A Prairie Christmas Chapter 5 Part 1

AIMLESS

“Hi, Mom,” I croak as she opens the front door of a large, three-story square house  with a wrap-around porch. Before my knees can buckle, I grab her and hold on like crazy.

“Oh, Tim,” she sobs, remembering not to call me Timmy.
I faint.

I come to, looking down on my still body, lying on an outdoor divan/couch on the porch.

 

Jace is hovering with me, looking concerned.
“This is a first,” he notes.
Max barks, which brings mom over to check on me, placing a damp cloth on my forehead.
“I cain’t feel nothin.’” I complain.
“It’s just a dream,” Jace explains.

I wake up. Mom is sitting next to me on the porch divan. I sit up quickly, preparing to stand up.
“Whoa, cowboy,” I remember that expression from when I was a little kid. “Just sit still and get your bearings. Your eyes are twirling like pinwheels.”
I lean back and relax. Mom comes into focus.
“Sorry ‘bout that, Mom,” I try to explain.
“Hush, now. You’re just exhausted from your trip. Wait here while I get you some iced tea.”
I lay back, closing my eyes.  Tim 572I’m back floating above my body with Jace. Mom is barely moving, so slowly she appears frozen.
“Whoa. Is that how you normally see me,” I ask Jace.
“It’s just flex-time,” Jace states without an explanation. “Let’s not wait around for her and the iced tea.”
I follow him as we investigate Mom’s big house. The first floor has four large rooms and a full bathroom. The other two floors are the same. There are stairs down to the cellar. I wasn’t up to exploring down there.
Jace seems reluctant to leave my side.
“What’s up. butt fuck? Why ya hoverin?’”
“Showing you I’m not tempted to take over yer dead body.”
“I’m dead?” I truly am shocked. It seems plausible.
“The Guardian said we’ll be absorbed together when we’re both dead. I ain’t missin’ that.”
“Fer shure.”
We’re laughing together. I wake up again.
Mom clutches me as I sit up.
“I thought we’d lost you,” Mom is sobbing.
“How long was I out?”
“Twenty minutes. Don’t be upset. I called the ambulance. We’re going to Emergency.”
“No, Mom. I’m fine. It’s the hard trip.”
“Don’t start fightin’ me, Tim. You stopped breathing. You’re going to see a doctor.”

The medics were two ex-football types. They take my vitals, noting I’m severely underweight and dehydrated. A saline drip is put in my arm. They lift me onto a stretcher and carry me out. I enjoy a groin satisfaction similar to giving in to Jack’s macho moves.

I wake up. It’s three days later. I’m strapped to my bed. The nurse notes I’m awake and cognizant. She undoes the binds keeping me from thrashing. I sit up. The dull headache I’ve been ignoring while traveling is gone. As she checks my vitals, we had a nice conversation.

They decide my body is fully functional, but I’m sick in the head . The shrink diagnoses multiple personality disorder. I am (or I should say we are) discharged with a referral for therapy. All that time I was floating with Jace, Max inhabited my body, so we weren’t absorbed into the spirit world. Way to go, Max. Tim 314 I figure I can let Max be in charge when I met the therapist. I remember how useless the therapist was at The Program.

Mom brings me ‘home.’ This time I make it past the front door. Waiting for me are a woman Mom’s age and two teenage girls, close to my age. They wait nervously to find out how crazy I am.

“This is Molly,” Mom introduces me to the adult. “She’s my girlfriend.”
“Way to go, Mom,” I feel instantly at ease.
“And these are our twins, Amy and Angela,” Molly introduces me. Was I part of this blended family? I figure, ‘why not? Just another Brady Bunch.’
“I hope you’ll see me as a brother, once we get to know each other,” as I reach out my hand.
They both give me a hesitant but welcoming hug. I’m stunned to recognize them as the two girls who rescued me in my dream about coming here. They’re not identical twins; Amy is blonde with perky features and an easy smile; Angela’s hair is a dirty blonde, longer, and in a pony-tail. She seems more serious. Tim179 My heart rate spikes. I have to take a deep breath to stop from fainting. At least I have the tears under control.
“You’ll be a senior, like us, at school – Ames High,” Amy says.
I catch the double entendre. “Better than aiming low.”
It takes a second, but then everyone laughs. Tim 323

They made a welcome cake. Suddenly I’m famished. The doctor told me to gain weight. We make quick work of the cake. I like girls who aren’t afraid to eat. I don’t say anything about the twins being in my dream. I’m not ready to seem weird yet.
I  wear an outfit Mom has bought at JC Penney. It isn’t exactly ‘Out & About.’
I look at Mom. “Any chance I can pick up some new clothes. I’ll pay you back once I get an after-school job.”
“Of course, honey. Maybe the girls will show you the stores in town. And, don’tcha worry about money. Your dad started paying support, which really helps.”
I quickly check the girls. I know they want to go shopping for me. I’m a swimmer. I love dress-up. Mom hands me a credit card – teenage nirvana.

