The Search For Happiness: Chapter Two

Weeks passed, with Bill and Nan alone in the cottage while Karen was at work. Karen Foster, a petite, pretty woman with a nice and witty attitude, understood Bill’s situation perfectly. She was happy to be able to help Nan’s new friend. Bill was now considered one of the family. Bill found that sleeping on the couch was even better than sleeping on the wet gutter.

The feeling that Nan felt towards Bill seemed confusing. When he looks at her, she can’t seem to read what is in his eyes. And when their eyes meet, Nan would blush and her heart would go racing, just like a schoolgirl who has a crush on a popular boy at school.

One particular day, Karen talked to Nan, while having breakfast. She said, “A Mr. Dreyfus gave me this letter at my office yesterday. I forgot to tell you all about it, but I remembered just this morning. Here it is.” She handed the letter that was beside her to Nan. “That Mr. Dreyfus was dressed like a chauffer of a very rich dude or something.”

“Mr. Dreyfus?” Nan thought for a moment, then she brightened. “I remember now! He works for my grandmother. This could mean that this letter is from her. She said she would write to me. It must be over!”

Nan tore the letter open. She read with eagerness. Aftera few moments, she began to frown. Then, her face looked worried.

“What is it? Is something wrong with your grandmother?” Karen wanted to know. Nan handed her the letter, looking as if in a trance. She saw Bill coming towards them, looking concerned. He listened as Karen read the letter aloud:

“Dearest Granddaughter,

Your worries are now over! Just two days ago, I managed to kick your aunt out of the house. Yesterday, I was supposed to write to you, but I had a suffered a stroke due to the excitement. My nurse is the one who wrote this letter. I am still in bed and I think I’m dying. Please come at once. You can now live with me and, if you want, you can bring your friends with you as well.

All my love,

Karen finished the letter. Bill looked at Nan with worry. Unshed tears glistened in Nan’s eyes. She looked at her friends.

“What will I do?” Nan said helplessly. She didn’t know if she was going to laugh or cry. She realized that tears she wanted to hold back was now rolling down her cheeks. Bill put his arms around Nan in a comforting, brotherly hug.

“All you have to do is go over there and live with your grandmother again.” he said, soothingly.

“But what will happen to the both of you?” Nan asked, still worried.

“Oh, we’ll manage.” Karen and Bill announced simultaneously.

“No, that wouldn’t be right.” Nan said. Then, after a few moments of thinking, she added, “You two have to come with me.”

“What?” Karen and Bill exclaimed, wide-eyed. Nan removed herself from Bill’s arms and looked at both of them. Bill was shaking his head disbelievingly, but Karen was still staring at Nan as if she grew a tree on her head or something. Then, with a trembling but determined voice, Nan said,

“You heard me. You two will come with me, whether you like it or not.” With that, Nan turned and headed toward the bedroom to pack.

Bill and Karen were still too shocked to move. They looked at each other. After a few moments, they smiled.

“She means it.” Bill said. Karen nodded knowingly. Then they joined Nan to help pack, still smiling.

Later, while they were packing, Karen glanced at Nan, still a little surprised of what Nan had said a few hours ago.

“Do you really mean what you said earlier that you want us to come with you? It doesn’t matter, you know.” Karen said suddenly. Nan looked at her seriously.

“Haven’t you forgotten what the letter said? Granny said to bring my friends, if I wanted to, and I want to. So, I’m bringing my friends.” Nan said, a little sternly. Karen still looked as if she couldn’t believe it.

“But you can’t mean —-” Karen began.

“I mean it.” Nan cut her off. She never said anything more so Karen shrugged and left the room. Bill came in bringing the clothes he wore when he first came into the cottage.

“I think it’s a good idea not to bring these.” he said, holding his tattered clothes up, smirking. Nan looked at his clothes. She laughed.

“You’re right.” Nan said, at last. “Just bring the clothes that you borrowed from Karen’s brother. We could use them since we don’t have anything to wear when we get to Granny’s house. We’ll just have to go shopping for new ones later on.”

Bill agreed, as well as Karen, whom Nan talked to a little later. After locking up the cottage, they carried their bags and went to the Carson Towers in a cab.