Chapter 52 + 1: ILONA and ARLENE and ELINOR CODA to A FAREWELL TO GRADE FIVE
Ilona walks around the SummerFall school playground fort, looking up at the sky. It’s a beautiful summer day with some clouds rolling by here and there. Ilona is basking in the glory of it all, smiles to the heavens above, and thinks.
Hey Arlene! It’s Ilona again!
Just coming by again to give you another update. I know I do this all the time and at all different places, but SummerFall was a special place for me, so I know you understand why I am here today.
Mumma and Poppa are doing really well. Our newest family member is coming along nicely and we have a million names going to name her or him. We don’t want to know what we will have, a sister or a brother, until it is born. Seems more fun that way!
Mumma and Poppa also have new jobs! Cynthia’s dad’s law firm hired them on, with Mumma being a receptionist now and Poppa doing general office work, and they both are much happier.
My friends and I are still having all sorts of fun and learning new things!
Cynthia is spending part of her time volunteering at all sorts of places, which is so her. Helping clear garbage out of a park one day, the next she is caring for animals at the shelter. She was at a food bank last week and even saw Mr. Micheals helping out as well. We all would love to know what happened to him!
Madison jumped off her garage roof again, onto a trampoline again, just to do it again. But this time she miraculously was not hurt. Tell her Guardian Angel thank you!
Clara is filming more and more, and even managed to capture Maddie’s crazed jump, all for her youtube show! And she is planning to do a fan movie with us where Katniss is written by Judy Blume, Praise Be Her Name!
Susan is in Los Angeles right now, visiting with her girlfriend Samantha, and they are really having a blast! And she wants to write more fanfic with me!
Collette is all psyched for her upcoming little brother, and her dad is happy suddenly being flush with cash from Cara’s app.
Luke finally admitted to Collette that his oldest sister’s boyfriend gave him the pep talk to ask her out. Collette thought that he was cute, but she had already figured that out!
Cara has all this money by the truckload coming in as well, all from her app! Cynthia’s dad is putting it into a trust for her, and Cara is even more happier because she and her dad are really getting along.
Cecily is learning karate, which she is loving! She showed me online how she can now kick over her head, which is both scary and awesome all at once!
Simon is interesting. I bumped into him at the corner store last week, and we ended up talking about books for quite awhile, until Mumma told me to come along. She then lectured me all the way home that I was too young for a boyfriend! Even one closer to my own age! Some days I just do not understand her!
Jackson is spending all his time bugging his parents for a smartphone! But I really think Joshua put him up to it, maybe even bribed him with money.
Josh, who is still world famous in my eyes, is thinking about quitting his job and going to work at a teen crisis center. He is really really great at talking to people and his current boss is a doofus.
Tracey is helping Sarah launch her jewellery business, with a website and everything going live last week. The big ongoing debate over the marketability of a jam flavoured bracelet is taking up much chat time apparently.
Joy and Lidia still visit Margaret all the time, and I am going along next week! Lidia is learning euchre and now so am I. The four of us might enter a tournament someday, all because Joy is convinced we will be an unbeatable team.
Kimberly and Jason managed to get his old family heirloom, a guitar, and now he plays and sings to her all the time, even while she is studying. After all that has happened, Kimberly is aiming to be a doctor now.
All of my friends had a combined sleepover of epic proportions for Cynthia’s and Susan’s birthday just after school ended. Everything was awesome, even after Cynthia’s older brothers slingshot water balloons at us, and don’t even ask about that freaking confetti.
As you know, my birthday is coming up. And for the first time in forever, I am massively looking forward to it! Plans are being made in secret by my friends, I know that, and Clara keep joking they might kidnap me to Latveria, which I can’t find on any map. Susan says any birthday that doesn’t end with you in jail is a good one.
But being thirteen will be so weird. I will be a teenager. And Mumma and Poppa say I have already started acting like one. I don’t think that’s true, but recently I imitated a youtube link that Maddie sent us, and talked like a Valley Girl all day. To say Mumma and Poppa were driven crazy by it is an understatement.
Between and around all this has been my writing.
I have pages and pages completed, all telling the tale of my grade five year. And I have to say this, it is not always easy, and it is not always great or even good, but I am enjoying it all very very much. I end every writing session with a happy smile and a million more ideas of what to bring forth. If I could adapt what Mrs. Chase said, it would be: Read. Learn. Heal. Love. Create.
