Ch 21.2 — That night at dinner, Janine drummed her fingers on the table, wiggled in her chair, and tapped her toes. She picked at her food, but couldn’t seem to eat it.
At last Col set down his fork. “Out with it, Janie.”
Janine folded her hands in her lap. “You’ve been very kind to me, and you’ve taught me well. I love you as if you were my own parents, and you have certainly loved me more than my birth parents ever did. But… it’s time for me to go out into the world.”
Bee began to cry. “We do love you, honey. You’re our daughter in every way that counts. We hate to see you go, but all young things must eventually leave the nest and fly on their own. You will write, won’t you? And come back and see us when you can?”
“Of course.” Janine hugged her.
“And when you get engaged, you’ll send us an invitation? I’ll make a beautiful wedding gown for you.”
Janine seldom thought about her ugliness. She had lived for two years without a mirror, and Col and Bee never seemed to notice her appearance. Even those times when company came and she put on her mask had become more of a habit than an internal cringe. Now, however, the bad memories rushed back in. She shook her head sadly. “No one will want to marry me.”
Bee kissed her forehead. “You will marry. And you’ll be very happy.”
“How do you know?”
Col and Bee glanced at each other. “Sit down, Janie,” said Col. “There’s something we haven’t told you.”