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The Summer of Sarah.


N. C. Wallace

That seemed like the hottest summer the state of Alabama had ever seen. It was the summer of thirty-five, and the town of Maycomb was facing some hard times. Well, with the war going on over seas, and a dire drought, the people had some pretty low spirits. I thought I was going to have a terribly hot, long, boring summer. The only thing people could talk about was a little bit about the war, and a lot about some rape trial that had everyone buzzing more than a bee hive. It was the summer and there was no school. So the only thing I had to do was help Pa in the yard, and around the house. Like I said it was going to be a long, hot, boring summer. But, that was until I met Sarah.

One day, our neighbor, Ms. Lee had asked me to walk into town and meet her niece, Sarah. I had over heard Pa and her talking about her coming into town from somewhere in Georgia. I don't exactly remember where. It was morning, and it wasn't too awfully hot. If I made it into town before noon I could make it back and not look like I had just crawled out of an oven. In the mornings it was cool, but it started to warm up around eleven thirty or twelve. After that, it was just flat out miserable. After breakfast, I made my way into town. We lived on the outskirts of town. It took about an hour to walk into town. But, with the rising sun, it could seem longer. On my way into town, I saw the dry, lifeless crops behind the log fences. You could tell the drought had really taken its toll on the crops.

Every now and then, I would look down at my ragged shoes. Watching them walk on the dusty gravel road. I saw my overalls too. I always wore overalls. Except on Sundays when it was time to go to church. Then I wore my brown Sunday suit. That's about all I had. A few pairs of overalls, a Sunday suit, and two pairs of shoes. My work shoes, and my dress shoes. Most of my cloths were hand me downs from my brother Sam. Sam was twenty at the time. He was four years older than me, and he and I looked nothing alike. Sam favored my Pa. They both had dark hair, and dark brown eyes.

They were both really tall too. Sam was overseas somewhere. One day he went into town to sign up to go into the war. He said it would be his only way to get out of Maycomb. That was Sam for you. He hated to be tied down all in one place, and when he said that he was going to do something, then he did it. Well, not long after that day he went into town, he left Maycomb. They said they needed him in Montgomery, and from there he would be sent overseas. That was the last time I really saw my brother.

I was kind of upset when he left. Our mother died when I was really little, and Sam was always there to help Pa look out for me. Ms. Lee was like a mother to me I guess you could say. Sometimes she was there when Sam or Pa couldn't be. Like when they were to busy for me.  After awhile, I finally made it into town. I didn't have time to stop and look in all of the windows on main street, so I just went right to the bus station. When I got there the bus had already dropped off it's passengers. I noticed a pretty girl standing by two large suitcases. She had long, light brown hair and was fair skinned. I figured she was Sarah so I walked over to her.

"You must be Sarah?" I asked her. She turned her head and smiled. Her smile was like the sunrise, big and bright. When she turned her head, her long hair flipped and I was completely speechless.

"Yeah, I'm Sarah, and who might you be?"

"I... My"

"What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"

"Brain. My name is Brain." I finally managed to get out of my mouth.

On our way back to the farm, I talked to her about Maycomb. I was dumb-founded by this girl, and I couldn't think of anything else to talk about. I told her about the drought, and how hot it is in the summer, just a lot of small talk mostly. I finally managed to shut my mouth, and let her talk to me a little bit. She told me about how she was from Georgia, and that she liked to read, and some other friendly talk. When we got back to the farm I sat the two heavy suitcases on Ms. Lee's front porch. I then watched as Ms. Lee made her way to the porch to greet Sarah.

They hugged each other for what seemed like forever, and Ms. Lee kept kissing Sarah on her cheek. When they finished greeting one another, Ms. Lee invited me in for lunch. And of course I accepted. During lunch Ms. Lee went on and on about how happy she was Sarah was here, and that later in the afternoon I could show Sarah around. Sarah and I kept giving each other glances and grins while we ate. I never felt funny inside like I did then. From that day on Sarah and I spent a lot of the summer together. Although the drought wasn't getting better and nether was the war over seas.

I still hadn't heard from Sam. Pa had also been complaining our cotton crop. We depended a lot on our crops, and with the drought doing it's worst, our financial status wasn't so great. Ms. Lee said we would all be fine, as long as we had each other. We should have knocked on wood when she said that. Because about two weeks later, Ms. Lee was working in her tomato garden, when we all saw her collapse. We all ran over, and picked her up and put her on the couch in her living room. She kept grasping at her chest, and we could all tell this would not end well. Pa ran to the barn and saddled up Blue. Blue was one of out three horses. He said he was going to go get Doc in town. He and Doc arrived about thirty minutes later. Doc showed us out of the room, and we waited on the porch.

The day of the funeral was a gray, cloudy, melancholy day. Pa, Sarah, and I all went to the church together. During the service Sarah kept her head down. When they started to lower Ms. Lee into the ground, Sarah ran towards home. I ran after her, bumping into a few other people that were at the funeral as well. I called her name, as I ran down the gravel road after her. She must have been running as fast as she could. I finally caught up to her. When, I looked at her she was crying. So, all I did was hold her close. I held her so tight, that I thought I might have squeezed the breath out of her. I then kissed her on her forehead. I told her that everything was going to be O.K. and just to be strong. We looked into each other's eyes, and then, we kissed. A small rumble of thunder called in the sky, and for the first time in a very long time, it finally rained in Maycomb.

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