Here is the rest of the story I posted yesterday. 🙂 Have fun!
“Well…” Kris hesitated. “The reason she’s visiting is because she and her family just bought a house here in town and they’ll be moving here.”
Emily gasped and turned pale. “Oh no! This can’t be true! Jessica and I living in the same town! What if she ends up going to the same church as me! I’ll be doomed! I hope that she lives on the opposite side of town!”
Mark laughed fearfully and scratched the back of his head. “You know the house right next to ours? The one that is for sale?”
“Well, it’s not for sale anymore. Someone bought it.”
Emily’s face turned whiter and whiter. She finally screamed, “Jessica is going to be my neighbor?!”
Kris and Mark nodded silently.
“She’s coming in two weeks.” Mark said.
The next few minutes were not pretty. Emily stormed around her room shouting and screaming. Kris and Mark slipped out unnoticed and closed the door behind them.
“Phew!” Mark wiped his forehead. “She gets mad.”
“I know!” Kris said. “She was throwing her bedding all over the place! It could’ve hit me! Do you think she’ll ever be happy again?”
“Oh yeah.” Mark said confidently. “She might be mad now, but she’ll get over it.”
“Soon, I hope.” Kris added.
The two week was not happy for the Wild family. Emily was grumpy and angry the entire time and that cast a dark shadow over the whole household. Bruce and Mary both tried talking to her but she ignored them both. Whenever Mark or Kris came near her, she yelled at them. Kris was terrified of her older sister and Mark was annoyed at being treated in such a poor manner. By the end of the second week, Mark was thoroughly tired of Emily’s behavior. He and Kris met in the living room to discuss the problem.
“We have to do something.” Mark said firmly. “I don’t care what it is, we have to fix this!”
Kris nodded. “I totally agree! Earlier this morning I saw a U-Haul truck pull up in front of the house that Jessica’s moving into! That means that Jessica and her family are here now. We shouldn’t tell Emily yet, but she’s going to find out sometime soon…”
“Let’s go outside and see if Jessica can talk.” Mark suggested. “I’m very interested to meet this girl who Emily hates!”
They put on their boots and coats and walked across their yard to the house next door.
“You knock, Kris.” Mark commanded. “Jessica knows you, so she’s more likely to let us in.”
“What if her parents open the door?” Kris looked worried.
Mark shrugged. “That isn’t likely to happen. In all of those movies we watch, the kids always open the door – especially when something like this is about to happen.”
“Our life isn’t a movie, Mark.”
“Just go knock.”
Kris knocked on the door and a few minutes later it was opened by a very tired looking woman. Kris shot Mark an I-told-you-so look and then turned back to the woman.
“Can I help you?” The woman said in a very exhausted voice.
“Hi, I’m Kris and this is my brother Mark. We live next door. We want to talk to Jessica.”
“How do you know my daughter?” Mrs. Hunter asked.
Kris smiled. “We met her two weeks ago in a thrift store. She made my sister mad!”
“Kris!” Mark gasped and quickly pushed her behind him. “I’m sorry, Ma’am, Kris tends to be a bit hasty in a lot of her speech. We just want to talk to Jessica for a while.”
“And to welcome her to the neighborhood!” Kris added. “And of course, we want to welcome you to the neighborhood. Mark and I should have brought cookies, but we forgot.”
Mrs. Hunter giggled and then turned around and called loudly for her daughter. Jessica appeared a few minutes later. Her red hair was disheveled and her face was red and sweaty.
“I’ll leave you three to talk.” Mrs. Hunter smiled and quickly went back into the house.
Jessica sat down on the porch steps. The Wild children followed her example.
Kris broke the awkward silence by saying, “Hey Jessica, it’s great to see you again! You look tired!”
Jessica ran her hand across her forehead. “Alas, I am quite exhausted. My parents and I have been moving boxes from the truck all afternoon. I never realized what a burden wealth could be!”
Kris’s eyes widened. “So you’re rich? Are you a princess or something like that?”
Jessica laughed. “I wish that I was! Sadly, I’m not really what anyone would call rich.”
