Semi-finalist #12

Name: Kendra Gale

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop.

The wind was blowing, and I`d gotten chilled from the walk home from
school, so I’d taken my book into the parlor and curled up in the patch of
sunlight on the hardwood floor, up against the back of the big leather
chair that had been Father’s. The sun was so warm that by the time the
door opened, I was nearly asleep.

“Please, come in and have a seat.” Della was using her grown up voice, and
it made me start awake.

“Thank you.” The voice was deep and male and familiar, but my sleepy brain
couldn’t place it. Father’s chair moved behind me.

The door opened again. “I brought you young people some tea.” Mrs. Rich
announced in her formal, housekeeper voice. I heard the tray placed on the
table, and Mrs. Rich’s footsteps as she left.

Tea cups rattled as Della poured tea. She must be nervous; usually she was
more careful. “Cream or sugar, Mr. Jamison?”

I froze. My mind raced as I tried to think of an incident that would bring
Mr. Jamison to our house after school. Nothing had happened out of the
ordinary today – yesterday I’d taken Martha Rose’s new hat, just to teach
her a lesson, but Mr. Jamison had spied me and made me give it back
straight away.

“Just a little cream, please, Miss Harrison.” He didn’t sound upset about
anything. He’d talked to Aunt Tess last time he’d come, after I’d slugged
James O’Neil for his smart mouth. My legs ached from being bent for too
long, but I didn’t dare move them and have my skirts rustle.

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