“This does not make sense. I just don’t” *sigh* “Why does this have to be so hard?”
“Hey sweetheart! How’s it comin?”
“Awful. I am never going to figure this out.”
“Oh sure you will!”
“No…pretty sure I won’t. I can’t even understand these easy algebra problems. At this rate, I am never going to get my GED.”
“Aww love. You are working yourself way too hard. Come here.”
“I just feel so stupid.”
“Well you’re not. Not at all.”
“Being my boyfriend you have to say that.”
“Why don’t we go for a walk. It’s a beautiful night out. Some fresh air might do you good.”
“Alright. Anything sounds better than abusing my brain right now.”
“Great. Let’s go!”
She wasn’t kidding about abusing her brain. After graduation, Goldie had a sudden desire that she wanted to graduate too. Not that anyone in our family held it against her, because we certainly did not. Still she felt it was a needed step for her.
But she was pushing herself, far too hard.
“Feeling any better?”
“I’m with you. Of course I am.”
“Good. There is something I want say.”
“Something I want to ask actually.”
“A few months back, I started scrimping and saving for a little something. Something that I have been desperately trying to keep a secret, until the time was right. Well I think that time is now. Miss Tart…”
“Will you marry me?”
“Yes!!! You don’t even have to ask. Yes! Yes! Yes!”
“You make me the happiest man alive.”
“You make me the happiest I ever been.”
“Please Mom? Please.”
“I don’t know hun. It’s a pretty big responsibility, taking in someone off the street.”
“I know, but she has nowhere else to go. We can’t just turn her away. Please. Mom. I think I love her, and I just don’t know what I would do, if I had to send her away.”
“Okay… but this means you are going to have to chip in. Factoring in another mouth to feed, clothe, and bed, can get expensive. Deal?”
“Deal! Yes. No problem! I will start looking for a part time job right way.”
“Okay. Good. You better keep up your part of the deal. Got it?”
“So this is our room, and since I have seniority, I sleep on the top bunk. You are on the bottom.”
“Anything is better than the ground.”
“Speaking of the ground… your clothes have probably got dirt caked on an inch thick. How about I grab you some things from my closet, so we can get you washed up for dinner.”
“Great. I also have a little somthing for your hair, if that is alright with you.”
“For the hospitality you are showing me, you can do what ever you want.”
“Wonderful. I will be right back.”
“Dear can you go grab the table leafs? We need to open it out to make room for everyone.”
“Going all out, aren’t we.”
“The poor girl probably can’t remember the last time she had a decent meal. Yes I am.”
“Girls! Hurry up! Dinner is ready!”
“Just a second!!!”
*Ahem hem* ”If I could have all of your attention please. Our guest, Miss Merrygold, will now be joining us for dinner.”
“Oh my. You look absolutely darling.”
I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. All through dinner, I was stealing glances. She looked amazing. Not that she didn’t before, but now. Now it was like seeing the real her. And the real Goldie was amazing.
“You look really pretty.”
“Oh? Heh. Thank you.”
“For the first time in a long time. I think I am.”
“I just have to thank you. No one has been this nice to me since…well since my mom…”
“Your family. They are just so amazing and kind. You have all opened your home to me and I don’t think I will ever be able to explain how much you and they mean to me… in fact there is something. Something I want to say to you.”
“I love you Leaf.”
“I love you too.”
“Morning son. Sleep well.”
“Yup! Whats for breakfast?”
“Great! I’m starved.”
“What you got there? Doesn’t look like the Honey Sprigs post?”
“Hmm? Oh, no you’re right. It’s Fondant Fields Faire. They were out at the market, so I grabbed this instead. Kind of interesting to what is going on outside of our little valley here.”
I had almost taken another bite of syrupy waffle goodness, when something on the front page caught my eye. Instead of swallowing like a normal person, I without thinking, inhaled and almost choked myself.
*COUGH* “Wait! Let me see that a sec!” Flustered, I reached for the paper.
Dad handed the paper over, and I immediately flipped the front page open so I could get a better look at the headline that caught my eye.
10 years later, and it feels like it was only yesterday
Fondant Fields prepares for it’s annual memoriam to Apolline Shine Tart. The youngest heiress and last of the Tart’s to reside in Fondant Fields, her death weighed heavy on many hearts, including her daughter’s. Who in an almost equally tragic turn of events, disappeared not a week later.
