Friday, March 12, 2010

Chapter XXI . Hearts and Flowers


C 2004 By Gracie Prior


Dear Diary, February 7, l959

The Most wonderful thing has happened. Terry's dad was so sick he had to go to the hospital. We were all so worried about him. Mr. Brewster was at Terry's house and he prayed with us - Terry and me. It was amazing. He held our hands and it was a short prayer, but I felt something inside me. I don't know what it was. Then I had to go home. The next thing I knew, I heard that Mr. Raymond was getting better. Not just a little better, but he really seemed to feel good. Terry said the coughing stopped for awhile. Nobody knows how this happened. I do, but I can hardly believe it. Is it possible? Jimmy

* * *

Butch and the rest of the Scribblers were very excited. Valentine's Day was fast approaching and they were to have a party. Mrs. Brewster said she would give them one at Mary's house on the fourteenth. They were going to have their regular meeting and then the party. Every member decided to do something special. It was to be a secret. They could reveal their surprise at any time during the evening.

Butch was very early at Mary's house. "I just had to leave. My folks were bugging me," Butch explained. "I hope you don't mind."

"Of course I don't mind, Butch. Come in. You look nice." Butch was wearing a plaid shirt and dark jeans. He always felt that this outfit made his red hair look fabulous.

"Can I help with anything?" Butch asked.

"We are all ready. Come and see the room where the party will be." Mary led Butch downstairs. The basement had been converted to a red and white fantasy land. Pink and red hearts hung from strings from the ceiling. The refreshment table held a heart-shaped cake and there were pretzels and pop set out. On another table was a record player. Near it were several 45-rpm records. Butch looked amazed at all the preparations. Then the doorbell rang.

Jimmy appeared at the door in a a red sweater, gray wool shorts, knee socks, and shiny shoes. He had that impish grin that Mary loved. He held out to her some small African violets. "Mom gave me these. Oh, they're not for you, for your mom. Here, this is for you. He held out a pencil drawing of Mary on a white horse. It was a sketch, but he had the essence of the motion in the scene and determination in the girl's eyes.

"Jimmy, this is Congruent, isn't it? She held it out to get a better look.

"It's actually you, Mary. Do you like it?"

Mary gave Jimmy a squeeze on the shoulders. "I love it."

Terry was last but he came with a special wrapped gift for each of them. They all gathered in the basement and talked of Terry's dad and the miracle. They had their meeting where it was determined to do another chapter on 'Chosen Generation.' Each of them, on their own time would write the next chapter - what happened when Aaron and Congruent got through the tunnels. They would try this new technique and then blend the parts together and get a final version.

During party time Mr. and Mrs. Brewster came down every now and then and checked on beverages and food. At least that's what they said. Mary knew they were just being parents, but that was O.K.

Butch looked nervous. He finally reached in his pocket and gave each Scribbler a small note. "You can't read it now. It is just something I like about you, something I thought of. I hope it makes you happy."

Butch seemed jittery a few moments after that, and then it was Terry's turn. He passed out the small gifts. They were hearts with each member's name on them, hung from red ribbons. "My mom helped me make these. You can use them as bookmarks."

All were delighted with their gifts. Mary went away and came back with heart cookies. They were pink with sprinkles on top. I made them myself. Hope they are good."

The Scribblers finished up and said their good-nights. Butch felt a lot better than when he had come. On the way out, Jimmy caught Butch. "I read my note. I have to talk to you."
(Is there trouble ahead for Jimmy and Butch? Come back next Friday and visit.)


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