Becoming Robin Book Three: Chapter 27

Becoming Robin Book 3 Cover/Image
Bk3C2011ZoeTaylor.png~* Girl, Scout *~

Mom waited until we had left the school behind before gently asking, “So, how was camp?”

“Good,” I answered simply before giggling. “Jenn almost caught her hair on fire, and I got even with Lulubelle.”

“What’s a Lulubelle?” Mom asked, trying not to laugh.

“Spirit!” Jennifer cheered warmly as Nicole and I stepped out of Alice’s car. “You brought Nikki too!” she added with a giggle as she raced over to hug us both.

“Yeah, I know it’s just a week, but I felt guilty letting her come back without tagging along too.”

“So how is Sarah?” Jennifer asked softly. We both smiled.

“They’re keeping her sedated while her body heals, but they’re confident she’ll make a full recovery. How are things here? How did the hike go? And the feast?”

“Oh my God it was so amazing. I’m sorry you missed it. At least there’s still the luau next week though. Natalie’s been staying in our cabin to kind of fill the void since you were away.”

“Aw, that’s sweet of her. I’m sure Crystal’s smiling down at her too from … wherever we go,” Nicole giggled. “Anyway, could one of you take my suitcase? I need’a go check in with Meredith so she knows I’m here.”

“Oh, I can take care of that,” Alice replied as she approached us, after retrieving our things from her trunk. “Hope, right?”

“Hope?” Jennifer asked, glancing sidelong at Nicole, who giggled again.

“Yeah. We were talking about what a good camp name would be for me after Alli became Serenity, and you became Mystic. So it kinda flowed, Mystic, Serenity, Spirit, and Hope.”

“Oh, I love it,” Jennifer squealed happily as she hugged us again. “You know what? We should make custom t-shirts over in Arts and Crafts to wear for special occasions, like camp sing-alongs, with our camp names in like a hand-written scrawl,” she began, as we started for our cabin, “And some kind of cool name for our cabin too.”

“Our cabin? Like, The Ladies of Crystal’s Cabin?” I asked. Jennifer shook her head.

“Something like that, but more... Muchness.” She giggled. “Something that defines the four of us, you know?”

“You mean like a band name,” Nicole added, grinning. “Only... You know, not.”

“Exactly!”

“Oh,” Nicole giggled as she nodded. “I’ll give it some thought, and see what I can come up with.”

“Well, I got nothing,” I shrugged, giggling as we entered our cabin. “But like Nik-I mean Hope, I’ll think about it and let you know if I come up with anything,” I added as I set my suitcase down. “We can unpack later. Is there anywhere we’re particularly needed right now?”

“Actually we could use some help cleaning up after the party last night. We mainly just need to carry tables back to the cafeteria,” Jennifer advised.

“You know, I was thinking, maybe next year we should do the luau first session, and this Native American thing second session? That way girls who can only make one won’t miss out,” I offered as we stepped out of our cabin.

“That’s brilliant,” Jennifer answered, smiling brightly as Amanda seemed to appear out of nowhere, racing up to us.

“Spirit!” she squealed happily, throwing her arms around me. I immediately knelt to hug and kiss her forehead.

“Hi sweetheart,” I answered happily.

“Where’d you go? Everyone said you had a sick friend. Are they okay?”

“One of my friends got hurt pretty badly so I had to go home to stay with her for awhile. She’s going to be okay though. Are you having fun?”

“Yes!” she replied happily, “Mystic taught us how to build a fire without matches,” she added, giggling as she looked up at Jennifer.

“But only in a designated area, or with a proper fire pit, and never indoors, right?” Jennifer advised, grinning back at the girl who nodded vigorously.

“Right!” She puffed out her chest, making an odd face, “Only you can prevent forest fires!” she announced proudly before bursting into a giggle. “Well I gotta go. I’ve got arts and crafts next, then swimming after lunch. Will you come watch me swim?”

“Of course sweetheart.” I smiled and kissed her cheek, giving her a warm hug. She giggled happily and hugged my neck before racing off again. Nicole slowly shook her head.

“I swear, I want a little girl JUST like her some day.”

“Some day,” I echoed, smiling lovingly back at her and gave her hand a soft squeeze. “I need to talk to you and Alli tonight, Jen. I need you guys’ advice on a big decision I need to make.”

