Here’s the next chapter! To read the first chapter, click here. Happy reading!
Maria helped me bring my luggage up to her room. We unrolled my sleeping bag on the floor next to her bed, then sat on it and talked. We talked and talked until Maria’s mother called us for dinner. You would think that we wouldn’t have much to talk about because we saw each other so often, but we had no trouble chattering away until supper.
Supper was good, of course, both because bratwurst and sauerkraut is my favorite meal, and because Maria’s mother is an amazing cook. She could make cabbage soup taste like a delicacy… well, maybe she isn’t that good of a cook. I suppose no one could make me like cabbage soup.
Maria was excused from dishes clean-up because I was there. She sure was grateful. “I wish you could live here all the time,” she told me. “You’re much more fun to have around than Joyce. She always wants me to play dolls with her.”
“I know how you feel,” I said. “Korrie is always nagging me to play games with her or sew her more clothes for Percy.” Percy was Korrie’s well-loved teddy bear she had gotten as a baby. Despite the fact that Percy had a wardrobe that any good bear would think was a bit much, Korrie always welcomed more clothes, and somehow managed to stuff the new piece into the bulging box under her bed where she kept Percy’s wardrobe.
Eventually even Maria and I, the masters of chattering, started running out of things to say.
“What do you say we play salon?” Maria asked after awhile. “I bought a beautiful new hairband from Martha’s Beauty Shoppe the other day.” She got up from the bed where we were sitting and took it out from her treasure box on top of her dresser.
I gasped – “That is the very same headband I look at every day on the way to school!” I longed to buy that headband, but I thought it far too unpractical to waste my money on something like a headband. The headband was very wide, and it was a beautiful deep purple color with painted vines curving and spiraling along the edge, and in the center of each vine was a light pink rose edged with dark pink. All along the edges of the headband were beautiful golden dots. I had wanted it so badly because I thought that maybe, just maybe, the headband’s beauty would overshadow my dull, straight brown hair and make it beautiful. And here I could finally try it on!
We had a lovely time doing each others hair. I discovered that the headband, while it didn’t make my hair beautiful, did add a pretty touch. Maria was a master hairdresser on account of her long, shining, dark brown curls that she had to fix every day. My hair was short, so I usually just let it hang.
“Shall I do your hair in a crown braid or a pulled-back braid?” I asked Maria.
“I think a crown braid. They look so elegant, don’t you think?” Maria turned to me.
When our hair was elegantly styled, we decided to watch a movie. It was a good movie. Maria and I laughed and cried at all the same spots.
After the movie was finished Maria’s mother came into the room. “It is about time for two certain girls to be in bed, don’t you think?” she hinted, winking at us.
“Yes, Mama,” Maria said sleepily. We were both tired after the movie.
We were too tired even to whisper like we usually did, so we just brushed our teeth, put on our pajamas, and went to bed. As I snuggled down I thought how lucky I was to have a cousin like Maria, and how nice it was to have a sleepover with just her and in two minutes I was asleep.
I woke up while it was still dark. I thought that unusual because I often slept late – too late. I looked at the clock on the wall and I couldn’t make out the time from the soft, faint light of the alarm clock. It was dark, maybe early in the morning.. I wondered what woke me up. Soon I heard it again – a sort of rumbling noise, and then some shouts.
I went over to the window and pulled the curtains aside. In the streetlights I could see shapes moving, and what looked like big trucks carrying something. It almost looked like they were building something. “What could they building at 12:30 at night?” I wondered silently. I shrugged my shoulders and went back to bed. I could see what they were doing in the morning.
The next morning I woke up before Maria. I looked over at the lump in her bed and knew that she was still sleeping soundly. If her snores were any indication, she would not want me to wake her up just yet.
Then I remembered what I had seen last night and decided to go check it out. I snuck softly down the stairs and slipped on my shoes. I opened the door slowly and went outside. The day was gray and it looked like it could rain later in the day. I trotted through the alley until I came to the spot that I saw out of Maria’s window. I turned the corner and stopped short at what I saw.