12) Reunion

12) Reunion

A Chapter by Kelly M.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Thompson paced back and forth in their cramped kitchen.  She fidgeted with her lace handkerchief in anxiety and fear.  Something must have happened to her, she thought worriedly.  She always comes home on time.  She knows I worry.  
She stopped to lay a hand on her thumping heart.
"Well, everything is going to be fine, now," she assured herself aloud.  "John is out looking for her now and there are others that are helping.  They should be here any minute with her.  Any minute."
She drew back a curtain, scanning the streets for a sign of her husband or only daughter.
What if--?  But she stopped her rambling thoughts.  There wasn't time to think of the 'what if's.'  She had to have lunch ready before the men arrived.  By then they'd be starved, and it wouldn't do if there was no food on the table.
With that, she busied herself in the kitchen, and lifted a silent, pleading prayer to her Maker.
~*~ 
They came around the last bend when April spotted the familiar, broken-down shack.  And then she saw her mother running towards her with a tear streaked face.  April gave a glad cry and rushed towards her.  Her mother lifted her baby girl into her arms, and stroked back her brown tresses.
April turned to Kanika after the reunion had ended.  She stood off to the side, shifting her feet uncomfortably.
"Mama this is Kanika.  She found me, and let me stay at her house.  Without her, I would have never found my way back here."
Mrs. Thompson reached to give Kanika's hand a warm squeeze, much to Kanika's surprise.

She turned to both girls. "Well," April's mother began in a brighter tone, "the food is about ready, and I'm sure you're both famished.  John went out looking for you with some men, and should be back soon.  He'll be so relieved to know you're all right."
April willingly followed her mother, explaining what had happened.
But Kanika lingered behind.  The first thought that came to her mind was,They don't want me to intrude on their family.  They have plenty of things to talk about.  I'd just be in the way.
April turned around when she realized Kanika wasn't following them.  She motioned for her to come, giving her a reassuring smile.  Kanika hesitated, and looked first at April, then her mother.  With a slight shrug, she quickened her pace to meet up with them.
Truth was, she was lonely.  Even though she loved her quiet home by the lake, she often wished she was at the orphanage.  She had no one to talk to or confide in.  
Kanika pushed those thoughts aside, and followed them into their home.  She peered around the shack-like home.  It was shabby and worn looking, but it was clean and had that special homey touch.
The inviting smell of homemade bread drove her to the kitchen, and, with Mrs. Thompson insisting her to eat something, she gladly seated herself on the worn couch next to April.  (They still hadn't purchased chairs).  She was careful not to devour into the food for her mother had taught her better manners than that.  Now was the time she used them, and with much politeness.
And in just minutes, the whole eventful story was poured out to April's mother, who listened to every word.
"My," April's mother exclaimed, once the story had concluded, "am I ever glad you found your way home again-- and safely."
She eased herself from the rocker and turned to Kanika.
"I'd love to meet your parents, and especially thank them for letting April stay in your home so unannounced."
April flashed a glance at Kanika who was drawing in a deep breath.  April knew she had to do something-- say something, but how could she explain--?
"My parents are-- they'd love to meet you I'm sure, but they're-- they're dead," she answered with direct frankness.
April turned slightly to see her mother's reaction.  She first expressed genuine surprise, and then her eyes softened to a sympathetic gaze.
"Oh, I'm sorry," she whispered.
Kanika dropped her gaze.  Then she slowly stood, and nodded towards April, then her mother.
"I best be going."  The words weren't spoken with a cold harshness, and nor were they filled with grief.  They were words spoken with confidence and hope.  She seemed to trust what the future held though her present looked hopeless and dim.
With a head held high, she slipped from the room in silence.
When the creaky door had closed, April's mother turned to her daughter.
"I wanted to tell you," April explained softly.  "I just didn't know how."
~*~
When April's father returned, he held her for a long time in his burly arms. 
And everyone (including the tired men) gathered around for the hearty home-cooked meal of beef stew, vegetables and baked bread.  The only problem was that everyone had to stand.  But the men didn't seem to mind or notice this, and made themselves quite comfortable on couches or the wooden floor.  April joined them, and soon they were all laughing at a playful joke or blathering on endlessly.  April actually enjoyed this.  It made the little place more lively and interesting.  April, being an only child, wasn't used to all the chatter, and thought it a pleasant change-- at least for the night.
Then, to April's great surprise, she noticed Will at the far end of the room.  No one had told her that he had helped in the search.  
Her heart began to race, and her eyes became mesmerized by his face.  He was conversing easily with her father, smiling sincerely.  He's so handsome, she thought to herself.
She quickly pushed the thought aside, and turned back to her plate of food.
But, minutes later, she was surprised when she felt eyes upon her.  She turned quickly, glancing in the direction.  She was gazing into Will's deep, blue eyes.  They were so blue--- like the ocean.  He gave her a warm smile, and turned back to her father.  April's heart pounded so rapidly that she feared it might burst at any moment.  Calm yourself, she scolded herself.  There was no reason to get so flustered.
~*~
The last guest finally departed with a toothless grin of gratitude and tip of his ragged hat.  But when April turned around, she was surprised.  Will stood a few feet away, hat in hand.  April stole a glance at her parents who didn't seem to notice.  Her mother was whistling, her hands deep in sudsy water, and her father was relaxing comfortably on the rocker, reading the morning paper.  April couldn't be impolite and force him to leave, but then what should she do?  What did he want?
The awkward silence was interrupted by the old family clock on the kitchen wall, striking nine o'clock.  Will must have finally realized it was time for him to leave for he moved toward the door.  He was just about to close it firmly behind him when he hesitated, and turned back, as though forgetting something.
Then he leaned over and softly whispered in April's ear, "Goodnight."  And for one fleeting moment, April thought he might kiss her, but instead he disappeared out into the starlit night.


© 2011 Kelly M.


Author's Note

Kelly M.
Suspense. ;)

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ah the confusion really is beggining. will seems nice enough but he seems... well too nice and his intrest in her as well as being her school teacher... i think thats rather creepy to be honest. i dont aggree with mostlyharmlessthursdays about Aprils parent being too forgiving, I think that in reality her parents worry would over come their anger at least untill the next day. i liked this chapter.

Posted 8 Years Ago


We don't know much about Will yet, so I can't judge. But he seems like a nice boy. Though isn't Drew April's real goal? And Mrs. Thompson was a bit TOO forgiving when April came home late. I thought she would be a bit scolding or whatnot. Other than that, well done!

Posted 9 Years Ago


Yay Drew!:)

Posted 9 Years Ago


Yay!!!! I do like Drew a whole lot better!!! On to the next chapter!!!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


"April turned slightly to see her mother's expression. She first expressed genuine surprise, and then her eyes softened to a sympathetic gaze."
-You have forms of the word express used twice in this paragraph... it would flow nicer if you changed one of them to a different word... perhaps change it to her mother's 'reaction' Just an idea :)

"and her father was relaxing comfortably in a chair,"
-Early in the chapter you mentioned that they had not purchased any chairs yet. So I would recommend that you change this to her father sitting on the couch.

These are my only critiques for this one. I loved this chapter and I'm glad she made it safely home. I wish she wasn't falling for Will though... I liked Drew better. Maybe if you give Will some more descriptions and pull him into the story even more. Maybe some conversation with April? Just my thoughts, because I am very curious about this character! :) Anyway, I enjoyed this chapter and I am looking forward to the next!

~Erinne

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on April 28, 2011
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Kelly M.
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