The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?
A Novel By Teddie S.
Copyright © 2018 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.
A letter. A meeting. Kelly and Larry.
We’d had an interesting weekend with Kelly’s family in Indiana. And I think that Kelly’s dad and I came to an understanding. At least I hope we did.
Amy had started having a reoccurring dream about an Indian girl and a sailor. They appeared to be lovers, and it was a long time ago. And Amy felt that she knew them or should know them.
We had gotten in touch with Naainish, and Amy had talked to him about the dream. After they hung up, I asked her, “Well. What were his words of wisdom?”
“It’s interesting.”, Amy said. “He thinks the two people in my dreams maybe my ancestors, and they’re trying to show me that I have Indian blood.”
“Oh. If you have Indian blood why aren’t I feeling it like I did with Mrs. Edwards and her girls?”
“I don’t know, and I didn’t ask. Naainish said that I should try to find out all I can about the ancestors who were sailors especially on my mother's side.”
“How do we do this?”
“I think we should start with my mom. We haven’t had lunch, and maybe she hasn’t either. Let me call her.”
A short time later, after a stop at one of our favorite drive-ins, we were walking into Amy’s parent's house carrying bags of food. We walk into the kitchen and set everything on the table. As we passed the food out, Amy’s mother said, “Amy, your father is going to be jealous when I tell him where I got lunch from.
“So, what do you want to talk about?”
Amy told her mother about the dreams and what Naainish felt about them. I could tell her mother was a little skeptical about what she was hearing. When Amy finished, her mother said, “Amy, do you believe what you just told me?”
“Yes, mom. When I have a dream like that, and then being told that it might be showing me that I have Indian blood. I tend to believe it.”
“So you’re beginning to believe all this spirit stuff like Tom does?”
“Mom, it isn’t stuff, it’s what the Indians believe. And I’ve learned enough about it to accept it. They’ve been here for a long time and see the natural things in a different light than we do. And I feel that they see it the way it really is.”
“Daughter, I can’t accept it the way you do. But I accept your belief in it.”
“Now what do you want to know?”
“Are you aware of anyone, especially on grandma's side, that was married to an Indian girl?”
Amy’s mother thought for a minute, shook her head, and said, “No. I can’t think of anyone.”
“Would grandma know?”
“I don’t know. Call and ask her. But don’t mention anything about dreams or spirits.”
Amy walked over to the phone and called her grandmother. “Hi, grandma.”, Amy said. “It’s Amylin.” … “We’re doing great. How are you?”
I won’t bore you with the rest of the conversation, except for, “Grandma, have you ever heard of someone in the family, probably a sailor, bringing a wife or girl back from here in the States back to England?” … “You do! Do you know who they were?” … “I see, you only remember them being mentioned.” … “Do you think that anyone in England might know more?” … “Really. One of mom’s cousins.” … “Do you think she would mind if I wrote to her?” … “Let me ask.”
Looking at my mother, Amy asked, “Mom, do you have your Cousin Rosemary’s address in England?”
“Yes, honey. I do.”, my mother replied.
“Grandma Harris.”, Amy said into the phone. “Yes, mom has her address. And I’ll write Cousin Rosemary and see what she can tell me.” … “Thank you very much. Here’s mom.”
As Amy handed the phone to her mom, she said, “Here mom. Grandma wants to talk to you.”
We sat there and listened to Amy’s mom talk to her grandmother for a few minutes. As Amy’s mom hung up the phone, she asked, “So, what did grandma tell you?”
“She remembered some talk about an ancestor bringing a girl home from overseas and marrying her. She couldn’t remember much. But she said that her niece, Rosemary, had worked on some family history and may know something. So I’m going to write her.”
“This could be interesting.”, Amy’s mom said. “Let me get you Rosemary’s address. I’ll be right back.”
Amy’s mom walked out of the kitchen and was back shortly with a few things. As she sat down, she slid the items to Amy and said, “Here’s Rosemary’s address. Also here’s some lightweight paper and airmail envelopes. When you’ve written your letter, take it to the post office, get a couple International Reply Coupons, and include them in the letter. It will help Rosemary pay the return postage. And be sure to send your letter air mail.”
“Thanks, mom.”, Amy said. “I’ll work on a letter tonight and get it out as soon as I can.”