Soon we’re skipping out the door and down the porch steps. I grab each girl’s hand, remembering Halloween with Lydia, hand in hand as Raggedy Ann and Andy Tim 346 They giggle. We all feel like ten-year-olds.
“So, what’s your style – jock, soc, or, (giggle) nerd?” Angela asks. She seems the more practical one.
I avoid saying rocker and suggest, “Bowling?”
“You are a crack-up, “Amy burst out. “Your mom’s so serious. Is your dad as cool as you.”
“No way. He’s ex-military. I get my spirit of adventure from my cousin Joey.”
We’re in their car, but instead of going shopping, we sit there and talk about our blended family. Mom got together with Molly right after she moved to Ames. They only made it official at the beginning of the school year.
“It’s weird telling people you have two moms,” Angela says.
“My best friend, Hippie, has two moms. They’re both bull dykes.”
“His name is Hippie?”
“Actually, Gregory. But we started calling him Hippie Greg, then just Hippie.”
“What’s a bull dyke?” Amy wants to know.
“They’s all big and butch and hates men.Tim 297 Poor Hippie. His moms refused to teach him ‘bout sex. We had to give him lessons. The moms thought we was molestin’ ‘im. Meg and Marge – she used to be called ‘Large Marge.’ They’s from Texas but hadda move ‘cause the Baptists kicked ‘em out.”
“What is this accent you put on when y’all gets excited. Oh my gosh, I’s doin’ it, too.”
We all laugh.
“Hows ‘bouts we just do it whens we’s all tagether like this’?”
“Cool, but don’t do it in front of our friends. They be a’thinkin’ we ‘uns a’gone all hayseed.”
“Our secret hillbilly lives,” we all agree.

“So, yer inta bowlin’? I knows jist the place,” Angela switches the discussion back to shopping. She drives to the downtown shopping area, parking at Goodwill.
“Not so proud to wear second-hand?” she challenges me. I remember how my last two outfits were stolen from clothing lines behind tract housing.
“I always dress for success with clothing in distress.”
More giggles, which keeps us crazy. We peruse the polyester/bowling-wear and model looks we hope don’t look too homeless. The girls come right into the dressing booths with me. Good thing Mom bought me underwear at Penney’s.
We chose eight outfits – Dickies and khaki pants, long-sleeved, button-up patterned shirts, as well as one complete bowling outfit for Sunday best. The total is $30. Goodwill won’t take Mom’s credit card. The girls front me, as I promise to be their style model. They can claim credit for my edgy look, as well as  accessorizing me as they see fit each morning. Tim 37 What the hell? They rescued me in my dream.

We shop all afternoon, arriving home in time for dinner. The girls rush me upstairs, dressing me for the meal. They want to apply makeup. I hold the line; it’s clothes that make the man, not the mascara. We bounce down the stairs just as the moms look up from the dinner table. I’m wearing my Sunday best bowling shirt, with Tony’s Auto on the back and ten-pins on the front. They spiked up my hair, which makes the look edgy. At least, it takes away from the hopelessness of used clothing.

The moms look at each other, breaking into laughter and shaking their heads.
“Here’s your card, Mom. They wouldn’t take it at the bowling boutique. You owe Angela. I got eight outfits for $30.”
“When did Ames start having boutiques,” Molly giggles.
“It’s called Goodwill,” Amy bursts out.
The moms look shocked. Mission accomplished.

After dinner, the girls have homework. I ask Mom if it was okay to call Dad, just to tell him everything is normal, for once.

