Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maggie's Memos: Shocking News-Part Two

Maggie here.  Tess wanted me to finish the story because she's too distraught about everything that's been going on.  And yes, she did actually use the word "distraught".  That's what you get for being a 12 year old that reads too many Jane Austen books.  She's a little crazy.  I wouldn't change her for anything, though.  ;)

So shortly after Tess left off, Mama came in and found all of us in various stages of panic.  Hailey was still sobbing buckets, Lucy was almost hyperventilating, Tess was standing there in a stupor, Emily and Ella were clinging to each other, and Danielle was spending all her energy trying not to look guilty.  I thought I was being pretty level-headed about everything, at least on the outside.  I have to admit, though, there was a lump the size of a dinner roll in my throat.  If Mama could make such a drastic decision about one of us, what would keep her from someday deciding the same thing about me, or Tess, or any of the others? 

"I'm sorry, Mama," Danielle finally broke the awkward silence.  "I accidentally told them about Christmas."

Mama's eyes lit up with understanding.  "Ah, so that explains it," she said slowly.  She looked around at all of us, concern etched in her features (okay, so maybe Tess isn't the only one who uses flowery words, but wow!  What a sentence...if I do say so myself!). :)

"I'm sorry you all had to find out so soon," she began sympathetically.  "I didn't want you to go through...well, all of this!"  She put a hand on Tess's shoulder.  "I want you all to know that this doesn't mean that I like Danielle any less.  I just think she'd be a great fit for my niece.  I want her to have a Christmas she'll never forget.  If I'd given her Madison, she would never forget this Christmas for all the wrong reasons.  Madison would have made her miserable!" 

She paused a moment before continuing.  "I made sure Danielle was comfortable with my idea before I sold Madison.  Danielle was very willing to be a Christmas doll.  I think she and my niece will be great friends."  Mama looked down at her hands.  "I feel bad for the rest of you, stuck here in this room when you could have a little girl to play with you every day."

"That's not what we want!" I shot out fiercely, almost before I'd realized it.

Mama looked up at me in surprise.

"Sorry to interrupt," I said, rather embarrassed, "but some of us came from homes with little girls.  They're not always all they're cracked up to be."  With a shudder, I remembered my days before Mama's discovery of me at Salvation Army.  "You may not play with us, but you take care of us and you gave us this great room to stay in."

"We just want to stay together," Tess pleaded.  "And...we're worried you might decide to sell all of us one day."

"I doubt it will come to that," Mama smiled reassuringly.

"What about Rose?" Emily whispered worriedly.  "You're getting rid of her because you can't fix her loose limbs.  Does that mean you want to get rid of me, too?"

"Not at all!" Mama said quickly.  "I can fix your legs...when I'm brave enough.  I have no clue how to re-string all-vinyl dolls.  Rose needs to go to someone who can fix her up properly."  Mama shook her head as she looked over at Rose, still standing across the room.  "She gets the most horrible headaches because her neck bands are so loose.  That's why she doesn't come over and join you girls.  She's pretty much an invalid."

I saw Tess shoot Hailey a disapproving glance, as only an older sister can.  Hailey blushed through her dissolving tears and looked at her toes.  I knew Tess was remembering Hailey's earlier comment about Rose never doing anything with us. 

Lucy was still clinging to Tess's middle.  "Lucy was afraid that this meant that Katie wouldn't be coming back," Tess offered shyly.

Mama picked Lucy up and gave her a hug.  "Your sister is coming back, sweetie.  Right now, she's having lots of fun, but I know she'll be so excited to come home again and see all of you.  Especially her little sister."  Lucy nodded, calming down intantly in Mama's arms.

Mama put her back on the dresser.  "Listen, I've got to go get my oldest from school.  You girls just try to relax, okay?  And remember, Danielle will be with us for another 2 months.  So just enjoy this time with her and try not to panic.  No one else is being sold or given away."  She winked at us.  "I'll see you girls in a while, all right?"

We all nodded and settled down for a quiet afternoon.  I knew it would take more than a reassuring conversation with Mama to keep us from thinking about our big shake-up today, though.  And I couldn't shake the nagging question, What next?

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