Posted in Farm Girl

Farm Girl- Installment Three

**

The bell rang for lunch and I was about to get up when a boy walked over to Leo.

“I heard that you’ve started selling the Valentines,” The boy said.

“Yup,” Leo said smiling.

“I’d like to buy three,” The boy said.

“That will be three dollars,” Leo said opening his desk and handing him three Valentines.

“Thanks,” The boy said handing him three dollars.

“What kind of Valentines do you sell?” I asked interested.

“See for yourself,” Leo said with a smirk on his face. He handed me one from his desk.

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I don’t know what to say around you

“Don’t tell me that you’re selling this junk!” I shouted outraged.

“Excuse me?” Leo asked.

“If I were to receive this Valentine I would be crushed!” I shouted getting up from my chair. “This Valentine is despicable!”

“Despicable?” Leo asked getting up from his chair.

“Despicable,” I repeated. I stormed into the cafeteria.

“Look at this! Look at this!” I shouted shoving a Valentine in Natalie’s face.

“What is it?” Natalie asked harshly. She didn’t look mad but she sure sounded mad.

“This is so rude! So ridiculous! I would punch the boy who gave me THIS piece of junk!” I screamed.

Everyone at that lunch table looked at me like I was crazy. Especially Emily Stewart.

“Calm down,” Natalie said snatching the Valentine out of my hand. She read it.

“What’s wrong with that?” Natalie asked. She had scrunched up look on her face.

“I don’t know what to say around you? What kind of cheesy line is that? It might as well read ‘Roses are red. Violets are blue. I really don’t want to give a Valentine to you.’” I said sitting down.

“I don’t see what’s wrong with it,” Darcy said standing up for Natalie. I gave him a look. Boys.

“This is being marketed as a Valentine to give to someone who you really don’t want to give a Valentine too! Dozens of poor girls are going to receive this terrible Valentine!” I shouted.

Ok so I didn’t really know if this was being marketed as a Valentine to give to someone you didn’t want to give a Valentine too, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was!

“VIRGINIA!” Aunt Jane screamed running into the lunch room waving a brown bag.

“What now?” I muttered. I was starting to wonder if she was a little bit more than slightly crazy.

“I didn’t give you a lunch before you took off,” Aunt Jane huffed. “I’m sorry.”

She gave it to me. I took one look and decided this woman could not make a PB&J sandwich.

“Thanks,” I said taking it anyway. Aunt Jane smiled.

“Somebody get their Valentine’s Day out of the way?” Aunt Jane asked picking up the disgusting Valentine.

“No,” I sneered. “I just found out that my desk partner is selling these!”

“Then sell them back,” Aunt Jane said.

“Huh?” Everyone at the table including me asked.

“You make Valentines bigger and better,” Aunt Jane said.

“That’s a wonderful idea!” I shouted. “I’ll beat him at his own game!” Aunt Jane nodded.

She may be more than slightly crazy but her crazy ideas can be good.

This was war.

**

It took me all night to make a bunch of Valentines. I made some for friendship. I made lots for romance. I made a big mistake letting my little sister cut out hearts. By the way she cut them you would think she didn’t know what a heart was!

“VIRGINIA! ANDREW! RACHEL!” Aunt Jane shouted the next afternoon. The three of us ran down the steps.

“What’s wrong, Aunt Jane?” Rachel asked.

“There’s been a terrible accident on the Mohawk Trail. They want Andrew to go down and help out,” Aunt Jane said trying to catch her breath.

“Who was hurt?” I asked grabbing my coat.

“Zach Davis and Darcy Edwards,” Aunt Jane said trying to put her arm through Rachel’s coat’s armhole.

“Who’s Zach Davis?” I asked handing Aunt Jane her coat.

“He’s Mr. Stewart’s nephew. Trust me they do not get along,” Aunt Jane said picking up the car keys.

“How bad is it?” Andrew asked as we hopped into the car.

“They aren’t dead but Zach is badly hurt,” Aunt Jane said going way over the speed limit.

“Aunt Jane, slow down! I haven’t even put my seatbelt on!” I screamed. Aunt Jane didn’t seem to hear me. We got to the sight of the crash in less than two minutes.

“Don’t ever do that kids!” Aunt Jane shouted hopping out of the car.