Mark wrinkled his brow in confusion. “But you said –”
“Oh I know what I said!” Jessica giggled. “I meant that we have a lot of sentimental stuff. Most of it is not worth anything.”
Mark nodded and said under his breath, “I can understand how Emily could be annoyed by this girl. I myself don’t see what’s so bad about her.”
“Where is your sister Emily?” Jessica asked.
“Oh she’s mad –” Kris began but Mark cut her off.
“Emily is…umm…not feeling so well right now. She’ll probably be fine soon.”
“Oh poor darling!” Jessica said sympathetically. “Maybe I should go up and see her and try to cheer her up! Being sick is such an awful thing!”
Kris shook her head violently. “I think what Emily needs is to be left alone for the next six years. By that time she’ll be eighteen and she can go off and keep her anger to herself.”
“She’s angry?” Jessica asked with concern. “Why is she angry? You know I get angry sometimes and oh it is pure misery until I let go of my anger and accept joy.”
Mark said, “Oh, Emily is just mad at someone.”
“Who is it?” Jessica questioned. “I would absolutely hate to be that person! Wouldn’t it be dreadful to have such a sweet girl as Emily mad at me?!”
“I think it’s time to change the subject!” Kris said quickly.
A few hours later Kris and Mark returned to their house.
“Jessica is so great!” Kris exclaimed.
Mark nodded. “Her dramatic nature is kind of annoying sometimes, but I think she’ll be a great neighbor!”
“Let’s go bake some cookies for the Hunter family!” Kris suggested.
They walked inside their house and saw Emily sitting on the couch. She was scowling as usual.
“Where have you two been?”
“Mark will tell you!” Kris said, eager to avoid getting yelled at. “I have to go ask Mom a question.”
“Well Mark?” Emily asked when Kris was gone.
Mark sighed. “We went to visit Jessica. I think you’re mistaken about her. She’s a really nice girl.”
Emily rolled her eyes. “Oh of course she seems nice to an uncivilized boy like you.”
“Uncivilized!” Mark gasped. “I’m a very civilized person! And so is Jessica.”
“I’ll be in my room.” Emily said. She got up and walked away.
Mark groaned and plopped down on the couch. “Emily will be Emily to the last.” He said to himself. “She can be soooo stubborn! When she makes up her mind about something like this, she won’t change it for the world.”
Kris walked into the room. “Mom said that we could make cookies!” She giggled. “And guess what?”
“You’re supposed to guess!” Before waiting for Mark’s guess, Kris said, “Mom is going to make Emily deliver the cookies to Jessica tomorrow!”
The next day Emily walked sulkily towards the Hunter’s home. In her hand she held a paper plate piled high with homemade chocolate chip cookies. She knocked on the door and stepped back. The door was answered by Jessica’s father.
“Yes? Can I help you, young lady?”
“Here.” Emily shoved the cookies into the arms of the surprised man. “Take theses. My siblings made them.”
She turned and walked away, leaving Mr. Hunter to wonder what had made the girl so grumpy. Mary, who had been watching from her front porch, sighed and prepared yet another lecture for her daughter.
Later that week, something happened that changed Emily’s perspective on Jessica. It was a Wednesday. Bruce was at work like normal. It was late afternoon and the children had completed their studies for the day. The Wild family was having dinner guests and Mary was busy in the kitchen. She started making a chocolate cake, but part way through she realized she had run out of flour. She walked into the living room where Kris and Mark were chasing each other.
“Kids, I’m going to have to run to the store to get more flour.” Mary said. “Kris, how about you come with me.”
“I want to go, too!” Mark shouted. He and Kris grabbed their coats and raced out to the van. Mary went up to Emily’s room and found her lying on her bed, staring at the wall.
“Emily, honey, I’m going to run to the store. Get your coat on and let’s go.”
“Can’t I please stay home?” Emily begged. “Just this once? Dad should get home from work soon and you won’t be gone for long.”
Mary was in a hurry and wasn’t in the mood to argue with her daughter. “Alright, Emily. Just be careful!”
Mary grabbed the keys and quickly left the house. A few minutes later, Emily got out of bed and walked to the window.
“It’ll be dark in an hour or so.” She said to herself. “I wish that it stayed light longer. I haven’t been outside for a while. I should go on a little walk around the neighborhood.”
