W.I.T.C.H. Fan Fiction ❯ My Niece ❯ Day 9 ( Chapter 9 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Day 9After a surprisingly restful sleep, I was understandably reluctant to get out of bed. Maybe it was because of the discourse Wilma and I had last night, but I had slept soundly for the first time in a long time, and had it not been for my work, I would have been inclined to stay in bed for the rest of the day. But I still got out of bed, and walked out into the main room.
By now, I was expecting Wilma to be at the table, either eating breakfast or at least at the table. But this time I saw neither. Concerned, I then turned towards the study and opened the door. There was Wilma, about three quarts asleep, trying to finish one of her school papers. Apparently, she had stayed up all night trying to finish the work she had been assigned.
“Wilma…” I said, as I approached her. Upon hearing her name, she woke up a bit more and said, “Sorry. I just didn’t get enough sleep last night. I… oh. Hi Arthur.”
“You spent all night working on the school papers I gave you, didn’t you?”
“Yes. But it’s all right. I’ve already gotten the math and biology done. I’m just taking care of… ahhhh… history right now.”
“Wilma, you’ve got all weekend to get this stuff done. You don’t need to push yourself this hard. And besides, I doubt your mother would want to see you like this.”
“Well, to be truthful, she sees me like this more often than not. She doesn’t mind it too much.”
“Still, I doubt that she would want to see you like this. Come on, let go get you some breakfast; that should help you wake up a little.”
Wilma was in no mood to resist, and by all accounts she appeared hungry. So she got up and the two of us walked over to the kitchen/dining area, where we served ourselves breakfast.
Little by little, Wilma began to wake up, though she still yawned a lot. As we ate, she asked me, “So, what’s your plans for this week?”
I was a bit surprised to hear that, though by now nothing she said surprised that much anymore. I answered, “Oh, not much, just the same old routine that I’ve followed for so long. I don’t expect your routine to change compared to what it was before this week.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure of that.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I’ve got quite a bit to do. I’ve got to take care of my homework, first and foremost. Then I have to fully patch things up with my friends, especially Cornelia. She’s been very distraught since I left home, and she could use some cheering up. Then I’ve got to at least try to straighten things out with Matt, and then I’ve got to let my swim coach know that I’m quitting the swim team… ahhhh… Hopefully that’s all I need to do. From there, I’ll get back to something similar to my old routine.”
“Seems like you’ve got stuff figured out, Wilma. And by all accounts, you are moving in the right direction.”
“Yeah. But just in case I need to talk to you, is it OK if I could get your phone number?”
“Sure. But just for your information, your mother knows of my phone number too. Now if you don’t mind, I would like to go downstairs and get a piece of paper…”
“Oh, you can borrow a piece of paper from me. I’ve got plenty.”
“All right, I’ll be right back.” And with that, I walked towards the study and opened the door. I took a piece of paper off the pile stacked next to the makeshift desk Wilma had constructed for her work, as well as a pencil nearby. I then made my way out of the study and into the kitchen/dining area, where Wilma was still eating her breakfast, and still yawning.
“OK, let me write it down for you.” I said as I sat down. And I just finished writing up the number when I heard a knock at the door. I then said to Wilma, “The number’s finished. I’ll get the door.” I got back up from my seat and I checked to see who it was.
It was Susan. Wow, she got here early! I thought. Oh well, may as well let her in. So I opened up the door and said, “Nice to see you again.”
“It’s nice to see you too, Arthur. Where’s…” Susan began to say, but she never had a chance to finish, because I then heard Wilma screech, “MOM!” and she halfway flung herself into her mother’s arms. Susan then said to me, “I guess this answers my question.” She then turned to Wilma and said, “How are you?”
“Great, Mom.” Wilma said. “And you?”
“Same here.” She then turned to me and said, “I hope I wasn’t interrupting anything, Arthur.”
“Oh no, Susan. We were just finishing up with breakfast. After that, I don’t know what we would’ve done next.”
“Well, I would’ve liked to have returned to my school papers, I only have the math and biology done.” Wilma said. This kind of took Susan by surprise, who then said to Wilma, “Why the concern for homework all of a sudden?”
