Friday, April 4, 2008
Spring in Orchard Hill
My grandmother always said that it had to snow on the robins three times before spring would come. Our robins must have weathered those three snowfalls because spring has come to Orchard Hill.
The sun is shining and the tulips and daffodils are blooming. I love watching the children go past my window on the way to and from school. They seem to be blooming, too as they shed heavy winter coats and boots for colorful spring jackets.
And speaking of school, the word is that school secretary Faith Fielding will not be returning to work in the elementary school this fall. What could make her want to leave after spending ten years with Orchard Hill's beloved principal, Andrew Thomas?
Could it have anything to do with Andrew's decision to enter the dating game again, for the first time since his wife passed away eight years ago? The following scene from his office was given to me in strictest confidence, so if anyone asks, you didn't hear it from me. ;)
“What’s up, Andrew?” she asked.
“Well, this is a personal matter,” he admitted. “Robin asked me to do something, and I need your advice.”
“Oh, how is Robin doing?” asked Faith eagerly. “I got an email from her last week, and it sounded like her classes were going well.”
“Yes, she’s fine,” Andrew told her. Normally, he would be happy to go on about his daughter. But now, he wanted to put this promise behind him.
“I’m so glad. I know she was nervous about going away this fall, but Robin’s got your charm, Andrew. She must have oodles of friends already.”
“And admirers lining up to carry her books,” Andrew added wryly. “But as I was saying, she made me promise something last night, and I want to take care of it.”
“Oh?” Faith tilted her head at him, curiosity in her eyes. “What did you promise?”
“I promised to go out on a date.”
Faith felt herself go still. A date? Her heart sped up. For years, she’d been hoping Andrew would ask her out. Was this it? Was it finally going to happen?
Wait a minute. Did she want him to ask her out just because Robin told him he needed to go on a date? But maybe it wasn’t that way. Maybe it was more that she’d given him her blessing. Faith knew Andrew would never get involved with someone Robin didn’t like.
Oh, who was she kidding? She’d take a date with Andrew any way she could get it. Even when she’d first started at the school, she thought Andrew was strikingly handsome. In the ten years they’d worked together, his salt and pepper hair had gone completely to silver. But she thought it looked great on him and made his gorgeous dark blue eyes stand out even more.
But, as handsome as she thought he was, physical appearance was the least of the reasons Faith loved him. His sterling character, charismatic personality and generous heart drew her to him. “So who’s the lucky lady?”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” Andrew leaned over the desk, and Faith found herself drawn to him as if he were a magnet and she a hunk of steel. “I wanted to ask you…”
“Yes?” her voice came out barely louder than a whisper.
“I wanted to ask you…who I should ask.”