Slipping on coat, Emily stepped out into the cold air. She started walking and at once noticed the beautiful sunset colors that were already streaking the sky. She was admiring them, and wasn’t paying attention to her steps. She tripped and fell down hard on the concrete.
“Ouch!” Emily exclaimed. She tried to stand up, but found that her ankle hurt terribly when she moved it. “I might have broken my ankle!”
Emily began to sob. She tried crawling back to her house, but after a few minutes, she gave up in exhaustion.
“Mom or Dad will come home soon and see me out here.” Emily cried. But after thirty minutes, still no one had driven by. Emily began to panic in earnest. Crying tears of pain and frustration, she sat on the cold concrete.
Suddenly, Emily saw, coming down the street, a car! She waved her arms wildly and the car stopped. To Emily’s great dismay, she saw Jessica and Mrs. Hunter get out of the car and run towards her.
“Oh are you alright, Miss?” Mrs. Hunter asked.
“I hurt my ankle!” Emily sobbed.
Jessica gasped. “Is that you, Emily Wild?”
“Yes.” Emily said sadly.
Mrs. Hunter turned to Jessica and said, “Jessica, run into the house and bring me a flashlight. It’s getting dark out here and I need to be able to see. Get a couple of blankets, too.” She turned back to Emily. “Where are your parents?”
“I have no idea!” Emily wailed. “They should have been home by now. My dad is usually home from work by now. My mom and siblings went into town to get something from a store, but it shouldn’t take this long. I live in the house next to yours.”
“What are your parent’s phone numbers?” Mrs. Hunter asked. Emily gave them to her. The woman said, “Alright, Emily, I’m going to go inside and call your parents. I’ll also call an ambulance. I think that you broke your ankle.”
Still crying, Emily nodded. Mrs. Hunter went into her house and Jessica came out a minute later. Her arms were full of blankets, she had a flashlight balanced in her mouth and in her hands she held two cups of steaming hot chocolate. She sat down beside Emily and draped a blanket around her shoulders.
“Do you want a cup of hot chocolate, dear?” Jessica held out the mug to Emily. “Whenever I get hurt, hot chocolate makes me feel better.”
“I don’t want any.” Emily said crossly.
“Suit yourself.” Jessica took a sip from her own mug. “What were you doing out by yourself at this time of night?”
“I’m not a baby!” Emily snapped. “It isn’t even night yet and I don’t have to have someone go everywhere with me all of the time!”
Jessica looked surprised. “I was just curious. I didn’t mean to upset you!”
“Well, leave me alone.” Emily crossed her arms.
Jessica stared at Emily for a minute and then said, “Emily, I’m not drawing conclusions yet, but are you mad at me for something? I can’t imagine what it would be, since I only saw you once but you seem…angry.”
“YES!” Emily yelled. “You are an annoying, weird, overdramatic girl. I can’t stand you and I wish that you had never moved to this neighborhood!”
Jessica’s mouth dropped open in surprise. “I – I never knew you felt that way.” Poor Jessica faltered. “I’m sorry, I…I have to go.” She jumped up and ran back into her house. Emily could hear her crying as she ran off.
At once Emily’s conscience smote her. She knew that she shouldn’t have said those things to Jessica. With her conscience bothering her, as well as the pain in her foot, Emily sat in misery for the next few minutes. Soon her parents pulled up in their vehicles and jumped out.
“Emily!” Mary cried, running to her daughter.
Bruce squatted down next to her. “Are you okay, sweetie?”
“Not really.” Emily mumbled. “What took you so long to get home?”
“I had to work later tonight.” Bruce explained. “I was just about to head home when Caroline Hunter called.”
“I’m so sorry, Emily!” Mary apologized. “I should have been home sooner, but when we were in the store I bumped into an old friend and…”
“We called an ambulance and it should be here any minute now.” Bruce said.
A few days later, Emily was sitting miserably in the dining room, reading a book. Her ankle was broken, but she was glad to be home from the hospital. Kris and Mark had been her servants ever since she had come home. They had waited upon her like she was a queen. They were rewarded by her kindness to them.
