The bus from North Adams to Virginia took about ten hours. I tried to take a nap, but all I could think about was that I was moving to New York in less than a month. Mr. Steve kept his distance even though I knew Momma was trying her hardest for him to get closer to me. I personally thought some distance between us was a good thing.
Ms. O’Donnell had gone down to Virginia a week early so she could get everything put together. I wondered how the people down there were putting up with her.
Once word got out that the ‘world’ famous Jessie-Maria Sean would be performing at the Christmas in July show tickets were sold faster than you could count to ten.
“Jessie-Maria, you are an angel!” Is what Aunt Jane said when she found out how much money we had already made.
“Natalie?” Virginia asked as we got closer to her hometown.
“Yeah?” I asked.
“You’re the best friend a girl could ever ask for. Thank you for everything. You’ve done a lot to help out my family and neighbors. I’m going to miss you more than you could ever imagine,” Virginia said with tears in her eyes.
“You’re an awesome friend too,” I said trying not to cry. I had done a lot of crying lately.
“When are you leaving?” Virginia asked.
“Mr. Steve hasn’t gotten the exact date from his job yet,” I said.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose,” Virginia said quoting Romans 8:28. “Pretty hard to believe, huh?”
She could say that again.
It was almost nine-thirty P.M. The day had been hectic. The show had just finished, and thankfully nothing major had gone wrong. I hadn’t been able to go on the rides or spend any time with Darcy, but it was ok. I was helping the victims of the fire and that’s what I came here to do.
“You look tired,” Darcy said to me.
He had no idea how tired.
“You were great,” Darcy said.
“Thanks,” I said. “It was tiring and hard, but we’ve made a lot of money and its really going to help the victims.”
“I used most of my coins,” Darcy said sheepishly.
“Oh and you want mine?” I asked digging into my pocket. “Here, I haven’t used a single one.”
“Keep your coins,” Darcy said. “I was wondering if you’d take me on one of the rides or something since we didn’t get to spend the day together.”
“Sure,” I said. “But I want to go in the photo both first.”
“Sure,” Darcy shrugged.
There wasn’t a line at the photo both and I didn’t expect there to be. I just wanted one last picture. One final memory.
“Say ‘Christmas’!” I shouted.
“Christmas!” Darcy and I shouted.
The pictures we took were totally goofy, but they were special (at least to me. I have no clue to this day what Darcy did with our pictures). Every time I looked at those photos I couldn’t help but smile. For three minutes I forgot about not being able to go to sleep at night, I forgot about waking up in strange places, I forgot about Mr. Steve, I even forgot about moving to New York! For three minutes it was just about Darcy, me, and making silly faces.
It was thirty minutes later and after going on the Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and watching Darcy win me a bear I was more tired than I ever thought I’d been. The time I had found myself outside was the only time I had gone to sleep in two weeks.
“What’s wrong?” Darcy asked. I shrugged.
We walked towards to the scream, and found Mr. Rivers running around like an idiot and Mrs. Rivers screaming for someone to call 911.
“Calm down, Joan,” Momma coaxed. “The pain is natural.”
Mrs. Rivers breathed.
“I..I..I..can’t find my car keys,” Mr. Rivers said with his car keys behind his ears.
“Um, Dad,” Jessie-Maria said. “They’re behind your ears.”
Mr. Rivers looked at Jessie-Maria with pure amazement.
“Behind your ears!” Jessie-Maria shouted just in case he couldn’t hear her.
“Oh, yeah,” Mr. Rivers said taking the keys from behind his ears. “Where’s the bag?”
“Forget the bag! Get me to a hospital!” Mrs. Rivers cried.
“Here,” Jessie-Maria said handing me a box. “Can you, Virginia, and Darcy count the names and see which one is the winner? I have a feeling we’re gonna need the names real soon!”
It took us two hours to count up all the names. When we were finished I could barely keep my eyes open but sleep just wasn’t coming.
“Let’s see,” Virginia said looking at the sheet of paper. “Addison and Austin won for a boy and a girl, James and John won for two boys, and Faith and Hope if it’s two girls.”
“I wonder if Mrs. Rivers has had the twins yet,” I wondered out loud.
“I remember when my mom went into labor with Caroline. It took eighteen hours,” Virginia groaned.
“Have you figured out the names yet?” Momma asked walking where we were sitting.
“Yeah,” I said rubbing my eyes.
“Good, because Mr. Rivers just called and asked what names he should put on the birth certificates,” Momma smiled.
“Addison and Austin,” Jessie-Maria cooed. We were back in Florida and this was our first real chance to see the twins.
“I guess it’s good to have a boy and a girl,” Virginia said. “Even though I think it would be cool to have an identical twin.”
“I think it would be cool to have any kind of twin,” I said. Virginia nodded.
“Get ready for nonstop crying,” Virginia said to Jessie-Maria.
“I’m going to help Mom and Dad out,” Jessie-Maria said. “Dad already owns me three diaper changes.”
We burst out laughing.
“Can..I..,” Emily started. “Hold a baby?”
“Sure,” Mrs. Rivers smiled. She showed Emily how to hold a baby and then put Austin in her arms.
“I’ve always wanted to be a big sister,” Emily said with tears in her voice. “Maybe it’s because I’m good at bossing people around.”
Mrs. Rivers gave Emily a sad smile.
I never thought that Emily would want to be an older sister. She was more of the baby type if you asked me.
“You can have Megan if you want,” I joked.
That put a smile on her face, and Megan gave me a dirty look. She was smart for two.