Note from Janelle: This is a sequel to Jessica’s story Plots & Twists.
“Jenny!” I cried, flinging my arms around my best friend. “I can’t believe you’re really here.” Jenny Grant had come out to spend Thanksgiving with us.
“How are you?” Jenny asked after giving me another hug. “I was so sad to
hear about Taffy, I know she meant allot to you.” she said soberly.
Although it had been over a year since Taffy had died, I still missed my beloved horse every day.
“Well, this place hasn’t changed much, except that it’s no so hot and, lots muddier,” Jenny said surveying the town. I took another look at Jenny.
Her red hair was now a deep, beautiful auburn. She had a stylish dress on and a matching hat to boot. Let’s face it: Jenny Grant had turned into a beauty.
“Hello Mitch,” Jenny said, going over to him and giving his hand a firm pump.
“Hey, Jenny, it’s good to see you.” Mitch smiled at her. “Well, we should probably get going,” he said, picking up Jenny’s bags. “We still need to stop at the store and get some stuff for Melinda.”
“O my!” Jenny said, trying not to laugh as we walked towards the Goodwin store from the sawmill. “I just remembered when we had that head-dunking contest.”
“As I recall, it was Cory, Jack, and you who indulged in such foolishness,” I said, trying to act proper.
“We all still landed in jail.”
“True,” I laughed. “But to tell you the truth, I desperately wanted to dunk my head too,” I informed Jenny.
“O, by the way,” Jenny exclaimed. “I’ve been dying to see your engagement ring.”
“Sure.” I pulled my hand out of my glove revealing a simple but beautiful diamond ring.
“Wow, Andi, it’s so gorgeous!” Jenny cried.
“Thanks. I think so too,” I agreed. “I didn’t want anything too expensive. Knowing me, I’d probably lose it.” I joked. “Now, Melinda needs some blue and white yarn for a blanket she’s making for Chad and Ellie’s baby.”
“What’s his name?” Jenny asked.
“Travis. He’s so cute, and he’s extremely alert for a four month old baby,” I said proudly.
“I bet,” Jenny answered as we walked into the Goodwin Mercantile. “I can’t wait to hold him.”
“Hello, girls” Mr. Goodwin greeted us warmly from behind the counter. “What can I help you with today?”
“We need some yarn for a blanket making,” I told him. “Mr. Goodwin, you remember my friend, Jenny, don’t you?”
“Where are my manners?” he said, coming around the counter. “It’s nice to see you again, Jenny.”
“You too, Mr. Goodwin.” Jenny smiled
“Well, I’d better let you lovely ladies get to your shopping,” Mr. Goodwin said.
“Andi,” I heard a voice call.
“Hi, Jack.” I smiled at him. “How are you today?”
“Fine, and yourself?” Jack asked.
“I’m good,” I said.
“Andi,” Jenny said, “Do you think I should . . .” She stopped and looked at Jack. “Hey, I know you! You’re Jack Goodwin, right?”
“Yes, how did you know?” he asked.
“Because I’m Jenny Grant.”
“I remember you,” Jack said. “Are you here for Thanksgiving?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Hey, Jack, you and your father should come over for Thanksgiving,” I said.
“Actually, your mother already asked. Looks like you’ll have two more guests,” Jack told me.
“Great,” I exclaimed. “We really need to go.” I said regretfully. “Mitch is waiting for us at the sawmill.”
“What’s the yarn for?” Jack asked as he added up our bill.
“Melinda’s making a blanket.”
“Bye, Jack,” I called over my shoulder.
“Bye, Andi, bye, Jenny,” he called after us. “See you at church.”
“Hey Andi, Jenny, wait up,” I heard a voice call to us as we were leaving church.
“Hi, Jack.” Jenny smiled. “How are you?”
“Fine, and yourself?” Jack said, readjusting his tie. Jack’d acting pretty strange, I thought to myself. He usually dressed a little hastily, but today he looked neat and tidy. Then it hit me. Jack likes Jenny!
“What do you think, Andi?” Jenny asked breaking into my thoughts.
“I’m sorry, I guess I was daydreaming, I apologized.
“I was just going to ask you if you think Cobalt is a good name for my new gelding at home.”
“Yes I think it’s a wonderful name,” I replied.
“So do I,” Jack agreed.
“Andi, Jenny, time to go,” Justin said, coming over to us.
“Bye, Jack. It was nice to see you again.” Jenny smiled at him.
“Bye, Jenny,” Jack said. “Guess I’ll see you on Tuesday.”
“Now, girls, be careful” Justin told us the next afternoon as we were saddling our horses. “I really would prefer that you didn’t go ridding,” he said, looking worriedly at the cloudy sky.
“Bu,t Justin,” I protested. “We’ll be careful.”
“And,” Jenny added, wrinkling her nose. “We’ll even take those smelly old rain coats along.”
“Well alright.” Justin gave in. “Just be back in time for supper, and if there’s even the slightest chance of rain come back.”
“Ok, we will, thanks, Justin,” I said, cinching up Shasta. “Are you ready ,Jenny?”
“Yep let’s go!” Came the answer.
“All right,” I said, mounting Shasta. “Don’t worry Justin” I told him. “I’m seventeen, almost eighteen. I can be responsible.”
“Ok, Andi.” Justin smiled at me. “Have a good time.”
“Don’t worry” I told him “I’m sure nothing will happen.”
