Hi everyone! So first I want to apologize for making you wait so long. I hate it when authors do that, but in this case it could not have been prevented...finals and all... BUT DONT WORRY! this week will be UPLOAD UPLOAD UPLOAD. :)
Second, I want to thank all of you reviewers because you all made me SMILE SO WIDE and i was so happy when i got one of your reviews! I love you all! Special thanks and shout outs to:
Spark Writer-p.s. i loved Marry Me;)
Princesslove-i saw your review and it gave me so much confidence! And i will definitely take your advice so that Jeffrey will make YOU smile in future chapters.
Ranger of the Forest-For your loyalty and feedback. Thanks!
Tara Firestone-Thankyou so much for your support! Your review made me so happy:) and thank you for the idea! I've put a twist in it so that it ties into the story-you will see next chapter! I think you will be pleasantly surprised!
And, as always, to Jean Birdsall. Who invented these characters we all so love.
Enjoy! and stay on your toes for the next chapter because you are going to love Monique and Jeffrey and Churchie and their BIG BIG SURPRISE OF-oops! can't tell you that! better read on!
Rosalind pulled a picture from the top of the pile of clothes in the drawer and rubbed her finger gently over the laughing face of her mother.
"Hi, Mommy," Rosalind said. "We're back here again."
She set the picture down on the dresser next to the bed in the room she had stayed in two years before. So much had gone on in this room—heartbreak, laughter, scheming, tantrums, and letter writing. But all that was left behind with her silly 12-year-old self. She was going to high school in the fall. She had a funny, caring boyfriend. Her life was much more settled-down now. Well, as settled down as living with three crazy sisters, a baby brother, two professors, and two pets can be. Not to mention all this tension about Jeffrey's school friends. So, really, not all that settled down at all. Rosalind found that prospect so funny that she almost laughed out loud.
All of a sudden, Skye burst into the room. "Hey, Rosy? Are quadratic equations supposed to be equal to zero or to one? I've forgotten." She held up her math book. Despite being a mere eighth-grader-to-be, Skye was very advanced in mathematics and most of the time even Rosalind could not keep up with her. But this question she could answer with her older sister knowledge.
"You have to isolate the rest of the equation so that you can factor it back into a binomial. Right got it. Thanks. But that means that x is going to have to…" Skye mumbled to herself as she left the room immersed in her math. Well, at least she wasn't angry or mopey anymore.
It was odd; Skye had kept a level head through most of the year—except for when Jane tried to tell her what to wear to the 7th grade dance that she had been asked to by Pearson—but in the late afternoon, Skye had stormed into the cottage, muttering something about targets and boarding schools. Rosalind was curious, but knew better than to pester her sister about it. At least Skye had calmed down now; nothing could distract her like algebra could.
Chuckling, Rosalind moved to open the window by the dresser. She pulled up the screen and put her head out the window. It looked out over the back of the cottage, and she noticed that in back there was a soccer goal. Rosalind couldn't help but smile at this gift from Jeffrey. This must have been what Jane had been so ecstatic about at lunch (Rosalind had zoned out because Jane got excited over several things…many of which Rosy had heard about before. In detail.)
The sun was sinking below the treetops ahead of her. A light breeze blew the hair away from her face. She closed her eyes and rested her head on her hand. What wondrous luck had brought them here two years ago—
"Oh, and, Rosalind—"
"Ouch!" Rosalind jumped and slammed her head on the low window frame. "I'd forgotten that was there," she grumbled as she massaged her scalp.
Skye's head was peaking in the door. "Oops. Sorry, Rosy. Just wanted to let you know that Cagney's here and was wondering where you were. I heard him with my super hearing," Skye explained.
Against her will, Rosalind's heart did a somersault. This is ridiculous, Rosalind told herself. She had a wonderful boyfriend and Cagney was a thing of the past. But that didn't mean they couldn't still be friends. The brownies she'd be baking this year would be purely out of friendship for him and Jeffrey and her family, not out of her great love.
