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"Just wait until you and Tyler are married," replied John, "then you'll sing a different tune."

Abby wrinkled her nose in aversion at the thought.

"The tulips in front of the porch died a long time ago," she pointed out, trying to change the subject.

"I loved those flowers," sighed Izumi, leaning her head on John's shoulder.

"I have an idea," suggested John, with a twinkle in his eye, "why don't we go down to the nursery and pick up some tulips-- you know, white and yellow ones, like we used to have."

"I don't think the ex-con will care about flowers," laughed Abby.

"They're not for him, but for your mother," replied John, patiently.

"A thick bed of tulips," remembered Izumi. "Just like the old days! If I caught the breeze just right, I could smell them from my bedroom window."

"I have that room now," commented Abby.

"That's right, Sweetheart," smiled Izumi.

The Johannes family went to the nursery and bought up every full-grown white and yellow tulip they had. With tender loving care, the flower bed was soon restored to its original glory.

No matter how hard Abby dreaded Monday, it finally came. John and Izumi were excited about the prospect of their new neighbor, while Abby shook her head; they were obviously deluded people-- inviting a total stranger with a criminal record into the house next to theirs. What were they thinking?

"What time is he supposed to arrive?" asked Izumi, after she had cleared away the breakfast dishes.

"Henry said he'll bring Jake over as soon as his bus comes in," answered John. "I'd guess about late afternoon. What's all that noise coming from the living room?" he asked.

"Abby is setting up her studio," replied Izumi. "Remember, we told her that she could use the living room, since we gave the little house to Jake?"

"Oh, yeah," muttered John, wondering how much of the living room Abby was going to take up with her art supplies.

"Mom," called Abby from the next room, "where do you want me to put the coffee table?"

John let out an involuntary groan.

"This is our Abby's future career we're talking about," reminded Izumi.

"I'll put it in Jake's living room," volunteered John with a loving smile.

He carried the unwanted object to the little yellow house. By the time he came back, John found the living room had been transformed into an art studio. Abby had moved the couch that sat in front of the large bay window, and had set up her old easel there. The couch was now at the other end of the room, along with John's bookcase and Izumi's lighthouse lamp that Terry had given her for Christmas several years ago.

"Hi, Dad," smiled Abby, as John passed through the room, looking a little bewildered.

He shook his head and returned to the kitchen where Izumi was placing a pan of homemade cake into the oven.

"That'll taste good," smiled John.

"It's for our new neighbor," replied Izumi.

"I'm sure he'll like it," he sighed. "Well, I'm going to the office and catch up on some work before Terry arrives, tomorrow."
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