“Okay,” Jennifer answered softly as she lay her hand on my shoulder. “But remember what the ancient Hawaiians say about rushing into a decision.”

“What’s that?” I asked. We began our walk through the camp, and more than one girl stopped to welcome me back. Apparently the rumor that I had left to check on an injured friend had spread like wildfire in my absence.

She smiled. “Making a difficult decision is like cracking open a coconut. If you hit it just right from all sides, it slides right open. If you hastily smash it against a big boulder, all you get is a sticky boulder.”

“Examine the problem from all angles, choosing where to strike at the decision only after I’m sure, right?” I grinned, rather proud of myself, which caused her to giggle.

“Exactly! But it helps to have friends holding the coconut steady, yeah? We’ll be glad to help.”

~oOo~

Somehow I didn’t feel much like lunch that day. I’d had a big breakfast at Mom and my step-Dad’s that morning, since I knew I’d be returning to camp and wanted to spend some time with them first. Instead I walked back down to the lake.

Before I left, my step-Dad Ash had taught me a couple of new Kata, and with the wide open space along the flat bank, especially after we had returned the borrowed tables from the party previously, I had plenty of room to relax. It helped that since lunch was being served, there weren’t many people around.

I worked my way through the first Kata easily enough. I practiced it at every opportunity when I wasn’t working on other things. As I transitioned to the next Kata though, I faltered a little in my balance. Moving from a strike to a roundhouse kick set me off-balance, but I managed to catch myself without falling, and tried again.

When I practiced Kenpo, I found myself able to focus, as if the rest of the world melted away. It felt kind of like what I’d had meditation described to me as by Sensei Dad once. “Meditation is purity of thought,” he explained. “Your mind is free to focus on anything, or on complete absence of thought.” I didn’t really get it at first. Martial Arts were a way for me to defend myself, but then one day it clicked.

As I completed the part of the Kata that I knew I could actually manage, I knelt, as if praying, and stood to bow to my imaginary partner. Suddenly I heard several pairs of hands clapping behind me, as well as a few cheers. Counselor Davis emerged from the crowd, and already I could feel my cheeks burning.

“I’m sorry,” I tried to apologize as she approached me. “I thought everyone was at lunch so I came down here to practice-”

“Show me,” she instructed simply.

“Um... Show you what?”

“Show me your Kata transition,” she answered, taking a few steps back.

“Um, okay,” I answered and assumed my first Kata. After performing the lead-in strikes, I again attempted to transition to the next Kata, but lost my balance, this time falling flat on my ass. Counselor Davis smiled this time and offered me her hand.

“You’re putting too much weight on your back leg. Try to stand just an inch or so tighter in your stance and you should get it.”

“Y-you study Kenpo?”

She laughed softly. “Mantis Kung Fu and a little Taekwando, but it wasn’t hard to see where you were faltering. How long have you been studying?”

“Oh, um, about a year,” I answered sheepishly. She frowned.

“You’ve been working on that Kata for a year? You can’t be serious.”

I blinked as it sank in what she meant. “Oh! No, I’ve been studying Kenpo for a year. The Kata transition I just learned last night. My step-dad teaches Kenpo back in Alpine Springs. He taught me everything I know.”

“Oh, wow. Okay, well, you move like someone who’s been practicing a lot longer for what it’s worth. I wish I could spar with you some time, but camp rules are pretty strict about contact. I might stop by your dojo some day though. I’d love to meet someone who could train you so well,” she added with a smile as she shook my hand. “Keep up the great work, sweetie. I’m really impressed.”

She turned back to the gathered girls with a kind of smile that I hadn’t really seen from her before. She genuinely seemed happy about something, rather than her usual neutrality. “Okay, ladies, those of you who have canoeing come with me. The rest of you know where you need to be, but if you have questions ask myself or Spirit.”

Most of the girls dispersed, but Amanda’s friends Amber and Denise raced over. “Spirit that was so cool!” Amber bubbled.

“Can you maybe teach us to do that?” Denise added.

“Sorry girls, I’m not qualified to teach. I’m still learning myself, but if you want to talk to your parents about it when camp is over, I’ll answer any questions you guys or your parents have about studying martial arts. It’s really important to know how to protect yourself, plus it’s fun wandering off on your own at lunch, only to find half the camp watching you practice when you turn around,” I teased and winked, causing them to giggle.