Still, she couldn't help but wonder what Cagney would be thinking. Would he remember her embarrassing fall into the lake 2 summer's ago? She desperately hoped not. Did he remember what he said to her before she left Arundel? For even though she had no great love affections for him, she did remember:
". . . She wasn't easy to talk to, not like you Hold onto that skill, Rosy, for when you're old enough to care about boys. They'll appreciate it." Yes, Caney, yes, it seems they do appreciate it.
Rosalind couldn't help but remember the kiss he gave her before he left, too.
Rosalind also remembered that he kissed every other member of her family. Oh well, at least she was the only one who was given a rose bush. And, as her first real crush, that counted for something.
Determined that she would make the conversation as normal as possible, Rosalind cheerfully left her room and skipped down the stairs.
There in the middle of the kitchen, talking to her father about Linnaean Borealis, was Cagney. He looked slight taller, and—was it possible?—even more handsome. You could tell that he'd grown older, but he was still wearing his Red Sox baseball cap. Rosalind spotted gardening gloves on the table, and as she descended the stairs, Cagney looked up and broke into a huge grin.
"Rosy!" he said and enveloped her in a hug. She smiled and could tell that he'd been working in the gardens because of the smell of roses, geraniums, and rich soil on his shirt. "How are you?"
"Doing wonderful, thank you."
"Well, the Penderwicks wouldn't be the Penderwicks if Rosalind wasn't happy."
Rosalind practically glowed.
"How's the pasta going, dear?" Mr. Penderwick asked.
"Give me about twenty minutes," Iantha said. Her red hair was pulled back into a low ponytail, and a patterned apron was tied around her waste. She stirred a steaming pot of boiling water on the stove while Ben ran around her feet. "Spaghetti, Tomato soup, and Grilled Cheese are the only dishes I can make!" Iantha winked.
"That's better than what Skye can make," Jane, sitting at the kitchen table, snorted. "All she can make is cereal."(That's all I can make too….kind of)
"I heard that!" Skye shouted from upstairs.
Chuckling, Cagney said, "Well, I don't think Skye's lack of cooking knowledge could have been more proven than when she almost burned the house down two years ago. Remember that?"
"CAGNEY! Heard that, too!"
Smiling, Mr. P said, "Rosy, how about you take Cagney outside so that you two can catch up. That way, Iantha can finish cooking and Skye wont get too much into a rage."
Not wanting to be left alone with Cagney, Rosalind started to object, but was cut off by Cagney who said, "Sure, Mr. P. Let's go Rosy."
He held the door open for her like a true gentleman, and—blushing—Rosalind sat down on the porch steps. Cagney sat down next to her. And then they talked.
Rosalind had forgotten how easy it was to talk to him. She wasn't nervous, like she sometimes got around Tommy. He asked her about high school and the basketball team and her family. Rosy told him about her trip with Anna and her sister's vacation to Maine and all the things she suspected but hadn't managed to pry out of her sisters yet. She asked him about college and history (She hoped he wouldn't suggest another Civil War book; the first one was truly dreadfully boring) and even got up the courage to ask him if he had a new girlfriend. He said no, and—funnily—Rosalind didn't feel any different. She had a wonderful boyfriend already, and had no need to be jealous. Though she still thought he was incredibly handsome in the moonlight. (who wouldn't? :P)
When he said he had to get back to the mansion (he almost called it "palace", and they laughed), they hugged and parted as good friends with memories from that night they would treasure.
"Goodnight, Rosy! Good to see you!" He called as he walked backwards, waving.
"Goodnight, Cagney! Good to see you, too!" And she meant it.
so...as mentioned...stay tune for the next chappie which i'm working on as we speak (type?...)
LOVE YA'LL. REVIEW so that i know people care about this story and if i get reviews i will update!
author out. peace.