Susan picks up.
“Hi, Mom,” I cheerfully answer her ‘hello.’
“Tim, you sound so much better. Are you in Iowa with your real mom?”
“I got here so dehydrated that I was in hospital for three days. I just got out. I have twin sisters. And, you’re still my real Mom. Always.”
“Oh, Tim. You always say the right things. We really miss you. Dad finally got a new dog.”
“Is it a black lab.”
“No. He said he could never replace Max. It’s a bull-dog, very stubborn.”
“They’ll get along great.” Tim 297
She laughs. “When can you come home. I mean back to Miami.”
“I’ve only been here one day, but they made me to feel at home. I can’t go back to Florida until next summer, when I turn 18.”
“You always have a home here.”
“When I’m not a criminal, that is.”
“You are such a sweet boy. I’ll never understand why they persecuted you so. All you did was drink a little beer.”
“Old news, Mom. It’s all taken care of now. Can I talk with Dad.”
“Of course, I’m sorry. I was so happy just chattering away.”
“I love you, Mom.”
“Oh.. I’ll get Dad.”

“Tim..”
“Hi Dad. Everything’s better. Mom seems happier than I’ve ever seen her.”
“Tell her, I’m glad.”
“You got a new dog?”
“His name is Winston.”
“Must be English.”
“He’s learning how to behave.”
“Good luck with that.”
“Hah. I guess I’m pretty hard on everyone. I owe you an apology.”
“No, Dad. I apologize for being so stubborn. All I had to say was the Police were right and all this drama would never have happened. We’re both too stubborn. I feel so badly about Max.” Tim 316
“I do too, Tim. Thank you for putting that dog in our lives.”
“Yup,” I gulp.
“So where were you all this time? You called once, but you hung up.”
“Living large out in the Everglades. It was great. Like Alaska with better weather.”
“I read in the Herald you call yourself Huckleberry Finn. Um, was that boy, like.. your boyfriend?”
“No, Dad. More like a little brother. He’s only 14. We both had to escape that Program place. It is evil and corrupt.”
“You exposed them, all right. I need to believe you more. I promise I will in the future.”
“I’ll try not to involve you in controversy again. Thanks for sending Mom the support money.”
“I’m so angry that the County was involved in kickbacks for what I was paying. They finally repaid me for the months you were no longer there. I decided to pay your mom the same as they charged. Mike Antonio has filed a class action for all the parents who paid for services never received.”
“He’s a class act.”
“Do right by your Mom, Tim.”
“Yes, sir. Make sure Susan knows she’s my mom, too. There’s no second place in my heart.”

Whew. That went well. I need to speak with someone my age. I call Hippie.
“Hello, who’s calling, please?” a girl answers.
“Is that you, Anna? It’s Tim, from Gregory’s old band.”
“Oh, my gosh. Teen Jesus?” she’s in shock.
“No, Anna. Jace is Teen Jesus. I was his best friend.”
“Gregory says you was livin’ in sin with him.”
“Well, maybe it weren’t so bad as ya think.”
“I’ll pray for you both.”
“Jesus was young once, ya know. Congratulations on yer marriage. I wish I coulda bin there.”
“Well, thank ye. Those other so-called friends were so mean. I ‘bout died. They was smokin’ dope an’ carryin’ on, kissing each other an’ such. I was so ashamed from embarrassment in front o’ my folks an’ friends.”
“That was so mean.”
“Well, that was the end of the band for Gregory. He really stood up for me. I shoulda never invited ‘em.”
“Is Hippie there.”
“Of course. Here I’s goin’ on ‘bout my struggles an’ y’all jist wantin’ ta speaks wid ‘im.”
“No. I’s so happy yer married. I knows ya love that country boy.”
“I do.”
“That’s all that counts.”
“Thank ye, Tim. Maybe my prayers done ya good. I’ll git Gregory.”

“Tim, my man.” Konstantin02
“Hippie, my hippie. Congratulations on the marriage. I hear the boys was a-holes.”
“I quit the band, Tim. I plays in Church, is all now.”
“Guess where I is?”
“At Robby’s, getting’ high.”
“Bit further than that.”
“Kin I come an’ sees ya?”
“Maybe, for Thanksgiving. I’s in Iowa.”
“No, shit. That’s where my Mima an’ Pipa lives. I’s there at this time last year.”
“My Mom lives in Ames. Ya both gots ta come visit.”
“My people live in Harlan County. It ain’t that fer away. Im’a gonna talk with Anna and lets ya know when we’s a’comin.’”
The joy of marriage – no snap decisions. I can’t believe I have a friend already married.
He tells me how frustrating it was to not have anyone to play music with. We get off the line. I feel how much I miss him. The other guys not so much, after how badly they acted at his wedding. They’re just immature. Was I grown up now, after a summer camping out with a fourteen-year-old?

