Trixie stretched slowly. The sun streaming through her window had awoken her. She glanced over at the matching twin bed on the other side of the room where her friend Diana slept. She smiled as she thought about the house party they had the previous night. Trixie’s brother Brian had come home from Columbia University for the weekend to watch Sleepyside High School beat Croton-on-the Hudson in boys’ basketball to win the right to play in the state basketball championships.

Trixie’s other brother Mart and fellow Bob-White Dan were team co-captains. They had led the team to an overwhelming victory. The victory had been especially sweet for Trixie since one of the co-captains from the Croton team had taken her on the date from hell. Todd “The Octopus” Roberts had tried to woo her and when she didn’t want to play his groping games, he had spread vicious lies about Trixie’s sex life.

In addition, Trixie’s cousin Hallie was in town for her spring break. Hallie had been dating Dan long distance for the last year or so. She had spent much of the last week in Dan’s company.

The house party had been fun. It was just what she needed to take her mind off the stresses of the last week. Her brother Bobby, along with Diana’s twin brothers, Larry and Terry, had pranked all of the Bob-Whites, with Moms’ help.

Trixie got up from the kitchen table where Dan, Mart, Diana, Brian and Hallie were finishing Moms’ famous hamburgers with homemade French fries. She started clearing the table. Brian started to help out, but she stopped him.

“Don’t bother, Brian. I’ll get this,” Trixie said as she started to fill the sink with soap and water. “I’m going to just rinse the dishes for now. I heard a rumor that Moms has made Mrs. Smith’s chocolate cake for dessert.”

Mart’s eyes widened and one could almost see the drool running down his chin. Mrs. Smith’s chocolate cake had become a favorite dessert of all of the Bob-Whites. If she hadn’t seen Mart consume three hamburgers with all the works, a mound of coleslaw, French fries and topped it off with chocolate shakes, she would have thought he hadn’t eaten in weeks.

While Trixie rinsed the dishes, Diana got up and got out plates and forks for the dessert.

Moms came in carrying a sheet cake that said, “Congratulations, Mart and Dan!” She placed the cake on the table in front of Dan and Mart and handed the knife to Mart. She made her way over to the phone and discreetly dialed it.

Meanwhile, Mart started to cut the cake. It gave like a cake should but he couldn’t cut through it. He started to saw the knife back and forth but it still wouldn’t cut.

“Quit goofing off and cut the cake,” Brian said.

Dan grabbed the knife from Mart and tried to cut it himself. Diana was standing in front of them taking a video of the incident. In the background, Moms could be heard giving what sounded almost like a play-by-play of the events to the person on the other end of the phone.

By now, both Mart and Dan were getting frustrated. Moms continued to talk on the phone softly, a twinkle sparkling in her eye.

Finally, Brian grabbed the knife and said, “Let a future doctor show you how it’s done.” After a few minutes of making no progress, Brian took matters into his own hands and started to scrape the frosting off the cake. Just as he realized that the cake was made of sponges and not real cake, Moms held the phone up and everyone faintly heard from the other end of the line Terry, Larry and Bobby yell, “Gotcha!”. She hung up the phone and headed out into the entryway.

Mart didn’t know if he should laugh at being had by that trio or cry because he wasn’t going to get any chocolate cake. Dan started to give Mart a hard time when Moms came back in, carrying what looked like an identical cake to the one they had just destroyed.

Very carefully, Mart started to cut the real cake.

Throughout the evening, the Bob-Whites came across a few other practical jokes the younger boys had set up. In addition to the cake, the three had taped plastic wrap under the toilet seats, put sugar in the salt shaker and short-sheeted the beds.

Diana had been the life of the party. She convinced everyone they just had to play charades. They had decided to change up the rules and instead of acting out movies or books, they had to act out tongue twisters. Everyone had doubled over in laughter as Trixie tried to act out “Six slippery snails, slid slowly seaward”. Her explanation of how she recited that tongue twister when she was trying to avoid Todd’s groping had sent the group into fits of laughter. It was either laugh or get angry.

The only thing that would have made the evening more fun would have been if the remaining members of the Bob-Whites of the Glen, Honey Wheeler and Jim Frayne, could have been there. Honey had gone with her parents to England for two weeks and would be returning to Sleepyside mid-afternoon today. Jim attended Columbia and roomed with Brian. He and Trixie had been dating until January. A disagreement had caused their break-up, which resulted in Jim staying at school most weekends this semester.

It was going to be a busy day. Moms was going to serve Sunday brunch before she and Trixie’s dad drove Hallie to the airport. Then they would drop Brian off at his dorm. Before they headed for home, they were planning on taking Brian and Jim out to dinner. Her parents had invited Dan to ride along, and with Bobby going as well the van would be rather full.

Mart had been invited over to the Lynches’ for dinner. He planned to spend the afternoon with Diana entertaining her twin brothers, Larry and Terry, and twin sisters, Barbie and Cindy.

