Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Nine


When I woke up I convinced myself that last night was all just a dream and that my mother didn’t really get engaged to Mr. Steve last night.

But my happiness was only for a moment. My mother handed me my plate with breakfast on it with a ring on her ring finger.

“Morning Natalie,” Momma said. “Did you sleep well last night?”

“No,” I mumbled.

“Is something bothering you?”  Momma asked.

Was something bothering me? Was she kidding? My mother was getting married to a man I hardly knew!

“Is the restaurant open for breakfast?” Mr. Hank asked walking in.

“Yes, sir!” Momma said. She looked at me.

“We will continue this discussion later,” Momma whispered. I hobbled to a booth and sat down.

I tried to pray over my food. I really did try but I wasn’t thankful. I was mad, upset, and UGH!

“Sugar, are you all right?” Mr. Hank asked. I looked on the ground were bacon and eggs laid scattered.

“I’m having a hard time praying over my food,” I sighed.

Mr. Hank gave me a weird look.

“I know it seems silly but I just don’t feel thankful. I’m a little mad at God right now,” I said.

“Why are you mad, sugar?” Mr. Hank asked.

“I don’t know,” I lied. I knew why I was mad.

“That’s a lie,’ Mr. Hank said seeing through me.

“I know it is but I don’t like Mr. Steve,” I said.

“Ah,” Mr. Hank said. “Why don’t you like him?”

“I’ve barely known him a month,” I said.

“Your mother has known him since high school or maybe even before that,” Mr. Hank said.

“I know but I miss my daddy,” I sniffled.

“I know you do, sugar. I know you do,” Mr. Hank said rubbing my back.

Emily Stewart walked through the restaurant door and looked at me.

“Is Clumsy crying? Did she hurt herself again?” Emily said pouting.

“Emily Zendaya Stewart!” Mr. Hank shouted. Emily crossed her arms.

“Look Natalie, nobody here wants you to be here. It’s the same old game. The town is nice because they feel like they have to be nice to you not because they want to be. ‘Natalie Baldwin broke her foot’. ‘Oh it serves her right but I’ll send her a present anyway’. Get the picture?” Emily asked.

“Emily Stewart, when I am finished with my breakfast I am personally going down to the library to have a talk with your grandmother,” Mr. Hank said.

Fear crept into Emily’s face.

“Go ahead. Grandma doesn’t scare me,” Emily lied. It was clear by the look on her face and the way her voice squeaked that she was scared of her Grandmother.

Darcy walked into the restaurant and frowned.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“The bus is coming,” He mumbled walking out the door. Emily smiled at me and walked out the restaurant. I rolled my eyes.

“Don’t let her get to you,” Mr. Hank whispered in my ear. He winked at me.

I walked out the door and onto the bus wondering what in the world Mr. Hank was talking about.


“EMILY STEWART!!!!!!!!!!!”

It was lunch time when a voice so loud it made me drop my sandwich on the floor burst through the noisy cafeteria. When everybody heard this voice they stopped talking and the cafeteria was very silent.

An older looking woman marched towards Emily’s table. She had on a floral print dress and thick red classes. She had on black boots that clicked when she walked.

“Yes, Grandma?” Emily squeaked.

“Apologize,” Mrs. Stewart said flatly.

“I’m sorry, Grandma for whatever I did!” Emily cried.

“Not to me. To Natalie Baldwin. Apologize NOW!” Mrs. Stewart shouted. Emily walked up to the table where I was sitting with Nelson and Regina.

“I am sorry for being so rude to you this morning. Please forgive me,” Emily said. Mrs. Stewart shook her head.

“No. No. That will not do! Get on your knees, child!” Mrs. Stewart said. Emily dropped to her knees.

“I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused you. This morning I spoke without think of how my words could hurt you. Please, I beg of you to forgive me for the wrong I have done you!” Emily cried.

“Sure,” I shrugged. I felt like laughing which was what most of the cafeteria was doing.

“Miss Emily Stewart, I will have a word with you when I get home from work. I must be going now. Good day,” Mrs. Stewart said. She looked at me.

“I would like to personally invite you, your mother, and your mother’s fiancé to dinner Sunday night. Please give me the chance to make up my granddaughter’s poor behavior. I will make the arrangements with your mother,” Mrs. Stewart said. She then walked out of the room. After about five minutes Emily walked up to me.

“You will pay for this,” Emily whispered. “Big time!”

And I knew that she meant it.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Eight (Posted on January 9)

“Mom?” Momma asked. Grandma Shirley nodded.

“Natalie and I just had a very interesting conversation about an hour ago,” Grandma Shirley said. “And she made me realize that I don’t want you back.”

My jaw dropped to the floor. How in the world could Grandma Shirley say that with a clean conscious?

“Excuse me?” Momma asked also in disbelief.

“But,” Grandma Shirley said. “I don’t want you back because of the memories and feelings you bring. Do you know how crazy your father and I went when you left? I guess after a couple years I was glad that we hadn’t found you. I hated you. I gave you life. I devoted my entire life to you and one day you just up and decide to leave without even saying goodbye? I hated you for that.”

Momma and I had a look of pure surprise and disgust. Did Grandma Shirley just say that she hated my mother? That was cold.

“Mrs. Walters, I suggest you leave,” Nurse Sarah said.

“You didn’t let me finish,” Grandma Shirley said. “I hated you for leaving but I have always loved you, Riley, even thou I tried to convince myself that I hated you. Riley, I do love you. Only take it a little personally if I’m quick with you or easily get mad easily.”

Momma stared blankly at Grandma Shirley. How could Grandma Shirley just walk in here and say that she hated my Momma and then tell her that she loved her.

“I would like you to leave,” Momma said. “But if you feel like it visiting me in Florida you can visit me.”

Grandma Shirley smiled and walked out the room.

“Momma, is it all right that I don’t like her very much?” I asked.

“The truth is I don’t like her very much either. She’s a different person. That’s not the mother I know,” Momma sighed.

“When you left, everything changed in their lives. They changed. They tried to improve themselves. They threw themselves on everyone around them especially your siblings,” Nurse Sarah said. “You running away changed them.”

Momma started crying.

“After Alexander died I never planned on telling anyone else why I ran away but…NO! I can’t tell her. They know I’m back. I can’t risk anymore lives,” Momma said.

The look in her eye alone told me that her life, my life, and anyone who knew this ‘secret’ or not was in some serious danger.


“I hope you’re feeling better Riley.”

Momma smiled at Aunt Jane.

“The car accident didn’t hurt me too bad,” Momma said. “I’m feeling much better thank you.”

Momma had received a flower from everyone in town.

“Here you go my lady,” Mr. Steve said to Momma putting her soap down on the table.

“Thank you,” Momma smiled.

I squirmed at ‘my lady’.

I looked over at Ms. Donna. She looked anxious and excited at the same time.

“Riley W. Baldwin, I’ve known you since the ninth grade and by the time I finished high school I knew that I wanted to marry you,” Mr. Steve said.

I almost passed out when Mr. Steve got down on one knee and opened a ring box.

“Riley, will you marry me?” Mr. Steve asked.

Momma looked at me. The look on my face screamed, “NO!”

“Yes,” Momma managed to get out.

My face fell. What just happened? Did my mother really just accept a marriage proposal from Steve Matthews.

“Tom and I have an announcement to make,” Mrs. Rivers said standing up. “I’m having a baby.”

Soon everyone was talking about babies and weddings.

Good and bad changes were about to come to Florida, Massachusetts and I don’t just mean babies and weddings.