Chapter 5 – Sally
Sally was anxious to find out what Abigail thought of her special place. She took a big leap of faith to share her stories in the first place. It took even more to actually bring her here.
When they arrived at the pond, Abigail stopped on the path next to Sally, turned around in a complete circle to take it all in. After a couple of minutes, she took a deep breath and gave Sally a great big smile. Sally felt a great sense of relief. She had finally shared the location of her special place with someone other than Lila.
“What do you think?” Sally asked.
“It is just like you described it in your stories. Very beautiful.”
“Let me show you where I do a lot of my writing,” she said and started walking on a narrow path through the trees that stayed pretty close to the pond.
They continued walking and arrived at a spot on the opposite side of the pond from where they started. There was a big red colored rock that sat about six feet back from the water. Sally climbed up on it, sat down, and put her backpack on her lap.
“This rock is made of red granite, the state rock of Wisconsin. I know, because I looked it up. Please come and sit with me Abigail,” Sally pleaded, “there’s enough room for both of us up here.”
Abigail walked towards the rock and climbed up next to Sally. The vantage point from there allowed her to see the entire pond. As they both sat there taking in the view, she saw the mama deer and her fawns across the pond walk up to the edge and take a drink of water.
“It is one of the best things about being here. The view is beautiful and it is so peaceful,” Sally replied as she took her notebook out of her backpack.
“The house is a very busy place,” Abigail said, “it has to be nice to have a place like this to come to.”
“It is. My mom likes the hustle and bustle and to show off what she has. She’s always inviting people over.”
“I thought they were friends of your parents’,” Abigail said.
“No. Typically they are either influential people in the area, members of the higher society, or they are just trying to meet my parents to say that they know them.”
“Do your parents have any friends that come to visit them?”
“Not really. Although, when the family comes to the house it is more of a visit than a party.”
“Were they the ones who stayed here over Christmas?” Abigail asked.
“Yes, those were my father’s relatives. My mother’s relatives will come and stay with us in the fall. After I leave for school.”
“Are you looking forward to going away to school?”
“In a lot of ways, yes. I don’t like living here. But I’ll miss the pond. And you.”
Sally reached over to give Abigail a hug. She felt Abigail’s body jerk away from her when she touched her. She pulled her arms back right away and put her hands in her lap.
“I’m sorry Abigail,” Sally said, “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“No Sally, I’m sorry. You just startled me. I’m not used to receiving affection. My mom wasn’t the hugging type, so I haven’t been exposed to it. Let’s try again.”
Sally nodded and reached around Abigail and gave her a hug. Sally felt her hang on a little longer than what she was used to with hugs from her own family. After Abigail let go, they both got resettled on the rock.
“Like you, I wasn’t very close to my mom. She was so busy trying to get me out of the house.”
“Why?” Sally asked.
“She thought I should be working on my future and not just sitting around. I think she didn’t want me to rely on her for support.”
“I know my parents financially support me. But I don’t even know who they are.”
“That’s really sad.”
“I’m afraid that when I move away they won’t even contact me. They will be too busy. The only contact I will have back at home will be Lila. And she was someone I created to keep me company.”
“The stories that you have written about her show your strength in creative writing. That skill will take you far at school.”
“What will you do when I leave Abigail?”
“I’m not sure. I have to talk to your Mom and see if she still needs me. Otherwise, I don’t know. Do you know where Claire went when she left here?”
“She went back to live with her mom and dad. Her mom was pretty mad at mother after Claire left.”
“Why?” Abigail asked.
“Since her mom was friends with my mother in college, she assumed that my parents would have been more generous with their money. Claire’s family is not very well off. Instead of sending her to school, they had her come work for my parents. The idea was for Claire being my nanny, that my parents were going to give her money for to get her education.”
“What gave them that idea?”
“I think they agreed to it before Claire came to live here. Then mother decided not to do it.”
Sally hoped that things would go better with her parents and Abigail. But she didn’t have good feelings about it.
“I don’t know where I will go. I don’t know where my mom is. And, I don’t think I want to go back to Superior.”
“You should go somewhere and teach. You are a good teacher. I hope that you do something that you like with people who love you, like a family. You deserve that.”
“So do you Sally.”
“I’m going to a place where I’ll meet some new friends and find some new things to do. You won’t have that unless you leave here.”
“When I took the job, I saw it as a great opportunity to grow and do something I love, to teach. And that working for a rich family would give me a great place and connections to grow successful from.”
“I’m afraid that my parents may not support you the way you want them to, Abigail.”
“You are right Sally,” Abigail replied, “my true future may not be found by staying here.”