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“Alan, Christian, wait up. Please,” Ella shouted, running after the boys.
At ten, Ella’s little legs could hardly keep up with the boys who’d already started growing into their men’s feet. At fourteen, Christian was nearly a man, towering over his mother and not much shorter than his dad. Alan, though a lot shorter, was still a head taller than Ella.
Ella wouldn’t have been so desperate to go up to the treehouse after the boys, if not for the birds’ nest near it. She’d been waiting for the chicks to hatch ever since she noticed the eggs in the nest a couple of weeks ago. Christian wouldn’t look out for the nest and the eggs would fall out and die.
“Please, Alan, wait for me,” she tried again. Alan was her best bet because Christian didn’t want to have anything to do with her. This time Alan ignored her too. By the time she got to the bottom of the huge hawthorn in the middle of the yard, Alan was already half-way up the ladder. Christian was nearly at the nest.
“Christian, look out, there’s a bir...” Ella squeezed her eyes shut when she saw his huge foot connect with the nest. She turned around and ran for the patio her mother and Aunty Tamara were sitting on, before the eggs fell to the ground with a wet plop.
Rose Bridges, Ella’s mother, and Tamara Hoover, Alan and Christian’s mother were enjoying the spring sun in the cool shade of the patio as the children played in the backyard. The two women had been the best of friends ever since the day they met at preschool. It seemed like they were destined to be together when they married local boys from two of the richest, most influential families. Not that their own families were any less rich, or powerful. At the end of the day, they moved in the same circles, to fall in love and marry John Hoover and Desmond Bridges!
Now as they looked at the three children, they knew history would repeat itself. If only Rose could’ve had another child, everything would’ve been perfect. But they refused to revisit that painful chapter of Rose’s life.
“It seems like the boys grow a foot every week,” Rose chuckled, her eyes following the three children as she sipped Tamara’s lemonade. Her eyes closed on a sigh as the drink wrapped her in a cool breeze. “Oh! Why doesn’t my lemonade ever taste like yours, Tammy?”
“They do. They also eat more than our horses, I swear,” Tamara sighed, but her eyes sparkled as she looked on at the three children. “As for my lemonade, you say that about everything I make. What can I say, I am just a phenomenally good cook,” she winked.
“Well, you are, actually. You could be a chef at the Marriott downtown. You’d love it too!” Rose said, her eyes demanding an answer to her statement.
“John just won’t allow it, Rosie. I’ve tried so many times. It’s the one thing we fight over. I even suggested that I supply pies and cakes to coffee-shops around here from home. No one need ever know they came from me. But he simply won’t budge!”
“Oh! He can be such a dinosaur sometimes! It’s not the 1890s, for God’s sake, that he expects his wife to have no life outside of the family,” Rose bristled.
“Well, it is what it is. I’ve given up fighting for it. I’m just glad Des respects your talent and allows you to not only paint, but display and sell your awesome paintings too. Now let’s not talk about this. It gives me a headache,” Tamara declared, her eyes trained on the little girl running at breakneck speed towards them.
“What do you think, Rosie? Will the children really follow our dreams? Will Ella marry one of my boys?”
“I don’t know, Tammy. She does adore Alan. I do hope something will come of it.”
“Yes, she does seem to be attached to Alan. But I always have this vision of Ella marrying Christian.”
“I am never marrying Christian. I hate him. He killed the eggs and he stomps on ladybugs!” Ella declared as she ran up to the women and caught the trailing end of their conversation.
But life has a way of turning out not quite as expected!