We arrived in town at about twelve o’clock. The town was very small, especially compared to Philadelphia. It consisted of a church, a synagogue, a food market, a grocery store, an appliance store, a movie theater, a nice restaurant, a diner, a bank, a post office, a drug store, which also sold newspaper and candy, a library, a doctor’s office, a general store and a police and fire station. The town also had a small school ages kindergarten to eighth grade. There was a high school about half an hour away in Montpelier.
There were no houses on the main street of the town but there were many streets that came off of it and on those streets were houses. The town, though it was hard to imagine, was actually very rich. There were many big, beautiful houses with a lot of property right off of the main drag. My Popop, when choosing where to make his home, decided on the place he did because he liked being close to a town but far enough away that he could have a farm. Sometimes I would wish that he had chosen to live in town because it was in the middle of everything, then I would remember all of the animals that I loved and the tree house and swimming hole and zip line and I would realize how lucky I was.
We got off our bikes and walked down the main street.
“So where’re we gonna go first?” asked Jack.
My stomach grumbled and we all laughed.
“Let’s go get lunch at the diner,” said Grace.
When we arrived at the diner we put our bikes in the bike rack in the front and walked in.
It was about twelve o’clock so the diner was crowded and noisy. We waited in line for a few minutes and eventually made our way up to the maître de and were led to our table.
The restaurant was owned by the Winthrop family. It had been passed down through about five generations and now was in the hands of Danielle and Jud. The Winthrop family was made up of the two parents, and five kids, three boys and two girls. The child closest in age to me was a girl named Abigail. We were friendly and we talked but she had never come over or anything like that.
“Hey guys,” said Duke, he was the oldest Winthrop. At the age of nineteen he, along with his other siblings, worked in the diner a few days a week over the summer.
“Hey,” I said and Grace smiled and nodded.
“Who’s this?” asked Duke, nodding towards Jack.
“I’m Jack, Alexa’s brother,” said Jack holding out his hand.
Duke shook it and looked at me puzzled. “Alexa, I didn’t know you had a brother.”
What was I supposed to say to that?
“Um, yeah… I do,” I said.
Duke laughed. “What can I get for you?”
We all ordered and then waited for our food. We were seated next to a window so I gazed outside at the people walking, driving, and biking past.
Our lunch was delivered by Abigail who smiled at me and then left.
We ate and then just sat and let our food digest.
Duke came over after we were done.
“I hope you enjoyed your meal, yada yada yada, whatever.”
We laughed. Then Grace said, “Hey Duke, could you bring Felix over? I think Jack would like him.”
Felix was the middle child in the Winthrop family. He was fifteen and very nice and well-mannered. The one thing he and his brother had in common was that they were both very funny. After a little while Felix arrived at our table. He was the average size for a fifteen year old boy, and had dark brown hair. He was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
“Hey,” he said nodding his head at Jack, Grace and I.
“Felix, this is Jack, Lexi’s fourteen year old brother. He’s new here and I was wondering if you could take him to meet your friends and stuff.”
Felix looked Jack from top to bottom or at least as well as he could with Jack sitting down in a booth.
“Yeah sure,” said Felix smiling at Jack.
“Thanks,” said Jack returning Felix’s smile.
“No problem,” said Felix.
“So we’re gonna go get ice cream, you wanna come?” asked Grace.
“Right now?” asked Felix.
“Well lemme go check with Duke and see if he can cover me for a while,” said Felix heading towards where Duke was standing, flirting with some girl who lived in town.
They had a short conversation and the both looked over at us once. Then Felix walked over to our table.
“I’m in,” said Felix.
“Awesome,” Grace replied as we all stood up.
We paid and then starting walking towards the General store.
Grace walked next to Felix and whispered to him for most of the walk there. Jack looked at them with envy and I patted his shoulder.
After we had our ice cream Felix invited Jack to go and meet his friends. Jack was going to be given a ride home by Felix’s older sister Sarah, who was seventeen or Duke and since their car was a pick-up, Jack’s bike could fit in the back. Grace and I did the shopping my nana had asked us to do and we rode home.
The two of us sat in my room after I had dragged Grace up the stairs.
“What’d you wanna tell me?” asked Grace.
“Right. I forgot. So, I told Scott that I’m not supposed to tell you this but whatever. Guess what?” I said almost jumping up and down on my bed.
“Jeez Lexi, you’re gonna break the bed before you tell me,” said Grace.
“Sorry,” I said, settling down. “So guess what.”
“What?” asked Grace.
“Jack likes you.”
Graces face lit up and she squealed.
“Oh my gosh. I can’t believe it!”
“I know. That’s what I said.”
“Does Jack know that I like him?”
“He can learn if you want. A certain birdy could tell him, or you can.”
“No, that’d be awkward. Let’s put this birdy to work,” said Grace smiling mischievously.
“Sounds like a plan,” I said.
“Wait. D’you think it would be weird if he didn’t know and I kinda… surprised him?” Grace looked at me hopefully.
I rolled my eyes but smiled, “I think that would be adorable. Whenever there’s a chance I’ll let the two of you be alone.”
Grace smiled and then leaned over and hugged me. “You’re the best Lexi.”
“I’d be lying if I told you that was the first time I’d heard that,” I said.
Grace laughed a little. “I’m gonna steal that from you okay?”
The next morning I woke up to sun shining in through the blinds and a wonderful smell filling my nose. I got dressed and went downstairs feeling wonderful. Jack and Grace were already sitting at the table eating bacon and eggs. Only Jack was eating the bacon though. Grace and I both used to be meat eaters but after seeing our beloved pigs and cows get slaughtered we decided that together we would be vegetarians.
Grace, it looked like, was eating veggie bacon. I sat down across from Jack and next to Grace.
“You slept well,” said Jack. “It’s already ten.”
I stared at him realizing that I hadn’t looked at the clock before coming down. I never slept later then nine, never in my whole life; in fact, I normally slept until eight thirty.
“Yup. It’s ten. We both woke up early and waited for you so we could have breakfast together but we both almost starved so we decided to eat,” said Grace stuffing some bacon in her mouth.
“Oh well thanks for thinking of waiting—no trying to wait for me. It’s the thought that counts.”
Grace and Jack both nodded.
I served myself some food and started to eat. For a while the only sound was us chewing.
“Shoot,” said Grace.
Both Jack and I stared at her questioningly.
“We forgot to ask your Popop about the soccer thing.”
I had completely forgotten about that and apparently so had Jack.
“Oh yeah,” I said.
“Let’s try and remember to do it at dinner tonight,” said Jack. He got up and brought his plate into the kitchen. Grace and I followed.