I stumbled out. I felt like puking. I saw a sight. Natalie was being loaded onto an ambulance.

“What’s wrong with Natalie?” I asked Mrs. Baldwin.

“She fell,” Mrs. Baldwin said. “Nothing to worry about. She wasn’t in the accident.”

Andrew walked down the hill and started helping.

“What happened?” I asked.

“We don’t know yet. They haven’t tried talking to them. Zach is unconscious and Darcy is delirious,” Mrs. Baldwin said. “Poor Natalie.”

Mrs. Baldwin walked away before I could ask her what that last part meant.

“I have the strangest feeling that a certain Stewart dispute had something to do with this,” Aunt Jane said under her breath.

And for a strange reason even thou I knew nothing about Stewart disputes I had a feeling it did too.

**

I walked into the North Adams hospital with two Get Well balloons and one box full of Valentines. I planned on selling my first Valentine today.

“You’re my first friend visitor,” Darcy said as I walked into the room. I smiled.

“I have to admit this isn’t only just a social call,” I said pulling a chair up close to his bed.

“I’ll buy a Valentine or two from you,” Darcy laughed.

“So who do you need?” I asked.

“I need a Valentine for my mother, Emily, Regina, Jaci, and Abby,” Darcy said. “And maybe one for little Megan.”

“You don’t want to give a Valentine to Natalie?” I asked a little outraged.

“I do don’t get me wrong but…………,” Darcy started. “Can I tell you a secret?”

“Sure,” I shrugged. I tried not to squirm in my seat.

“Well one Christmas morning I left a present for Natalie under her little Charlie Brown tree but I didn’t put my name on it. Ever since I’ve been sending her anonymous gifts,” Darcy said not quite looking at my face. “Natalie calls me her Secret Santa but she doesn’t know its me.”

“How romantic!” I cried. “I have the perfect Valentine!”

I went rummaging through my box and found the Valentine I was thinking about.

“I don’t know,” Darcy said reading it. “What if she doesn’t feel the same way? I mean……”

“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of that,” I smiled.

Darcy looked at me strangely.

“Tell you what. I have to stop by and see Zach. I’ll go visit him and come back. It will give you time to think about it,” I said. “But don’t worry. I know Natalie likes you that way. I just do. I’m not just a farm girl you know? I also do the occasionally matchmaking!”

Darcy laughed as I walked out the room with my box and Zach’s balloon.

“Can I see Zach Davis?” I asked a nurse.

“Do you know him?” The nurse asked.

“I’ve got a balloon for him. I also live in Florida,” I said. “My name is Virginia Powers. I live with my Aunt Jane Powers.”

“I’ll ask him,” The nurse said walking towards his room.

“And tell him I’ve got Valentines!” I shouted.

The nurse came back a minute later.

“He says he doesn’t know you but he knows your Aunt so he said you can come in,” The nurse said. I smiled and walked down the hall.

“Hello!” I said walking into the room.

“Hi,” Zach said weakly.

“I’m afraid we haven’t met,” I said putting the box of Valentine’s down. “I’m Virginia Powers.”

“Zach Davis,” He smiled. “I only let you in because she said you had Valentines.”

I smiled and laughed.

“Yup,” I said shaking the box. “What do you need?”

“I’m afraid someone is trying to kill me,” Zach said.

“And you want to send them a Valentine?” I asked.

“No!” Zach shouted. “I want a Valentine for Abby.”

“Abby Matthews?” I asked. “The one that lives in Boston?”

“That’s the one,” Zach said. “If there’s one thing I want to do before I die is marry that girl.”

“She didn’t mention a boyfriend,” I said digging through my box.

“That’s because I’m an old boyfriend,” Zach sighed. “I left her but I sure didn’t forget her.”

“If you broke up with her why in the world would she want to marry you?” I asked.

“I knew her back in college and well she left me that time and well I guess we’re even now,” Zach said. He had a smile on his face.

“I think I’m going to have to make a special Valentine for this one,” I said putting a lid on the box.

The nurse that had helped me walked into the room with a syringe in her hand.

“Flu shot,” The nurse said. “Doctor’s orders.”

Zach quickly jumped out of his hospital bed. His legs were really shaky. He started to run but the Nurse stuck the syringe in his arm. She ran after him wanting to complete the job.