“I had a good talk with Dad. He’s happy to pay the support. It’s the same as the County billed him when we weren’t even in custody.”
“Who’s we?” Mom usually isn’t interested in my friends.
“Oh, Tommy. Dario 03 He was my little brother all summer after we escaped from juvenile jail.”
“Your dad said you were in drug rehab.”
“That was a lie. They were holding me to stop me from makin’ a fuss after the cops killed our dog.”
“What is this all about, Tim. I was told you were in trouble with drugs.”
I tell her the events at the Skynyrd concert. How they busted me for a beer I didn’t even drink.
“Well, it does sound fishy. Just try to be a good kid here. Iowans are nice people but they can be judgmental.
“We aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto?”
“You’re a cut-up, Tim.”

I go up to my room on the second floor. The girls have the entire third floor for themselves. I have my eye on an empty room up there that has a dormer window which seems perfect for looking out and daydreaming, tim-447 laying there with Jace in my arms. Once I think of him, his ghost pops into view. I’m stunned. All day I’ve ignored him.
“How’s your new life?” he signs to me.
“Where have you been? Did I abandon you?”
“Naw. I do have other people who keep me in their hearts.”
“Jack? Were you with Jack?”
“He’s fine. I don’t check-in. My heart can tell where to go. Jack’s on a very boring schedule in seminary. The monks keep him under control. I usually check on Candy and Nate.”
“Your mom. So, when I’m with my mom you want to be with yours.”
“It’s more complicated. Time runs differently for me. Remember ‘flex-time?’ It means I can be with many people at once. You don’t notice it usually. The other day, you almost died. I was on full Tim alert. You had all my attention. Right now, I’m also with Aaron and Paul in New York. They’re at Aaron’s temple, being berated for forsaking Aaron’s faith. Paul is ready to lose it.”
“What can you do?”
“I can shake up their Menorah.”
I laugh.
“I’m there because Paul and Aaron called out from their hearts. I just make them know they’re still loved.”
“How many hearts are you in now?”
“Hundreds, but mostly I just feel love for those who call for me. No one’s ever abandoned. I can’t follow the lives of everyone, so it’s just the feelings we share.”
I’m thunderstruck by all the work it takes to be Teen Jesus.
“Will you sleep with me? I’m not ready for sex yet.”
“Sure, but take off that bowling shirt. It’s scary.”
I giggle.
“You want to visit Jack?” My eyes pop open. “You’ll have to let Max take over your body lest we both get absorbed.”
“How about just a short visit. I’m still afraid of sex.”
“Don’t get dizzy. Flex-time is disorienting. We’re going 5000 miles and it will compress into a second or so. Then you’ll be back to your regular 60 heart beats per minute.”
It scares me silly. It feels too much like traveling with the Guardian. We were in Jack’s dreams. He has already attacked Casper; Casper that’s who he loves. He looks over and sees me watching them. I can tell they have been going at it for a while. Flex time distortion.
“Tim! You’re in my dream.” Tim 290 I say nothing. I know if he becomes too aware that he is dreaming, he’ll wake up and end the encounter.
I move to embrace them both. Jack soon notices that I ‘m not hard. It’s too much for him. He wakes up. I’m instantly alone back in Iowa. Jace comes into view several seconds later.
“I had to calm him down. He was so horny it wasn’t hard to get him to go back to sleep. He came three times. His heart was hoping you’d reappear.”
“Can we go back?”
“It’s dangerous to do it often, especially right after using flex-time. Maybe tomorrow. Try going to bed early. He’s seven hours ahead of you.”
It’s a good sign that I’m looking forward to a wet dream. Jace agrees.

The girls bang on my door in the morning, announcing they need to get me dressed and made up for school. Oh, god, I have created another monster – twin teenage stylists. Cathy Christina

No bowling shirt for school. My hair is spiked and I’m wearing wrist bracelets. I stop them from painting my nails. The moms just shake their heads in dismay. I feel like a Ken doll. Remembering the Out & Proud girls dressing up their little boyfriends, I’m now a 12-year-old. I’m not about to have my sisters be my girlfriends. Well, not yet.

