This is a rewrite of Chapter Six of Frienemies. Well, actually, it’s an excerpt. Please remember that everything under the “Works In Progress” is copyrighted, and is not available for sharing on your blog or website. However, I would love to have your opinions. Thank you for visiting and have a blessed day.
Chapter Six Rewrite
It seemed to be a week for visitors. Angel Browning came by the following afternoon. In typical Angel fashion, she galloped nearly all the way to the door before she jerked her horse to a halt and dismounted as if a pack of coyotes was after her. Fawn was already opening the door for her friend.
“Angel, what a great surprise to see you.” Fawn stretched both arms forward to clasp Angel’s hands in greeting. “Come in.”
Angel dashed strands of loose hair from her face. “You didn’t think I would stay away did you?” She gave Fawn a sisterly hug. “I just thought you and Nana needed some time to adjust to life without your mom. May I have a drink of water?”
“Certainly. The tin cup is hanging on that nail by the rain barrel. Help yourself and come in. Nana is sitting in her room with her memories of Dad, Mother, and Gray. She may not come out today.”
“I’m sorry you two have to go through this. It’s part of the reason why I came.” She took a long drink from the cup. “Do you remember Mr. Bailey?”
Fawn’s brow furrowed. “I think so. Doesn’t he live in Sun Valley? If memory serves, he has a little girl. Dad liked him.”
Angel nodded her head. “That’s right. He and your dad were friends.” She took another sip of water.
“I remember them,” Nana chimed in from her bedroom. “He was in the war, fought alongside your dad, Fawn.” Nana’s eyes brightened as her smile widened at the memory. “He had a fine family. Wouldn’t expect rich folk like that ta be so nice.” She got off her bed, grabbed one of her canes, and came back to the living room to sit the side of Fawn not occupied by Angel.
Angel leaned toward the couch where Nana and Fawn sat. “He’s a widower now and looking for a teacher for his little girl, Victoria. Fawn, you would be perfect for the job.”
Fawn almost dropped her tin cup as her mouth dropped open. “I can’t go to a stranger! What would happen to Nana? Surely you don’t expect me to leave her here alone after all that has happened!”
“I’ll be alright, Fawn. You need to go talk to him.”
Fawn ignored Angel as tears of fear pooled in her eyes. “The only children I’ve ever been around are Jason’s sisters. They are familiar with me, and they are older than Victoria. She’s what, seven years old now? Melanie is ten and Sarah Beth is…”
“Eight,” Angel finished for her. “One year older than Victoria. Come on; you can do this. You were almost finished with school. I’m sure headmistress Nolan will give you a recommendation.”
Fawn’s palms were sweaty. Her insides were shaking, her stomach threatening somersaults. “What about Nana?” she repeated. “Someone has to be with her while I am away.”
“Fawn, stop being a ninny,” Angel’s tone was firm. She checked herself and softened her tone. “I would be only too happy to stay with Nana during the week and you could come home on the weekends.”
Fear warred with anxiety. A dark green rim outlined the irises in Fawn’s hazel eyes. Leave Nana? Would Angel, her reckless and wild best friend, really be able to be still enough to stay with Nana for a week at a time? How would Nana cope with Angel’s restless spirit? There had to be another way.
“Well?” Angel prompted while she tapped her foot on the floor.
“I appreciate you wanting to help, Angel. I really do, but I just can’t…”
Nana rose from the threadbare couch on shaky legs and leaned on one cane. “I don’t need a babysitter!” She turned and hobbled toward her room again. She spoke without turning her head as she neared the door. “I kin take care of myself.” She slammed the door behind her. Fawn heard the muffled weeping as she pictured her dearest relative lying on her bed. Tears formed in her own eyes. What was she to do?
Nana rocked in her chair. Peace settled on her face as she watched the sky and enjoyed companionable silence for a few moments. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your many blessings, for kind neighbors, for health, and for what family I have left. Thank You, too, for this lovely weather. Amen.
Jason watched Nana’s expression. If only Fawn would ask Jesus to be her Saviour, they could marry and he would be able to take care of her and her grandmother.
The back door slammed shut and the two people on the front porch jumped. “That you?” Nana called through the open front door.
“Yes, Nana. The door handle got away from me. I was just pulling weeds in the garden.”
“Come on out here,” Nana called. “We got comp’ny.”
Fawn noticed the bread, butter, and honey on the table and knew who had brought them. She quickly tucked loose strands of hair back into their coil and briskly went to the front porch. She chose a rocker to Jason’s left. Two of the rockers were placed on the left side of the porch, their backs to the east. The back of Nana’s chair faced west as she sat across from them.
Jason cleared his throat. “I told you I was going to do some snooping to try to find out what’s been going on in this holler.” He took a sip of water and drummed his thumb against the tin cup.
“I don’t have any proof of who is behind any of this. What I do know is that more than one person is involved. It seems that there has been a lot of fracking going on to determine if there is any natural gas in the area. That may or may not have anything to do with homes being vandalized.”
Nana banged the tip of her crutch on the porch. “That don’t give nobody the right to start attackin’ folks in their own homes.” She stomped the crutch again.
“We have to find out if all of this is related, Nana,” Fawn said.