Now I am trying to think if there is anything else I have to tell you Arlene
“Hello pretty girl! And hello from the man in the store!”
Ilona hears this little voice behind her, turns around and jumps in surprise.
Greeting Ilona is small girl riding atop a man’s shoulders, her father she guesses, and the two have really happy faces. While the father is black, Ilona notices the girl is lighter black, and realizes that like Collette, the mother is most likely white.
“Sorry. Did we scare you? We didn’t mean to.” The little girl says.
“It’s alright. I was just looking at something.” Ilona replies.
The little girl looks up at the sky.
“Were you saying hello to the clouds too? I think I said hello to that one already. Wanna say hello together?”
This surprises Ilona and she smiles.
“Yes, lets do this.” Ilona confirms.
Ilona and the little girl both look up. She shouts and Ilona talks in a normal voice.
“And hello again from the man in the store.” The little girl shouts as well, which makes Ilona laughs.
The little girl continues on, while her father is giving a smirk and eye roll to Ilona.
“This is my new school. I start kindergarten soon. My great great great great grandfather made my school.”
Her father now looks at the girl.
“Actually, take a few dozen greats out and you would be a bit more accurate. And Mommy will explain the built part. But why don’t you introduce yourself Eli-Sweetie?” Her dad finishes and looks back at Ilona.
The girl starts babbling and counting facts on her fingers.
“You are right Daddy! Hello, my name is Elinor. I am named after my great great great great great grandmother and I like spaghetti.”
Her dad pipes in. “Your greats sound much more accurate this time, Eli.”
Ilona smiles at the girl and replies. “It is nice to meet you Elinor. My name is Ilona. I don’t know who I am named after and I like stew.”
Elinor starts babbling again, making her dad almost giggle. “We are going to have so much fun at my school when I come here. We can play in the fort, swing on the swing, and sing the doo-doo song.”
Ilona feels slightly bad she won’t be here next year with Elinor, but makes a mental note to tell Jackson and Simon about her. She then envisions the Grade Five Reading Partnership teaming up Elinor and Simon and wonders how Mrs. Aurora would handle another romance if it happened. All this flashes by in an instant, and Ilona quickly replies to Elinor.
“Well, we can be friends, but I won’t be here next year. I am off to middle school next year, but I can introduce you to some friends still here. And I am afraid I don’t know the doo-doo song.” She laughs at the last bit.
Elinor’s dad pulls out his smartphone and a second later, this doo-doo song is playing. The little girl starts singing doo doo along with the song and shakes her head. Ilona thinks hard, but has no clue about this wordless melody. “I have never heard of that song! But it sounds so fun!”
Ilona starts shaking her head, just like Elinor. The entire doo-doo song plays on and on. When it finishes, Elinor’s dad puts his phone away and glances up at the little girl.
“Well not to be the enormous party pooper, but we don’t want to hold up Ilona here. We gotta get going now.”
Elinor waves her hands like crazy and shouts, “Bye Ilona!”
Ilona waves like crazy back and shouts as well, “Bye Elinor!”
As Elinor and her father walk away, Ilona sees in her minds eye all the friends and adventures and fun this wonderful little girl is going to embark on soon. Elinor will have her own Cynthia, Madison, Clara, Susan, Collette, Cecily, Cara, Samantha, Luke, Jackson, Joshua, Tracey, Sarah, Joy, Lidia, Kimberly, Jason, Margaret, and Simon.
Elinor will have her own new life.
As a stray sunbeam touches her face, Ilona suddenly remembers she was talking to Arlene, and she looks back up at the sky.
Hey Arlene! You know a few minutes ago when I was wondering if there was anything else I had to tell you?
Well, could you do me a favour and look after Elinor next year?
Another sunbeam fills Ilona’s face with warm love.
Elinor, Ilona thinks, is going to have a beautiful new life, just like I did.
Song For This Chapter: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell and Clannad
And thank you all for reading, enjoying, and maybe even loving The Passport To The Wall. It has been my absolute pleasure to bring it to you. Peace and long life to all of you and God bless.
First serialization started on Friday, June 7th, 2013. Ended on Friday, June 6th, 2014.