The police searched for several months, but no information was ever discovered on the whereabouts of the young Merrygold meri Tart. Brut Champagne, Merrygold’s, stepfather and husband to the late Appoline was held for questioning, but was later released. For the past ten years, the residents of Fondant Fields, gather together to mourn the loss of two beautiful members of the community. The vigil will start at sundown, please bring one candle to the old Ambrose community center on main street.
I couldn’t believe it. I slammed the paper down on the table and ran straight out the front door. Merrygold… Goldie. She was the missing little girl. Of course! It all made sense. All the little things she had tried to secretly divulge with out ever saying right out. I had to see her.
The only place I could look for her was the old graveyard. I only hoped she was there.
“Hey. Wasn’t expecting you here so early.”
I probably should have been a little more diplomatic about the situation, but my need for answers, forced me to just blurt it all out.
“You’re Merrygold Meri Tart!” I wheezed. Hearing how loud I was being, I brought my tone in a few decibels. “Aren’t you?”
“Where did you hear that name?”
“I read about you in the paper today.”
“How come you didn’t tell me?”
“Because. I didn’t want you to have to feel sorry for me. Think I am proud I live in a graveyard?”
“You should have told me.”
“Not something I really bragging about you know. Can’t stay in one place for too long, or the cops start sniffing around trying to ask me questions.”
“Why did you leave?”
“You have no idea what I have been through.”
“Well tell me, and I will.”
I stepped closer and drew her into my arms. I was expecting for her to resist, but she collapsed instead.
“It wasn’t a home Leaf. I was girl, who was privileged to stay. Only as a favor to my mother. He didn’t want me. He never cared about me, not even when my mother was alive. And all the photos on the walls, were a constant reminder that I would never be as good as her. He made sure I knew it t-.” Her voice crumbled and all she could utter were sobs.
I pulled her in closer, but I had no idea what to say. I decided it was better if I said nothing at all. I just let her cry. Tears, I could tell she had been holding on to for far too long.
“What am I gonna do Leaf? I can’t keep on doing this forever!”
“We will figure something. I promise. I’m here.”
How do you apologize to someone, when you have no idea what you did wrong…Was it when I called her pretty? I thought girls liked that sort of thing. Besides that, I was just telling the truth. She was pretty.
“Back again? Now what do you want?”
My heart ripped at the biting tone in her voice. For some silly reason, I thought she would be happy to see me again. Maybe it was just wishful thinking.
“I came to apologize. I’m not sure what it was that upset you, but I am truly sorry. That is never what I intended. I just wanted you to know. Have a good night.”
“Hey! Ummm kid. Wait a second.”
“Look I didn’t mean to bite your head off the other day. My names Goldie.”
“You don’t have to leave.”
“No. My name is Leaf.”
“Oh…right. Leaf would you like to sit for a while?”
“Do you…uh…live around here?”
“Just the other side of town. How about about?”
“Oh, I just live down… the way.”
“Do you come here often?”
“I don’t know if maybe you thought I was kidding when I said…when I said, I thought you were pretty…but I wasn’t.
“I meant every word.”
“Leaf…I don’t know. You seem really nice, but so have all the other guys I have been with. How do I know, you won’t do the same thing?”
“Goldie, all I can say, is that I care about you. A lot. A whole lot. The rest…well, you are going to have to let me prove it. I don’t want to borrow your heart.”
“I want to keep it.”
“Ughhhh my head.”
“Oh good. I thought I was gonna have to call 911.”
“Whu…how did I get all the way over here?”
“Oh. I dragged your dead body. Thought I might have to bury you, but that side is full.”
“Sorry…I scared you. Just not use to seeing people around here.”
“I wasn’t scared.”
“Heh, so you faint all the time?”
“Hah! Ya right.”
“So, what are you doing here any how?”
“My sister wanted to prove, that there is no such things as ghost.”
“She must have been the one I saw hightailing out of here.”
“There are ghosts. All over this place.”
“So why would you hang out in a creepy place like this?”
“It’s not creepy. I love it. It’s quiet. No one comes around, so I can enjoy my solitude.”
“You like…being alone?”
“Better that way.”
“Why is that?”
“It just is. You ask a lot of questions. You know that?”
“Sorry. It’s just the first time I have ever met someone in a graveyard.”
“Never seen you around? You go to HSS?”
“School? Ewww. No way. NO.”
“You don’t go to school at all?”
“Heh. Ya lucky.”
“Schools not so bad. I bet you and I would have been good friends.”
“You do huh?”
“What makes you so sure.”
“Well, you are pretty and sweet, even though you try to hide it. It shines through.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing! I just mean that I think you are pretty.”
