It was towards the end of the week and both Elizabeth and Summer felt thoroughly exhausted. Elizabeth had been part of the marathon for the wedding order. Finally, her first day off this week had arrived, it was also Friday, much to her relief. However, that didn’t exempt her from waking up early to take Summer to school. But with that kerfuffle over Elizabeth now found herself at a loss of things to do, even with a to do list as long as her arm.
Elizabeth managed to get the food shopping done in the market with relative ease, a little nagging from Thomas had her rather grumpy. Elizabeth got the groceries home and put away, standing in the kitchen a little at a loss of what she wanted to do next. Her eyes fell onto the speakers and put music on, itching the volume a little higher at a time. She began to clean the house, in no time at all she was singing and dancing as she swept the floor occasionally pausing to use the handle as a microphone.
Elizabeth didn’t notice the door opening, or the figure of a man stifling laughter as Elizabeth continued to dance about with her back to him. A spin with the broom, she caught sight of him and screamed in surprise catching her feet below her she fell back on herself. Coming into the room to catch her, rescuing the damsel on the floor, Simon pulled her to her feet in hysterics.
Standing on her feet Elizabeth glared at him, picked up the broom and caught him on the shoulder telling him off. Finally, he had stopped laughing and apologised to her. Elizabeth was already red in the face from exertion and embarrassment.
“I’m sorry I swear I would have walked away, but it was such a show, a wonderful concert.” Elizabeth clipped his shoulder again with the broom at his sarcasm. Her eyes narrowed as he picked up the can of polish and the duster and began singing. Not sure if he was trying to offend her she glared, until her expression softened as he swayed and got into the song. Finally, Elizabeth caved and continued cleaning and breaking into laughter.
After a long while the living room and kitchen looked brighter and tidier. Reaching the final encore. Elizabeth smiled as she pulled a soda out of the fridge and handed it towards Simon, slumping on the sofa next to him, both a hot sweaty mess.
Simon pulled a small rusting key with a tag hanging off of it, “Archie” was scrawled across the label.
“Great another key, anyone would think Archie had a key fetish.”
“Charming. Ellie, I am sorry for scaring you earlier.”
“It’s fine.” Elizabeth smiled, she took the key and put it on the dresser as her eyes caught a glimpse of the time she jumped out of her skin. “I’m late! I’m late.” Simon called her the white rabbit until Elizabeth began hauling her bag over her shoulder she finally explained with one word, “Summer”. He got to his feet and offered to drive her considering he’d blocked her in.
Elizabeth accepted his offer and sat in the front seat, covered in dust and sweat.
They pulled up in front of Summer who jumped in as the rain began to spit. Looking out of the window Summer saw Cassandra from the corner of her eye, she had been watching them and stood rooted to the spot smiling smugly.
The rain was pouring when they finally arrived at the Diner, Summer and Elizabeth set themselves on the corner table so Summer could finish her homework.
Concerned Elizabeth asked why she was finishing it up not just starting. Summer shrugged, she hadn’t made many friend so she had time during lunch and break and with Elizabeth being late she got a fair bit done.
“Cassandra and her minions still making things difficult?”
“Maggy, well, she has that whole two faced vibe going on with her but she is definitely Cassandra’s popular ally. As for Valarie, she does as Cassandra says, too interested in lipgloss that one.”
Elizabeth sighed, “what about anyone else?”
“Some boy called Jami called me ‘Mary’ whatever that means. He is kind of a cute snob; he knows it is what makes him unbearable.”
“Ha! Biblical insults, it means you look like a goody two shoes, kind of virginal.”
“It’s a good thing I guess, so I take it he is popular.”
“Very. I think Cassandra fancies him, but I don’t see why, he has a reputation. From what I over hear he has fooled around with most of the girls in school, but not Cassandra. But hey, maybe going for the leader of a pack of wolves proves he has a bit of a brain.”
Elizabeth sighed again, Summer had made her mind up on the people in the school, she didn’t want to befriend them. Not for any genuine level, her focus was primarily on her exams.
Elizabeth couldn’t hide her disappointment when Summer stood to begin her shift. Elizabeth watched Summer for a while. Simon sat in Summer’s seat, “don’t worry about her so much. She is doing fine.”
“Is she? She’s not making friends in school.”
“She is making friends here, she even has a boy that seems to have a crush on her, he occasionally pops in. Ellie trust me, she is going to be fine. She’s bright and to be honest, it is probably going to be hard, but it would be easier for you if you just let her lead the pace. She will be more than fine; she has you looking out for her.”
His reassurance did help a little bit but Elizabeth still worried, even as Simon stood to get back to it and make more coffee.
Elizabeth saw that Simon hadn’t been lying about a boy. Summer broke into an embarrassed smile as a tall young gentleman approached her and said hello. Simon ducked down beside Elizabeth as he passed, “that’s Zach.”
Zach tried to engage Summer at every opportunity while she worked. The dinner rush was growing. Elizabeth decided to leave and check in on the bakery, with no light on she went straight home. Slumping onto the sofa she switched the TV on but barely watched falling into a light doze.
She began to wake when she heard Summer’s voice outside, “thanks for walking me home.”
“You’re welcome.” A voice Elizabeth didn’t really recognise until she made her way to the window and peered out not wanting to be seen; standing with Summer was Zach.
Summer seemed a little more awkward and nervous than Elizabeth was used to seeing. Quickly and quietly Elizabeth slipped back onto the sofa hearing the key in the lock. Summer entered and wished Elizabeth good night as she seemed to float off to her room to bed.