Young Hearts (Chapter 3, page 2 of 4)


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Chapter 3

Molly rode on Samantha's back and chattered the entire way from the cottage to the pantry at the far end of what Wendell had dubbed Main Street. In redesigning the town after the hurricane, Wendell had concentrated the various workshops once spread in a circle around the church into two rows with a road between them to give the feel of a real town. Samantha and Molly passed Prudence's tailor shop, Rebecca's bakery, Helena's laundromat, Phyllis's cafeteria, and Wendell's workshop. Molly waved to each building, although all the windows were boarded up for the winter months. "When will Mama Becky be able to reopen the bakery?" Molly asked.

"Not for a little while," Samantha said. She cringed at the name 'Mama Becky.' This term had first come up almost two years ago when Molly asked 'Mama Becky' for a piece of cake at her third birthday party. Rebecca's face had reddened for a moment as though someone had slapped her, but she didn't correct the girl. Samantha took Rebecca aside later to comfort her.

"She's never said that to me before. 'Mama Becky' as if she has a dozen mamas looking after her. I'm the one who raised her since she was a baby," Rebecca said.

"I know, but she's a smart girl. You had to expect she'd figure it out sooner or later," Samantha said.

"Not this soon!" Rebecca wailed and started to cry. Samantha had sat Molly down later to explain why Rebecca wouldn't come out of her bedroom.

"Your mama is very sad right now," Samantha said.

"Did I do something bad?"

"No, of course not. You didn't do anything wrong." She sat the little girl down on her lap. "Your mom works really hard to take care of you and she loves you very much."

"I know," Molly said. "But she's not my real mama."

"How do you know that?"

"Helena told me. She said all our mamas and daddies went far away a long time ago and someday they'll come back." Molly looked up at her with a child's innocent eyes. "Did your mama and daddy leave you, Aunt Samantha?"

"Yes."

"Are they coming back?"

Samantha couldn't bear to tell sweet little Molly the horrible truth that all their parents had died years ago, including her own. "Of course they are, sweetheart." She lowered her voice to add, "But until they do, Rebecca is your mama and you shouldn't treat her any differently."

Molly nodded and to her credit had never called Rebecca 'Mama Becky' again, at least not in Rebecca's presence. That incident had shown the disadvantage in letting Rebecca raise Molly. Rebecca had come to see herself as the girl's actual mother. As Molly grew older she would question her parentage more. Samantha didn't know what Rebecca would do then.

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