Here is the last installment of The Secret Pond. I hope you have enjoyed this writing journey with me. I feel good about completing the story. I learned a lot along the way about myself and my writing style. Writing this story in installments every week as a “pantster” has been challenging for me. I found out that I could do it, but it isn’t where my writing strengths are. It adds an element of pressure for me to not only create it within a timeline but also have it well edited and ready to publish. I envy those writers that write with deadlines like these every week.
Chapter 6 – Abigail
That would be the last time that Abigail would see the pond. For the next three weeks, the family and house staff were busy getting Sally ready to go off to boarding school.
The house was all a flutter trying to get everything ready. A moving truck came about a week before Sally’s move in day and took all of the things that could go ahead of time. Mr. and Mrs. Baxter planned to drive Sally to school so they could be there to see their daughter off, but more importantly, so everyone else could see them there. Not just anyone’s child got accepted at that school.
The night before the big departure, Sally stopped by the carriage house to give her a gift. It was her yellow writing notebook and pink Hello Kitty pen. The notebook contained all of the stories she had read in their sessions.
“You can’t give this to me Sally,” Abigail said, “this is all of your hard work.”
“You were the only one that I could ever share it with. No one else will understand who Lila really is. And you are the only other one who has even seen the pond.”
“How is Lila taking all of this? Is she sad that you are leaving?”
“She is a little sad, but she also knows that my leaving is the right thing to do. She will take care of things around the pond while I’m gone. She said that she’ll be o.k.”
“You need to keep your notebook for when you come back here then,” Abigail said, trying to hand the notebook back to Sally.
“No, please keep it,” Sally said and gently pushed it back towards Abigail, “Lila and I will have new adventures when I come back. We’ll start a new notebook. We want you to have this one.”
They both hugged and cried before Sally went back to the house.
The next day, Abigail watched from her window as the car drove down the driveway. Looking across her room, she saw the trunk and travel tote that the Baxters had given her as a gift when Sally was accepted into boarding school. At the time, she accepted it as a beautiful gift, but maybe that was a sign of what was to come. Abigail had no idea where her mom was or what opportunities may be out there for her. She really needed to know what the Baxters had in mind.
Abigail hugged the notebook close to her chest. She would never forget Sally and Lila.
About a week later when the Baxters returned from dropping Sally off at school, they asked Abigail to meet them for dinner and to talk. She felt anxious about the meeting but, knew that they were probably going to talk about her future with them.
After she put the final touches on her hair, she stood in front of the full length mirror admiring how she looked in the dress that they gave her for the Christmas party last year. She smiled at what she saw and headed out to the house.
She arrived in the dining room first and took a closer look at it. Mrs. Baxter had good tastes and decorated this room elegantly. At the center of the room there stood a long ebony table with bright white table cloth draped over the top. Abigail had noticed that when the table was set, Mrs. Baxter always had the napkins another solid color, which would set off well against the gold plated flatware. Tonight, it was the ivory and gold color scheme. They would entertain their dinner guests in here, so Abigail wasn’t invited to eat in here very often. Family dinners were held at a smaller and more intimate table in the kitchen. Abigail felt sad shook her head. They had many more meals in here than in the kitchen. Sally often had dinner in the kitchen alone because as a child, she wasn’t allowed to have dinner with the guests yet. She heard foot steps in the hallway and turned around and there were the Baxters standing in the doorway.
Dinner started right away after they sat down. During dinner, the Baxters were very social as they shared what happened when they dropped Sally off at school. After they finished dinner, Mr. Baxter dabbed his mouth with a linen napkin and began to push his chair back from the table.
“Abigail, we are planning to take coffee and dessert in the sitting room. Would you care to join us there?” Mr. Baxter asked.
“Sure,” Abigail replied with a smile.
They walked together into the sitting room which was connected to the dining room by a small door to the left of the fireplace. The door to the right went to the kitchen.
“It was a pleasure to work with Sally,” Abigail said, “she is a smart girl and a great creative writer.”
“We are happy that she is such a good student, Abigail, we have you to thank for that,” Mr. Baxter said, as he took his chair by the fireplace.
“I only helped her learn what she needed for school. She was already real smart.”
“We are pretty proud of our daughter, Abigail,” Mr. Baxter replied.
“Why are you telling us this?” Mrs. Baxter asked.
“I just wanted to let you know how smart and special your daughter is.”
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter smiled at each other and then took a sip of their coffee. It seemed to her that it was time to ask the question that was on her mind.
“So, since Sally left for school, what is my status with you and Mr. Baxter? Do you have things you want me to continue doing around here?”
“Mr. Baxter and I have talked about it. We currently have a full household staff, so I don’t think that we have another opening.”
“What are you saying?”
“We will help you move on to another position. We will let you stay here for another month while you make plans to move on.”
Abigail wondered if this was the answer she wanted to hear or not. Part of her was relieved to finally have an answer, part of her was mad about how it was being presented.
“Do you have any ideas for where I can go?”
“You have family in Superior, right?” Mr. Baxter asked, “we can give you a train ticket to head back there.”
“My Mom left there a few months after I came here. I’m not sure where she is now.”
“Well, you will have a month to figure something out,” Mrs. Baxter answered, as she finished up her apple cobbler, “I think our conversation is done here.”
Mrs. Baxter got up from her seat and left the sitting room, with Mr. Baxter following close behind her. Abigail sat there for a minute feeling anxious but calm. Not sure what she was going to do, but now knew that staying here was not an option any more.
At this time, I’m not sure if this is where Abigail’s story will end or not. I may pick up and continue her storyline at a later date to see what direction this writing journey will ultimately take. I have left this chapter with a natural cliff hanger for a continuation to be created if it is to be. I have already had one idea for a possible direction, but I have left it as an idea for now.
Do you think I should continue the story? Do you want to know where Abigail’s journey takes her? Please let me know your thoughts in a comment to this post.