Alf sat Minnie and Hillary down in the dining room of the post office. He said, "Minnie, is there anything you feel you should say for yourself?"

Minnie swallowed. "I'm sorry I... tackled you," she sighed. The two girls both looked disheveled, with their hair out of their fixings. Hillary's cheek was red and sore, and she rubbed it gingerly as she nodded her head, acknowledging Minnie's apology.

"Look," Alf said, "You're a great person and everything, but I love Minnie, and she loves me."

"Yeah," Minnie interjected, "He loves me."

"And I know it was uncalled for for Minnie to react to your flirtin the way she did, but you mustn't speak to people in a relationship the way you did with me."

"Oh, I know, it's just..." Hillary searched for the right words for what she felt. "I've never had a boy of my own. I've felt so... alone ever since I noticed girls my age goin courtin with boys. So I go out and chase after boysI don't even really like that way once I see em with a girl. Just to make the girl feel the way... the way I always do. So Minnie, I am truly regretful about flirtin with your Alf. I will try to control my immature habit. I've been a disgrace to you, and to many others, and to myself. I will leave you to it." Hillary stood, nodded, turned, and walked quietly away. Minnie scooted her chair back from the table and rose to leave, avoiding Alf's eyes to get away with out getting told off by him. But he looked at her and raised his eyebrows and tilted his head, with a slight look of reprimand on his face. Minnie sat back down.

"I don't understand. Why were you so jealous? Don't you know I only want you?"

Blushing, Minnie said, "I guess I thought, why would a boy like you, who could get any girl he picked, choose a girl like me, when a girl like Hillary come along? It seemed as though you would like Hillary better than me. I thought you would leave me. For her."

Alf's eyes softened and he smiled sympathetically. "How could I leave you? For anyone else? Why would I?"

"Hillary is beautiful, and clever. She lives closer to you. She's taller."

"But I love you. Only you." Minnie looked up to meet his eyes and smiled.

"I know. I love you too." She stood and intended to kiss him but he beat her to it. He leaned down and cupped his hand around the back of her neck, holding her waist with the other. He pulled her face to his lips. They kissed softly and Minnie flung her arms around him. She felt his strong hand as it tightened on her back pulling her closer. When they finally pulled away, Alf said, "Let's go." She took his hand and ducked under his arm so that it landed across her shoulders. They left the post office smiling and headed off to take a long walk.


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