School registration goes quickly. Jay has sent my transcripts. All my Gables’ teachers from last Spring passed me. Mr. Clark even gave me an A. I’ll bet he convinced the others to not give me incompletes.
Well, how ‘bouts ya show me ‘round school?” I ask the girls.
“Our pleasure,” they both answer. ames_high_school_front_c_s
Jace s hovering above them He just shakes his head about whether their hearts are open to him. I let the girls (my sisters!) show me around. I’m not sorry that Ames High doesn’t have a swim team – no pool.
“Mom doesn’t know about all the changes in my life since she left,” I explain to Amy and Angela.
Amy is more interested, “What have you been doing?”
“My friends and I started a band, doing rock and pop covers. We played parties at the University of Miami and even went on tour to New York.”
Angela challenges me, “How about you play us a song or two. The band room is open this period.”

I think she’s testing the truth of my bragging. Tim 234
We walk to the practice room. There were some other kids who were practicing their orchestra instruments. I find an acoustic guitar and play the girls my ‘Lives’ song:

“This is our life,
our pride alive
Its our times
Lost our minds
Stupid rules rule
Demand we act
Just like fools
To be like you.

You think we be freakin’
You gotta be keen to not be seen.
No wonder we’re always sneakin’

“These lives…
Are mine to give.
Live your lies….
Death’s negative
It’s no surprise
When you die
To realize
You had no life

Some friends are gone
Way too soon
Missed for what they did
Missed for what they didn’t

You live the 9 to 5
At home the baby cries
Like desperate housewives
Bills eat you alive”

“These lives…
Are mine to give.
Live your lies….
Death’s negative
It’s no surprise
When you die
To realize
You had no life”

Amy claps and Angela is speechless.
“Here’s another one,” and I played ‘You’:

“I say, …you…
You’re such a fool
You’re just a tool
But I love…you

I say…. you…
What can we do?
You said we’re through
What can I….. do

I say,…. you…
We break the rules
We act real cruel
I really need…. you…
I say, …you..”

And then I did ‘Love’:

“I never feel this way.
Happy and full of play.”
I wake up every day,
You’re by my side,
You reach and touch,
I say goodbye.

There’s no future,
But we have now.
Don’t ask,
some way,
somehow.”

“We’re perfect for each other,
I never think of another.”
Can’t be love, but who can say
I know you’re here to stay?”

There’s no future,
But we have now.
Don’t ask,
some way,
somehow.”

“We can’t live by ourselves.
We need people that we love
We hate those who hate themselves
We know what they’re made of.

Love, love, love

I need your love
I need your love
I need your love
I need you”

I can tell they’re impressed. Amy actually hugs me, at which I turn bright red.
Angela admits, “I guess you got real talent. How can you write about adults things like that when you’re just a teenager?”
“Ya never bin in love?” I ask them both.
“You mean have boyfriends?” Angela asks back.
“More’n that. Real crazy, mad love. Can’t live without yer boyfriend.”
They both shake their heads.
“We’re the same age, right? Seventeen?”
“Yup,” they agree.
“An’ y’all seen how love messes up yer friends.”
“Definitely.”
“So why put yerselves through all that?”
“Sex?” they giggle.
It’s my turn to blush, which seems to excite both of them. I’m Mr. Vulnerable.
“So what comes first, sex or love?” I ask.
“Love,” they both agree.
“Ain’t the same fer boys. Sex can drive ’em crazy. Tim 100 The needing it whens ya don’t have it and the missing it after they do.”
They both are blushing now.
“So, ya’s both known t’other all yer lives. I known ya just a few hours or so. Why’s it I feel like we’s really connected? Yer twins an’ all, yet I feels like we be peas in a pod, like triplets.”
“Like maybe we were separated at birth, or sumthin’?” Amy enthuses.
Angela is still holding back. Am I going to play the Teen Jesus card? That seems inappropriate.
“I have a weakness for getting girls to trust me. Guess it be ‘cause I never had a sister. I’s jist so excited ta know ya both. Last week I had a dream where two girls helped me find Mom’s house.”
They have nothing to say, but their mouths are wide open, stuck between belief and disbelief. Tim 260
“Y’all knows I run away but I didn’t know wheres to go. I didn’t even know Mom’s address. After that dream, I calls my lawyer to get the address, and here I is.”
“We’re glad, too, Tim,” Angela is won over. Amy grins at her acceptance of me.
Not quite time for the group hug.
“Long lost triplets then?” I hardly know their mom, but the groundwork is laid. I can’t help plotting my life three moves ahead.
“Wanna play a song? How’s it feel to get a brother ya don’ts even know?”
They’re speechless, so I picked up the guitar and play ‘Take it Easy,’ by the Eagles.