“But yeah, it’s a lot of fun, and if you’re at all interested in cheerleading when you get older, it helps SO much with your balance.”

“Cool!” they answered in unison and hugged me, before racing off again.

I giggled under my breath as I walked back up the path. I had a week left, and I wasn’t going to waste it. Allison smiled as she approached me halfway up the main path, wrapping me in a hug as we walked together.

“There you are. How come you weren’t at lunch? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. I had a huge breakfast. I’ll probably eat like a horse tonight for it though.”

Allison laughed and produced an apple that she had been palming just out of sight. “Here. At least eat this. For me?” She smiled as I took it, taking a large bite.

“So are we doing anything crazy this week?”

“Nah. We talked with the other CITs and decided that for now we should keep the big events to one per session. The girls are really excited about carrying on the traditions we’ve started. They’ve got some great ideas about other themes we can do, but it was like, unanimous that one week a year be reserved for the Island Princess vote to honor Crystal.”

I smiled brightly as I hugged Allison. “That’s wonderful! This way she’ll never be forgotten. Maybe other girls can learn from her mistakes, realize that there’s always a better way. Speaking of which I got a call from Andrea the other night.”

“Uh oh?” Allison giggled, but I shook my head.

“No, it’s good news actually. She’s going to try and attend some cheer camps this summer, and get back into cheerleading again. Her friend Tanya’s been coaching her like Jennifer did with me. She has a real shot at varsity next year.”

“Oh wow, that’s great!” Allison squealed happily. “I’m so happy for her. What about her scars though? Won’t that be a problem?”

“Apparently scar removal treatments have come a long way. She’s going to have something like that done next week, and then come visit us while she’s recovering. It kind of works out because I’m probably not going to be doing any cheer camps this summer after all.”

“What? Why not?” Allison frowned softly. “You’re not quitting are you?”

“No, not at all,” I tried to sound reassuring. “It’s part of what I wanted to talk to you about tonight.”

“Oh,” she responded a little more cheerfully. “Well, anyway, I’ve got to get over to First-Aid training. I volunteered to help teach since I don’t really have anywhere else to be. You want to come with?”

“Sure. I love First-Aid. I guess it runs in the family.” We giggled, holding hands as we turned onto the side-path, heading for the clinic to meet with Nurse Bree and our fellow scouts.

~oOo~

Later that night, following dinner, I invited Alice to come to our cabin so we could all talk in private. All the camp staff knew that I was transgendered, but none of them cared, least of all Alice. She was very much like a big sister to us, and treated us all with respect as girls, as equals, despite still technically being campers.

“So, now that we’re all here,” Jennifer smiled at me even as Alice pushed the door closed behind her and approached. I glanced up at her and smiled back.

“I know it’s going to sound paranoid, but, you weren’t followed were you?”

Alice shook her head. “No. It’s just us five. So what did you want to talk about?”

“I have a serious decision to make. It’s one that I’ve been thinking about pretty much since I started living as Robin. It’s been in the back of my mind constantly, and even more since cheer and basketball became part of my life.”

“I can see where this is going,” Alice stood. “Are you really sure you want me here?”

I nodded, reaching up to squeeze her hand. “Yes. I need your input because you might be part of my recovery. If you’re not comfortable hearing this, I understand though.” I smiled reassuringly. I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable.

She shook her head quickly as she sat beside me. “Oh, no, sweetie it’s not that. I’m just surprised you trust me talking about this is all. So how can we help?”

“First of all, I need to know what you guys think I should do. Let me lay it all out for you. My original plan was to just get through high school in one piece. I didn’t ask to be singled out as a possible basketball player. Coach Wilson saw to that. I also didn’t ask to be on the cheer squad. Amy, Jenn, and Coach Greer saw to THAT.”

I paused to giggle a little. “I didn’t ask to be shoved into the public spotlight. To make matters worse, I have to deal with pressure from my teammates who just … don’t understand why I can’t stay with them. They say they don’t care about me having some weird birth defect, but if they knew the truth they sure as hell would care. It’s not just that though. I’m so tired. I’m so tired of hiding, and worrying about someone hitting me the wrong way.”

“Like that one time at cheer practice,” Jennifer added softly. “Robin fell, and another girl tried to catch her. She almost brushed her … you-know.”