For the first time in months, Trixie was looking forward to having the afternoon to herself. She needed to finish an English essay on the significance of the hats that the boys wore in Bless the Beasts and Children. She had enjoyed the book despite its sad ending. The essay was written in her head and all she had to do was put it down to paper. She wished she was as fortunate as Honey was and could afford a personal computer that had a word processing program. It would be much easier to type it with that than on the electric typewriter she would use. At least the typewriter was a correcting one and she didn’t have to bother with white out or a typing eraser.

While she typed, she thought of her best friend, Honey. It had been a rough few months since each of them had broken up with their boyfriends. Trixie had discovered while it was challenging at times dating your best friend’s brother, when you broke up with said brother it was even harder. After she broke up with Jim, she felt like she not only lost a boyfriend but in some ways, she lost her two best friends.

Trixie had completed her essay by two o’clock in the afternoon. She knew Honey would be back in Sleepyside soon. What she really wanted to do was run up the path to Manor House, greet Honey and then have a good old gab session with her, but because of the strain in their friendship, she held back. She knew she had to take the first step in mending their relationship but for once, she wasn’t sure how to do it.

Then she remembered a conversation she’d had with Brian on Friday. They had been talking about their break-ups and he had mentioned how he and Honey had finally started talking to each other regularly.

Suddenly the urge to hear Jim’s voice overwhelmed her. Before she knew what she was doing, she was dialing Jim and Brian’s dorm room. She started to panic at the first ring and was about to hang up when she heard Jim’s voice on the other line.

“Hello,” the other end of the line said.

Trixie swallowed hard as she tried to get rid of the lump in her throat.

“Is anyone there? I can hear someone,” Jim continued.

Finally, Trixie found her voice. “Jim,” she said hesitantly.

There was silence for a few seconds on the other end of the line. “Trixie, is that you?” he asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Is everything okay? Did everyone get on the road to the city?”

“Yes, they all headed out of here a couple of hours ago. They were going to take Hallie to the airport and wait until the plane took off. They should be over to the dorms soon,” Trixie rushed.

There was a long pause from both. Finally, Jim asked quietly, “Well, if everything is okay, why did you call?”

Trixie hesitated, trying to find the right words. She was tempted to quickly say good-bye and then hang up but she knew putting off this conversation wasn’t going to make it any easier. “I missed you,” she whispered.

Jim didn’t answer right away. “What did you say?” he quietly asked. Trixie could hear him take a deep breath and hold it.

With more confidence, Trixie said again, “I missed you.” Then she rushed on. “I’ve been so stupid. You were right about everything. I’m so sorry.”

Again there was a pause on the other end of the phone. “I missed you, too,” Jim said softly. He did not contradict Trixie but waited for more of an explanation.

Suddenly, Trixie got over her trepidation and began rambling, “I had a long talk with Brian about what happened. He didn’t tell me all of the gory details and you will be happy to know that I didn’t feel the need to know all of them either. I can’t wait for Honey to get home but I’m nervous about it. We’ve had a rough few months. I hope I haven’t ruined our friendship.”

When Trixie finally stopped to take a breath, Jim jumped in immediately, afraid that it would be another ten minutes before he got another chance. “I’m glad you and Brian had a talk,” he said softly. “I wouldn’t worry too much about Honey either. She’s not mad at you. She just wanted to give you some space and she didn’t want to be caught in the middle.”

They talked for a few more minutes. It was a stilted conversation because both of them really didn’t know what to say to the other. It almost felt like they were starting over, trying to find out a safe ground to talk about.

“Are you going to be able to go to the basketball tournament next weekend?” Trixie asked.

“I’m going to try to make it. I’m not sure if I can make the first game but if they make it to the championship game, I’ll definitely be there.”

Shyly, Trixie said, “It will be good to see you again.”

Noise could be heard in the background. “It looks like your parents and Brian are here. I’d better go and see if they need any help.”

“I’m going to go up and see if Honey’s home yet. I have some apologizing to do.”

Just before Trixie hung up the phone she heard, “Thanks for calling. I’ve missed you.” Then the connection was broken.

Trixie leaned back in her chair and let out a bit sigh. She’d taken the first step and she’d survived. Just the sound of Jim’s voice had made her feel better about things. She knew she wasn’t ready to resume the relationship she had with him. She had some soul searching and growing up to do. She did know that she valued Jim’s friendship and that if she lost it she would regret it for the rest of her life.

She sat for a few minutes thinking about all that had transpired in the last few weeks. She came to the realization that while she was unhappy with her break-up with Jim, no matter how things turned out it would be for the best. Trixie had been sitting for several minutes when she heard a noise on the steps.

Whoever was coming up the steps seemed to open the door, ready to burst into the kitchen. Suddenly, the footsteps halted and then retreated. After Trixie heard the door shut, a knock was heard.

Her curiosity piqued, she headed into the kitchen and opened the door. There stood Honey, looking embarrassed and uncomfortable.

