A/N I'm so sorry! I want to apologize to every reader and reviewer for not updating sooner. I went to camp for three weeks, got a new computer and I had to wait to get Word installed on it… but my main excuse is that I'm lazy. I want to apologize especially to Tiftaf02387 because I promised I would update "today or tomorrow". So… I'm a liar. I really hope you all find this chapter satisfactory.
. . . . . . . . . . .
I walked off my porch and into the warming sun and headed off towards Eleanor's house. I hadn't seen her since she almost cried just a few days before, so I had asked Miss Maudie to help me make a Lane cake for the occasion.
Stepping onto Eleanor's porch, I knocked on the door. I waited nervously for a second, tugging at the hem of my yellow dress. Yes, Aunt Alexandra had won the battle that morning. The door was answered by Mrs. Drigger. "Good morning!" I said cheerfully. "Is Eleanor here?"
"No," she snapped. "Now get out of 'ere." The door was abruptly slammed in my face. I considered knocking again, to ask why she had lied. I had seen Eleanor inside, standing over the kitchen counter, a letter in her hand and tears in her eyes.
What's going on? I wondered, but eventually turned in the direction of home. "Hey Scout!" I heard someone call from behind me. I quickly turned to see Walter.
"Hi," I greeted, letting him catch up to me.
"Hi. Have you seen Cecil? I went to his house but no one was there," he said.
"He's at my house," I replied. Then, an idea struck me. "Do you want to have a picnic at Barker's Eddy? I was goin' to go with Eleanor but she's not feelin' well."
"Umm, alright," he replied. With that, I linked my arm in his and we headed to the pond.
. . . . . . . . . . .
"So," I began, cutting another piece of Lane cake for Walter. He looked up, gesturing for me to continue. "Cecil's been acting weird lately. What's wrong with him?"
Walter suddenly froze. "N-nothin'. Boy stuff, you wouldn't get it," he said. How tired I was of hearing that excuse! You wouldn't understand. You wouldn't get it. Wait 'til you're older.
"Tell me," I demanded.
"It's nothin' important," he rushed.
"Yeah it is. Now tell me!"
"Yes," I insisted.
"Fine," Walter said quietly. "He likes you… a lot." His voice was just above a whisper but I heard him all the same. I bit my lip, nervous as hell. "You asked to hear it!" Walter cried.
"Yeah I know," I said, standing up and brushing off my skirt. "You can keep the rest of the Lane cake," I told him and left. I felt bad about abandoning him there, but my mind was too occupied by other things. Cecil likes me. I had already known the fact, but hearing it from Walter made it so sickeningly true. I thought back to Dill and then Cecil. Things had become so confusing. I thought back to when I was younger. When I was marrying Dill and that was that. And when Jem was here. I sighed, those days were past.
Working my way back to my house, I slumped down on the porch step, my head in my hands. If only I could ask Dill or Jem for advice. But Jem was far overseas and Dill wouldn't be here for months.
I thought for a few moments. Cecil and Dill both liked me, but the latter was my fiancé. I thought back to a summer evening long ago, when I was seven years old.
"I'm so happy you're back, Dill," I said, sitting next to my best friend in Miss Rachel's collard patch, my knees pulled up to my chest.
"I am too," he said, smiling at me. "I really miss you back in Meridian." He slowly encased my hand in his.
"If only you could stay here forever," I smiled at the lovely thought. I looked over at Dill to see him fidgeting uncomfortably. "What's wrong?"
"Well Scout, I got something to ask you," I looked at him expectedly, urging him to continue. "D'you want to get married someday?" He ran his hand through his duck fluff hair as he awaited my reply.
"To you?" He nodded. "'course Dill!" I replied, beaming. He returned my smile. "I promise," I added.
"I promise too," he said, and with that, leant over a kissed my on the cheek. He pulled away, embarrassed, and hopped up, running into the house, calling "G'night!" over his shoulder.
I smiled, putting my hand to my cheek, where he had kissed me.
I grinned at that happy memory. After all, a promise is a promise.
. . . . . . . . . . .
A/N: I hope you all liked that chapter. I'm sorry for the shortness of it. Did you like the flashback? I thought it was pretty cute. Anyways, please review!