“Because I want to be a success story. All this time I’ve been unconsciously trying to fail not just myself, but everyone around me. Now I know better, and I want to give my all while I’m still around.”
“I see. But don’t push yourself too hard. It’s important to be a success, but it’s also important that we try to enjoy life while we strive for that success.” Susan then turned back to me and said, “Do you need help with anything?”
“No, not really.” I responded. “I can take care of the dishes. Just make yourself at home, and I’ll be with you two shortly.” I turned my attention to the dishes, which didn’t take too long for me to take care of. Susan and Wilma, on the other hand, had moved to the main room and were now sitting on the couch, playing with Sven. I soon joined them, saying, “I hope that the trip out here wasn’t too much of a problem.”
“Only at the beginning and the end.” Susan answered. “The beginning I had to deal with the usual Heatherfield traffic, and at the end, I had to be asked for a legitimate Canadian driver’s license. I still don’t get that part.”
“Oh. That. It’s a security measure to keep Stupidians out of Whitesage.”
“That’s what we call the people in the nation to the south of us. Knowing that this used to be a hippie commune, we have a very liberal worldview, by Canadian standards, anyway. And especially with what’s been happening the last two years now, we have good reason to limit their influence around here.”
“I see. That’s kind of weird that this community would use such a childish insult for an entire nation, even if they kind of deserve it.”
“Well, it’s part of our culture, so you’ll have to learn to accept it.”
“Anyway, the ride was very nice as a whole.” Susan then turned to Wilma and asked, “So what did you think of this place?”
“Oh, I think it may be the most wonderful town I’ve ever been in.” Wilma said. “I’ve never met so many nice people who were willing to help me out, even when I didn’t need their help. But while this place is great, I know my life revolves around Heatherfield. I just wish they have some of the services there that I took part in.”
“Oh, two days ago, I was taken to a spiritual therapy center, where they had these things called float tanks where you just float on saltwater. I never felt so cleared up after an hour in it. And then I took part in something called Watsu, which almost felt like I had drifted away into a place where all of my sadness no longer existed. I wish there was stuff like that in Heatherfield, but I doubt there is.”
“Actually, Arthur told me about these things, and I did a little research. Heatherfiled does have facilities for both float tanks and Watsu. They are a little off the beaten path, but seeing how much you enjoyed them, I think we can try to go over there once a week.”
Wilma looked elated when hearing this, and asked, “Really? You mean it?”
“Of course. And when I said ‘we’, I meant it: I want to try this stuff out too. Unless you think it would be embarrassing to join you in this way.”
Wilma became even more jubilant when she heard this, saying, “Oh no! I would be happy if you joined me with these things! You won’t regret this, I swear!”
“Well, I’m happy to hear that, Wilma.”
From there, the discussion turned towards more menial stuff. We discussed Wilma’s plans once she returned home, namely her desire to quit the swim team so she could concentrate on her studies. Susan wasn’t terribly surprised to hear that, and she agreed with Wilma’s assessment that engaging in something within a competitive framework was unnecessary. We also discussed a few other things regarding Whitesage, its history, the town’s mores, and the like. We must have spent an hour talking like this, though it didn’t last that long.
Eventually, Susan said, “Well, I think we better get going. Hopefully there isn’t too much for us to load up.”
“No, there isn’t.” Wilma said. And she took off to the study, where I heard her gather stuff up. Susan followed her, and I heard her say, “Do you need help gathering stuff up?”
“If you want to. I can get it all myself, but if you’d like to carry something, I’m not going to complain.” Wilma responded.
After that, the two continued to pick stuff up and move things around. This task barely took five minutes until they walked out with all of Wilma’s things. Sven, who had been hiding in a corner all this time, left it to see what was happening. Noticing that Wilma was leaving, he started to whine. Wilma heard this and turned back to Sven, saying, “Oh, I’m sorry Sven. I know that you really want me to stay, but I have friends back home. I can’t just abandon them.” Sven continued to whine, and in response, Wilma said, “I’ll eventually be coming back to visit, so don’t worry about me.” Sven stopped whining, but he still looked sad to see Wilma go. Susan had seen all of this, and asked me, “Is that your dog?”
