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For the Love of Jamie Continued

Later that night, Jamie received an unexpected phone call from his friend, Adam. "We've been away," Adam told Jamie. "My father didn't get much notice from the army, so I couldn't call you. I guess I should have written, but we've been really busy. Besides, I didn't think I'd be gone this long and I hate to write.. I'm still waiting for you to get better. I really need your help with the papers. The office sent over a few kids to fill in for me while I was gone, but I can have the job back when you're ready to help me out. And baseball season's coming up. We might be able to play on the same team. How much longer do you think it will be?"

The two talked for awhile longer. At the end of the conversation, Molly could see traces of Jamie's old personality returning..

"Adam says that they've been away. The army sent his family someplace. Anyway, he's not the one doing the paper route. He didn't find anybody else to replace me. And we're going to go out for baseball together. He asked me not to call his house because of this thing with his father, but he'll call me when he can use the phone. And every afternoon, he said he'd wave from Mrs. Donohue's house so I'll remember about baseball and the newspapers and get better. "

The next few weeks went much better for Jamie. Every afternoon he looked for the familiar winter clothing of his friend, and every day Adam raised a red mittened hand to wave to Jamie.

"It's amazing what the mind can do," Dr. Stevens remarked to Molly and Mitch after a few more visits. "It will take some time to build up his strength, but he's going to be fine. "

"Does that mean Adam can visit me? Can I start going outside? It's still cold. I guess we could just play in the house. Can he come over?"

Mitch and Molly looked at each other. This was the time they had dreaded. Still, it had to do done.

The following Sunday, Adam was coming to visit. Jamie was excited, but Molly and Mitch knew that they had to talk to their son before Adam arrived. Adam had already done a lot for them and he was only a few year older than Jamie. On Sunday morning, they realized that they couldn't postpone things any longer. With apprehension, they joined Jamie in the living room where he was watching television.

"Jamie," Molly began, sitting near her son. "There's something we have to talk to you about before Adam gets here."

"Can we turn off the television for a few minutes?" Mitch asked, picking up the remote control.

"Boy. You two look like I felt. What's wrong? I'm not getting another sister or anything, am I?"

"No. Nothing like that," Molly began. "I'm afraid it's Adam, Jamie." She looked at Mitch for help.

"Jamie, remember when you came home from the hospital and you didn't hear from Adam for a few weeks?"

"Yeah. But he said that his family was away."

"They were. They were away looking for another house. I'm sorry, Jamie. Adam's father's been transferred. They're here today to get the rest of their things out of the house. We didn't want you to know before because you were just too sick."

"That's not true," Jamie cried. "Adam's not leaving. We're going to play baseball together. We're going to get the paper route going again. He can't be going someplace else."

"I'm so sorry, Jamie," Molly continued, hugging her son. Finally, he calmed down. "It is true, Jamie. Adam called long distance most of the time. We told him how sick you were so he agreed not to tell you about the move until you got better."

"But he waves to me every afternoon," Jamie continued.

"That wasn't him, Jamie," Molly said.

"Then who was it" Jamie asked through his tears.

"It was me," Tara said, entering the room. "Adam left me the outfit he wore to deliver the papers. Every afternoon, I put it on and walked over to Mrs. Donohue's house. Then, I turned and waved to you. It's a good thing it's winter. I was so covered and so far away that you couldn't tell it wasn't Adam. I just wanted to help you get better. "

"You did?" Jamie asked in disbelief.

"Of course," Tara explained. "You might be a royal pain, but you're the only brother I've got. Besides, I haven't had a good fight since you got sick. I don't know how much longer I can stand it. "

Adam soon arrived, but he wasn't alone. "This is Billy. He's moving into my old house," he explained to Jamie. "He's going to be starting in your class next week. I told him you'd show him around. He could really use a friend. He's kind of scared, being new around here."

After the boys left, Molly and Mitch waited for Jamie's reaction to Adam's moving. They were quite surprised.

"You know," Jamie began, "I've thought the whole thing over and I guess things are all right. Adam's going to keep calling me and I can call him sometimes. Some day his father might get sent back here. And Tara's not so bad, for a sister."

"And how about your parents?" Molly asked, feeling like part of their furniture.

"I guess you're O.K., too," he said, hugging each of them. "But now I've got another problem. I've really got to get back to school to help Billy. He's going to need somebody to show him around. I'm new, but he's newer. I can be his friend just like Adam is my friend. I figure I've only got another week to hang around here. Then, I'll be ready to go back. Sorry, Mom. You'll have to go back to work," he said with a smile, and headed for his bedroom.

Mitch and Molly both breathed a sigh of relief. "You know," Molly began, "this has been quite an experience. I hope we never have to go through anything like this again. But I must admit that I'm amazed at Adam's maturity. He just seemed to know what to say and do all through this. I can't think of many little boys who would know what to do or who could keep a secret the way Adam did."

"Adam's quite the boy," Mitch agreed. "Maybe it comes from always being the 'new kid' himself. After all, he's starting all over again, in another place, isn't he?"

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