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.”“Can I take Obiwan out for a walk while Andrew does his homework? I’m tired of sitting on my …” he looked up at her and gave a small smile.“I’m tired of sitting.”“Sure.You two haven’t been out for a while.He’ll be glad to spend time with you.” She opened the door to the apartment and glanced across the hall.Just as she turned to go inside, she caught a glimpse of Grey Linder peeking out his door at her.He caught her eye, pulled back quickly and shut the door.“That was weird,” she said.“What was?” Jason asked.“Nothing.Go on and take Obiwan.” Jason walked through the living room into her bedroom and calling the dog, then left by the back steps to go outside.“I don’t have very much homework,” Andrew said.“Can I play a video game first?”“You know the deal,” she reminded him.“Do your work and then your time is free.I’m going to make pumpkin bars.How does that sound?”“Can I lick the frosting bowl?” he asked.“Sure.You get busy and maybe we’ll finish at the same time.”Andrew set his backpack on the dining room table and took out several workbooks.Soon the apartment was quiet except for the sound of the mixer.Polly looked out the window at the front parking lot, thinking about the person who had sent the email the other morning.Things had been quiet since then and she was grateful.There hadn’t been any other signs of vandalism and she was hoping that maybe the problem would resolve itself.She sprayed the jelly roll pan and poured the pumpkin mix in, then put it in the oven to bake.This was her favorite fall recipe.There was nothing better than the scent of cinnamon and pumpkin to get her ready for crisp leaves on the ground and a brisk chill in the air.Jason and Obiwan were running in and out of the sycamore trees lining her driveway and Polly smiled at their energy.A school bus passed by on the highway and cheerleaders were hanging out the windows, yelling and cheering.Tuesday night - JV football.What wonderful memories these kids would make.Friday night football had been one of her favorite high school events.The band had so much fun together.The colder it got, the more layers she put on under her band uniform.As it got to late October and early November, blankets filled the bleachers so the kids could huddle together after the pre-game show and before half-time.Those were great times.Jason had found Obiwan’s tennis ball and was throwing it to him.Obiwan was just figuring out how to play fetch.It took some doing to get him to bring the ball back to be thrown again, but he was learning.“How are you doing there, Andrew?” she asked.“Look at these words, Polly.”She bent over to look at his paper.“What about them?”“Illustrate and illuminate.Did you know they sound kind of alike? At least the beginning of the words do.We talked about that today.”“What did you decide?” she asked.“They came from the same place.”“That’s probably right.Do you understand why?”“I suppose,” he said, nonchalantly.“Here, let me show you.” Polly went to the coffee table and picked up her laptop, triggering it on while she walked back to the dining room table.They waited while it booted up and she typed in ‘illustrate etymology.’“What’s etymology?” he asked, slowly sounding out the word.“It means the study of where words came from.”“Etymology,” he said again.“So you’re looking up the etymology of the word illustrate.”“I am and look at this,” she pointed to the screen.“See how both of the words come from the same Latin word?”“They do! That’s what my teacher said.”“They both come from a word that means light.”“That’s so cool! Can I look up more words?”“Are you finished with your homework?”“I have my spelling done.I did my math in class today.Mrs.Walker gave a quiz and I finished it early.”“How did you do on it?”“I don’t know.I think okay.”“No science or social studies?”“Not really.”“What does ‘not really’ mean?” Polly grinned down at him.She wasn’t going to make it easy.“I don’t have anything due tomorrow.”“Are you sure or will I be in trouble for letting you be a slacker?”“I’m not a slacker!”“Okay, then.Type in any word you think of, then type the word etymology after it and this information will show up.”“Will you write the word down in case I forget how to spell it?”“Sure.But, shut your eyes and think about the word.Can you see it on the screen?”“Yes.”“How do you spell it?”“E t y m o …” he spelled through the first letters slowly, then spun through the last letters, “l o g y.” Is that like biology or zoology?”“Of course it is, you bright boy,” she laughed.“ology is the study of something.”“Zoology is the study of animals, then.”“Yep and Biology …”“Is the study of bio … I don’t know.”“Bio means life.You keep looking things up.Words are fun.” Polly’s heart was aflutter with excitement.She loved watching someone fall in love with words.Andrew was soon clicking through pages on the screen.Jason came in through the bedroom.“Obiwan is getting good at fetch,” he said.“I saw you guys out there.Thanks for doing that.He needs all the practice he can get.”“It would be cool to use a Frisbee sometime.We have a bunch at home.I’ll bring them over.”“That would be great.”The timer on her phone rang out and she opened the oven door to pull the pan out.It smelled wonderful.“What are those?” Jason asked.“Pumpkin bars.When you get back from the barn, they will be cooled and frosted.”“Can I go down early? I know Eliseo won’t be there yet, but I’d like to hang out with Nat.”“Of course,” she said.“Would you do me a favor and snuggle Demi a little for me?”“Thanks, Polly.I will.” Jason bent over and hugged Obiwan around the neck and ran for the front door.It slammed behind him and he was gone.Andrew looked up from the laptop.“I know what he did, Polly.Everybody is talking about it at school.”“What do you mean?” she asked.“Some seventh graders were going to beat me and my friends up and Jason told them not to.They’ve been bragging about how they got him in trouble with the principal.”“How do you feel about that?”“I don’t know why they want to beat me up.It’s not like I ever did anything to them.”“Sometimes kids are bullies.There’s nothing we can do.You’re pretty lucky to have Jason around.”“I’m going to hate it when he goes to the high school next year.He won’t even be in the same town.”Bellingwood had lost its high school in the nineties.In fact, she was living in the old high school building.The kids were bussed to Boone now [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]