The Adventures of Lucy: Part Four
Hannah stood under the large doors of the banquet room, her mouth open and her eyes wide in shock. One of the hotel managers had told to her to come to the room and “tidy it up for the next party” – but she hadn’t counted on the party being for herself!
“W-what?” Hannah stammered. I quickly stepped forward.
“We’re throwing a party for you,” I said proudly. “It was my idea, since you’re moving away. We all wanted a special way to say good-bye, so we decided on this.”
Hannah gave me a giant hug. She was crying silently; tears were rapidly running down her cheeks. “Thank you,” she whispered hoarsely. “This means a lot to me, Lucy. Thank you!”
Hannah loved all her presents. She loved everything – the food, the gifts, the decorations, and most of all, those who attended. The party lasted a long time, and by the time the guests had gone, and we had taken everything down and put it all away, I could barely keep my eyes open.
“Goodnight, everyone,” I called to the few people left, who were still taking down the very last streamers. I wandered over to Hannah, who was wiping down the tables.
“Goodbye, Hannah,” I said quietly, giving her a sincere hug. “You’ll write me, won’t you?”
“Of course,” Hannah replied, smiling.
“Promise?” I inquired, not wanting to lose contact with one of my best friends.
“I promise, Lucy,” Hannah laughed. She gave me another hug. “As long as you’ll come visit me.”
“We’ll see,” I said with a grin, and left the banquet room.
I struggled to open my eyes. It was bright – I had left the drapes open when I fell asleep, and now the sun was shining through them. I lumbered out of bed. Today was the day Mister came back to pick me up.
I hardly even tasted my eggs as I swallowed down my breakfast. I wanted to get downstairs to the lobby as soon as I could, to say goodbye to Mikki and Kailey. Unfortunately, I wasn’t going to be able to meet their other sister, Hope, since she didn’t arrive until tomorrow.
Oh well, I thought. At least I made two new friends. Four, actually, if you count Alyett and Clea back in Kiko Lake. I’ll have to remember to write them sometime.
Quickly and haphazardly, I threw all my things back into my Angelpuss backpack, including my half-eaten rock candy sticks. Hannah had been delighted with her candy, telling me how she’d never been to Kiko Lake before but always wondered about the candy sticks.
I raced out of the room, making sure I had the key before I closed the door. I ran down the hallway and pressed the elevator button at least a hundred times, if not more. It seemed like forever before I heard the familiar ding!
The doors opened up, and in my rush, I almost collided with a yellow Gelert getting out. “Oops, sorry,” I mumbled, moving past them and hitting 1. “Oh, I hope Mikki and Kailey are already downstairs,” I muttered hopefully, remembering Mister had told me he’d be here “first thing in the morning” in his letter.
Last night I had received a Neomail from him.
Altador is amazing. Maybe next time you can come with me. I bought you some wonderful souvenirs. Altador makes great bread and cheese, so I’ll be sure to bring some home fresh. I also got some books you may enjoy reading, all about Altador – Intro to Altadorian Verbage, Altadorian Defences, and Altadorian Archives. They sound interesting, don’t they? I wanted to get you some books straight from the archive, but that grumpy old Lenny, Finneus, wouldn’t let me purchase any from him.
Now, I’ll be there first thing in the morning to pick you up. Meet me downstairs after you’ve eaten and I’ll most likely be checking you out of the hotel. I have a very special surprise waiting for you at home, so don’t waste any time. See you soon.
Mister always signed his letters with “regards”. Sometimes I wonder why he couldn’t say, “Love, Mister,” just for me. Just once. Didn’t he love me?
Of course he did. He bought me lots of stuff. That’s love, right?
The elevator finally let out one last ding and the doors opened to the lobby. I quickly shuffled out as others hustled in. As fast as my four legs could carry me, I ran to the front desk, where Marcie was typing away busily on her computer.
“Is here yet?” I gasped, trying to catch my breath. “Did he already check me out?”