We stayed another hour talking to Amy’s mom, and then we headed home. As we walked into the house, Amy looked at me, and said, “We have a good hour until dinner time.”
“Yeah. So.”, I said.
She grabbed my hand and pulled me back to our room. A little over an hour later we started making dinner.
After dinner, Amy sat down and started to compose a letter to her mother’s cousin Rosemary. She first wrote it on a tablet and made a couple of corrections. Then she had me read it, and I suggested a couple of things. She then sat down with the lightweight paper and wrote the letter. She had me read the final draft, God I wish my handwriting was as nice as hers, and I told her that it sounded excellent. She addressed the envelope, put the letter in it, and said, “First thing tomorrow we go to the main post office.”
The following morning when we got up, the first thing Amy said was, “I didn’t have that dream last night.”
“Yeah. I’m both glad and sad.”
“I believe that. You were seeing what may have been a couple of your ancestors and what you did yesterday may have been what they wanted you to do. And now you’re not seeing them.”
“I think you’re right. Let’s get breakfast, and then we can go to the post office.”
We drove downtown to the main post office and were there shortly after it opened. We walked up to the counter, Amy bought three International Reply Coupons, put them in the envelope, sealed it, and handed it to the lady behind the counter. The lady weighed it, Amy paid the postage, the lady put the stamps on it, and the letter was off to England.
As we got in the car, Amy said, “Let’s go for a walk.”
“Sounds good to me.”, I said. “Any place in particular?”
She just looked at me and smiled. And I said, “The lake trail?”
“Give that man a kiss.”, Amy said.
And as we got out of the car at the trailhead parking lot, I got that kiss. We walked hand in hand-in-hand down the lake trail. When we got to our bench, I sat, pulled Amy down on my lap, and just held her. We looked up, and the two Eagles were circling overhead.
“You know what I’ll miss if we move out west?”, Amy asked.
“Yes, the same thing that I will. This bench, the walk to get to it, and our two feathered friends.”, I replied.
“Give that man another kiss.”
This kiss put the kiss I got in the parking lot to shame. It was a long, deep, and sensuous kiss.
When we broke the kiss, I said, “Girl, the things that you do to me.”
“Sweetheart.”, Amy said. “No more than what you do to me.”
“I wish we were home.”
“What’s wrong with here?”
“We’ve never done it outside. Except on the porch.”
“You're really bad.”
“Uh huh. Can we?”
“Why not. But not here.”
“Too close to the trail.”
We stood up, I took Amy’s hand and led her deep into the pine forest.
Not a short time later, as we walked out of the pine forest, Amy asked, “Why haven’t we done that before?”
“I don’t know. I guess because we haven’t had to.”
“That was amazing, doing it out in the open like that. Right out in nature.”
"We'll bring a blanket next time."
"I'm going to be finding pine needles for a week."
When we got home, there was a message on the answering machine from Cathy Edwards, asking if we could meet for lunch on Wednesday. I called her and told her that we could meet for lunch, but that she would be meeting Tom instead of Kai and that we should meet fifteen minutes before the time we were meeting our financial advisor. All she said was, “Ah. Okay.”
After I hung up the phone, I told Amy, “I don’t think she’s sure about meeting Tom.”
“Why?”, Amy asked.
“When I asked to meet fifteen minutes early so that she could meet Tom. All she said, “Ah. Okay.”
“How often do you meet a man that you thought was a woman?”
“I guess never,”
“And neither has she.”
In the afternoon we went over to Amy’s parent’s house to use the swimming pool, and we took the makings for frybread tacos with us. So after a good swim, Amy and I had fun making tacos for dinner while we taught her mom. The frybread tacos were excellent and a little wine added to them. Her dad even liked them.
That night as we were cuddling in bed, Amy said, “I wonder where my letter is?”
I looked at her, and said, “Don’t worry little girl, the postal service is excellent. And it’ll get there when it gets there.”
“I know. I’m just being silly. I just hope the Rosemary answers me.”
“She will. You did a good job of explaining who you are and what you're looking for without saying too much.”
“I’m glad you told me not to mention the dreams.”
“Some people may not understand that.”
On Wednesday we were meeting with our lawyer and financial advisor to discuss the scholarship. And since our lawyer has never met Tom, we were meeting with her fifteen minutes before our financial advisor arrived so that she could meet him.