“Exactly. I was wearing an athletic support, but even that would’ve given me away.” I sighed, shaking my head softly, nearly in tears. “I just don’t know if I can take another year of this. I’m either going to have to have the surgery, or drop out of basketball and cheer completely.”

Allison stood and approached, bending down to hug me, even as Nicole pulled me closer. “For what it’s worth, I’ve already told her I’ll support whatever decision she makes. There’s a way she can do cheer camps without actually attending the camps though, so she can take it easy this summer after Girl Scout camp is over.” Nicole paused to smile at Alice.

Alice slowly smiled as well. “Oh, I get it now. I could work with you when you’re better, like a personal trainer, right? Robin, I’d love to help. In fact, it’s a lot easier to teach someone the kind of skills we teach at cheer camps working with someone one on one, or one on two, Jennifer,” she added, glancing over at Jennifer with a broad grin.

“I’ve supported you all along,” Allison finally spoke. “Honestly Robin, I watched Kelly grow up happy and normal, but she also didn’t have sports and things either. She didn’t have the kind of pressure you’ve had to endure. My advice? Talk to Kelly and Barbara before you make a decision, but I promise you, as your friend, as your sister, as your fellow scout, as whatever you need me to be, I will support you completely.”

“Then it’s agreed,” Jennifer added, standing and pulling me into a tight hug. “Nothing changes. We’ll continue to support you, to love you, and to do whatever we can to help you through this.” She smiled and kissed my cheek, whispering softly. “We love you, Spirit. If this is what you need to do to be happy, then do so with our blessing and support.”

“Thanks guys,” I managed softly. “I just... I needed to know you would be behind me on this, especially you Alice. You’re going to make this possible for me. I won’t be able to do strenuous stuff for awhile, maybe even a couple of months, so what I lose in cheer camps and preliminary practices, I’ll have to make up for in hard training once my body heals.”

“You sound like you’ve already made your decision,” Jennifer advised. I nodded.

“I had. I made my decision a year ago. It’s just that I’m finally realizing that I can’t put off doing it anymore. Not if I want to enjoy my Junior and Senior years of high school. I’m still going to talk to Kelly and Doctor Ketz about it, but not so they can talk me out of it. I need to know that they support me, that they understand my position and why I’m only speeding things up, not trying to do something rash that I wouldn’t otherwise do.” I paused, resting my head on Jennifer’s shoulder as the closest, most convenient one.

“I want, and I need this. The only thing that’s changed is the timing.”

Everyone stood to hug me, including Alice, before she finally added. “We’re holding another bonfire and sing-along if you girls want to come out. Believe me, I’ll understand if you’d rather stay here awhile and talk, or just do your own thing.

“No way,” I giggled softly, brushing my hands over my eyes. “I keep missing chances to bond with the other girls here. I’m not missing this one.”

“Great!” Alice cheered warmly. “It starts in about thirty minutes, so take some time if you want, then meet down by the bonfire pit like last time.” She smiled and kissed my cheek. “And Robin? Good luck, sweetie. Let me know if Kathy or I can help in any way.”

~oOo~

The last week of camp literally flew by for me. Between the advanced classes, leading two nature hikes, and one overnight with a large group of my fellow CITs including a few girls I hadn’t previously had a chance to get to know, it was exactly the downtime that I needed.

Unfortunately we had reality to return to, so after saying our goodbyes to new friends and old, some of whom wouldn’t be able to make the next session, we loaded onto our buses for Alpine Springs. At least I’d had plenty of time to sort my thoughts about what I wanted to do. I had an appointment with Barbara that afternoon, and it would be time to face it head-on soon.

Mom was waiting in the school parking lot when Allison, Jennifer, Nicole and I stepped off our bus together, still giggling at some awful joke Nicole had told us. After grabbing our things, we raced over to meet her.

“Hi Mom. Just you?” I asked. She smiled as she pulled me into a hug.

“Just me? Well don’t sound so excited sweetheart,” she teased.

“Oh I didn’t mean it like that,” I tried to correct myself, but she just laughed.

“I’m kidding honey. Carol said she wanted to stop for gas before she left so she should be here soon, and I believe Gina-” she started, but cut herself off as the Morgans’ BMW rolled to a stop the next parking spot over.

“Mom?” Nicole asked, surprised, as Gina stepped out dressed uncharacteristically casually, in a t-shirt and shorts. She smiled as she hugged Nicole.

