Amy sat on the little bench at the end of the bed. This is a really nice room, she thought. I didn't expect a grown-up bedroom. The bed is really kind of big. I wonder if I am supposed to sleep in the middle of it? Aunt Laurie didn't say anything about that.
Yesterday Amy's Mom was in an accident on her way home from work. Amy's Dad is a deployed some place where it's always hot. And today, and until her Mom is out of the hospital, Amy is at Aunt Laurie's house. Amy stared out the bedroom window. She could see part of Aunt Laurie's rose garden and a lot of the lawn. The lawn slopes down to a small street that is next to the house. It's really pretty here. I wonder if I can go outside and look around? Amy shook her head. Why am I so scared to ask if I can go out? I'm ten years old and Aunt Laurie has always been very nice to me. Amy shook her head again.
“I want my Mom.” Amy surprised herself as she spoke out loud. She covered her mouth with her hand. I hope no one heard that. She listened but heard no one.
Finally, Amy decided it would be a good idea to unpack her suitcase. Aunt Laurie showed her two empty drawers and there were empty hangers in the closet. Pajamas, panties, socks, shorts, shirts, long pants, a sweater and one of her favorite dresses – shoes, her hair brush, comb and toothbrush. Wow, I guess it's a good thing Aunt Laurie packed for me. I wouldn't have brought half this stuff.
Amy busied herself putting her clothes away. Just as she finished, she thought she heard a knock. But it didn't sound like a knock on the door. She stood up straight and looked around the room. But she didn't hear it again. Then, a knock. She looked out the window. Was someone knocking on the window? She hurried to check. There was no one there.
She closed the suitcase to put it in the closet when there was another knock – on the window. It was definitely a knock on the window. Amy hurried to the window. There was a rusty looking squirrel with a fluffy tail on the lawn. Could he have knocked on the window? “Don't be silly, Amy. Squirrels don't knock on windows.” But Amy stood at the window for a few minutes. The squirrel sat and stared at her as she stared at it. “Dumb squirrel.”
She put the suitcase on the closet floor and closed the door. As she stood up, she saw a flash of bright blue pass by the window. Amy hurried to the window. The squirrel was gone but there was a bunny sitting near the edge of the rose garden. But the bunny wasn't blue. What had she seen?
Amy left the bedroom and went to the kitchen. “Aunt Laurie, may I go outside for a while?”
Her aunt hugged Amy. “Of course. I am going out to fill the hummingbird feeders. Want to come along? Or, you can just go out and do whatever you want.”
“I've never seen a hummingbird. I'd like to watch you feed them.”
“Well, I don't actually feed them. I make a syrup like nectar for them and put it in feeders designed for little birds with long tongues. Come along. There are usually a few buzzing around at this hour.”
Amy watched the hummingbirds for a while after the feeders were filled. Then she walked around the house to see what there was to see. She has been here before – usually for holiday dinners when Gramma and Grandpa come from Chicago. And she was here for Uncle Jake's birthday last year – he was forty.
Amy stopped on the lawn. She could see a bicycle laying on the path by the street. She went down to check it out. It was a really nice bike – with a really good seat. But there was no one around. The bike didn't seem to be in the way so Amy just left it and went back into the house.
Aunt Laurie was in the kitchen cooking something that smelled really good. “Well, did you find something to do?”
“Not really. Somebody left their bike on the path. It's a really nice bike.”
“There are a few kids in the neighborhood. Could be any one of them. As long as it's not in the way, don't worry about it.”
“No, it's not in the way.”
“When I talk to your Mom's doctor this afternoon, I'll ask if he has an idea how long she'll be hospitalized. If it's more than a few days, would you like Uncle Jake to go pick up your bike? I am sure he wouldn't mind.”
Amy thought about that. She'd probably get lost riding by herself. But maybe... “That would be nice.”
Aunt Laurie laughed. “Lunch won't be ready for a couple hours yet. Uncle Jake had some errands to do and I promised we'd wait for him. I hope you don't mind.”
“No. I'm not very hungry yet.” Amy went back to her room and sat in the little chair by the window. She was thinking about her Mom and wondering if her Dad knew when there was a little knock at the window again. More on the sill than the window. She looked up just in time to see a flash of bright blue disappear around the corner of the house.
When she got outside, there was a girl standing by the bicycle. Amy went charging down the lawn. “Was that you knocking on my window just now?”
The girl laughed. “I've been throwing pebbles at you for an hour trying to get your attention. I thought I'd better check to be sure you were even in your room.”
“Well, who are you and why do you want my attention?”
“I'm Audrey. I lived over there.” She pointed to a white house with brown trim. “I saw you come in with Mrs. Smitsom this morning. I thought maybe you'd want to go for a bike ride.”
“We didn't bring my bike. So, I guess not.”
“What's your name?”
“I'm Amy Brooks; Mrs. Smitsom is my aunt.”
“How old are you, Amy?”
“I'm ten and in the fifth grade this year.”
Audrey clapped her hands. “I'm ten and in the fifth grade too.”
“Aunt Laurie says that if I am going to be here very long, Uncle Jake will go fetch my bike. But I don't know when, for sure, we'll know.”
“Well, we could just go for a walk now. There's a really, really good playground a couple blocks over.”
“Come with me to ask Aunt Laurie. I need to see if it's okay.”
The two girls headed for the kitchen door. Amy said, “Tell me again why you were throwing pebbles at the window.”
“I was just goofing off. I wanted to see if you thought that squirrel was knocking on your window.”
Amy punched her new friend in the arm. “Goofy.”
The two girls became fast friends. Amy was at Aunt Laurie's for another two weeks.