A Daisy for Hannah Jane: Chapter XXVIII

Back to Article
Back to Article

A Daisy for Hannah Jane: Chapter XXVIII

Art by Rachel St. Louis

Art by Rachel St. Louis

Art by Rachel St. Louis

Rachel St. Louis, Executive College & Career / Creative Writing

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Daisy for Hannah Jane

Chapter XXVIII

One word was fogging my mind for the longest time. Reconciliation. Reconciliation. Reconciliation.

Guess what? Reconciliation! Which meant my grandmother was constantly on my mind. We just had to work together. If not for dear old Mrs. Chauldings, where would the estate be after Mr. Chauldings’ death?

I had to run the estate.

What bothered me even more, however, was the fact that Jamison hadn’t visited. He hadn’t even sent me a letter, for goodness’ sake! I was beginning to keep a journal, a short one, so I wouldn’t lose my mind completely. But ever since Ethel had come back that one day from her trip to Bosney’s, a strange feeling had welcomed itself into the Chauldings’ mansion. One of curiosity and something else I couldn’t detect.

The house wasn’t haunted, of course, as some movie producers would want to say. I simply felt uneasy about taking on a new role headfirst (Grandmother refuses to teach me anything so far and I am trying to be kind like Jamison would) and leaving Jamison a message to which there has been no reply. I stared at the bouquet again. The roses were crumbling on the outsides, their petals beginning to brown. The daisy thrived.

How can that be? Is this a sign? Is this God trying to tell me I’ll be all right? So many questions with little to no answers. My prayers hit the ceiling and I was constantly asking Jesus to keep my faith solid, like it had been as soon as Harriet married Caleb. If the daisy really was supposed to be me, I hoped the roses weren’t representing people. I worried.

So I began to write. Yanking the desk drawer open, I fished around the pads of stamps, a tiny bottle of glue, crumpled papers, sealing wax, a broken pen tip, letter openers, erasers, and the like to find my journal. I opened it to a new page, on the other side of the one I’d written on last night. The ink had bled through.

Taking a pencil this time, I wrote down the one time I’d remembered when I felt overstressed and worried.

“You worry too much, Janie,” he said, grinning. “Look at those dragonflies yonder. Do you see them flappin’ their wings around in anxiety?”

“No,” I laughed, swinging our clasped hands as we walked down to the peaceful Lilypad Pond. “Do you?”

Raymie shook his head, creases of skin crinkling around his eyes. I could feel his smile radiate through his hand. “Fishing today?” I asked.

“Do you see a rod in my hand?” he inquired, his eyes still smiling.

“So what’d we come down to the pond for?”

He gave me a playful slap on the back. We both stumbled forward. “Why didn’t you ask when you saw we don’t have a rod or bait or basket?”

I swung around. “Come on, Raymie, what is it?”

His smirk reached his ears now. “Just you wait and see. It’s a surprise.”

“Surprise? Not my birthday, not the Fourth of July yet…”

“You worryin’ again?”

“No.”

“Good. Because you’ll be worried sick if you don’t believe what I’m about to say, Janie.”

I felt my stomach doing flips inside. “Whatisit?” I whispered, suddenly feeling short of air.

“I got a house!”

I gasped, unfeeling. Then emotion flooded me. Raymie loved me enough to buy me a house. A real HOUSE!

I put the pencil down, my hand shaking. I felt as if Raymie were standing right beside me, telling me of God’s love and how he hates being cheesy. How he knew I shouldn’t worry about anything thing. Hope. Pray. And maybe even rejoice amidst trial.

This wasn’t as bad as facing death or dealing with the deaths of others, but separation itself was tearing me apart. It was Raymie going off to war all over again, but this time, Jamison wasn’t in any mortal danger.

Yet he was. He’d landed in jail for trespassing before he’d decided to give up on the Sir Henry case. I was trying not to despise that cursed name, but how can you not despise a “cursed name”?

Of course, there was the possibility of simply going to Bosney’s mercantile. But that wouldn’t be appropriate in Grandmother’s eagle eyes.

Jamison had told the head police officers about the situation while in prison, before Grandmother had bailed him out. They were, apparently, “still working on the case,” but I was worried about the whole thing in general.

“Ugh. Stop worrying,” I groaned to myself aloud. “God’ll take care of it. God will take care of it. God WILL take care of…”

Footsteps pounded down the halls, followed by a loud “Janie, Janie, Janie!”

I jumped up from the chair. It was Harriet. Dear, blessed ole Harriet Graham was crying her eyes out of her own head. I saw her wet cheeks and grabbed her by the shoulders, demanding, “Is someone hurt? Is it Caleb? Oh, please, tell me he’s all right.”

She kept pouring salty tears for a millisecond before I noticed her smile. The crying was joyful. The smile was real, and Harriet was almost as radiant as she had looked on her wedding day. “What’s happened?” I asked her softly, not wanting to ruin whatever this moment would be called.

“He said the daisy bloomed,” she replied, overjoyed.

I felt faint. “Jamison is here?”

“Yes. Come along!”

“But what does the ‘bloomed’ part mean?”

“Oh, hush up, you,” she laughed. “You talk too much ‘bout too much nonsense.”

“But…”

“Not buts out of you!” Harriet exclaimed, eyes wide. “Now scoot outside with me and see for yourself what the big deal is.”

She claimed my clammy hand eagerly and practically dragged me to the front lawn, keeping her own fingers over my eyes. We stumbled over our own feet. She moved her pinkie so I could see the tops of the hills far away and above them. The sky was one big bowl over us, a vivid cerulean color so rich I wished I could hold it in my hands forever.

Then there were the birds. How they sang like a chorus of angels! It was as if their tweets and sweet, harmonious chirps were gentle words making the scene even more happy. The countless hills in the distance were toning down from vibrant green to a light gray, and the dirt road leading up to the mansion was dusty, yet clear.

Except for Timothy’s best carriage Grandmother had given Jamison just a few months ago, for a parting gift. Harriet removed her hand and I saw everyone standing on the lawn before me: Caleb, Timothy, Ethel, the scrawny cook (He was smiling for the first time since Harriet’s wedding!), the staff of maids and Grandmother’s personal butler. Even Grandmother had shown up.

Where was Jamison? What was it all about?

Then, as if on a perfect cue, Mrs. Jamison stepped away form the shade of my apple tree. I hadn’t even noticed her, and immediately felt guilty about it. I opened my mouth, but she put a finger to my lips quicker than the beat of a hummingbird’s wings. Now I saw where Raymie and Jamison had gotten those ridiculously large grins from.

“Surprise!” Ethel shouted out of nowhere. She blushed in open embarrassment while everyone else, even Grandmother, joined in.

“Wh…?” I couldn’t formulate a sentence, feeling awkwardly confused. What on earth is supposed to be going on right now?

Mrs. Jamison looked to the carriage. Following her gaze, my heart skipped a beat. My blood ran hotter, faster, more energetic than ever.

And I couldn’t help gaping when I saw why Harriet had been so excited.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email