“No. This is… no. You need to go. Now.”
“Just get out of here! Now!!”
What did I say?
“Are you watching that stupid ghost hunter show again?”
“It’s not stupid, and yes I am.”
“I honestly don’t get why you waste your time. You know there is no such thing.”
“No big brother, there is not.”
“Why don’t you just go back to torturing Leaf and leave me alone.”
“Not until you admit that you know there is no such things as ghosts.”
“Fine you want me to prove it? After my birthday, I will.”
“Why do we have to wait?”
“Because I won’t have a truck till then?”
“You’re on. Leaf and I await the day.”
If I said this was the first time I was dragged into something I didn’t want to do, I would be lying, but this…this was way out of my comfort zone.
“This is so ridiculous…Come on Leaf. let’s go and get this over with.”
“Why do I get the feeling this is going to end badly?”
One second she was there and the next, she was gone. I turned around to find that I was now completely alone in the empty dark graveyard. My heart dropping into my feet as I tried to steady myself.
It wasn’t until that time, that I realized just how far and ominous the exit was.
“This isn’t funny guys! Come back please? Please?”
I was not what you would call a coward, but I definitely was no brave-heart either. The eerie hooting from the barn owl over head, coupled with my own rapid heart beat and short breaths, was slowly sending me into a frenzy.
“You lost princess?”
“Great Berry’s ghost!!!!”
“Sissy, peekboo. Peekboo Sissy.”
“Not right now. I am busy Leaf.”
“Just play with the poor kid Clover…”
“I can’t. I am working on a new strategy. Why don’t you play with him?”
“Because he didn’t ask me. He asked you.”
“Fine…but if I lose my match tomorrow. I am blaming you.”
“Like a little 5 minute time out is going to kill you. You haven’t lost yet. I doubt this would break you.”
“You better hope you’re right.”
“Am I ever wrong.”
“Where is Leaf?! Where did my little brother go?”
“There he is!!”
“I love you too, Leaf.”
“I go now.”
“See now was that so bad?”
There never was a smarter baby than Cupcake Clover. I swear she popped out already talking. I had never seen a child learn so quickly. It made me slightly concerned, because I knew before too long, she would be smarter than I was!
Her favorite past time was playing with her big brother, but if she didn’t get her way, she made sure he knew she was not pleased. She never whined or cried like most babies. No, she laid it straight out for him.
“I don’t like this daddy doll. Give me yours.”
“Please! I like yours better. You can have this one. It’s green. You like green.”
“This one is green too.”
“Not the same green.”
“If you say so.”
To our surprise, we had another little bun in the oven. We weren’t exactly planning for three, but he was a pleasant surprise none the less.
Midnight was just as happy to have a little brother as he was when we discovered little cupcake was on her way.
“Do you think he will be like Clovey? You know… way too smart?”
“I don’t know sweetheart. We will have to wait and see.”
“I hope not. She is a pain in my-“
Ever heard of sympathy pains? Well, Kiwi was having something similar, but it had to do with my cravings. He and I were both mowing right through plates and plates of waffles. We joked that we were both going to look pregnant by the end.
Sadly our joke was short lived. Tragedy struck not long after. Granpa Coronation passed away not long after Midnight’s birthday.
Leaving everyone in the house thoroughly heartbroken…
Poor little Cupcake was far too young to understand.
We were still working through our grief when our third child, decided it was time to join the family.
Little Leaf Licorice.
Midnight, to no surprise, captured grandpa’s heart the instant he held him in his arms. Little sweety with a heart of gold, but a temper. Oh man a temper…
Our little angel. Somehow when I looked in those eyes, I swear I could see a little bit of gramma smilin back.
His gramma, wanted nothing more than to spoil him rotten. Giving him all those candies and sweets that we we tried to keep for special occasions. But that is what a grandparents job is. Right?
“It’s ok Middy. Keep trying. What about this spot.”
A huge fan of our walks, he went all over town in that thing!
One special day, I decided to take him to a very important spot in town.
“I’m taking you somewhere very special love.”
“This is mommy’s favorite place in the whole world. And I wanted to show it to you.”
“Yes, love it is a swing!”
“Awww you’re doing it sweetheart!”
“I gwing! I gwing!”
“I like gwing mumma!”
“Awww and I kinda like you a whole bunch angel.”
Baby #2 was not long off when Midnight and I took our special walk, and just as before…labor hurt like a bleedin berry!
But it was all worth it, once our next bundle said hello to the world.
Little miss Cupcake Clover Licorice.