We were at the restaurant where we were meeting everyone at a little after ten-thirty. We told the greeter who we were expecting and that we’d like a quiet place to sit.
The greeter took us to a booth at the back of the restaurant, our waitress took our drink order, and we waited. Just as our waitress brought us our drinks, the greeter showed Cathy, our lawyer, to our table. Cathy sat and just looked at me. I then smiled and said, “Hi Cathy.”
“Hi.”, Cathy said. “It’s Tom. Right?”
“Yes, it’s Tom.”
“Tom, you really don’t look anything like Kai.”
With a smile, I said, “Thank you. Their spirits are separate, so I try to keep their looks different.”
“You do a good job. Kai was a beautiful woman, and you are a handsome man.”
“Thank you again, Cathy.”
“I’m still don’t understanding this two spirit thing. But I feel as comfortable with you as I did with Kai.”
“You should.”, Amy said. “They share the same heart.”
Cathy smiled, and asked, “So why did you want to meet before we met with John.”
“I wanted you to be comfortable with Tom.”, I said. “John Kennedy knows Tom. He’s never met Kai or Ajie.”
“Good idea. I just hope I don’t slip up and call you Kai.”
We chatted until John Kennedy, our financial advisor, showed up. Then we talked about the scholarship while we ordered and ate. Cathy handed me a brochure from an organization that helps with fundraising, managing and awarding scholarships to students. She said that she had researched it, talked with them, and she felt that it would be the best way to go. And John agreed with her, with the funding coming from a fund that we’d set up and control. Both Amy and I were happy with this, and we all agreed to go with this option. John had Amy and me sign some papers to set up the funding.
I then told John that I already had a donation to be added to fund. John said that it might be a good idea to return it until everything was in place, and then have the donor donate directly to the scholarship as it would be tax deductible.
Cathy then added that she would work with the scholarship organization in setting up the scholarship. But would go over everything with us before anything was signed. Then Cathy asked, “Is there anyone besides the two of you that should be listed on this?”
“Maybe my parents, Amy’s parents, and my aunt and uncle in New Mexico.”, I replied.
“My parents too?”, Amy asked.
“We can ask.”
“Let me know as soon as you can.”
Then she showed us a paper with all the information that she needed for the scholarship, the name, the people who could apply for it, and so on. Amy and I read it over, then we had John read it, and the three of us agreed that it sounded good.
As we were breaking up, Cathy said that as soon as she had the paperwork done that she would call us. Then I picked up the check. And we all said so long to each other. John walked on ahead of us, and Cathy said, “I’m glad I met Tom. He’s an interesting person. Almost as interesting as Kai. And the girls loved the bracelets and sent their love.”
“Tell them we said hello or yá’át’ééh.”
“Let's see, that must be Navajo for hello?”
“Close. It means, it is good. And is used as a greeting.”
That evening after supper and the kitchen was cleaned up, Amy said, “I’m going to take a shower.” And as she said that she gave me a look that said come and join me. Now, who could resist an offer like that?
Later as we were getting out of the shower, I picked up one of the meteorite necklaces to put it back on. We had placed both of them on the bathroom counter. I went to open the clasp, and it wouldn’t open. What the heck. I tried again, and it still wouldn’t open. So, I said, “The clasp on my necklace is broken.”
“Let me see.”, Amy said as she took it out of my hand.
She tried it, and it opened. As she handed it back to me, she said, “Boys. They can’t do anything.”
I tried again, and the clasp wouldn’t open. So I said, “It still won’t open.”
“Give it here.”, Amy said.
I handed it to her, and she opened the clasp without a problem. I looked at her, and said, “Why can you open it and I can’t.”
She looked at the necklace, and said, “This is mine.”
“And I couldn’t open the clasp.”
“And I could.”
I picked up the other meteorite necklace and handed it to Amy, as I said, “Open the clasp.”
Amy tried to open the clasp, and she couldn’t. I took it back from her, and the clasp opened easily for me. I looked at Amy, and just said, “Interesting.”
“Yes.”, Amy said. “Remember what Naainish said about not letting anyone else wear them.”
“Maybe no one else can.”
Friday evening we were meeting the crew at our favorite ice cream parlor. Amy and I drove the ‘57 Chevy, and we were the last ones there. After the usual greetings, we went to get our ice cream. I asked if they made ginger ale milkshakes, and they didn’t. Mark looked at me and said, “Ginger ale?”
