sorta wanted her to mention it again. I mean it’s not like I like her or anything, that would be weird, she’s my best friend and we grew up together. Plus she’s a total airhead just like my brother and they belong together. It’s just that I felt like it was in a sense, more awkward that she didn’t talk about it. It was the big white elephant in the room.
“We had some cool times this summer…” I said, trying to fish it out of her. I just wanted to know what she thought about it.
“Yeah, I think so too!” She smiled. “I couldn’t ask for anything more. My two best friends and me spending all summer together. It was almost perfect.”
“Almost?” I questioned.
“Yeah, it was just missing one thing.” She added.
She didn’t have to say what it was, we both knew. I’m sure the whole world knew. Yellow.
“Well next summer you can stay with us and you’ll get to see your Romeo.” I said.
“I was thinking maybe sooner than that, like spring break maybe?”
“I mean sure, we don’t get spring break in Pony-Bones Island, but there’s always after school and the weekend. You can stay at our house during the week.”
Clementine jumped up off of the swing in excitement and hugged me.
“I can’t wait! And I’m looking forward to spending time with both of you. Not just ‘Romeo'” She air-quoted.
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.” I smirked.
“Shut up, loser! You know I mean it!” She said, grabbing my hand. “Maybe we can ‘practice’ again.” She laughed, with a wink.
“Ha, yeah. I’m sure Ghost would love that.” I rolled my eyes, but inside my head I was jumping around in relief that she finally acknowledged it. At least now I know it actually happened, and it wasn’t just something I imagined.
“Well of course he would, it was hot!”
I shrugged in agreement.
“Oh come here, you!” She smiled, yanking me into a hug.
“I’m going to miss you so much!”
It was a long, bittersweet ride home on the magic train. I got home late at night, and entered through the kitchen door so I didn’t have to deal with anyone who might still be awake at this hour.
Sure enough, there was the poster child for stupid teenage breakups himself, all alone in the dark, sitting by himself at the kitchen table.
“Jesus Christ, Yellow. You still pouting about getting dumped? It’s been almost a year. Snap out of it.”
“Nice to see you too, Salem.” He said sarcastically.
“How was your trip?” He asked politely, pretending like he was actually interested.
“You need to man up, dude. Mom and Dad would be regretting their decision to make you heir if they could see how weak you are. They should have-“
“Damn it salem, enough, okay?” He interrupted. “That’s the only thing you care about in life is being the heir, well you can have it. I don’t even want it anymore, not without her.”
“Oh shut the hell up, Yellow. You’re just feeling sorry for yourself. That has always been so important to you, you don’t mean that.”
“No, I’m serious, Salem. You’re right, about everything. Mom and Dad and Grandma Agnes wouldn’t want a softie as an heir, you’re perfect for it, so it’s yours.”
I squinted my eyes at him in distrust. I didn’t believe him even a little.
“I’m serious about that, Salem. I don’t want to the heir without her.” He said, his voice more vulnerable this time.
“I’ve talked to her on the phone a few times. She calls because she’s concerned. She said she can still dream-seek, and she still sees me. Everything reminds me of her, Salem. Every little thing. I can’t sleep at night, and when I do, I dream about her. I can see her and Montgomery. She’s so happy with him and here I am falling apart. I’m dreading the winter. It’s going to bring back painful memories of the day she left. All the snow, I won’t be able to live through it, Salem.”
I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Well as pleasant as that sounds, I know something that can help…”
“Remember Mel Legget? One of Mom’s old friends?” I began. “Well I bumped into her at the market in Appy Plains, says she and Kizzie and their girls are moving to a tiny little town on the outskirts of Lucky Palms. It’s called Tres Lagos. Really it’s in the middle of the desert…”
Yellow interrupted me with one of his stupid faces.
“Shut up let me finish.” I ordered.
“But I didn’t even say anyth-“
“AS I WAS SAYING… I told her about your belly-aching, and she wanted me to tell you that she’s starting this youth group thing for quacks like you who can’t handle life or whatever and teaches you how to cope with depression using the ancient techniques of meditation and stuff. She said she’d love for you to join. Sounds like a load to me, but what do you have to lose, right?”
“That’s very generous of her, but I don’t think it’s for me. I’m not good with groups and stuff.”
“Whatever.” I shrugged. “I mean I don’t care, I just heard it’s going to be a pretty snowy winter this year, and you sounded pretty desperate. But if you want to lock your self away and soak yourself in self-pity, it’s cool with me.”
“Okay, I’ll do it.”