Firstly, concerning the Cleary Necklace:
Hey Jen, YES, you TOTALLY know this book:
Page 85 - "Nobody could expect a boy to enjoy the company of a girl who hadn't learned to like Chinese food, who couldn't even pretend enthusiasm, and who spilled things all over her clothes like a two-year-old. Her first grown-up date was ruined...."
Page 17 - "She knew that the Doggie Diner was a small business that delivered horse meat to the owners of dogs in Woodmont...It was just that she was so startled to have a boy appear from nowhere."
Hey Laura, the pages in my book are literally falling out as I flip through it now!
Hey Coffeelady, you crack me up....or are.you.serious???
Hey, Bablebabe, how is it possible I NEVER KNEW about Jean & Johnny? I think my childhood was not quite as good as it could have been. Damn!
This is where we last left the Lady of the Ring, and now the journey continues:
The lady and her fellow travellers soon returned to the carriage, some held hands as they ambled along, others enjoyed a moment of private reflection, staring blankly at their feet moving along the pebbled pathway. The lovely lady walked alone, staying at the back of the group and feeling decidedly unwell. You see, dear reader, it is one thing to embark on a journey, and it is quite another thing to reach your journey's destination. The lovely lady knew that she was a short carriage ride away from the place she was going to, and this instantly changed her memory of the place she had left. Suddenly, the place she had left seemed warm and comfortable, with its sun-filled rooms and curtained privacy and courtyarded birdlife. She yearned for her dear old ring, that truest of jewelled friends, that dependable polished circle which had illuminated so many years of her life. "Perhaps they were the best years of my life," she thought to herself, sadly.
As the carriage wheels began to roll forward along the dirt track, the lovely lady sat on her bench and looked out of her small window. She saw a flicker of green pasture, three tiny cows, a white picket fence, a flash of blue sky, and then an orange flash, followed by a vibrant red and a melancholy purple darkening to a deep blue velvet and then black. The lovely lady's tiny window was now a black square, and as if a tiny night-light had been plugged into the carriage by a devoted mother, little twinkling stars appeared in the window. The lovely lady smiled at the stars and felt a bit better about the future.
Then the carriage stopped with a jolt, and all of the lovely creatures turned towards the lovely lady and watched her gather her bags together and carefully make her way towards the door. The minute she stepped down from the carriage she heard the door behind her shut with a determined click, and she turned to watch the carriage continue on its journey. The round pale faces of her companions clustered around the windows and watched her with wide, unblinking eyes. She raised her right arm and waved at them, and as they saw her do that they all blinked at once, as if they were the many eyes of the carriage itself, and then they disappeared behind the curve of the road.
"Hello you," said a voice to her right.
"Hello sis," answered the lovely lady, "Were you here all along?"
"No, silly, I just arrived," and the lady of the voice pointed to a small red car parked beside the road, "Didn't you hear me beeping the horn as the carriage stopped?"
The lovely lady stood perfectly still and stared at her sister, her sister with the tiny red car and the cheerful voice and, and the bright, shiny, golden ring on the fourth finger of her left hand.