Emily was contemplating the events of the past few days. Her conscience was still bothering her about what she had said to Jessica, but she couldn’t bring herself to ask for Jessica’s forgiveness.
“You have a visitor, Emily.” Mary said, breaking through Emily’s thoughts.
Emily looked up and saw Jessica standing sheepishly beside Mary.
“I’ll leave you two to talk.” Mary said, quietly. She left the room.
“Hi Emily.” Jessica said sadly. “I thought that I’d bring you a little something. I hope that you get better soon.” She set a small gift bag on the table and turned to leave.
“Wait, Jessica!” Emily said. “I want to say –”
“Don’t bother apologizing.” Jessica said in a sorrowful voice. “I’m used to people disliking me because I’m different and ‘dramatic’. It’s nothing new. You were honest and I guess I can accept that.” Without another word, Jessica left the room and returned to her house.
Emily opened the bag and found a music CD. There was a little piece of paper. Emily read it aloud to herself. “Dear Emily, I hope that this helps you pass the time as your foot heals. I’ll be praying to Jesus for you. Love from your neighbor, Jessica.”
Tears filled Emily’s eyes. Soon she was sobbing loudly. Mary rushed into the room to find out what was wrong.
“Mom, I’ve been awful!” Emily sobbed. “I was horrible to Jessica! But look what she gave me!”
Mary looked at the little gift. She said quietly, “I think Jessica could be a good friend.”
Emily sobbed harder. “She said that most people dislike her because she’s different! I call myself a Christian, but I was so cruel to Jessica! She was kind back and…and…” Emily’s voice was lost in her tears.
Mary rubbed her daughter’s back. “It’s not too late to make up with her, Emily.”
Emily nodded and wiped some of her tears away. “I know, but I can’t face her after what I’ve said.” She thought for a moment and then said, “I’ll write her a note, Mom. Can you give it to her?”
Mary smiled. “I’d be honored to, Emily.”
Kris and Mark, who had been quietly watching everything from the entrance of the dining room, looked at each other and smiled.
“I think we’ve got our Emily back!” Mark said excitedly.
“Yay!” Kris exclaimed.
Half an hour later, Mary stood in front of the Hunter’s door. When Caroline answered it, Mary said, “This is for Jessica from Emily. How is the poor girl?”
Caroline smiled sadly and said, “Jessica is a very sensitive child. She always has been. She feels like no one understands her or loves her for who she is. She’s been rejected and told she’s ‘weird’ by so many people. She tries to ignore the remarks, but they hurt her a lot.”
“Poor girl.” Mary said tenderly.
Caroline nodded. “Yes, poor child. My husband and I had hoped that a move to this neighborhood would give Jessica a fresh start, but…”
“I am so sorry.” Mary said fervently. “Emily expressed deep regret for her words today. I think that she might want to get to know Jessica better.”
“I’ll give Jessica the note.” Caroline promised.
“Thank you.” Mary said and then turned and went home.
“Jessica, I have something for you!” Caroline said. Jessica walked slowly into the room. Her smiled was gone and her eyes were red from crying. “It’s from Emily.” She handed the girl a small envelope.
“Thanks Mom.” Jessica said. She walked to her room and sat down on the bed. She opened the envelope and pulled out a card and read it aloud.
“’Dear Jessica, I am so sorry for what I said to you a few days ago. I know that this won’t make up for my hurtful words, but I beg you to forgive me. I was completely in the wrong. I should never have called you weird. You are unique and I think that is neat. You have been much more of Christian than I have been. I don’t expect you to forgive me for what I have done. But if you can stand to be around such an immature girl like me, I’d really love to be your friend. Think about it, please, Jessica. Thank you for the CD and for being kind to me, even when I was so mean to you. Love, Emily W.’”
Slowly a smile formed on Jessica’s face. It grew bigger and bigger. Laughing, smiling and crying all at the same time, Jessica raced out of her room and to Caroline.
“Mom!” Jessica cried. “Emily wants to be my friend!”
That was the beginning of a deep and wonderful friendship between Emily Wild and Jessica Hunter. They didn’t always get along, in fact they argued a lot, but they were able to love each other and to embrace their differences instead of disliking them.