“Yes. It’s an Elkhound. He usually doesn’t like strangers, but he and Wilma bonded right away. In fact, Sven was the one who found Wilma in the first place.” I answered.
“Hmm. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Wilma has a way with animals.” She then turned to Sven and approached him, who got nervous again and started to back into the corner again. Upon seeing this, Wilma said to Sven, “Oh, you don’t have to be nervous around her. That’s my mother! She’s not going to hurt you.” Sven started to calm down again and Susan began to pet him and scratch behind his ears. Sven definitely liked that, but all too soon it was time for Wilma and Susan to get back to the task at hand.
I quickly returned to my bedroom to get dressed for the day, and from there I stepped outside to see Wilma and Susan load up the car. “Is there anything you need help with?” I asked as I walked towards the car.
“No. We’re fine. Just getting the last things put away.” Susan answered. Soon enough they were all packed up and ready to head out. The two ladies turned towards me and Susan said, “Well, it looks like we’re on our way out, Arthur. Thanks for everything this past week; I know that I’ll forever be in your debt.”
“No, you don’t need to be.” I answered. “I’m just trying to help out.”
Susan nodded to indicate that she understood. Then I turned to Wilma and I said, “I guess that’ll be it, at least for now. Maybe sometime down the line you can visit me, but I’ll try to stay in contact with you and your mother as much as possible in the meantime.” After a short break, I said, “I wish you the best from here on out.” After hearing that, Wilma jumped into my arms and hugged me. I expected that, in honesty. What I didn’t expect was for Wilma to also kiss me on my left cheek; it was brief, but it was still noticed. She then said, “Thanks, Arthur. And thanks for giving me my life back.” She then let me go and made her way back to the car, stepping into the passenger side. After closing the door and a delay to get her seat belt secured, I heard the car rumble to life and soon move down the street, but not before I saw Wilma wave back at me. I waved back and I returned back inside to clean up the place and get ready for work.
The rest of the day went by pretty much like it did before Wilma showed up, though I felt a weird tingle that perhaps now I no longer had to live in shame about my past. As much as I gave Wilma her life back, she had done the same for myself, and now was the time to follow in her footsteps. At least in theory, anyway.
The biggest thing that I did for that path occurred after work. After I was officially finished with work, and as I was getting ready to leave, I came across the frog necklace that Wilma had noticed in her job shadow here. Eyeing it and knowing how much I had been out of her life, I asked Bryan, “Hey, is it OK if I could buy this?”
Bryan, who was as busy getting stuff put away as I was, looked over towards me and answered, “Sure. But why? That isn’t something you’d be interested in.”
“Well, remember my niece, Wilma?”
“The red-haired girl? Yes. Is she now back home?”
“Sure is. Left for home this morning. Anyway, I thought that, since he hasn’t gotten any proper birthday presents from me over the years, I wanted to at least start making up for lost time with something she likes. And since she likes frogs and was attracted to this necklace, I thought I could get this for her.”
“I see. Well, I guess I can ring it up for you. Anything else?”
“Hmm. How about this fall scenery card. You know, to go along with the necklace.”
“OK. That’ll be ¤30.255.”
I then pulled out the currency required and it was packaged up and ready to go. “Thanks, Bryan. I appreciate it. I’ll see you tomorrow, as always.”
He waved, and I went about my way. I then picked up Sven and I returned home. Once back at home, I found an old shoe box that I could use for the package. I then began to write inside the card. When it was finished, it read like this:
Knowing how much you liked this frog necklace back in the Mystic’s Emporium, I thought that you would love to have this as a birthday present, be it early or late. You can determine which it is.
Hopefully things are going well back in Heatherfield. But if there’s anything you need to talk about, don’t hesitate to call me. I may be busy, but I’ll try to deal with your concerns as quickly as I can. Of course, I’ll try to call you and Susan every weekend, just to see how things are going.
In any case, let me know if you and/or Susan have any plans to visit me. I’d be more than happy to see either of you, even if it’s just for a day. Beyond that, I hope to hear from you soon.
Satisfied with what I wrote, I sealed up the box with both the card and the necklace, and then I went downstairs to get some exercise; something I rarely did with Wilma in tow. With that done, I got cleaned up and I was soon in bed. And I never slept more soundly than I did that night.
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