At the end of the day, several of the girls were relaxing in the yard. Jane and Sally were coloring paper dolls. Carin and Carlisle were talking over plans for Croc Camp 2007. Taryn was attempting to practice her bugle, but every time she started, Jane or Sally would deliberately ask her to find a particular color in the box of colored pencils, so poor Taryn never got very far. Yrlene was reading one of the many name books from the Continuum library.
“Here’s a good name,” said Yrlene. “Amelia.”
“Sorry, we already have an Amelia,” Jane replied.
“We just got one,” said Taryn. “Does anyone want to hear the ‘Washington Post March’?”
“Taryn, could you find Terra Cotta for me, please?” Sally interrupted. “You’re so good with colors.”
“What about Cecilia?” asked Yrlene.
“Hi, I’m Cecilia,” said Cecilia, coming by with Hayley. “Did you want me?”
“No,” Yrlene explained, “I am just looking for a new name. But it seems that there are an awful lot of names already used up.”
“Hayley is also taken,” Hayley announced. “Taryn, Cecilia and I are going to play tennis. May I borrow your racquet?”
“Of course,” said Taryn, “It’s in the shed.”
“Thanks!” The girls headed on their way.
“How about Eleanor?” asked Yrlene.
“Elinor Valentine lives with The Tumbling Twinns now,” Carin pointed out. “We try not to use the same names as they do.” She put a dandelion under Carlisle’s collar. “There, Carlisle, you look very festive.” Carlisle just chuckled.
“It tickles,” he replied.
“Ha,” said Yrlene. “Elinor Valentine. I know her. So that is where she got to. When she was on Yrbittia she was Ylinor Valentine.”
“Gee, she was here for a while and she never said she was from Yrbittia,” said Jane. “Yrlene, does everyone from your planet have red hair and green eyes?”
“Yes,” said Yrlene. “We have different skin tones, though.”
“It must be an interesting place,” Taryn was saying, when suddenly she was interrupted by the arrival of Lily Su. “Hi Lily, what’s up?”
“Sally, I just got word that we are leaving in half an hour for South Africa. I came as soon as I could.”
“But I’m not ready,” said Sally. “I haven’t decided what to wear, I don’t have anything packed…”
“Sally, you look fine just the way you are,” said Taryn, giving her a hug and trying to hide her oncoming tears. Jane slipped away to get Kerry, Corky, and Penny, who had been washing the supper dishes in the kitchen. They hurried out to the yard. (Jane stayed and finished washing the dishes, roping in Libby and Jeremy to help her.)
“We are going to miss you,” said Carin, “but we have sent clothes and shoes and things over to the Tumbling Twinns, so I don’t really think you need to pack.”
“Sally, I have a necklace for you,” said Carlisle, producing one in the usual surprising way he had. “It has a moon and a star on it so that you will remember what I always say, when you look at the stars we will be looking at the same ones and thinking of you.”
“Thank you, Carlisle,” said Sally, wiping away a tear. “I will be thinking of you, too. I was really hoping to have a bit of extra time to say my goodbyes, but maybe this is easier.”
All the Emmas gathered around as Taryn put the necklace on Sally. “Sally, you have a lot of hair. Hold still,” said Taryn. “There,” she said, fastening the catch. “And now, would you like me to play “I’ll be Seeing You” on my bugle?”
Sally laughed as the other girls groaned. “That’s OK, Taryn, thanks. I’d better go say goodbye to Clinton.”
Clinton took Sally for one last ride around the yard. “My fellow American,” Clinton announced, “It is with a sense of sadness that I say farewell to you. We have been friends in sunshine and shadow. I will be looking forward to the dispatch box when it arrives with messages from you.”
He took Sally to the bus stop where Lily was waiting, having said her goodbyes to Zaya, Meko, and Mie.
“Don’t worry Lily, Jennifer Mae is there so you wont be the only Asian girl. Send her our love and Special Oriental Greetings.”
Lily, who had not been long at the Continuum choked back a tear. “I will pass on your message and we will proud of our heritage.”
Sally patted Clinton on the head and wished him and Hillary the best of luck in the election. Clinton thanked her and ambled off. “Well, Lily,” said Sally, “It’s just you and me. I am so glad that we are traveling together.”
“So am I,” said Lily. “I can’t wait to get there but I am nervous about the flight.”
“Lucky for us we aren’t going to travel with that transmogryfier thingey. I have heard bad things about it. You could end up anywhere!” Sally said.
“Do you think we will get frequent flier miles Sally?”
“I doubt it Lily, we dollies usually travel with the cargo, but I bet our box will be nice and comfy and we will sleep right through the flight anyway.”
“Well, as the famous Twinn philosopher Low Two once said: “It’s better to embark on a long journey with high spirits than embark on a short one with low spirits.”
The bus arrived and Sally and Lily took a long look at their former home, it was almost winter in South Africa but there would be no snow, and no Reading Ralph and no Hersheys Kisses. Sally sighed. “Are we there yet?”
© DRW, JE Sturgis 2007-2018. Moved to blog 21/04/2015