I kicked my feet into the cool water. “This feels so good.” I exclaimed. It was pretty chilly for November.
“I know. I could sit here all day,” Jenny answered.
Shasta whinnied and stomped his hoof.
“Ok, boy, I’m coming,” I called, getting up and walking over to where Shasta and Sundance, our new horse, were tied. Sundance tossed his golden mane and nickered softly as I came close. “Um, Jenny ,“I said, looking at the dark sky. “We should probably be going.”
“Wow, I hadn’t realized how dark it is,” Jenny commented, coming up beside me.
“Come on,” I called to her. “Let’s go!”
We galloped across the field at break-neck speed. All of a sudden I felt Shasta stumble. He almost lost his footing, but I buried my hand in his thick mane and pulled on the reins with all my might. “Whoa, boy,” I soothed, hopping down off him. I knelt in the mud and ran my hands down his legs.
“Is he hurt badly?” Jenny worriedly asked, coming over to me.
I stood up and wiped my muddy hand on my riding skirt. “No, it doesn’t look too bad, thank God,” I said relieved.
“That’s good,” Jenny said. “Here, put this on.” She handed me a rain coat. I gladly took it and slipped the musty rain coat over my head. “Thanks.”
“No proble—” Jenny was cut off by a loud crash of thunder. Shasta reared up, almost falling over backwards.
“Shasta, whoa!” I cried, trying to calm him.
“Andi, watch out!” Jenny yelled. She let go of her horse’s reins and pushed me out of the way just as Shasta’s front hooves came pounding down right where I had been standing!
“Shasta, Sundance, come back here!” I yelled at the backs of the disappearing horses.
“Well, look on the bright side. At least we have our rain coats on,” Jenny commented as big drops of rain started falling down from the sky. “But what are we going to do?
“There’s an old shack not too far away from here where we could go.”
“Sounds good to me,” Jenny said, wiping the rain out of her face.” Another bolt of lightning whizzed across the sky. “Anything to get out of this rain.”
“Come on, then, let’s get out of here.”
We arrived, panting and exhausted, at the run-down shack. “It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing,” I said surveying the shack. I pushed open the door and looked around. A table and chairs were in the corner and a small cot was at the opposite end of the wall. “Come on in, Jenny. Looks like we’ll be staying here for a while.”
“This isn’t too bad,” Jenny commented once we had struggled out of our wet rain coats.
“Too bad we don’t have a fireplace.”
“Yes, I know,” Jenny said, grabbing a blanket from the shelf. She shook it out and joined me on the cot.
“I hope the horses got back safely,” I worried.
“I hope so too,” Jenny agreed, tucking the blankets more tightly around her.
“Remember the time we rescued Lin Mei and her friend in San Francisco?” I asked.
“Yes, boy was I ever scared, but I’m glad we helped free Ling Mei.”
“Me too,” I said and wrapped the blankets closer around me.
“What about the time when I knocked Hugh Baker over the head with a frying pan?” Jenny laughed.
“I’ll never forget the look on his face when Mitch cocked that gun,” I added.
“Jenny,” I said after a while. “Do you like Jack?”
She blushed. “Maybe a little, but you can’t tell anyone, especially Jack,” She warned me.
“Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone,” I promised.
“Thanks.” Jenny smiled at me.
My eyes started to close.
“Andi,” I heard Jenny say, “do you think your brothers will find us?”
“Of course they will,” I mumbled just before I fell into a deep sleep.
“Andi, wake up.” I faintly heard someone calling me. I opened my eyes a crack and jumped up.
“Justin, you found us!” I exclaimed, hugging him. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t see how dark it was, and I lost track of time,” I apologized “Are the horses aright?”
“Yes, the horses are fine.” Justin laughed. “And yes, I forgive you.”
“Hey, sis, you had us worried for a little while,” Mitch said, tussling my hair.
“See?” I glanced at Jenny. “I told you they’d find us.”
Jenny smiled at me “Well, you were right,” she said, pulling on her rain coat.
“Come on, let’s go!” I heard Chad yell from outside.
“We’re coming,” I yelled back to him. “Hold your horses.”
“Happy Thanksgiving, Ellie,” I said, giving her a quick hug the next afternoon. Other than a slight cough, I was fine (thanks to the rain coats Jenny stuffed into her bag).
“You too, Andi.” She smiled and sat down beside Chad at the table loaded with peas, mash potatoes, a huge stuffed turkey and lots and lots of pies.
I was almost ready to sit down beside Jenny when the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it,” I offered.” I wondered who it could be. The Goodwins, and Jem and Cory’s families were already here. Who else could we be missing?
“Hello,” I said opining the front door. Then I gasped, and in a second I was in Cory’s arms.
“I missed you so much,” Corry whispered to me.
“I missed you too,” I answered.
“Andi, who is it I heard?” Chad called.
I laughed. “It’s Cory” I called back. “Come on, Cory,” I said grasping his hand, “dinner is waiting.”
I wasn’t too surprised when Jenny told me that Jack had asked if he could court her. Well, of course she (and her parents) said yes! The next year they got married. It was a beautiful wedding.
“Well,” I told Jenny after the wedding. “I guess we’ll be neighbors.”
“I guess so,” Jenny replied happily.
“We’re going to have lots of fun,” I said.
“Of course we are.” Jenny laughed. “We always do.”