Saturday, November 11, 2006

I know you've all been in stitches over the next installment...

Chapter 4: Moving

The next morning, I didn't get out of my bed. Not even when Mother hollered, "Time for breakfast."
She came into my room.
"Didn't you hear me, Junie B.? It's time to eat," she said.
I looked up from my pillow.
"Yeah, only I'm not even hungry. Plus also I'm moving today," I said. Mother smiled. She sat on my bed.
"You're moving, huh?" she asked. "And exactly where will you be going?"
I did my shoulders up and down.
"Somewhere," I said.
"Somewhere, where?" she asked.
"Somewhere not here, that's where," I said.
Mother hugged me.
"This is still about Jim's birthday party, isn't it?" she said. "You're still worried about not getting an invitation."
"No, I'm not," I said. "On account of I'm not even going to that school anymore. On account of I'm moving today."
Mother shook her head. Then she went out of my room. And she and Daddy did whispering in the hall. Pretty soon, Daddy came in. He gave me a piggyback ride to the kitchen. Then Mother made my favorite hot cereal. And she let me have all the brown sugar I wanted. She sat down next to me.
"You know, Junie B., Jim is only doing this to hurt your feelings," she said. "He just wants to get a reaction from you, that's all."
"Sure, he does," said Daddy. "And when someone is trying to hurt your feelings, there's only one way to get back at them."
"You have to pretend you don't care," said Mother. "You have to pretend you don't even want to go to that party. Because if you pretend you don't want to go, it will take all the fun out of it for him."
Daddy winked.
"You can do that, can't you?" he asked. "You're the best little pretender in the entire world."
Just then, my whole face lighted up. 'Cause that word gave me a great idea!
"Hey! I just figured out where I can move it! It's called It's a Small World After All. And it's at Disneyland! 'Member that, Daddy? It's where all those puppets keep on singing that same song over and over and over again."
I smiled. "That would be a happy place to live, don't you think?"
Daddy looked at me a real long time. Then he put his head down on the table.
And he started knocking it on the edge.
Mother pulled him up from there.
They went in the hall and did more whispering.
After a while, Mother called to me from her bedroom.
"Junie B? Could you pick up the phone, please? It's your grandfather. He wants to talk to you for a minute."
I picked up the phone. "H'lo?"
"Hello, yourself, little girl," said my grampa Frank Miller. "What'cha up to this morning?"
"I'm moving today," I told him.
Grampa Miller sounded upset.
"Moving?" he said. "Oh no! You can't be moving! If you move, then you won't be able to come over to my house on Saturday!"
I crinkled up my eyebrows at him. 'Cause this conversation smelled fishy, that's why.
"Yeah, only how come you want me to come to your house?" I asked. "And how come it has to be on Saturday?"
"Because Saturday's the day I do my work around here, remember?" he said. "You're still my little helper, aren't you?"
I thought very careful.
"Yes," I said.
On account of sometimes I help Grampa fix stuff. It is called odd jobs, I think.
"Are you doin' odd jobs?" I asked him. "Is that why you want me to come there?"
"Sure I'm doin' odd jobs," said my grampa. "But I can't do them without my helper, can I? You're the one who wears the tool belt, aren't you?"
I smiled very proud. 'Cause Grampa Miller's tool belt is the bestest thing I love. It has a jillion tolls hanging off of that thing. It wraps around me two whole times. And I don't even cave in.
Just then, Grampa Miller made his voice real quiet.
"You haven't even heard the best part yet," he whispered. "Guess what I'm going to be fixing?"
I whispered back at him. "What?"
Then Grampa said for me to hang on a minute. On account of he wanted to close his door. Or else grandma might hear.
"If your grandma hears, then she'll want to be my helper, instead of you," he said.
I waited very patient.
"Ready?" he said.
"Ready," I said.
"Okay. I'm going to be fixing the upstairs toilet."
Just then, my mouth came all the way open.
'Cause fixing the upstairs toilet is a dream come true, that's why!
"Are you gonna take the lid off the top, Grampa? And are you gonna keep flushing it and flushing it? And are you gonna watch all the water go out of that thing?" I asked.
"Sure I am! Of course I am! That's half the fun of fixing the toilet! Right?" he said.
"Right!" I said very excited. "Plus also I love that big ball that floats on the top."
"Me too!" said my grampa. "I love that big ball, too! And so I can count on you, can't I? You and I have a date on Saturday, right?"
I thought some more.
"Yeah, only I think there's something you forgot, Grampa."
"What?" he asked. "What did I forget, little girl?"
I raised my eyebrows at that sillyhead.
"You forgot that I'm moving today."

~Barbara Park


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