Author's note: Summer has a way of bringing changes, doesn't it?
The MapThat afternoon, after I got done with all the farmwork, we were all sitting on the front porch. Mrs. Barnett was inside baking Sydney some cookies. Sydney was sitting in Jamie's lap ( I don't know if that's a good thing or bad.... Jamie can be a bad influence, you know), Derek was sitting on the steps, I was sitting on the floor with Jamie, Gemma was beside Derek, and Dr. Schwan was in a rocking chair. Milly was beside her on the floor.
"Sydney, would you like to hear a story?" asked Dr. Schwan. Sydney's eyes glistened.
"Before Katlyn owned this farm, my daddy did. And he told of a cave hidden somewheres about this farm. He said that during the civil war, his daddy used that cave to hide runaway slaves. His daddy's daddy was for the South. In other words, it means he was against helping runaway slaves..." I think this was the point in the story I closed my eyes and opened them again to find myself in the late 1800s, watching this story unfold...."He had heard that my grand father was hiding them there, so one night, he got his gun. He ventured into the chilly night, and found the cave. There, in the cave, were 2 runaway slaves: a mother and her 4 month old baby. Her husband had been killed by their master. Anyway, my great-grandpa had no heart for such things, so he shot them both, while they were sleeping. My grandpa heard the gunshots and woke up immeadiately. So did my dad. My dad left his younger sibilings in their bedroom to go see what was going on. Then he heard 2 other gunshots" She drew in a deep breath, then continued. "Next thing he knew he was outside, looking down at his father. He was shot on his chest, dead. He walked over to the other body lying on the ground. His grandpa. He looked inside the cave and found the dead slaves. My dad went and woke up my grandma. They covered up the murders. My grandma went crazy, and my dad and his 2 sisters and his younger brother raised themselves. My dad used to say that after that incident, every night, he would hear the cries of the runaway slaves and his father and grandfather and the gunshots. But, of course, he was kinda crazy," she added, seing Sydney getting scared. To help even more, Mrs. Barnett bursted outside with the cookies (with a broke wrist!). But, I still wondered about the cave.
Before Dr. Schwan went home that night (Jamie's bed was practically Mrs. Barnett's couch now) I caught her alone and asked the question that had been on the tip of my tounge for hours.
"Did your dad ever say where the cave was?" I asked. Dr. Schwan smiled.
"He gave me a map he'd drawn when he was a kid of the farm," she said. "He marked the cave on it. I could let you see it."
"Thank you very kindly, ma'am, I'd be much obliged," I told her. Dr. Schwan looked to the left, and then to the right, and pulled a yellowed paper out of her coat.
"Keep it safe," she whispered, then slipped away. I slid the paper down in my pocket. I ran into the living room.
"You look like you just seen a ghost," Jamie laughed. My face reddened. She walked over to me and whispered in my ear using her attractive, pure voice.
"Your face is as red as a Coke can," she whispered. "Now, why does it get that way every time you get around me?" I couldn't even mutter a reply. She smiled. She put her hand on my thumping chest.
"By this summer's up, your heart will have my name engraved on it," she laughed.
"It already does," I whispered. She smiled and removed her hand from my chest.
"Goodnight, Seth," she smiled.
"Bye, Bubby," Sydney waltzed in from the kitchen. Jamie immeadiately turned to face Sydney, backing away from my face.
"Bye, Syd," my voice cracked, as I whirled Sydney up in my arms, just like the last day of school. I gently kissed her on her little dainty cheek. I sat her down with a tear in my eye.
"Bye, Seth!" Jason came in straight behind Sydney. He looked from me to Jamie. Then he winked at Jamie and she nodded her head. What the hay was that about?
Jason winked at me then turned to Jamie. "Bye, Jamie," he smiled. Then Sydney blew me kisses as she walked out the door.
When everyone had finally left, Jamie and I were alone again.
"What was that about?" I asked.
"What was what about?" she smiled.
"You know, Jamie Lauren, what what was about."
She tried her best to look confused. But I wasn't buying it.
"Oh, you mean Jason and the nodding..." she gulped. I raised my brow.
"We made a bet. He bet that I could get you to fall in love with me after a week on the farm. I bet I couldn't. Sadly....." she gulped again," we know who won."
"So everything you've done, you just did it for the bet?" I asked.
"No.... I actually wanted to win the bet.... but now I'm glad I didn't," she smiled. Then she gave me a quick peck on the cheek and went to the couch. I stumbled into my bedroom, face flushed, with my hand over the spot I had recieved the kiss as I stumbled onto my bed and lay awake thinking about that crazy redhead asleep in the next room.
I looked at the map the next morning, early, in my room. Where did it say the cave was hidden? It showed it next to the pond. But there was just ground next to the pond. It was no use. I took a shower and pulled on some clothes and find my way to the kitchen, with Jamie in there. After last night's events, when I looked at her, my head started spinning. She sat down at the table and looked at me.
"Have you looked at the map yet?" she asked. My pulse went soaring.
"You know dang well what map."
I hesitated. "Yes."
"Where is it?"
"The cave?" I asked.
"No, your underwear." She looked annoyed. She saw the hurt look on my face. She calmed down a bit. "Sorry, Seth. Yes, Seth. Was the cave near the pond?"
"Wait, how did you even know about the map?"
"I found the cave, Seth. I'm just afraid to go in it."
This shocked me. "You? Afraid? Of Something?"
"That's happened a lot since I met you," she muttered.
"Because that's where all of the bodies are! The runaway slaves, my great great grandfather, and my great great great grandfather."
"Oh, Jamie," I whispered. I wrapped her into a hug. "I won't go down there. Not today. Not ever. I was just curious. I will never..."
Jamie pulled away from me. I gulped. "Yes you will. Someday, this summer, Derek, you, and me are going to that cave." She sighed. "Just not today." A tear ran down her cheek. She reached for me and I wrapped her tightly in my arms.
"I lov...." I started. We both didn't want me to finish that sentence. Then I heard a whistle behind us.
"Yuns are going to catch the kitchen afire!" Derek's voice boomed. Behind him was Gemma. She whistled, too. Shy little Gemma whistled. Or maybe not so shy. Jamie blushed, as usual. My face got hotter than a 2 dollar pistol.