For a split second, Trixie wasn’t quite sure what to do. Then her natural impulsiveness took over and she pulled Honey into a tight embrace.

“I’ve missed you so much,” she exclaimed, not letting go of her best friend.

Honey could barely breathe because Trixie was hugging her so tightly. “I missed you, too,” she squeezed out.

Finally, Trixie let go of her friend and pulled her into the family room. “I’m so sorry for the way I acted,” she rushed. “I’ve been so selfish and inconsiderate. Will you ever forgive me?”

When Trixie took a deep breath, Honey jumped in. “You were not selfish,” she said. “I knew that you were having a hard time dealing with everything that was going on. I also knew that I didn’t want to be put in the middle.”

“I have so much to tell you,” Trixie said. “The Sleepyside basketball team is going to the state tournament next weekend. You should have seen the game. Dan and Mart were unstoppable.” The two friends talked for what seemed like hours. Honey told Trixie all about her trip to England and Trixie told Honey about her disaster date with Todd Roberts, the practical jokes Bobby and the Lynch twins had played on the Bob-Whites the day before and most importantly, the conversations she’d had with Brian and Jim.

Honey looked up at the clock and realized how late it was. “I’ve gotta go,” she said. “I promised Mother I was only going to be gone for a little while. I don’t think three hours qualifies as a little while.”

Honey started to head toward the door when she stopped. “Oh, I almost forgot. I got you this.” She handed Trixie a package. With care that surprised both girls, Trixie opened the package. She laughed out loud when she pulled out a deerstalker cap, a licorice pipe and a floaty pen that showed the changing of the guard at the Tower of London.

“They are perfectly perfect,” Trixie exclaimed. “I love the hat and now I have five floaty pens in my collection.”

“It took me forever to find that floaty pen,” Honey said. “I finally found it yesterday. I think Mother was ready to strangle me because that’s all I talked about.”

Trixie quickly brushed a tear out of her eyes as she realized how her previous behavior had not jeopardized her friendship with Honey.

Monday, March 23, 1987

Trixie, Diana and Honey got off the school bus at Crabapple Farm. They were going to study for an Algebra II quiz their teacher had promised them for the next day.

“Sometimes I hate Spring Break,” Trixie said as they headed up the driveway.

“Come on, Trix,” Diana said. “Just because you had the date from hell doesn’t mean the entire week was a disaster.”

“Yes it was, and it was no one’s fault by my own,” Trixie insisted. “I’m the one who typically jumped to the wrong conclusions, but that’s not why I hate Spring Break. It’s getting back in the swing of things and knowing there’s almost two more months until summer vacation.”

By now, they had reached the farmhouse. “I know what you mean,” said Honey. “I’ve got jet lag and a week’s worth of homework to catch up on. I tried to get the assignments ahead of time but some of the teachers didn’t have their lesson plans prepared before I left.”

As the three girls entered the kitchen, silence ensued. Bobby, Larry and Terry were sitting at the table. There was evidence of chocolate chip cookies and milk on their faces and none of them could look directly at the girls.

Mrs. Belden greeted each of the girls. Then she asked Honey about her trip.

“It was a fun trip, Mrs. Belden,” Honey said. “But I’m glad to be home, especially with the big game next weekend. I had a good time but I wish I could have seen the game Friday night.”

“Well, it was an exciting game,” said Trixie. “I hope the next one will be just as fun.”

The girls sat down at the table and Moms placed a plate of cookies and glasses of milk in front of them. While the girls were talking a mile a minute, the three boys were uncharacteristically quiet.

After a few minutes, Moms spoke up. “Hey, boys, maybe Trixie, Honey and Diana can help you with your problem. They are experts in that field.”

Trixie’s curiosity kicked in to overdrive. “What is it that we’re experts in?” she asked.

“Being girls,” Bobby responded matter-of-factly.

As the three boys explained the predicament they were in, you could almost see the wheels in the girls’ brains coming up with ideas on how to help the boys out. After the boys’ antics the previous Saturday, the girls weren’t about to let them off the hook too easily.

While Bobby, Larry and Terry thought that the girls might be going a little overboard, they didn’t say anything. They wanted to make sure they honored their bet because they knew how disappointed Brian and Jim would be if they didn’t.


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Author Notes

As always, a huge thank-you to Diana B, Beverly and Bonnie H. for editing. The story wouldn’t be readable if you didn’t catch all of the missing or misplaced commas.

Thanks to Mal for hosting my site and doing the graphics for it.

This story is a companion piece to Bobbi with an I . If you want to know what happened from Bobby’s view point that can be found there.

I remember having to read Bless the Beasts and Children as a freshman in high school and one of the questions on the test was about the hats the boys wore. Don’t ask me why I remember this over thirty years later. I remember thinking did the author consciously give significance to the hats or did someone decide they that after the book was published.

Thanks to all who made suggestions about what to have Honey bring back for Trixie. The floaty pen was a nod to BonnieH. Of course, Trixie only has five. Bonnie, I think said she has 79.

Word Count, 2,998

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