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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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20

A week before spring vacation the letter came. Only it wasn’t from Grandma and it wasn’t about my trip to Florida. It was from Mary and Paul Hutchins, my other grandparents. Now that was really strange because since they disowned my mother when she got married naturally they never wrote to her. My father, having no kind thoughts about them, really hit the roof.

“How did they get our address? Answer that one simple question please! Just how did they get our address?”

My mother practically whispered her answer. “I sent them a Christmas card. That’s how.”

My father hollered. “I can’t believe you, Barbara! After fourteen years you sent them a Christmas card?”

“I was feeling sentimental. So I sent a card. I didn’t write anything on it. Just our names.”

My father shook the letter at my mother. “So now, after fourteen years-fourteen years, Barbara! Now they change their minds?”

“They want to see us. That’s all.”

“They want to see you, not me! They want to see Margaret! To make sure she doesn’t have horns!”

“Herb! Stop it! You’re being ridiculous-“

“I’m being ridiculous! That’s funny, Barbara. That’s very funny.”

“You know what I think?” I asked them. “I think you’re both being ridiculous!” I ran out of the kitchen and stormed up the stairs to my room. I slammed the door. I hated it when they had a fight in front of me. Why didn’t they know how much I hated it! Didn’t they know how awful they sounded? I could still hear them, shouting and carrying on. I put my hands over my ears while I crossed the room to my record player. Then I took one hand off one ear and turned on my Mice Men record as loud as it would go. There-that was much better.

A few minutes later my bedroom door opened. My father walked straight to my record player and snapped it off. My mother held the letter in her hand. Her eyes were red. I didn’t say anything.

My father paced up and down. “Margaret,” he finally said. “This concerns you. I think before we do or say anything else you ought to read the letter from your grandparents. Barbara… “ He held out his hand.

My mother handed the letter to my father and he handed it to me. The handwriting was slanty and perfect, the way it is in third grade when you’re learning script. I sat down on my bed.

Dear Barbara,

Your father and I have been thinking about you a lot. We are growing old. I guess you find that hard to believe, but we are. Suddenly, more than anything else we want to see our only daughter. We wonder if it is possible that we made a mistake fourteen years ago. We have discussed this situation with our minister and dear friend, Reverend Baylor. You remember him dear, don’t you. My goodness, he christened you when you were a tiny baby. He says it’s never too late to try again. So your father and I are flying East for a week and hope that you will let us visit you and get to know our granddaughter, Margaret Ann. Flight details are enclosed.

Your mother, Mary Hutchins

What a sickening letter! No wonder my father was mad. It didn’t even mention him.

I handed the letter back to my father, but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know what I was supposed to say.

“They’re coming on April fifth,” my father said.

“Oh, then I won’t see them after all,” I said, brightening. “I leave for Florida on the fourth.”

My mother looked at my father.

“Well,” I said. “Isn’t that right? I leave for Florida on the fourth!”

They still didn’t say anything and after a minute I knew-I knew I wasn’t going to Florida! And then I had plenty to say. Plenty!

“I don’t want to see them,” I shouted. “It isn’t fair! I want to go to Florida and stay with Grandma. Daddy-please!”

“Don’t look at me,” my father said quietly. “It’s not my fault. I didn’t send them a Christmas card.”

“Mom!” I cried. “You can’t do this to me. You can’t! It’s not fair-it’s not!” I hated my mother. I really did. She was so stupid. What did she have to go and send them a dumb old card for!

“Come on, Margaret. It’s not the end of the world,” my mother said, putting her arm around me. “You’ll go to Florida another time.”

I wriggled away from her as my father said, “Somebody better call Sylvia and tell her the change in plans.”

“I’ll put the call through and Margaret can tell her now,” my mother said.

“Oh no!” I shouted. “You tell her. It’s not my idea!”

“All right,” my mother said quietly. “All right, I will.”

I followed my parents into their bedroom. My mother picked up the phone and placed a person-to-person call to Grandma at her hotel. After a few minutes she said, “Hello, Sylvia… It’s Barbara… Nothing’s wrong… Everything’s fine… Yes, really… Of course I’m sure… It’s just that Margaret won’t be able to visit you after all… Of course she’s here… she’s standing right next to me… Yes, you can talk to her-“

My mother held the phone out toward me. But I shook my head and refused to take it. So she covered the mouthpiece and whispered, “Grandma thinks you’re sick. You’ve got to tell her you’re all right.”

I took the phone. “Grandma,” I said, “it’s Margaret.”

I heard Grandma catch her breath.

“Nothing’s wrong, Grandma… No, I’m not sick… Nobody’s sick… Of course I’m sure… But I do want to come, Grandma. I just can’t.” I felt the tears in my eyes. My throat hurt when I swallowed. My mother motioned for me to tell Grandma the rest of the story. “I can’t come to Florida because we’re having company that week.” Now my voice sounded very high and squeaky.

Grandma asked me, what company?

“My other grandparents,” I said. “You know, Mom’s mother and father… Nobody invited them exactly… but Mom sent them a Christmas card with our new address and now we got a letter saying they’re coming and they want to see me… Well, I know you want to see me too. And I want to see you but Mom won’t let me… ‘”

Then I started to cry for real and my mother took the phone.

“We’re all sorry, Sylvia. It’s just one of those things. Margaret understands. I hope you do too. Thank you, Sylvia. I knew you would… Yes, Herb’s fine. I’ll put him on. Just a minute.” I ran upstairs while my father said, “Hello, mother.”

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. I’m so miserable! Everything is wrong. Absolutely everything! I guess this is my punishment for being a horrible person. I guess you think it’s only fair for me to suffer after what I did to Laura. Isn’t that right God? But I’ve always tried to do what you wanted. Really, I have. Please don’t let them come God. Make something happen so I can go to Florida anyway. Please…

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