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Cricket Lone Wolf Part 09
By
frogprince

Cricket Lone Wolf Part 09

Marcia and Naomi are together again

Cricket and Gustaf were unaware if the transfer passed through the courts. It was Christmas week and not much moved.

The school buzzed about the concert in the village with a big Christmas tree. Every Christmas Eve, the village celebrated with a concert and mass.

The buses left the school filled with jovial students. The headmaster drove the Land Rover with Marcia as company. As they turned the corner down the main village street, the church bells pealed, which signaled the celebration start. When they reached the church, the choir's voices floated on the soft breezes. Marcia's spirits lifted with the music. She felt as though her body and spirit soared.

The headmaster had a radio with him, in case they needed him at school. During the concert, the radio beeped softly. He left to take the message. His step was light and happy as he re-joined Marcia. When he sat, he hugged her.

When the concert and mass were over, the village gathered to share Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, tea and coffee. As they milled around, Gustaf took Marcia aside. He was somber, but that was more from the celebration and keeping with his image. When they were alone, he turned to her, smiling broadly.

Marcia was mystified. Gustaf barely contained himself, "I have a big present for you. The call I took during the concert was from New Jersey. Naomi will join us after the New Year. When Christmas is over, we need to prepare for her."

Marcia jumped up and down, spun around in her happy dance. When she fell against Gustaf, she hugged him hard. This was the best Christmas she'd ever had. The villagers gave every student a small gift. When Marcia and the headmaster went to get their gifts, there was a large box filled with gifts.

Marcia had the day after Christmas off. She worked with Hans to get first-class airplane tickets. They procured the proper travel papers for Naomi. A computer checked the sequentially numbered travel papers, making them difficult to forge. It took almost a week to put things right.

By January 2, everything was ready. The New Jersey authorities called saying Naomi was on her way.

Naomi boarded the Swiss Air flight that would take her to her new life and her old friend. Living the last six weeks in foster care toughened her resolve, but not for her friend Marcia. Marcia remained a traitor to her. The way Marcia abandoned her to go off to middle school and then high school hurt her. Marcia was not her best friend anymore.

Naomi sat fascinated by the airplane. She watched the clouds fly by. She ate two meals, read magazines and watched a movie. The trip was exciting to her. It was the first time she flew anywhere. She went to start a new life at a new school in a new country. She was ready, but Marcia was still an unknown person.

With Marcia gone, Naomi had to stand up for herself, defend against bullies and become cold and hard. She became self-reliant. She took care of herself in and out of school. Her attitude was cold. She had no friends, but made it through middle school and into high school.

With the accident and the death of her parents, Naomi never shed a tear. She had to be tough and strong for her brother. She was his protector and only immediate family. Now she left him with their aunt. Naomi felt she deserted him, as Marcia did her.

As the day started, Marcia's glee grew. When it was time, Marcia waited outside Hans' office pacing. Her anxiety was high. She wanted to go. Hans gave her the packet with Naomi's documents. Marcia took the documents, but had bad thoughts. What did Naomi look like now? Would she recognize her? The worst thought was, would Naomi want to be her friend again? They had left things up in the air when Marcia went to Switzerland, and she knew Naomi was angry and hurt.

About three hours before the flight landed, Hans called to verify it was on time. Marcia stood on tippy toes, fingers crossed beside Hans. When she heard the flight was on time, she bounced up and down. Her excitement overflowed. Hans had to stand and stop her bouncing. He put on his jacket, walked down to the school limousine and escorted Marcia to sit in back. Marcia climbed over the seat and sat in front with Hans.

The drive to the airport seemed to take forever. They stopped for a light meal in a small village, where Marcia ate quickly and begged Hans to hurry.

After they left the restaurant, Marcia asked, "When we return, can we stop in our village to have a meal?"

Hans slowly replied thoughtfully, "That sounds like a good idea."

Marcia shook with building excitement. She fell asleep for a while, which made Hans pleased. The drive went well and they arrived a bit early.

Hans dropped Marcia off at the terminal and stored the car in the limousine lot. Hans went to the terminal and found Marcia who sat looking at all the papers. As he approached, she stuffed them back into the envelope. He sat beside her. She looked at him and asked, "What papers do we give to the Customs Agent?"

Hans put his hand out for the envelope. Marcia handed it to him. He looked at everything, reached in and pulled out the documents she needed. He spoke to her, "The remaining documents may be needed, but rarely are. Keep the documents I handed you and give them to the customs agent. He will walk over escorting Naomi, as he did you. I will hold the other documents."

They heard the announcement that the flight landed. Marcia jumped up pulling Hans with her. Hans said, "Slow down, we still have several minutes before she is off the plane. We just need to go to customs and tell them we have the papers for Naomi. They perform the rest."

They entered customs, as people from Naomi's plane entered the area. Hans informed the agent that they had Naomi's papers. When Naomi entered the queue, Marcia tentatively waved and Naomi meekly returned the wave. Their eyes met and reflected the hardness in both young women. The agent looked at Naomi, felt he was satisfied and escorted her to Marcia. The girls reluctantly hugged, but there was an estranged feeling that crossed between them.

As Naomi waited in the queue, she looked at Marcia. She looked the same, but there was an attitude of confidence and independence. It was more prominent than Naomi remembered. Naomi's stomach churned with fear of the long drive ahead. Ever since the accident, Naomi feared riding in a car. Naomi was hurt and angry with Marcia. She felt Marcia abandoned her and left her to fight on her own. The uneasy feeling slowed her movement.

