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Ruby's Roses Part 2

Ruby's Roses Part 1 | 2 | 3

 

The next few minutes were a blur. The neighbourhood kids ran for their lives. Ruby and Jack tried to restrain their son. He continued to yell threats and profanities.

Ruby wasn't my favourite person, but I felt sorry for her when I saw her tearfully pleading with Crazy Jack Junior. Finally, they coaxed him inside.

Meanwhile, my sisters and I tore into our house. Breathlessly, we told Mom what had happened.

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She put down her sewing and scolded, "Girls, I have told you not to play softball near those bushes. Come outside right now and help me fix them."
"Mom, we thought you didn't like the Joneses." We protested.
"They're mean to us. Besides, Crazy Jack Junior might shoot us."
Mom just glared at us. We followed her outside to help mend the rose fence.

While Mom examined the damaged roses, my sisters and I hung back, plotting how to get out of the thorny job. As we whispered back and forth, the Joneses' garage door opened and Ruby slowly walked out. She looked sad and it wasn't her nose that was red, it was her eyes.

Ruby walked over to my mother. The two women stood looking at each other through the new gap in the rose fence. We girls held our breath, waiting to see who would shout first and what terrible things would be said. How much trouble would we be in when it was all over?

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Suddenly my mother stepped forward and hugged Ruby.
"I'm glad your son came back home." She said gently.
"It must have been a horrible experience in Vietnam. We're sorry about the flowers. The girls will replace them if we can't fix them. In return for all the bother, they'll help you weed the roses this summer."

My sisters and I looked at each other in horror, but Ruby smiled at my mother through her tears.

Ruby's Roses Part 1 | 2 | 3

 

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