“Not yet,” Marcie answered without even looking up. “I suspect he’ll be here any minute, though. It’s not even eight in the morning.”
“Oh, I hope he’s late!” I wailed desperately.
Marcie raised an eyebrow. “Why do you hope he’s late?” she questioned. “Your owner is always on time.”
“I know!” Frantically, my eyes scanned the lobby. Why weren’t Kailey and Mikki here yet? They promised to meet me downstairs as soon as they finished breakfast – and they were fast eaters! “But I have to say goodbye to my friends first. Mister always likes to leave right away. Plus, he said he has a surprise for me waiting at home. Which means he’ll really want to go right away!”
“Calm down, calm down,” Marcie chuckled. “I’m sure he’ll let you say bye to your friends. Isn’t that them?” She tossed her chin in the direction of the elevator.
Sure enough, there stood Mikki and Kailey – and Geneva? What is SHE doing here? I thought horridly. I didn’t ask HER to meet me downstairs!
The three girls walked up to me, Mikki and Kailey were both wearing guilty, sheepish grins. Geneva had her usual smirk pasted on her face. I stared at her grimly.
“Hi, Lucy,” Kailey said quietly when they approached. I was about to say hello back when –
“Oh!” Geneva gasped, looking pleased for the first time since I’d met her. “I didn’t know they sold frozen yogurt here! Excuse me.” And she quickly fled away, towards a snack counter.
Blinking, I turned back to my friends. “Hey.”
“Geneva came up to our room for breakfast,” Mikki explained. “She wanted to go shopping with us again. We told her we were supposed to meet you down here right away, but she just said, ‘Nonsense. Lucy can wait while we eat.’ And then she ordered this huge breakfast and she didn’t even eat it all but took forever, and –”
“It’s okay,” I said hastily. “I understand.” Then, I added, “I don’t think she likes me very much.”
Kailey and Mikki both shrugged. “She’s sort of... bossy,” Kailey said finally. “And she acts as if we’re supposed to do everything she wants. She doesn’t even ask our opinions.”
I nodded. Then I froze. Mister was here! “Oh no!” I whined. “My owner is here. That means we’re going to leave soon.”
I watched as he stood at the front desk, checking me out of the hotel. Then he walked up to us. “Hello, girls,” he greeted with a smile. “Are you ready to go, Lucy?”
I sighed. “I guess so. Let me just say goodbye to my friends.”
“Of course.” He gave a little nod then headed towards the chairs in the center of the lobby, giving us some privacy.
I sighed again and faced my friends. “Do you guys promise to write?” I asked.
“Of course!” both girls exclaimed. “You’re one of the best friends we’ve ever had,” Kailey announced.
“Yeah, ever!” Mikki repeated. “Of course we’ll stay in touch. And maybe sometime you could visit us in Happy Valley. And meet our sister and owner, too.”
“That would be fun.” I grinned. “Well, I guess I better get going.”
I gave them each a huge hug, then we left.
* * *
“Surprise!” Mister announced once we were home, pulling out a box. “Well, open it up!”
Hesitantly, I took the red-and-yellow striped box from his hands and untied the big bow. Inside the box was an adorable little white Ona. Gasping, I gently lifted her up. “Oh,” I murmured. “She’s beautiful.”
“Do you like her?” Mister asked, squirming in his seat. I had never seen him so excited before! “It took me a long time to pick her out. She’s a little shy, but very friendly.”
“I think I’ll name her Star,” I said, petting her big, soft ears.
“A perfect fit,” Mister agreed. “And guess what? You’ll even be able to take her to the hotel with you next time you stay. I made sure of it. I don’t want you to ever get lonely.”
I grinned up at my owner. “I wasn’t lonely during this trip,” I informed him. “I made four new friends. Two of them live in Happy Valley, and the other two live in Kiko Lake. Kiko Lake is close to us, isn’t it? We should visit them sometime. And I was thinking, this summer when it gets hot, we might want to cool off with a trip to Terror Mountain...”