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Chapter Thirty-one
A Season For Everything

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 ~

Charlie opened her eyes and smiled dreamily. It was the day after her sixteenth birthday. To the awakening teenager, yesterday almost didn't seem real. Had it only been a wonderful dream? Charlie sat up in bed and looked at the photos of Wallace Shipley she had leaned up against her nightstand lamp. Yes, they were still there. She let out an awed sigh and slid back down into her covers.

"Adam Clark is Wallace Shipley!" whispered Charlie to herself. She said it a few more times, liking the way the words sounded. Charlie burrowed her face into the pillow and smothered a giggle.

When she had composed herself, Charlie finally noticed that the usual morning light that flowed into her room from the rising easterly sun, was not in its usual place. With a loud groan, she checked her alarm clock. It was almost eleven thirty in the morning! How could she have slept in so late? It's true that she had gone to bed at five, but today was a school day! She tried to remember turning the alarm off, but it was a complete blank.

Charlie climbed out of bed, put on her robe, and opened her bedroom door. She could hear the grandfather clock by the living room front door chime the half hour mark. Finding the living room empty, Charlie went to the kitchen where she found an empty plate on the table with a folded note from her grandmother. It read:


You had such a big day yesterday, that I thought it best to let you sleep in this morning. I called your school to let Principal Strickland know not to expect you today. Chucky is at the nursing home, while I run a few errands. I'll be home by noon. Please don't talk to anyone about last night until I get home.


P.S. Your breakfast is in the refrigerator."

"'Don't talk to anyone about last night until I get home'?" repeated Charlie, mysteriously. Shrugging, she went to the refrigerator and took out her breakfast. It was odd to have the house to herself for a change-- especially on a school day. She picked the fried bacon strips from off her eggs and poured herself a glass of water. Vera's eggs always had a lot of salt. Just then, Charlie heard someone knocking on the front door.

Charlie opened the front door, meeting Adam face to face. Charlie gasped in surprise and slammed the door shut.

"Uh, Charlie?" asked Adam, bewildered.

"O.K.," shouted Charlie running to her room to dress. "You can come in now!"

Adam opened the front door slowly, and stepped inside.

"I'll be out in a minute!" called Charlie from her bedroom.

"No hurry!" called back Adam.

Five minutes later, Charlie appeared down the hall, now dressed for the day.

"Vera asked me to stop by, and not to talk to anyone about last night," replied Adam, explaining his presence.

"Have you noticed anything weird about Grandma, lately?" asked Charlie, clearing away her breakfast dishes. Adam sat down at the table and accepted the cup of coffee Charlie handed him.

"I was meaning to talk to you about that," Adam replied. "Yesterday, with all the fuss about Wallace Shipley, I forgot the reason why I sent your grandma the photos in the first place."

"Why did you?" asked Charlie, curiously.

continued on next page...
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