Tears blurred Camie's vision, but she found the familiar door bell with ease. She pressed twice, waited, and then pressed twice more. She stepped back and waited, sniffling.
"Camie?" The cherished voice came from the other side of the windowless door. The door swung open. "That was your trouble ring. What's wrong dear?"
Camie rushed into the waiting arms of her beloved grandma. She was a slightly plump, soft lady whose hugs always made things better immediately.
"Come inside, dear and tell me what's got you so upset." She guided her clinging granddaughter into the house and steered her to the kitchen. It smelled of cooling sugar cookies.
Camie sat in her favorite chair and out of habit took a cookie from the baking sheet. There was one already missing. With the first bite still in her mouth she began speaking while whipping at tears with the back of her other hand.
"Slow down, hon. I didn't understand any of that. Here," she said offering a napkin. "Your face needs a little attention."
Camie swallowed, and then used the napkin to blow her nose. She accepted a second one to dab her eyes.
"There, that's better. Now take a couple of deep breaths." She stroked Camie's hand while the teenager complied. They were seated diagonally across from each other like so many times before.
"There now, you feel better already don't you?"
Camie nodded, and then took another bite of the cookie before setting it down on a third napkin. As she swallowed, she brushed sugar granules from her hands and faced her grandma.
"Good. Ok then, sweetheart, tell grandma all about it."
Camie did just that. She unloaded everything that was breaking her heart about a misunderstanding between her and Jill, her best friend. She couldn't believe her friend hadn't trusted her enough to realize that there was no truth to a rumor being spread around school."
Grandma listened patiently. She kept Camie talking by nodding. Then each time she seemed to have finished grandma asked a question that encouraged more outpourings of anguish over the situation. She nodded patiently as her granddaughter carried on about the unfairness of being judged without being given a chance to defend herself and prove how untrue the rumor was.
"What did Jill say when you talked to her?" grandma asked.
"I haven't. I was too upset."
"How do you know that she did what you think she did then?" grandma asked.
"That's what I was told!" Camie said defensively.
"Oh," grandma said softly. "So it's ok for you to believe a rumor, but it's not ok for her?"
Camie stared at her grandma, pondering the question. Then her eyes widened. "Oh my gosh. You're right, grandma! I told people I was mad at her and she probably heard about it. She tried to talk to me, but I just shut her out because I believed the worst about her."
Grandma patted her hand. "Well, what do you think should be done about this…this…"
"Mess?" Camie suggested as the final word to grandma's question.
"Yes dear. I guess that's a good way to put it."
"I've been so wrong. Oh, I've got to go see her and apologize!"
Grandma smiled. "Are you reading my mind?"
"No, I can't do that, but I wish I could. It would save a lot of time." She squeezed her grandma's hand. "But really, I'm glad I can't."
"It's better when you are willing to hear me out. I upload all my troubles on you and you download your wisdom and sound advice in return."
"Come here you," grandma demanded, standing to her feet.
Camie came around the corner of the table and the two shared a heartfelt hug, bringing tears to both.
"Now," grandma said, relaxing her embrace. "There's someone else who could use a hug. She brought her broken heart to me a while before you arrived." She turned Camie around to see the crying girl who had come into the kitchen from the pantry. Jill had heard their conversation.
"Oh I'm so sorry, Jill," Camie choked as she rushed to her friend. They locked into a tight embrace.
Grandma watched, approving. She looked toward the ceiling and whispered, "Well done, Lord, well done."
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