TITLE: MOVING ON
GENRE: MG Historical Fiction
Hot or not hot, I’m not budging from this spot until I talk to Olivia, thought Patsy. The metal rungs of the two-seater swing, almost too hot to sit on this August afternoon, printed red bars on the backs of eleven-year-old Patsy’s legs. The outline of her house shaded the swing as the sun arced across the Carolina-blue sky. But Patsy had a lot of catching up to do with her best friend of forever and a day—and she wanted answers.
Geez Louise! Patsy nudged the swing back and forth. I’ve waited all morning for Olivia to fill me in about her trip and her dad’s decision. Patsy gnawed a fingernail. Especially since I heard Mom crying after her phone conversation with Mrs. Nelson.
Patsy squinted towards Olivia’s house and pushed up her glasses.
Finally! Olivia sashayed across the double driveways with a lips-pressed-thin smile on her face. Her shorts’ pockets bulged with something. She plopped onto the swing beside Patsy like the sinker on Daddy’s fishing line into the Catawba.
“Hey,” Olivia exhaled in staccato breaths.
“Hey, yourself,” Patsy said. “So, tell me. Say it fast, and it’ll be easier.”
Olivia’s bottom lip quivered, and a single line of clear snot ran out of one nostril. “We’re mo-ov-ing.” Olivia reached into her shorts’ pocket between sobs, removed a crumpled wad of Kleenex, and blew her nose.
Patsy’s face wanted to scrunch into a million wrinkles. “When?” she croaked.
“In t-t-two weeks.” Olivia’s shoulders shook up and down with her wails.
Patsy shot up straight in the swing. Her eyes bulged at Olivia. “TWO WEEKS? Holy Moly, that’s awful!”
“I kn-kno-know.” Fresh tears washed over Olivia’s face like rain water over the dam at Sugar Creek. “We’re moving in with Grandmother Nelson until we find a place to live and sell this house. Mom wants us to be all set to start school after Labor Day.”
Patsy felt the color drain from her face like bathwater out of the tub. “You won’t be here to start school?” she whispered.
Patsy’s throat ached, and her gut felt like it did the time Wayne punched her in third grade.
Olivia shook her head. She handed a lump of Kleenex to Patsy.
Now Patsy turned on the faucets. “How will I make it through sixth grade without you?” Patsy tooted into the Kleenex and sniffed.
“You-ou? I’ll be living with Grandmother “No-Touch” Nelson and starting sixth grade in a school full of strangers in Vir-gi-gin-i-ya.” The swing jiggled in time to Olivia’s sobs. “At least you’ll have Linda and Susan he-ere.”
Patsy threw her arm around Olivia’s shoulders. They both snubbed in triplet breaths and swung on in silence.