Uncle Henry is Mad
We didn’t talk much that day. Well, I didn’t talk much, Ada rambled about everything under the sun. I just surveyed the courtyard. Robert was actually calm and was sitting by David. Robert wasn’t chasing boys or teasing girls and David wasn’t playing with a friend or eating lunch with John, obviously. Everything had a weird calm to it. It was nice but the calm was calling, almost begging for it to be disturbed. Usually that’s what Robert does, but he wasn’t doing his job. The calm was bugging me to step up and take his place. It was driving me crazy.
Right when I was about to give in, the bell rang. I’d never been more grateful for a school bell. Everyone rushed inside along with their chatter and the calm was disturbed. Everything seemed right in the world for one passing second.
Nothing happened the rest of class. I just looked off into nowhere all day. Miss Hayes took notice of it but she did nothing. I mean what could she do? She already talked to me and I told her why I wasn’t paying attention. I had an excuse.
Once the bell rang everyone ran out of their seats and went home. Ada said goodbye and Robert and I walked out together. We waited for David on the front steps. It always takes him what seems like hours everyday to leave school. I can’t explain it. But finally David came out and we started to walk home.
“Wait, Lucy! Aren’t you supposed to meet Uncle Henry somewhere?” David said halfway into our walk home. I had completely forgotten. I don’t know how I could be so stupid. As this book will tell you, I usually have a very good memory.
“Applesauce!” I yelled. David was right and I just fell in the motion of things. I took out the card and read the address. It was on the other side of town. And since I was supposed to go there right after school and I was now going the other direction I had to start running. I really hate running if I haven’t said that before.
So I left David and Robert and began my run to meet Uncle Henry. If only I carried money on me then I could have taken a cab or something. But I almost never do. As I ran down the streets I’m sure I confused a lot of people. I like to pretend that I don’t care what anybody thinks about me, but that’s not true. I think I’ve proven that by now but who knows. I don’t like wearing suits out in public and I don’t like running down streets because I don’t like what people will say and think of me.
Anyways I ran fast enough that I got to the address that Father gave me to get there just in time. Uncle Henry was standing outside this warehouse with his arms crossed. He looked annoyed which is a shame because Uncle Henry is a nice person and I really like him, but when he’s annoyed or mad you do not want to be near him.
“Where have you been? Sweetie told me that you should have been here five minutes ago and we’re on a tight schedule.” Uncle Henry said. It took me a moment to catch my breath then I replied.
“I’m sorry. I got halfway home before I remembered I needed to come here.”
“Doesn’t matter. Go inside. Bittner is waiting in there with your suit. I’ll drive you both out of town and he’ll get on the train with you just as a bit of extra protection.”
“I don’t need protection.”
“Argue with your father.” Uncle Henry said. And with that, the argument was over. If you would even call it an argument.
I went in the warehouse. It only had crates of who knows what inside and Timothy Bittner. He was leaning against a crate and had a small box that I assumed had my suit. I walked over to him and smiled.
“Here’s this.” Timothy said as he handed me the box. “I’ll um… I’ll wait over here while you change.” He turned his back to me and stood awkwardly. He’s such a nice man. If he wasn’t twenty five and I wanted to date someone he would be a good choice.
I went around a crate and opened the box. Inside was a nice suit and a pair of shoes and socks. The suit really did look nice and if I was a man I would wear it every day. I checked over my shoulder to make sure Timothy wasn’t looking. I knew he wasn’t; he’s a good man. I took off my dress and put on the suit. I think I looked good. I put my dress in the box and walked back to the front of the warehouse.
“It’s alright, you can turn around now.” I said. Timothy did so and smiled at me.
“You look just like a man with feminine hair.” He said. At first I thought it was a joke and I was happy because I hardly ever hear Timothy joke. But then I realized that I was missing a hat.
“Di mi! You’re right, I don’t have a hat.”
“You can use mine.” Timothy offered.
“Lucy, you better be dressed because we have to leave.” Uncle Henry said as he walked into the building.
“I’m ready but I’ll need your hat, Uncle Henry.” I said. Uncle Henry was confused and looked at me oddly.
“I don’t have a hat and I can’t use Timothy’s because he’s going to ride the train with me.” Uncle Henry sighed and took off his hat and threw it at me. I caught it and he started to head back outside.
“Time to leave!” He yelled and Timothy and I followed him to his car.
Timothy sat in the front next to Uncle Henry and I sat in the back. I tried to tuck my hair up under the hat while trying to hide my finger waves. I looked a bit weird but it would have to do. It wasn’t a terribly long drive out of town because we were already on the outskirts but it did take some time. But I was very nervous about going on the train because once I got on it I knew that there was no backing out of the war. Of course I would never back out in the first place, but any chance that I had before would be gone. I wish I never stepped out of the car.