“Hey, it was just ‘Gina’ last year, remember?” She grinned. “This is my first year as a Girl Scout Mom. I didn’t want to miss it.”

Nicole giggled, leaning up to kiss Gina’s cheek. “I missed you too,” she teased. “Hey, can we give Jenn a ride home too?”

“Of course, dear. I thought her house was on the way to Linda’s though?”

Nicole nodded, lowering her voice. “Yeah, um, Robin needs to talk to Linda about some things.”

“Ohh,” Gina answered, almost as if she already knew what it was about. She smiled at me, turning and pressing the trunk button on her car’s electronic keyring, as I tossed my suitcase in the backseat of Mom’s car.

Mom waited until we had left the school behind before gently asking, “So, how was camp?”

“Good,” I answered simply before giggling. “Jenn almost caught her hair on fire, and I got even with Lulubelle.”

“What’s a Lulubelle?” Mom asked, trying not to laugh.

“Lulubelle is that old mare that took me for a wild ride last year,” I answered, fighting a giggle myself now. “Oh don’t worry, I didn’t do anything mean. I just meant that I finally rode the entire nature trail without getting the scenic side-tour into the bushes.”

Mom giggled softly. “I hate horses. I don’t know where you got your love of the beasts, but it definitely wasn’t from me. So what was it you wanted to talk about?”

“Oh, um,” I blushed a little, turning to stare out the window just so I’d have somewhere else to look. “I’ve been doing some thinking, and … I’ve found a way that I can skip cheer camp this year and still make up the lessons. I won’t get the full ‘experience’, but I can do that next summer.”

Mom didn’t answer at first. She seemingly instinctively knew what that meant, and instead reached over to squeeze my shoulder. “I knew this day was coming, but I didn’t expect it this soon. Didn’t you just tell Barbara that you weren’t ready?”

“I thought I wasn’t, but then I talked to Zoey, Sarah’s aunt. Before you ask, no, she didn’t change my mind. It’s just talking with her made me realize how much I hate my body. I absolutely am disgusted with it as I am, and moreso how it makes me feel less like a real girl. It’s kind of driving a wedge between me and my teammates too, and I’m just tired of it. I’m tired of pretending. I want to be real, Mom.”

Mom heaved a gentle sigh as we pulled into the driveway, and unbuckling her seatbelt, she leaned closer and hugged me, kissing my cheek. “You are a real girl, honey, but I can understand your dilemma too. You know your step-dad and I will support you as much as we can.”

“Oh, Mom, no,” I answered, resting my hand gently on her stomach and giggling. “You don’t have to do anything special. You’ve got someone else to worry about right now. I’m going to do this as soon as Barbara approves it, but I have people I can lean on to help me through. Nikki, Margie and Kelly, Carol and Joe.”

Mom smiled as she kissed my forehead. “Whatever happens, with this baby, with life, you will always be my firstborn daughter, and my little girl. Just remember that, okay?” She smiled proudly. “I can’t think of anyone I would rather have be a big sister to the new baby, either. You’re such an amazing girl. I only wish you had introduced yourself sooner.” Mom giggled and sniffled a little, dabbing at her eyes. “Now, come on inside. Your sister has brunch waiting for us.”

~oOo~

Part of me really wanted to dress up for the occasion, visiting Dr. Ketz, but really, even if it was only June it was unseasonably warm that day so I settled for keeping my khaki shorts and CIT t-shirt, though I did put my hair up in a loose bun just to keep it off my shoulders, and traded my sneakers for sandals.

I didn’t drive to New Haven by myself very often, so it was kind of a strange, but oddly serene experience. My mind kept returning to the events at camp, and how people just knew me as Spirit there. I never wanted to be a popular girl. I never wanted to be popular period. I couldn’t explain why people seemed to like me better as Robin. Maybe it was because I liked myself better.

After arriving at Barbara’s office, just a few minutes early, I headed up the elevator and signed myself in. I had no sooner sat down when Zoey appeared in the doorway and smiled, waving. “Hi Robin.”

“Zoey? What are you doing here?” I asked, surprised. She giggled.

“Licensed in four states, remember? But I’m really just here to help with a consultation appointment.”

“Oh, that’s neat. You flew all the way up here?”

Zoey laughed softly. “I would have if Barbara asked it of me. No, I decided to stick around after chatting with Barbara about a patient of hers that I knew might be considering GRS. I’ve already unofficially given my approval, but Barbara likes to do these things by the book.”