Naomi squared her shoulders, pushed away the fear, plowed ahead and followed the agent. Her attitude became colder. She was ready to face her friend, but did not reflect any happiness or excitement. She walked stiffly toward Marcia. Her mind played out the meeting. They would meet, but it would be cool, not warm and loving. Here it was, time to face her best friend. Naomi swallowed hard.

Naomi had grown up and looked different. Marcia was not sure if she was the same girl. She grew, but there was an attitude and hardness about her demeanor. The young woman before her looked hard and serious someone not to cross or mess with. She walked with confidence, head held aloft looking wary.

Naomi's appearance changed from last they met. Naomi was a curvy girl with her chest a lot bigger than any girl her age at school. She had long straight black hair that went past her waist. Her bangs ended along her eyebrows. Her eyes were plain dark brown that always held a mysterious glint. She was a short girl at 5’1”. She wore high heels all the time, which made her 5’5”. Lately, she had an addiction to wearing skirts.

Her personality had changed greatly since Marcia left for high school. Her attitude towards people was more venomous and distrustful. She closed herself off from people. She wanted to keep everything to herself. She demanded submission and respect from everyone. Even some of her teachers were frightened. She was similar to Daria, but thrived on fighting and conflict. Naomi was like a new person, someone Marcia did not know anymore.

"Welcome to Switzerland," Marcia said. "How was your flight?" Marcia was unsure what else to say. She felt uncomfortable with this girl. She wanted old Naomi back.

Naomi looked at Marcia, unsure what to say. She knew she was safe, that no one wanted to harm her there. Her demeanor remained cold and withdrawn. Her anger forced her to remain hard. She coolly hugged her old friend, but her face remained closed and wary.

"My flight was exciting. It was my first airplane flight. I watched everything. I ate, listened to music, watched a movie, took a nap and read magazines. I want to travel like that again," she told Marcia, not revealing much.

Hans stood watching the girls. They acted as two tigers in the wild when they met. They looked at each other, checking out their appearance. Their voices expressed their wariness. After a few minutes of watching and circling, they rushed together mewling with recognition.

Naomi smiled with recognition, but did not share Marcia's excitement. Marcia grabbed Naomi's hand and dragged her away from the customs area toward the exit. Hans followed carrying Naomi's backpack and luggage.

Hans opened the car and the girls slid inside, as he stowed the luggage. The girls sat huddled in the center of the wide seat. They chattered about their lives. Marcia quietly asked about Naomi's parents. An air of sadness descended on the girls. Naomi slowly related the story, as Marcia listened intently. When Naomi finished, Marcia hugged her and held on for a long time.

Marcia pulled away from Naomi. She noticed tears freely flowing down Naomi's cheeks. She reached for a tissue and softly delicately wiped away the tears. Naomi looked at her friend and her heart melted a little. She felt at home with Marcia there. She cried for her parents those first and only tears. It passed, now on to her new life.

Each girl sat near a window and watched the countryside roll past. "Marcia, I am glad, I am here with you. Life was difficult with you gone. What is the school like?"

Marcia smiled and held out a hand, which Naomi ignored. Marcia wanted to get closer to her friend, but pulled back. She felt Naomi was not happy, but was still angry and held a grudge. Marcia decided that she would give Naomi space and time to regain the friendship and trust they had.

"This school is nothing like what you imagine. It is in a small Swiss village on the side of a river. The school is a castle on a mountain overlooking the village. There is forest and farmland all around. The people are kind, peaceful, warm and loving. The castle is huge, built several hundred years ago. The exterior is the same as it always was. There are a few improvements, like glassed in windows, electric lights, heating systems, indoor plumbing and lots of rooms."

"Where will I be staying?" asked Naomi.

Marcia laughed, "You are staying with me. I have a special room away from all the other students. The headmaster and I are working on some special projects. You will become part of all that. Our room is in a parapet, which has windows overlooking the village. There is plenty of room for all our things. I can't wait for you to see it."

Naomi's spirit sank a little. "That sounds all right. I always wanted to live in a castle like a princess. Have you explored much?" Naomi asked.

"I explored some of the forest. I have a pet white wolf. You will see him soon. The best thing of our room, at night, when there are no clouds, you can count the stars. Do you remember the ceiling of my bedroom? This is much better. The stars are there, but they are real. They are all over the sky and sparkle brightly through the window."

"That sounds good. I can't wait to get to the school. Before we get there, can we stop to have some food? I am hungry."

"Yes, we planned to stop at the quaint little restaurant in the village. I want you to see the village and meet some of the people. I want to show you a little dress shop. If you can wait about an hour, we will be there."

Marcia saw Hans look back at her in the rearview mirror. His eyes sparkled with his smile. Marcia smiled back, as Hans accelerated. The trip would be quicker than hers was. The girls were in for a surprise in the village. Hans knew what waited in the village. Marcia and Naomi watched out the window, as the car descended, crossed the big steel bridge into the village and drove to the restaurant.

Hans parked around behind the building and escorted the young women. When he opened the door, cheers and clapping filled the restaurant. It was a party to welcome Naomi to the school. Marcia saw the headmaster with a glint in his eyes. She smiled at him and mouthed, "Thank you."

After the meal finished, Marcia presented Naomi to the dress shop owner. The owner invited Naomi to visit the shop another time for a special gift. Naomi beamed, as villagers approached and welcomed her. It was indeed a good day.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

Posted with permission at storiesspace.com

All other rights reserved.

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