Andrea Carter hung precariously out the coach’s window. With a sigh, Mitch pulled her back inside again. Andi sat back down on the hard seat and tried to brace herself against the bumps without much success.
“When will we be there?” she asked.
Mitch rolled his eyes. “C’mon Andi!” he said with a touch of exasperation. “You’ve asked me that at least a hundred times!”
Andi’s eyes twinkled mischievously. “Yes, but every time I ask it, a few more minutes have gone by!” she replied.
Mitch sighed again and shook his head helplessly. “I can’t believe you talked Mother and me into agreeing with this crazy scheme of yours to go and visit Jenny Grant of all people!”
Andi bristled. “Jenny is my best friend, next to Cory. Without her I couldn’t have survived living in that awful school!” she shuddered.
Mitch shrugged. “All I’m saying is it won’t be a vacation for me. Jenny is practically you all over again, except for her hair, which means I’ll be dealing with twice as much trouble.”
Andi grinned. “I’m sure we’ll make your life somewhat exciting for a little while, but it’s only two weeks. Besides, you’ll have her brothers to talk with!”
Mitch frowned and growled something under his breath that Andi couldn’t quite catch, but it sounded sort of like: “two weeks!” followed by a groan.
Andi shrugged. Fine, if Mitch decided he was going to be grumpy, she’d let him. She was planning on enjoying herself for the first time since school started. Her eyes went back to the open widow, and she enjoyed the scenery. It was very different from where she lived, but she loved the difference.
Her mind wandered away from the snow covered mountains and tall pine trees as she thought about Jenny’s family. What would her brothers be like, and how would they get along with Mitch? Jenny had written to Andi off and on whenever she thought of it, and it was obvious in her letters that she was very proud of her siblings, and often recorded things her brothers had accomplished. Andi grinned to herself. She often wrote similar things to Jenny about her brothers! It was almost like a contest: whose brothers were more awesome?
Andi glanced at Mitch out of the corner of her eyes, and smiled. Mitch really was sacrificing things for her to be able to go on this trip. There had been no way her mother would have allowed her to go by herself, and Mitch volunteered. She was very grateful to him for coming with her just to make her happy. She suddenly hugged him, just for being a great brother. It took him by surprise, but he did seem to like it.
“What’d you do that for?” he asked.
Andi laughed. “Because you are a great brother!” she replied. “Thanks for agreeing to come; I wouldn’t have been able to go if you hadn’t.”
Mitch grinned good-naturedly, his grumpiness forgotten. “Sure, sis, anytime.”
Andi looked at him with a twinkle in her eye. “Really?
You mean I could visit Jenny again soon?”
Mitch got a look of horror on his face. “Oh, no!”
Andi laughed again, thankful that she and Mitch were the only ones inside the stagecoach for now. “I was only joking.” She said quickly, and Mitch gave a deep sigh of relief.
There was silence again, and Andi looked out the window. It certainly looked as if they were almost there. Jenny had told her about the huge trees and high mountains. Her home was drastically different form Jenny’s but they both could appreciate the other’s home, although Jenny said that she preferred trees to open grassland. Andi looked at the trees as they went by and didn’t blame her. Washington was a beautiful place, despite having less open grassland. She was daydreaming about her home when Mitch shook her gently.
“We’re here.” He said, and Andi jolted from her dreams for the time being. Mitch “helped” Andi from the stagecoach, and they walked through the town to Jenny’s home. It was a very nice house, not fancy, but simply homey, and Andi liked it right away.
Jenny met them at the door, and flew into Andi’s arms for a long awaited hug. Mitch stood awkwardly to the side, but Jenny, realizing his position told him to go on in and set the bags near the door.
“Oh, I have so much to show you!” Jenny exclaimed when Mitch disappeared inside. “It’s been such a long time! Come on in, or Mother will scold me for keeping you out in this weather.”
Andi looked up at the sky, and it did look as if was about to rain at any moment.
Jenny saw her glancing upward and guessed why she did. Laughing, she dragged Andi into the house. “Don’t worry; here it always looks like it’s going to rain.” She paused thoughtfully for a moment. “Well, almost always. You’ll get used to it. Not much like hot, sunny California is it?” she prattled on.
Andi merely shook her head, still somewhat in surprise. Jenny stopped talking, and showed Andi her own room, her eyes shining with excitement. “You’re going to share it with me while you’re here.”
Andi looked around her in delight. Jenny’s room was beautiful to her eyes, though it probably would have made Melinda throw up her hands in dismay. The walls were covered in pictures of birds, plants, and wildlife of Washington. Jenny’s dresser was an array of leaves and rocks, and she had two rocking chairs before a warm fireplace. Andi let out a sigh of happiness, and Jenny grinned.
“I thought you’d like it.” She said.
Andi nodded, no words being able to form themselves. Jenny told her where to put her things, Mitch arrived in the nick of time with her bags and they unpacked with lots of giggling delight. Andi had brought Jenny a journal to keep her leaves she collected in as a thank you gift, and Jenny loved it and began to use it right away.
Unpacking was soon finished and the girls went downstairs to have their lunch.