 

 

‘Well, I’m a runnin’ down the road
Tryin’ to loosen my load
Got a world of trouble on my mind
Lookin’ for a lover
Who won’t blow my cover
She’s so hard to find
Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
Make you crazy
Come on baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love
Is gonna save me
Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy’

Songwriters
BROWNE, JACKSON / FREY, GLENN
Published by
Lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

Both girls sing along during the chorus. Country music is my passport to Iowa. They start asking me to play their favorites, amazed that I can play any song, as long as I’ve heard it before.
“We have a song for you,” Amy announce and they sang the Eagles’ ‘New Kid in Town;’ I come in on guitar on the second line.

 

‘Oh, my, my
There’s a new kid in town
Just another new kid in town
Ooh, hoo
Everybody’s talking ’bout the new kid in town
Ooh, hoo
Everybody’s walking’ like the new kid in town
There’s a new kid in town
Theres a new kid in town people started walking
There’s a new kid in town
I don’t want to hear it
There’s a new kid in town
I don’t want to hear it
There’s a new kid in town
There’s a new kid in town
There’s a new kid in town’

Writer(s): Don Henley, Glenn Lewis Frey
Copyright: Cass County Music, Red Cloud Music

“Y’all can call me, ‘Johnny Come Lately’, Yee Haw. Just don’ts be callin’ me late ta dinner.
“You are a cornball,” Angela complains.
“That makes me feel right at home here ‘bouts in Ames, I-o-way.”
“How ‘bouts we do a sing along for the moms tonight, after dinner?”
Shades of Jack Stone, performing for the parental units.
“Shur thing. Y’all wants ta learn guitar? I gots the best teacher in the world.”
“Who’s that?” they both ask.
“His name’s Jace an’ he’s forever in my heart,” as I hand Amy the guitar. “Jist close your eyes and if’n your heart is open to ‘im, you’ll feel ‘im guidin’ yer fingers to form the chords.”
She was putty in Jace’s hands, soon strumming the basic chords to ‘New Kid in Town.’
“How you doin’ that?” Angela looks at me accusingly,
“Ya gots ta trust yer heart ta lets ‘im in,” I instruct her. “I kin feel yer doubtin,’ but let Amy sit with ya. She kin help ya let Jace into yer heart.”
Amy moves over so they’re sitting side-by-side, as I give her the guitar. Amy shows her how to form the first chord. Once Angela starts strumming, Jace takes over. Angela makes all the chords changes as directed. A big smile comes over her as she plays the tune perfectly.
“See, rock is so easy. It’s already in your heart, jist waitin’ to come out.”
“Who’s Jace. Is he who I feel guiding my hands and fingers?”
“He’s the lovin’ spirit in my heart. Y’all let me in. we’re all always with ya now.”
They reach out to hug me. Jace and I both hug them, just like in my dream.
“I can feel him, as well as you, Tim.” Amy exclaims.
“Me, too,” Angela murmurs, not quite as trusting as Amy.
“I’s so lucky ta have sisters,” I gush. Tim 33
The music teacher comes over to say that the practice room is closing, as final bell has rung. We’re so surprised that the whole day went by so quickly.
“This is Tim, our new brother from Florida, Miss Hull,” Amy introduces me. “He just taught us how to play guitar.”
“Nice ta meet ya, ma’am,” I try to be polite.
“Well, that’s mighty nice of you to be teaching the guitar. You want to play the song for me?”
“It’s our pleasure,” Angela beams, picking out the opening chords  with confident strumming, to ‘New Kid’ (with an assist from Jace).

All three of us sing the words, with the girls bowing and pointing at me at the song’s conclusion.
“Welcome, New Kid, I think you’ll like Ames.”
“I already do, ma’am.”
“Normally, I’d suggest y’all enter the school talent show, but with those pure voices, it may be discouraging to other students. Why don’t you all come by the Downtown Coffee Shop on Friday night and perform for the College crowd?”
“We just learned to play an hour ago, Miss Hull,” Angela worries, “I can’t see playing in public this weekend.”
“But your voices are so clear and pure. You really harmonize well. Why keep such joy to yourself. Just show up. everyone will welcome you. It’s not a competition.”

Next: https://timatswim.com/a-prairie-christmas-chapter-5-part-2/

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