The sound of chickens clucking filled my ears as I walked out of our van. An ice cream party when it was below freezing seemed crazy to me.
“Me want ice cream!” Megan cried as we walked towards the front door. Was I the only one who thought this ice cream party was crazy?
A scrawny looking red haired girl answered the door. She was tall. She had a sour look on her face. She had her hands on her hips. Her body language told me that she did not want to be here.
“Hello,” Mr. Steve said to her.
“And who might you be?” The girl asked looking at all of us. Everyone at the B&B had come and since Timmy was there he tagged along.
“I’m Steve Matthews. Who might you be?” Mr. Steve asked her.
“Virginia Powers,” The girl said taking her hands off her hips. “Farm Girl.”
Jaci smiled at her as if she thought what Virginia had said was funny.
“Hello, Virginia, I’m Jaci Matthews,” Jaci said with a huge smile on her face. How she never got tired of smiling I will never know. Virginia gave an awkward nod.
“Sunshine B&B clan….and Timmy,” Aunt Jane said walking up to the door. “Come in! Come in!”
“Sunshine B&B clan?” Virginia asked as we filed into the house.
“We all live at the Sunshine B&B,” Darcy explained. “Expect for Timmy.”
“So your name is Virginia?” I asked. It wasn’t to be rude or anything. I thought Virginia was a nice and pretty name. She gave me the awkward nod she had given Jaci.
“Natalie Baldwin,” I said offering my hand. I thought of something.
“Miami Girl,” I quickly added. Everyone in the room but Virginia laughed.
“Virginia, I think you and Natalie are going to get along. Natalie just moved here from Miami, Florida,” Aunt Jane said. Virginia gave another one of those odd nods.
“Oh! Where are my manors!” Aunt Jane shouted. “You’re probably wondering who all these people are. Virginia, meet Riley Baldwin. She’s Natalie’s mom and she’s engaged to Steve Matthews. He’s the tall guy. The short girl is his daughter Jaci. The tall auburn is his other daughter Abby. She doesn’t live at the B&B. She lives in Boston. Then there’s Darcy. He’s the black haired cutie. Timmy Stewart is the tall blonde one with a side bang. The little girl in Riley’s arms is Megan. She’s like two. The blonde girl is Regina Drew and the dirty blonde boy standing next to her is her twin brother Nelson Drew. The brown haired woman in the blue coat is Donna Edwards. She’s Darcy’s mother. The tall older looking lady is Mrs. Walters. The two other people or Mr. and Mrs. Drew. They’re Nelson and Regina’s parents. Oh and the baby boy in Mrs. Drew’s hands is Fred. The ice creams in the kitchen.”
“Ice cream?” Virginia asked. I let a snicker escape me.
“We’re having an ice cream party! The whole town is invited!” Aunt Jane shouted.
“But it’s like seventeen degrees outside!” Virginia shouted. Yes! Finally someone else who thought this was a crazy idea.
“That’s what I said,” I laughed. I gave Aunt Jane my coat and hobbled off towards the kitchen.
“Hello,” A little black haired girl said to me. “I’m Rachel Powers. I’m seven and I moved here last night. That’s my brother Andrew.”
The little girl pointed to a tall blonde boy. He was looking at……..goat sections.
“I like the white one!” Rachel shouted pointing to the screen.
“I like the grey and white one,” Andrew said. Rachel gave him a mad face.
“Where’s the kitchen?” I asked. “Aunt Jane told me I’d find ice cream there.”
“Ice cream?” Rachel asked. She ran towards the kitchen.
In the kitchen I found Darcy scooping chocolate ice cream.
“What happened to your knee?” Rachel asked.
“Natalie hit her cast on my knee,” Darcy said nodding his head towards me. He didn’t say it like he was mad. I couldn’t be sure but I thought there was a hint of laugher in his voice.
“Why would she do that?” Rachel asked confused.
“Because I tripped her and that caused her to break her foot,” Darcy joked. He gave me a smile. I felt my eyes pop out.
“That was mean,” Rachel said scooping strawberry ice cream.
“She didn’t do it on purpose,” Darcy said getting a spoon.
“Did you trip her on purpose?” Rachel asked. Darcy didn’t answer. He just walked out the room. I sighed and shook my head.
By the time I decided what ice cream I wanted and where the spoons where the party was in full swing. Most of the people from town where there.
I saw Timmy introducing Emily to Virginia. Poor Virginia.
“Natalie!” Ms. Ross called. She had a tall looking woman with her.
“I would like you to meet the seventh grade teacher Ms. Shelby O’Donnell,” Ms. Ross said. “I’m sad to say it but I talked with Principal Helga and she thinks that you can move up a grade in everything.” Ms. Ross looked like she was praying hard about something.
I was surprised. I hadn’t moved up in Math because Ms. O’Donnell didn’t want a ‘limited sixth grader’ in her classroom.
“Hello, Ms. O’Donnell,” I said giving her a polite smile.
“She’s a little short and just a little bit scrawny,” Ms. O’Donnell said.
I was not that scrawny.
“But I just love the touch of British accent in her voice!” Ms. O’Donnell shouted. “I thought you were from Miami.”
“I am,” I said. “But my father was from England.”
“Your father?” Ms. O’Donnell asked. “I thought your father was Steve Matthews.”
“I think Shelby got the story confused,” Ms. Ross said interrupting. “Steve dated Riley in high school then Riley ran away and then he married Abby and Jaci’s mother. She ran away when Abby was a little baby and she had Jaci up in Charlotte, Maine.”
“Oh,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “And where is your father.”
“He’s dead,” I said not wanting to think about how his accident wasn’t an accident.
“I’m sorry,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “See you Monday morning.”
She walked off and towards Aunt Jane. I walked over to Darcy.
“How do you put up with her?” I asked him.
“Who?” Darcy asked.
“Ms. O’Donnell,” I said.
Darcy burst out laughing.