“Yeah.”, I said. “We had them in Indiana, and they were great.”
“Hmm. Might have to try one of those. If I can find one.”
We sat outside and talked about what happened this week. And as usual, it was work and waiting for school to start stuff. And Kelly and Larry’s wedding.
I asked Kelly, “How are things going with your dad?”
“I guess we’ll find out tomorrow when we drive over.”, Kelly replied.
Larry rolled his eyes. So I figured that it wasn’t good.
Then out of the blue, Kelly said, “If I weren’t his only daughter, I’d elope.”
I saw Mark and Maria look at each other, as Amy said, “What!?”
“You heard me. This whole thing has caused so much tension between my dad and me. Not to mention Larry and also what happened with you two.”
“Ah.”, Maria said. “If you don’t mind, could you fill us in.”
“No one told you about last weekend?”, Kelly asked.
“Well, … ” And Kelly went on to give them the highlights of last weekend. When she finished, Maria said, “I don’t know your dad, but that wasn’t very nice.”
“Tell me.”, Kelly said. “I wouldn’t have been surprised if Tom and Amy had said they didn’t want to be in the wedding.”
Together Amy and I said, “What!” Then Amy went on to say, “We’d never do that to you guys. You mean too much to us.”
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. But this whole thing is just getting to me. My dad is … is just being too old-fashioned about this whole thing. Larry had to spend Sunday night in one of my brother's rooms.”
“What!”, Amy said. “Your dad knows that you are living together.”
“Yeah. And he’s not happy about it. My mother, on the other hand, was surprised that it took us as long as it did.”
“Honey. We’ll support you in whatever you do.”
“I know. And I’m truly sorry for what I said.”
“We know.”, Maria said, “And Mark and I support you too.”
As he put his arm around Kelly, Larry said, “Guys, you’re all just the best.”
We cut tonight short, as Kelly and Larry were leaving early tomorrow for Kelly’s hometown. As Kelly and Amy were hugging, I heard Amy say, “Honey. Please take care of yourself and Larry, and you know that we’re here for you and if you want to talk.”
“I know.”, Kelly said.
Saturday mom and dad were flying home from Hawaii. Their flight wasn’t due in until eight-twenty-five in the evening. So after finally sleeping in, Amy and I first cleaned the house, it wasn’t messy, and then went grocery shopping.
Then I disappeared into our room, and Tammy came back out. As I walked back out into the house, Amy saw me, smiled, and said, “Well hello stranger. What brings you here.”
“I thought that it would be fun to pick up mom and dad as two girls.”, I replied.
“I’m happy to see you.”
“And I’m happy to be here.”
After dinner, I called the airline to check on the arrival time of mom and dad’s flight, and it was on time. So a little after seven we left for the airport. We watched from the concourse as mom and dad walked down the boarding stairs and across the tarmac. And it looked like they had gotten some sun.
They were surprised to see Tammy waiting for them. We grabbed their luggage and headed home. They didn’t want to stop for anything to eat on the way. They said the food in first class was good.
I looked at my dad, and said, “First class!”.
“Sure.”, my dad said. “It wasn’t that much more. So why not.”
“That’s why you boarded first when you flew out?”
We helped my parents carry their luggage into the house and to their room. They looked tired and said they’d tell us all about the trip tomorrow. So we said goodnight to them.
It was a warm night, so Amy and I went out onto the porch and cuddled on the glider. We’d been sitting there about fifteen minutes when the phone rang. I jumped up and ran into the house to answer it. Amy was right behind me. I picked up the phone, and said, “Hello.” … “Kelly, what’s wrong?” … “Oh, no honey. What can we do?” … “Sure honey we’ll see you there in fifteen minutes.” … “Bye.”
“What’s wrong?”, Amy asked.
“I guess things weren’t good at Kelly’s parent's house.”
“Oh no. So what are we doing?”
“Meeting them at their apartment. And so are Maria and Mark. This could be an all-nighter.”
My mother walked into the kitchen and asked, “Who was that?”
“Kelly.”, I replied. “She and Larry went over to her parent's place to spend the weekend. And something must have happened because they’re home.”
“Is there a problem?”
“It’s a long story. We’re going over to their apartment, and we’ll tell you about it tomorrow.”
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