Momma was shaking me. Where was I? I opened my eyes and memories of Grandma Shirley stopping by flooded into my mind.
“Wake up, Natalie. We are so out of here,” Momma whispered.
“We’re leaving the hospital?” I yawned.
“We’re leaving the country,” Momma said.
“What!” I shouted sitting up. “What do you mean the country?”
“We’re going to England. If we show up in your father’s parents’ door they won’t be able to turn us away,” Momma said.
“They might. Probably not me but you maybe,” I said trying to think of how to put some sense in my mother’s head.
“That’s a risk I’ll just have to take,” Momma said throwing my clothes at me. “Put them on.”
“But Momma…..,” I started.
“Don’t but Momma me! We are leaving because I want to leave and that’s final!” Momma screamed. I had never heard my mother scream like that. Her eyes kinda bulged out and I was terrified of my mother for the first time in my life.
“I. Just. Can’t. Take. This. Anymore.” Momma sighed.
“Momma, I thought you wanted to do God’s will. If you feel like God is telling you to run away from your problems and past then go ahead but if He’s told you to stay then I think you need to stay,” I said.
“Natalie Zoey Baldwin, you have no right to talk to me like that!” Momma shouted. She threw one of my shoes at me.
“Come on, Natalie,” Momma said walking out the door. What could I do but obey? As I walked out the door I prayed. If I couldn’t talk some sense into Momma only God could.
“I’m checking out Miss Natalie Baldwin,” Momma said picking up a pin.
“But her doctor hasn’t given her her final checkup yet,” The nurse said looking at my sheet.
“I don’t care,” Momma said. She placed the pin down, grabbed my hand, and walked towards the exit.
“Momma!” I cried. “We don’t have our stuff.”
“I’ll send for it when we get to England,” Momma said. She tried to find her car keys. Then I saw something. Mr. Steve’s car was coming up the ramp.
Momma stopped trying to find her keys. If Mr. Steve could stop Momma from taking us to England then I’ll forget all the bad thoughts about him and make him a hero.
“Natalie, get in the car,” Mr. Steve said nice and firm. I hobbled toward the car.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” Mr. Steve and Momma shouted at the same time.
If I had known that Darcy and the ever present Emily Stewart we’re going to be in the car I wouldn’t have gotten in.
“What are you doing here?” I asked Emily.
“Can’t I come and visit the sick?” Emily asked.
“I’m not sick,” I said putting my seatbelt on.
“Where you just going home?” Darcy asked.
“Not quite,” I sighed.
I saw my Momma crying in Mr. Steve’s arms and rolled my eyes. Ugh. Maybe I’ll reconsider that hero thing.
“Mr. Matthews seems quite taken with your mother,” Emily said.
“So what? They dated when they were like in high school,” I shrugged trying to act like it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Momma and Mr. Steve walked towards the car and Momma got in.
“Who’s hungry?” Momma asked like nothing had happened.
“I call it The Presents Pyramid,” Nelson said. I looked at the pyramid he made out of all my presents.
“I couldn’t find a space for this one thou,” Nelson said. He handed me a box with no name on it.
“Secret Santa strikes again!” Regina shouted.
“Who’s Secret Santa?” Darcy asked hobbling up.
“That’s none of your business Darcy Chadwick Edwards,” Regina said before I could respond. Darcy looked embarrassed. I started to snicker.
“Your middle name is Chadwick?” I snickered. Darcy sighed.
“So what if it is?” Darcy asked.
Regina and I burst out laughing. Darcy shook his head and hobbled away.
I opened the present and found a Christmas ribbon that was used to tie hair.
“I think Secret Santa is trying to tell you that your hair is messy,” Regina said as I tied my hair up.
“Ha. Ha,” I said. I hobbled off towards the kitchen.
“So, Natalie, are you ready for school to start tomorrow?” Ms. Donna asked when I walked into the restaurant.
“I guess but I’m worried about my mother,” I said.
“Why should you be worried about your mother?” Ms. Donna asked. “She’s supposed to worry about you.”
“Well today she almost ran away to England. If Mr. Steve didn’t show up when he did,” I started.
“Natalie, don’t you worry about a thing,” Ms. Donna said. “In no time your mother will be tied to Florida.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“You’ll see,” Ms. Donna winked. I hobbled to a chair and sat down.
What did Ms. Donna mean by ‘tied’?