Snowfall’s Secret, Chapter 4

When the movie ended, Jennifer and Dean took the empty bowls, glasses, and bottles into the kitchen and then returned to the living room. No one wanted to go upstairs to bed. The mood was contagious to Dahliea (now Jamie). She didn’t want the evening to end either. She knew that in the morning, she would have to be turned over to social services and this scared her. She didn’t want to leave the only family she had here. What if she never saw her half-brother again? Why didn’t he want her? She would also miss Jennifer (who was the closest thing she had to a mother on this world) and the others. Everyone dawdled. She rubbed her sleep-heavy eyes as fought the exhaustion.

Rob finally gave a very audible, very wide-mouthed yawn. “I’m heading up.”

“Yeah. It’s a good idea.” Jennifer looked at her husband and after standing, allowed herself a slight stretch. “I still have some things that I need to pack. But, I’ll do that after breakfast.”

Jamie waited for Rob and Mike to get up from the sofa before she went to the hall closet to pull out the blanket and pillow she used.

There were faint whisperings from Mike, Jennifer, and Tom in the upstairs hallway. It couldn’t be anything good. Deciding to push the dark thoughts away, she made her bed and brushed her teeth. Too tired to change, she kicked off her pants and left them on the floor next to her make-shift bed and then smoothed down the t-shirt (now nightgown) she wore during the day.

Snowfall’s Secret, Chapter 3

Tom looked over at her and saw how sullen she was as she examined her cocoa. He put his coffee down on the table. She flinched when he said, “Jamie.” He quickly followed with, “Dahli-au, want to come with me?”

“Yes,” she responded quietly, trying to fight the urge to correct him for not using her real name in the first place.

He slowly walked to the door and opened it. “We’re just going to be on the porch. If anyone is looking for us.”

She looked at him and decided to follow.

He leaned against the railing while she sat down on the swing with her cup. Careful not to make eye contact with him, she slowly rocked back and forth. She didn’t want to be alone with him even though she was curious about what he had to say. After all, he still intimidated her because of the obvious hostility.

Now she found her courage to ask the question she most needed answered: “Why do you hate me so much?” She didn’t look up at him from the swing, didn’t even look at him as he crossed the porch to close the window before returning to his perch on the railing. She would rather have the window open knowing that Mike and Jennifer were on the other side to protect her.

Snowfall’s Secret Chapter 2

“That’s a really pretty sand dollar you found.”

“What?” she asked around a bit of dry toast.

Because Jennifer was scrubbing a dirty plate, she nodded her head towards the paper towel where it rested. “Your sand dollar. It’s very rare to find a whole one like that. They usually don’t survive the tides, not even in a tide pool.”

“Oh.” Then quickly added, “Yes,” not wanting to seem dim-witted.

“We’ll need to wrap it very carefully so it doesn’t break. They’re very delicate.” Jennifer set a wet plate to dry in the rack and then began scrubbing a coffee cup. “As a gift to remember us, I could get it framed for you.”

The last statement made her force herself to swallow the forkful of egg. Understanding that she wasn’t going to stay here with them, she was going to ask anyway. “If I’m allowed to stay with you, can we keep the sand dollar on a shelf?”

Jennifer stopped scrubbing and turned. “What do you mean?”

She looked at Jennifer and stammered. “If I can stay here . . .” She trailed off, realizing the words were more plaintive than a request. She looked down at her plate to hide her disappointment.

Jennifer sighed. “Sweetie. Look at me.” The girl reluctantly obliged her. “This isn’t our house. We’re just renting it. And tomorrow we’re leaving.”

“I know. But I thought that. . .” She blinked rapidly to fight the oncoming tears.

Jennifer wiped her hands on a dish towel and then walked over to hug her. With pity and sympathy in her voice, she said, “I truly hope that you’re reunited with your family soon. Really.” Then she stepped back. “I know that I would be worried sick and be frantic. Or worse, if I lost Ami. We’ll need to take you to the police who’ll contact social services. They’ll help you find your family. We still don’t even know who you are.” The she returned to the sink.

Snowfall’s Secret, Chapter 1

…“I know another really good resale shop.” Jennifer led them to a street corner and across with the other pedestrians.

They walked another block and passed a used book store. The girl stopped when one of the books on display in the window caught her attention; and was so distracted that she didn’t even notice that Jennifer and Ami continued walking. The book’s picture of a round disk hovering over buildings triggered a memory of something exploding. She winced. The memory quickly disappeared when the reflection of two girls around her age appeared on her left giggling, pointing and mocking her behind their hands.

“They get weirder looking every year,” one girl said in a very audible whisper to her friend.

She turned and faced her two antagonists. The one on the right wore a thin-strapped shirt and several necklaces of varying lengths. Her hair was long and streaked with bright colors and braided in several places. Silver charms dangled at the end of each long braid. The girl’s friend had short black hair and wore several metal loops on her ears. The short-haired girl cupped her hand to whisper into the ear of her friend. The long-haired girl snickered.

“Awww. Your mommy can’t buy you real clothes?” the long-haired girl teased.

She quickly looked at her opaque shopping bag and then back at the bullies.

“Maybe she’s waiting for a flood,” said the black-haired girl, looking at her boots.

She clasped the pendant protectively when the long-haired girl saw it. She squared her shoulders and stood firmly as she gave the girls a defiant stare to show that she wasn’t going to be intimidated by them.

The long-haired girl smirked and stepped forward, reaching her hand out towards the pendant’s chain to grab it. “Thanks!”

Without consciously thinking about it, she felt electricity pulse from her shoulder blades down to her hands and then out to the two girls. They suddenly flew backwards several paces from where they stood and landed hard on the pavement. The two scrambled to their feet and quickly put as much distance between themselves and her as they were able while stealing glances over their shoulders.

If she wasn’t staring at her hands as if seeing them for the first time, she would have laughed at the silly girls’ frightened and surprised expressions.

There was a flash of a memory of a large rock in a classroom. Why do I remember this? Oh, now I know. I can do Moving.

She turned around when hearing footsteps from behind her.

“There you are! We crossed the street and then I noticed you weren’t with us.” Jennifer narrowed her eyes at the two girls retreating quickly down the sidewalk. “Are you okay?”

“Yes.”

“I saw one of those girls come at you. It’s incredible the way you knocked them both down at the same time. You’re so fast, I didn’t see you move. I didn’t even think it’s possible in Tae Kwon Do.”

What was Tae Kwon Do? With an exhale she said, “I Moved them away.” She realized that she said ‘moved’ in S’Renen and repeated herself in English when Jennifer looked at her incredulously.

“You ‘moved’ them away.” Jennifer’s expression didn’t change.

“Yes. Moved them.”

A fleeting look crossed Jennifer’s eyes before she took the girl’s arm to lead her. “Let’s go back to the car.”

She thought Jennifer was angry with her because no other word was said until they reached a huge building and parked in an empty space with the other cars in neat rows. Even then, it sounded as if it wasn’t directed towards her.

“We’ll get everything else in here.”

There definitely was a wall between them, but she didn’t speak for fear of making Jennifer angrier….