Mrs. Potts Knows
“Annie! Come on!” I stood at the end my twin sister’s bed. Pink, fluffy and perfectly made. Quite unlike mine; denim, dirty and definitely not made.
“Angie,” she whispered my name without taking her eyes from the open book, “I simply will not leave this room until I know Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are married.” She turned the page without the hint of a glance in my direction.
“Mom!” I yelled as I stomped into the hall. "Annie won’t come to the park with me!”
I turned and glared at her. If she didn’t come I couldn’t go. Although we were almost twelve, the build in ‘buddy system’ was still in effect.
How could we be sisters, let alone twins? We couldn’t be more different if we were born worlds apart.
I liked sports, she ballet.
I liked rock music, she classical.
I loved adventure, climbing trees, camping, animals and getting dirty.
She sat in the house and read all summer.
“Mom!” I yelled again as I stomped down the stairs.
“Angel,” Mom used my pet name probably to entice me to act like one. “Be patient. I’m sure Annie is just about done Pride and Prejudice. You know she’s a fast reader.”
“Why can’t she bring it and read in the park?” I whined.
“Because I borrowed it from Mrs.Potts and it’s very old.” Annie walked into the kitchen carrying the ancient volume. Her blonde hair, perfectly divided into two neat braids, contrasted my single unkempt pony tail. “I’ll drop it off on the way.” She picked a shiny apple and headed for the door. I followed grabbing a banana.
“You’re not picking out a new book, are you?”
“No, Mrs. Potts already picked it.” She smiled dreamily and her blue eyes took on a far away look. “Wuthering Heights” She sounded like an English aristocrat.
“Another mamby-pamby romance.” I scrunched up my face in disgust.
She sighed impatiently in my direction, “When are you ever going to outgrow this tomboy era and be a girl?”
“One day soon you’re going to wake up and have breasts. What will you do then?”
“That’s disgusting! Why would you say such a thing.” I already had nightmares from the Health Class videos they showed just before summer vacation. But, despite my wishes, my body was beginning to change. Annie already wore a training bra, I opted for bigger tee shirts.
“Because it’s the truth and you need to hear it.”
“I know I’m a girl but that doesn’t mean I have to go all....feminine.” I said the ‘f’ work like it was poisonous.
We arrived at Mrs. Potts tottery old house. Although I knew her from church, I’d never been in her house. Paint was peeling off the white picket fence. An array of flowers and bushes grew whichever way they liked in the tiny front yard.
Before Annie knocked, the door opened. Mrs. Potts wrinkly face reminded me of one of the Granny Apple Dolls I saw every year at the Christmas Craft Fair.
“Annie,” she smiled a toothless grin, “You finished already?”
“Yes, Mrs.Potts,” Annie handed the book back to its owner, “It was better than you said.” She sighed as the old lady lovingly took back her cherished volume.
“You see now why I made you wait till the end of the summer to read it?” Her dark brown eyes twinkled.
“Yes,” Annie smiled back at her elderly friend then asked, “Do you still think I’m ready for Wuthering Heights?”
“Yes, child. Here it is.” Annie clasped the blue hard covered book to her chest.
Mrs. Potts looked my way. “So Angie, are you ready for a book too?”
I laughed nervously, “No thank you, Mrs. Potts. I’m not into romance reading.”
“Of course not child, I was thinking of The Black Stallion. Action, adventure and a beautiful horse.” She offered the book to me.
A jet black Arabian horse looked from the dust cover right into my soul. Automatically my hand reached for the book. Excitement rose within me. I had to know his story. I needed to read this story. And, as I opened the first page, I became a reader.
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