“It isn’t fair!” was Shelle’s thought on James and Lindy. Shelle’s parents were in tears when Shelle came back from the hills; they were really crying.
So Shelle decided to make a decision.
Shelle decided that she would go to England. She was tired of knowing that James was on his farm, alone, with only animals for company. Shelle had plenty of company, but when she was able to steal a few precious moments alone, James and Lindy haunted her. She could hear Lindy’s sweet, soft voice and James’s laughing, cheerful tone answering. But now it was only James’s voice speaking and no willowy Lindy to reply. She went softly, mind and heart heavy with thoughts and dulled grief, which seemed to lighten her body.
Her father seemed troubled, too. He told Shelle about what had happened to Lindy and was mildly surprised to find that Shelle already knew. Shelle caught a few phrases from her parents’ bedtime conversations—“We waited too long to send Shelle,” “I don’t even know his address,” “Do you think his kids know about us?” “I still feel guilty over my parents’ disapproval of their marriage. But she was happy, but maybe mad at me” “We were close cousins, raised practically as brother and sister.”
Shelle had no idea what they were talking about, though she knew that somehow the conversation was distantly connected to Lindy and James and their children.
Shelle made her fateful decision in the “lookout loft” of the little clubhouse in her backyard. The night’s wind wrapped around her, trying hard to console, but Shelle wasn’t consoled, though a bit happier after making the resolution. She pulled out a few socks secreted in a wall of the playhouse; hole sealed by a poster Shelle had put over with James and his band on it. The money in the socks was her life savings. She separated the bills from the change and started to count. When she had finished counting and re-checking herself, she had six hundred, sixty-five dollars and eighty-three cents as a total.
All of it had been saved ever since she was four: from allowances, baby-sitting jobs, car washing, lemonade stands, birthdays, and holidays. She looked at the money and a proud feeling went through her, helped by the fact that she had called Southbest Airlines and a ticket to England was only two hundred and fifty dollars, round trip. She supposed that she would go the next week, because it was the last week of April and the third week of April (which she was in) was the last week of school for five weeks, which were reserved for vacation. She’d reserve a ticket tonight and get somebody to sign for her when she went to pick it up. She smiled with glee over her plan, then yawned and put all of her money back into the socks and went to the garage—looking for a good suitcase.