The next day, Andi excitedly jumped out of bed, ran to the closet, hurriedly grabbed her school dress and slipped it over her head. Brushing her hair she quickly braided it and tied it with ribbons then rushed out of her room.
Standing at the top of the stairs she debated sliding down the banister. I know I shouldn't but I'm so excited I can't help it! Andi thought and after a quick glance showed no one in sight, she quickly slid down. As she landed with a thump on the floor she heard a chuckle behind her. Turning quickly she saw Chad standing there.
“You are sixteen, but I don't think you'll ever entirely grow up. But that's the way I like it. I'll always need my little sister around to tease.”
Andi laughed. “Are you sure you wouldn't have me grow up and be a perfect lady like Melinda?”
Chad walked over and gave Andi a hug. “I'm sure. And no matter how much I may boss you, I'd miss you if you left.”
Andi laughed. “If I ever have any suitors, I'll send them to you to get rid of!”
Chad chuckled and they both walked into the dining room.
Breakfast was quickly over and they were all in the buggy headed for town.
As they got closer to town, Andi grew quiet.
“Something wrong, little sister?” Justin asked.
“No, not really. I was just wondering if Cory will have changed. He's been to college now and seen things I haven't.”
Justin stroked her hair. “Don't worry, little sister. I'm sure Cory will be the same Cory you remember.”
Soon they were in town and Chad dropped Andi of at the station. “Now remember, not a word of the surprise to Cory. Just act normal.”
“I'll remember, Chad. See y'all at the hotel.”
Andi walked into the station.
Cory's parents were there as well, waiting outside the station for the train to come in.
Before long, Andi heard the faraway whistle of the train. “It's here!” she said excitedly.
The train pulled up to the station and the passengers began disembarking. Andi walked to the window and watched for Cory. Presently, she saw Cory leave the train.
Andi gasped. He looked so different from the boy she remembered. His hair was slicked back and combed neatly in place, and he was wearing a suit much like the kind Justin wore. He spotted Andi right away and winked at her.
Andi grinned. Even college couldn't take away the teasing, mischievous look in Cory's eye's.
After he had greeted his parents, Andi wasted no time in going outside. “Where's Micah?” she asked breathlessly.
Cory grinned. “I'm gone for 3 ½ months and the first thing you say to me is 'Where's Micah?' You don't even know Micah!”
Andi laughed. “You know I'm glad to see you. I was just curious since you said he was coming home with you. And I didn’t see anyone leave the train with you.”
“He’ll be along later.”
Just then Cory's father said, “Why don't we all go down to the hotel to get warmed up? It's cold out here!”
Cory grinned.. “Sure. That would be great. Want to come, Andi?” he said ,yanking her braids. “By the way, are you in town alone?”
“Oh, my brothers are around here somewhere.” Andi shrugged.
As they entered the hotel dining room, suddenly the whole room erupted with shouts of 'welcome home' and 'We're glad your back Cory!'
Cory looked around, speechless. Andi led him and his parents to a seat in the middle of the room. “What's this?” he whispered to Andi .
“Everyone wanted to welcome you back. So they came up with this surprise.”
Cory grinned. “I'm practically a hero! Just for going to college.”
Andi smiled “Don't get to stuck up. You’re still just plain old Cory in my book.”
“Cory sighed. ”I'll never get anywhere with you, Andi .”
After the party, while everyone was talking to Cory Andi slipped outside. It was hot in the hotel and she was still wondering where Micah was.
Soon, she headed back to the hotel. As she was walking she heard someone.
“Excuse me, can you tell me where Cory Blake lives?”
Andi studied the man. He was tall and muscular, clean-shaven, with curly red hair, and about Cory's age.
“Why would you like to know?”
The man turned questioning eyes on her. “Does it matter?”
“Why can't you tell me?'
The man laughed. “I have no secrets. I can tell anyone I like, but since you seem to have a dislike toward me which I can't understand, I will simply ask someone else.” He tipped his hat toward her. “Good day.”
As the man walked on, Andi sighed. I should have told him. He looked honest enough, she thought. But ever since what happened with Mother and those two men I don't really trust any strangers. As she entered the hotel she saw the man sitting next to Cory. I guess he found someone else to tell him where Cory is.
Just then Cory called. “Andi, come here. I've got someone for you to meet.”
Andi walked over.
“Andi , this is Micah, whom you were so anxious to meet earlier today. Micah, this is my friend, Andi, who I've told you about.”
Micah's eyes twinkled. “I believe we've already met.”