Chapter 13A Chapter by Laura Ann
By the time Mrs. Peterson was dropped off from her date, it was 11:15 and Francie and Claira were sprawled across the living room floor, snoozing, with empty pizza boxes next to them.
"Oh, good, they're sleeping," Jody thought. She made sure the gift Bill gave her was safely hidden in her purse, just in case, and quietly walked upstairs.
Francie, however, woke up when she heard the stairs creak a tiny bit. She squinted in the darkness to see who was standing in the middle of the hallway upstairs.
"It's just Mom," Francie sighed silently in relief. She looked at the clock hanging on the wall. "11:15?! Oh my goodness! Wait, what's she doing?"
Mrs. Peterson grabbed something large from her purse and waved it in the air, doing a happy dance. Francie saw something sparkle, but she couldn't figure out what it was. She jabbed Claira in the ribs to wake her up.
"Huh...what?" Claira mumbled loudly. Francie clamped her hand over Claira's mouth and held a finger to her lips. She then pointed to the hallway where her mother appeared to be worshiping the fan.
"What's she holding?" Claira whispered.
"I have no clue," Francie replied.
The two silently watched Mrs. Peterson do her Sunshine Polka, or whatever it was, but after a few minutes she stopped twirling around and went into her bedroom to go to bed.
The two girls turned towards each other.
"What was that about?" Claira said, giggling.
"I don't know, but it was sure funny." Francie tried to suppress her laughter.
"Once your mom's asleep, I say we should do some spying," Claira suggested with a wink.
"Definitely," Francie agreed.
"I'm hungry, let's heat up some pizza and talk more about this," Claira said, standing up and grabbing a pizza box. They made their way into the kitchen and Francie nuked some leftover slices in the microwave. They sat down at the dining room table to enjoy their Almost-Midnight Snack.
"What do you think it was?" Claira asked.
Francie looked thoughtfully at the wall. "Maybe your dad gave her something."
Claira's eyes widened. "Like what?"
Francie shrugged. "Something shiny."
"Hmm," Claira said, deep in thought. "I dunno."
"Me neither," Francie said. "But when we're spying on my mom, let's snoop around to see if we know what he gave her."
"If he even gave her anything at all," Claira reminded her.
"True," Francie admitted with a sigh.
Claira eyed her oddly. "Francie, why are you so hopeful about our parents getting married? It's a one-in-a-million chance."
"Yes, but it's that 'one' in 'million' that still counts," Francie pointed out.
"Yeah, but, still..." Claira's voice trailed off. She knew it was impossible trying to convince Francie that their parents would never get married.
The two of them were silent for a few minutes as they ate their pizza.
"What makes you think they won't get married, anyway?" Francie spoke up.
"Because of Mom," Claira replied.
"What happened to your mom? You never told me," Francie said, interested.
"She and my dad argued about whether or not I should go to pre-school. They were both stubborn, but it turns out that my dad pushed my mom to the limit. She got so tired of their arguing that she just packed up and left. I can hardly remember her. Then again, I don't want to," Claira explained.
"Why not?" Francie asked.
"She wasn't exactly the greatest role model in the world." Claira's eyes filled with tears. "I recall one time when I was almost three and I walked into her room. She had something laid across the bed and I didn't know it at the time, but it was meth and cocaine, along with a pack of cigarettes."
"That's terrible," Francie said sympathetically. "My dad died when I was only four and a half. He went to work and the day seemed normal. But a person in the building accidentally set something on fire, and the fire spread quickly. The ambulance and fire truck came, but they were too late. The building had already gone up in flames and Dad was still trapped inside it." A tear trickled done her cheek.
Claira leaned over the table and hugged Francie. She was crying as well. "Poor Francie," she said sadly. "I would be devastated if that happened to my dad."
The girls quickly wiped away their tears and, having finished their pizza, they put their plates in the sink and went back into the living room.
Francie checked the clock. To her surprise, it was already 12:03! She looked at Claira and they both grinned.
"Follow me, Claira," Francie said. "We've got some spying to do."
They silently slinked up the stairs and approached Mrs. Peterson's room. Claira quietly opened the door and without the slightest peep escaping their lips, the two burglars started to snoop around the bedroom.
Francie headed directly for her mother's purse. She zipped it open slowly, careful not to make any noise, then looked inside. She shuffled through money, a checkbook, gum, and a notepad, but couldn't find anything that would be categorized as "shiny".
Claira walked towards Francie's mom's nightstand and looked through everything. She stumbled upon something that took her breath away, causing her to gasp loudly.
"Shh!" Francie whispered. She tiptoed over to where Claira was standing and looked down. She, too, almost gasped, but caught herself.
Propped on the nightstand inside a small black velvet box was a beautiful diamond ring!
© 2010 Laura Ann
Book 1: Changes Can Be Good
About“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” “All of humanity's p.. more..