Chapter 5

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Meanwhile back at the fruit stand…

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“Taff… have I ever told you how much I hate this job?”

Oh man. Here we go again I thought to myself. I loved my Jujube to pieces, but I swore to Berry if she complained one more time, about anything, I would gag her and throw her behind the stand.

“Ummm only like everyday that we work…”

“Well I do.”

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I honestly didn’t get what the fuss was about. We made good money and we got to be outside in the beautiful Sugar Valley air, which was almost always a comfortable 85 degrees. Personally I kinda liked our job. I had gotten rather good at my barrista duties, and in all honesty, I didn’t really mind manning the register either. In fact I would have rather done both and let Jujube go home! *sigh* A girl could dream.

“Its ok Be. We only have a few more hours, the worst is over now.” I gently reminded her as I placed Ora’s double-whip-no-foam-latte on the counter.

“I suppose.”

I was just about to move on to my next drink order, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a frantic Jordie running up the path.

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The concern on his face only made me more concerned. I lifted the latch on the door and walked around to the other side of the counter.

“Jordie whats wrong? What happened.”

“Ya bro, you look terrible, what happened to you.”

“GuysIthinksomethinghappenedtoChloe. Shewasthereandthenshewasn’tandIdon’tknowwheresheis!”

“What?!”

“Jord what happened.”

It was a little hard to understand him due to his labored breathing and frantic babbling.

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“Ok Jord, you are gonna have to slow down.”

“Ya Jordie. Take a breath…Now what happened?”

Jordie did as he was instructed and paused while he took in a deep breath. He looked like a frightened puppy. Awww, even in his state of panic, he was completely adorable.

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“OK…Chloe and I were at the park, and we were talking about ice cream. So I offered to go get us some, but when I came back she was gone! I mean like gone, gone. I can’t find her anywhere. I think something may have happened to her!”

“Jord, I am sure she is fine.”

“Maybe she went looking around.”

“No! I don’t think so! She was waiting for me in the park. I said I would be right back. She said she liked chocolate! Oh Berry, why did I leave her there?!”

Watching all the emotions on his face made my heart sink. It was obvious how much he liked her…Probably as much as I liked him. *Sigh* Too bad he could never see that.

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“Jordie its OK. She will come back.”

“Taff and I wrap up here soon, lets go home and wait for her, I bet she will beat us there.”

“I hope your right.”

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Once we got back home (well not really MY home, but it might as well have been) Jujube set Jordie down in one of the dining room chairs to relax.

“I’m gonna go make us some coffee while we wait. I mean, its not like I have made enough today right?”

*Eye roll* Instead of what I really wanted to do, I nodded and followed her into the kitchen.

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Unlike Jujube, I was growing more and more worried about our missing friend. Jujube was so confident we would see her, that she even made her a cup of coffee.

“Be, what if something did happen to her.” I whispered, making sure Jordie could not here me.

“Taff she is fine. She probably just went sightseeing.”

“Ya…but where would she go? Its not like she knows anyone here, and she was under the impression Jordie was bringing her back ice cream. Why would she leave?”

Nonchalantly Jujube shrugged her shoulders and carried all four cups of coffee back into the dining room. I stood there for a moment just staring at her, slightly frustrated from her lack of interest, but finally also joined them in the dining room.

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Several hours later…

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“Ok…so maybe we should go look for her.”

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“Hey. Wake up.”

I groggily opened my eyes to see the small and annoying little Victoria Bitters standing before me.

“Huh? What do you want?”

“Why did you come here?”

“I didn’t…Your father trapped me in here.”

“Not that. I mean to Sugar Valley?”

“It was an accident.”

“How do you accidentally come to Sugar Valley?”

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Probably because of the overwhelming loneliness I was feeling, or maybe due to my exhaustion, I continued to converse with the small girl.

“Well I was at my Grandmas house doing chores in her backyard, when I saw this glowing light.”

“You lived with your Grandma? What about your Mom and Dad?”

“My dad left when I was young, and my mom…she died about a year ago.”

“Oh…Did she love you?”

“My mother?”

“Yes.”

“Yes she did. Very much, and I loved her too.”

“I had a mother….She died too.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“She went upstairs one night to go to sleep and never woke up. I remember Victor cleaning up pills from around her bed. He said she couldn’t stand to live with me a moment longer.”

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“I am so sorry he would say that to you. That was certainly not your fault.”

“Well thats what he said. My Da-“

Suddenly out of the shadows crept a very irritated Victor. I watched as he folded his arms in disapproval while his daughter continued on her tangent. I bit my lower lip and tried to signal her to stop, but she did not see my signs and just kept right on going.

“Victoria…”

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“What do you think you are doing?”

“Nothing father…I mean Victor, I was just trying to get information out of her. You know, to help you with your research.”

“Its not what it looked like to me. It looked like you were talking to her. After I specifically told you not to!”

“But I wasn’t”

“Get out now! Do you hear me?!”

“Yes, Sir…”

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“Now where was I? Ah yes!”

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