I had a feeling Zach wasn’t kidding when he said he thought someone wanted to kill him.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Two

I sat there speechless. What did she mean it was no accident? How could a car accident not be well not an accident?

“What do you mean?” I asked slowly. Momma didn’t answer me.

“How can you just tell me my father’s death wasn’t an accident and then not tell me anymore?” I asked a couple minutes later outraged.

“I’m sorry, Natalie,” Momma said getting up. She turned back and looked at me.

“I truly am sorry.”

And with that, she walked out the room.

**

When I woke up it was a new year. They had kept me over night as a ‘precaution’ which might have been a good idea since I almost had a panic attack just thinking about what my mother had told me.

“Morning Natalie. I would say good but by the look on your face it doesn’t seem to be going too well,” The doctor (whose name was Dr. Charles Walters) said.

He had that right.

“You’re still a little unstable I assume but I think you could go home later this afternoon,” Dr. Walters said.

“Why do you have to keep me here?” I asked.

“Because I want to make sure this doesn’t become a habit with you,” Dr. Walters said. He looked at my foot.

“Trust me. I don’t want to end up in the hospital every few weeks,” I huffed.

“Good,” Dr. Walters said walking out the door.

“WHERE’S NATALIE BALDWIN?!!!!”

I quickly sat up recognizing the voice. Regina ran into my room.

“New Year’s Eve was torture! Torture I tell you!” Regina cried.

“Why?” I asked. Then I saw why. Darcy, Nelson, Timmy, and Emily (who was still wearing cupcake pajamas) walked into the room.

“I thought you were Clumsy not Panicky,” Emily laughed.

“A panic attack is no laughing matter,” Darcy said putting his hands in his pockets.

“Why are you wearing cupcake pajamas?” I asked trying not to laugh.

“Grandpa has three flat tires,” Timmy mumbled.

“And they couldn’t leave cause the only tow truck in Florida was closed and Grandpa doesn’t trust no Monroe people,” Emily said. Timmy kicked her.

“That’s not why. It was so late that nobody in Berkshire County was open,” Timmy said.

“What are you doing here?” I asked. “And that doesn’t answer the pajama question.”

“Grandpa is off getting our tires fixed and I was forced to come along,” Emily said rolling her eyes.

“And you didn’t have time to change?” I asked. Emily rolled her eyes.

“Mrs. Walters has my clothes,” Emily said walking out the room.

“So what happened?’ Regina asked sitting at the foot of my bed.

I wondered if I should tell them what happened. I thought against it.

A nurse walked into my room with a big needle in her hand.

“Whoa. What are you doing with that thing?” I asked.

“It says here that you need a flu shot,” The nurse said.

“What? Where’s my mother?” I asked.

“I’ll go find her,” Nelson said walking out the door. Darcy followed.

Regina stared at the nurse with cold eyes.

“I never get a flu shot ma’am. I’m here because of a panic attack,” I said.

“Miss Baldwin, I’m just trying to follow orders. Dr. Walters wrote to give you an influenza shot and I’m gonna give it to you,” The nurse said.

“MRS.BALDWIN!” Regina screamed running out the room.

“Get away from me,” I barked at the nurse as she put the needle in my arm.

Everything instantly went hazy.

“Daddy?” I asked before I everything went black.

**

“Stop!” I screamed sitting up. I was in a different hospital room. I tried to breathe. Why would I be in a DIFFERENT hospital room? Oh, yeah. That crazy nurse who tried to give me a flu shot.

“Natalie, you’re up. They thought you were going to sleep the New Year away,” Momma said. I knew she was trying to joke but there was no sparkle in her eyes.

“What happened?” I asked.

“A nurse at the other hospital mixed up flu shot with a huge douse of sleeping medicine. They airlifted you to Pittsfield to make sure it wouldn’t over power your system,” Momma said.

“I’ve always wanted to ride in a helicopter,” I said.

“You must still be sleepy,” Momma said getting up. She walked towards the door but Ms. Donna walked into the room.

“I hate to add to your troubles, Riley, but,” Ms. Donna started. She pulled my tin from behind her back and showed that the tin was empty.

All the money I’ve ever had. Gone.