A few months later…
Dear Nancy –
We would be very pleased if you would join us for the unveiling of Thornton Hall in all it’s glory. We have been working hard to ensure that everything is perfect.
Mother has yet to return. I think of her often, wondering what she’d say about our project.
Charlotte’s share in the company has been used just as she wanted. Although the conditions have gotten better since Charlotte was around, the workers are still are incredibly grateful to her. In fact, they are so gratful that they have dedicated a plaque to her near the cemetary, which tells her amazing story. They kindly said: “a heart as big as hers deserves more than just a simple ‘thank you’.”
In other great news, Colton and Lexie are back together! It turns out Lexie still cared immensely about him, just as he did about her!
Despite my brake-up with Colton, I am not alone either. It turns out Jackson had a sister, who had a son, Matthew! He seems to have gotten his entire personality from his uncle. I am so thankful to have found him.
Oh well, if I continue to explain everything that’s happened here, I won’t have anything to tell you when you arrive!
I hope to see you on October 21!
P.S. Be sure to bring a date and some dancing shoes!
Upon arriving at Thornton Hall…
Bess, Ned and I had just arrived at Black Rock Island in the boat. This time, we were not alone. A few other people had packed themselves into the small boat.
“Everybody off.” The ferryman said.
We all climbed out of the boat, and onto the ground of the island.
As we walked toward Thornton Hall, I looked up at the trees, which had once looked creepy and dead – but now, even in the dark of night, looked lush and green.
As we reached the porch, I gazed admiringly at the lovely red verbenas which had been planted around the front of the house.
“They did a great job.” Ned said.
Bess and I agreed.
We hurried up the steps, eager to see the inside.
Ned kindly opened the door, then followed Bess and I in after we’d entered the building.
We walked into the parlor, where we found Jessalyn waiting for us.
“Nancy! You came!”
“Of course I did!” I said. “I couldn’t miss a chance to come back and see what you’ve done. Everything looks amazing.” I said gesturing to the rest of the room.
The whole place wasn’t far from how it must have looked back when it was actually a home. Sure, the wallpaper was still peeling in some places, but nothing too major.
“It’s a working progress.” Jessalyn replied.
“Well, well, well – what do we have here?”
It was Harper. Her hair was still wild and in need of a hairbrush, but I guess that’s just the way she likes it.
“Hi, Harper.” I said.
“Hey, Nancy.” She replied.
I now noticed that, along with Harper, was Wade, Colton, and Addison.
Greetings were exchanged.
“Wade, where’s Savannah?”
He smiled, obviously overjoyed by the simple thought of her.
I noticed that he was dressed much nicer than usual – in a black tux, to be exact.
“She’s coming tonight. She-” Before he could finish his sentance, he was interrupted by the thick southern drawl of a familiar ghost hunter.
“Hey, ya’ll.” Savannah said, as she stepped into the room.
She was dressed in a simple white knee-length dress, which she wore nicely.
Wade was the first to welcome her, hurriedly stepping around us to reach her side.
He was simply adorable – blushing as she said his name.
“This place looks incredible!” She commented, bringing him out of his daze.
“You really do- I mean it d-does! It really does!”
I turned to Jessalyn and Colton.
“So, where’s Matthew, and Lexie?”
“They couldn’t come tonight.” Jessalyn answered. “But they can’t wait to see this place.”
After a few more moments of talking about Thornton Hall, and other things related to it, Harper interrupted by saying:
“C’mon, ya’ll! Are we gonna open these doors, or are we just gonna let these folks wait outside all night?”
We all headed toward the doors to open them.
“You guys ready?” Jessalyn asked, smiling from ear-to-ear.
We all nodded, urging her to open up the doors.
She opened the doors, letting in a small flood of people, young and old.
“I remember this place…” an older woman said.
“This place looks so cool – like something out of an old movie!” A tween girl exclaimed, tugging on her dad’s arm, urging him to hurry into the next room.
We all walked back into the parlor.
Ned asked me to dance. I accepted.
There was no music, but the dimness of the lights, and the look in his eyes set the mood.
I was just sitting in an old chair, watching as others danced together. I had intended to set up some sort of musical entertainment, but had never gotten around to it – no one seemed to mind, though; it was obvious that everyone appreciated the nostalgic value of the hall itself.
I rested my chin on my hand and sighed. I wasn’t bored, but I did have a lot on my mind.
My mom was still gone, and I couldn’t do anything about it.
I knew that she loves me – she made that clear in the letter she’d left for me. But sometimes I wondered why – why she had done all of those things, why she had left…
I felt like there were so many things that I couldn’t explain…and it hurt.
Nevertheless, I tried to smile. After all, this was what I’d been wanting ever since I held that piece of paper in my hand – the one which had entitled me to Charlotte’s share in the company. Happiness.
I only wished that I could feel it, too.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a slight movement. Sure, there was movement all over the room – but this wasn’t in the room. It was outside the window.
I hurried over to the front door and jerked it open, hoping I had actually seen what I thought I saw.
I looked over to the left side of the porch, but saw nothing.
NO, wait! I did see something hiding amid the dark shadows and broken boards.
Actually, I saw someone.
“I know your there – just please come out!”
Out from behind one of the columns, stepped my Mom. She didn’t look like she wanted to be seen. She didn’t come over to me, or say anything to me – she just stood there.
“Aren’t you going to say ‘hi’?” I asked half-jokingly.
“Hi.” Mom replied.
“Um…what are you doing, ya’ know…spying in through the windows?”
“I just, uh…heard about what ya’ll were doing with the place, and I…just wanted to come and see it for myself…”
“Right. Well, you’re perfectly welcome to come inside, Mom.”
“Oh, no, I-I was just leaving.” She started to walk away, but stopped in her tracks as I asked:
“Why did you leave me?”
She craned her kneck to look back at me. “I told you ‘why’ in my letter.”
“That’s not good enough.” I retorted. ” I need a mother, no matter what she’s done in the past. If you’d have stayed, I know we would have been fine – but you denied me that closure.”
“Jessalyn, I don’t-”
“Mom, I’d rather have a mom like you, than have no mom at all. I need you.”
She turned back toward me.
“But I locked you in the crypt! I k-…killed Charlotte! I hid so much from you all these years – how can you still love me?”
“You’re my mom.”