“Unless there’s someone already in there talking to her, it’s me, isn’t it?” I asked. She grinned.

“You guessed it. Actually I wasn’t sure what decision you’d made so I just told Barbara I’d make myself available in case you did decide to go through with it.”

“Yeah, I’ve made my decision. I’d like you to be there when I talk to her, if that’s all right? I want you to be able to reassure her that you didn’t talk me into anything.”

“If anything, I tried to talk you out of it,” Zoey answered with a sheepish smile. “It’s not a magic bullet that solves all your problems. It just trades one set of circumstances for another. But for me, it was the choice between living my life, or living in a constant state of self-hatred.”

As if on cue, Barbara appeared in the opposite doorway leading back to her private office. She smiled at the two of us as she approached. Zoey stood to hug her. “Hi ‘Aunt’ Bar,” she offered warmly.

“Hello Zoey dear. How was your trip?”

“Oh, you know me. I love trains. Spent the night with Ashleigh last night after a romantic dinner and dancing before I caught the morning train. I only just got into town a bit ago.” She paused to glance at me as I stood and hugged the both of them.

“Dr. Ketz, is it all right if Zoey sits in on the whole session? It’s really important for me to have her there because of what I need to say.”

Barbara glanced at Zoey, who simply offered her a sheepish smile in return. “Well, I don’t have a problem with it if you don’t Zoey,” she answered with a hint of warmth in her otherwise neutral tone, leading us back where I quickly found my way to the familiar overstuffed sofa. A second chair had been set up close to Barbara’s, but the way they were arranged, it looked like it belonged there.

“Now then,” Barbara began as the two therapists sat down. “I understand you’ve had a big decision on your mind lately. Do you want to talk about that?”

“I spent a lot of time at camp thinking about this. Barbara, I talked to Zoey last week at the hospital, and a lot of things just kind of rolled out that kind of frightened me. I was upset, and talking to Sarah as she lay unconscious in that bed, and... I realized I was hiding things from you, and from myself.”

I went on to explain without pause, without giving either woman a chance to stop me, to tell me I was misguided or wrong, exactly how I felt, and why I realized that the power behind the words, behind what I ended up telling Zoey frightened me so much. I had realized that I buried a lot of my self-hatred behind school activities, pushing myself to be the ‘best’ girl I could be so no one would ever suspect otherwise. I talked about the outside pressure, and how I was just so tired of hiding who I was.

“I talked to our CIT organizer, Alice, who also happens to be a collegiate cheerleader and an instructor at several cheer camps. She agreed to coach me one-on-one later this summer, before school starts back, instead of me going to cheer camp. It’s all falling into place. I just need you to give me permission to do it. I can’t take another year of this.” I finally concluded, and burst into tears.

“If I don’t get it done, I’m going to quit basketball and cheerleading because I can’t handle another year of lying to my teammates, of having to segregate myself from them, of not feeling... like a normal girl.”

Zoey moved to hug me as Barbara offered me a fresh box of tissues.

“Well, it certainly seems like you’ve thought about this a lot. I’ve always said that I will only give my consent for GRS if my patients can’t live to their fullest without it, and I believe you when you say you’ll quit school activities if you don’t have the surgery.”

“So do I,” Zoey added. “That’s why,” she continued, as Barbara lifted a neatly folded piece of paper from under her notepad, handing it to me. “We’ve agreed that this is in your best interest. I’ve already spoken with Ashleigh, and as soon as you’re ready we can schedule you a consultation with the best plastic surgeon in the U.S. Just do us a favor and find out if your insurance will cover any of it. The Foundation will step in and help with what we can.”

“Thank you Zoey,” I answered as I hugged her, still crying. At least now they were tears of joy though. “I want to at least return to camp for the Island Princess competition and luau. I owe a friend that much, but after that I’ll be ready. Give me a week?”
“That soon?” Zoey asked, surprised, but I nodded without hesitation. “If your doctor can see me that soon, then yes. Absolutely.”

She smiled and nodded. “Then I’ll see what I can do. Barbara, I’ll be in touch dear.”

“Give Ashleigh my regards as well,” Barbara answered as Zoey stood. She turned to smile at me. “Well, we still have forty-five minutes left. So how was camp this year?”

“It was amazing. It was absolutely magical.”



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