“Hey, Taylor,” I greeted my friend with a smile. “Yep, it’s me! What are you doing here?”
“Remember when we went to the park with our moms for a playdate?” Taylor asked. “My mom, Sierra, told me that I was going someplace to get my hair fixed – I had no idea it would be your house!”
“I’m glad you came!” I grinned, stepping aside and beckoning her inside. “It was great to meet you at the park, by the way.”
“Thanks! You, too.”
After leading Taylor through the hall, we arrived in the bedroom.
“Taylor!” Ellie gasped. “It was you!”
“What was me?”
Chloe piped up. “We thought you were an assassin!”
Taylor raised an eyebrow, but she was pretty used to Chloe’s craziness.
Ellie wrapped her arms around her friend. Apparently, ever since she Taylor came over to visit, she and Ellie had been great buds.
I watched with jealousy, my heart aching. That should be my sister and I hugging. We should be reunited like happy friends.
As the other dolls came over to greet their friend, I faded into the background and slipped back to my dresser.
I turned on my phone and opened my photo library for the last picture I had of my sister. I didn’t know why I did that to myself, for it made me miss her all the more.
I will see you again, sis, I promised, swallowing hard. And it’ll be soon.
Taylor’s visit came and went. All on video, Madison conditioned her old, frizzy hair and gave Sierra hairstyling tips for her. Days passed and the shock of leaving my sister lessened, but the numbing sadness remained. It was hard to enjoy life without her, as used as I was getting to living with my new “family.”
One day shortly after the new year, I offered to help Josefina make lunch. I hadn’t had my turn of cooking yet, but I wanted to get used to being in their kitchen.
“Thanks for offering to help, Taryn,” Josefina told me as she led the way. “That’s really sweet of you.”
I didn’t answer as we heard whispering to our left. We both stopped in our tracks and turned to see what was happening.
“Come on, Molly! It’ll be fun! You’re just the person we need!” Ellie was trying to convince Molly to do something.
“Yes,” Chloe agreed, nodding. She was wearing some sort of… spy outfit?
“I don’t know,” Molly sighed. “What if we don’t succeed and get caught? We’d get in trouble.”
“That’s why we never plan on getting caught,” Ellie answered.
“Yeah,” Chloe agreed. “We don’t have to succeed. Just don’t get caught.”
“Oh, I still don’t know,” Molly looked away. “It sounds like a bad idea.”
“Bad idea?! It’s a great idea!” Ellie scoffed. “Get this; we’re going to document the entire thing and post it on Delightful World of Dolls!”
“That’s an even worse idea.”
“People are going to love it, Molls. They’ve been asking for more prank posts for ages.”
Chloe nodded excitedly. “It’ll be called Strike of the Pranks. Or something like that. We’re still deciding on the exact name. It’ll even have multiple episodes! Doesn’t that sound like a GREAT idea?”
“That’s an idea, alright, but I wouldn’t call it a good one.”
“Just what are you planning on doing?” Josefina interrupted. With a start, all three whipped their heads to face Josie.
“Nothing!” Molly cried quickly.
Josie raised an eyebrow. “Molly, you’re a terrible liar.”
“Ohhh!” Molly groaned. “See, guys? I’d be horrible at this. Count me out.”
Chloe and Ellie’s shoulders sank in disappointment. “But we need three, otherwise we can’t be The Terrible Trio!”
Chloe’s face brightened as she turned to me. “What about you, Taryn? Does playing pranks on people and blogging about it sound like fun?”
I shook my head. “No, thanks. Totally sounds like something my sister would do, though.”
At this, everyone, even Josefina, dropped their jaws in the utmost flabbergasted surprise.
“Sister?” Chloe repeated.
I nodded, feeling awkward to have everyone staring at me with wide eyes.
“How come we never heard of her?” Curious Molly asked.
I gave her a small, sad smile. “Because she wasn’t adopted with me.”
Ellie’s mouth hung open in sad shock. Then she clamped her mouth shut, and the determined look I had grown to notice many times a day settled across her face. In a flash, she whipped out her phone from her pocket and speedily dialed a number.
“Here,” Ellie handed the phone to me. “Madison’s on the line. Tell her about your sister. She’s really nice and understanding. I promise, she will-“
“Ellie!” Josefina interrupted as I stepped away to talk to Madison on the phone. “May I speak with you for a minute?”
With a look of annoyance, Ellie followed Josefina behind the closet door.
“Why did you stop me?!” Ellie demanded. “I was about to tell her that Madison would adopt her sister, too!”
“That’s why I stopped you!” Josefina exclaimed. “We don’t know that for sure! You can’t just promise Taryn something and get her hopes up like that!”
The phone rang, and rang, and rang. Please answer, I hoped to myself. I hadn’t seen this “Madison” except for brief moments where she dashed into her room to change clothes. The others told me she was always busy, but how on earth could she be doing so many things that I hadn’t even gotten a chance to talk to her since I had arrived on Christmas?
Finally, a voicemail sounded in my ears.
“Hi! This is Madison. I’m sorry that I can’t take your call right now, but please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you and God bless you!”
Oh yeah? I thought. She couldn’t possibly refuse a second call. Gritting my teeth in determination, I redialed the number.
This time, Madison answered on the second ring.
“Hello?” she asked in a hurried way.
“Hi. You might not recognize my voice, but I’m Taryn, the new doll you adopted.”
“Oh, Taryn!” Madison exclaimed as if she had remembered something fond. “Hi! What is it?”
“Well, erm, I know you’re busy and all, but…” I trailed off. What if she said no?
“Yes?” Madison urged gently.
“I have a sister back at the orphanage,” I blurted. “I really, really miss her and was wondering if you would please, please, please adopt her.”
I sighed in relief, but then held my breath in anxious wait for her answer.
“Oh, Taryn, I don’t know…”
My heart instantly sunk. That didn’t sound good.
“Please!” I begged. “You don’t know how much I miss her! Don’t you even care?!”
There was silence on the other end, and a muffled voice shushing her. “Pay attention,” it sounded like her dad.
“Taryn, I gotta go. I’m at the groundbreaking service for our new church building and my pastor is praying. I’ll get back to you later about this, okay?”
She hung up before I even answered her back.
I pulled the phone away from my ear. Nothing was going right!
“Here,” I mumbled, handing Ellie’s phone back to her. “She said-“
“We heard what she said,” Ellie interrupted. “We’re spies.”
That was rude. And cool. After handing the phone back, Ellie informed me that Josefina had already started making lunch, and I nodded. I didn’t feel like helping her anymore, and I’m sure she understood. I felt too hollow and sad inside to try to cook and talk with her then. I just walked numbly back to the beds and sat on a bottom bunk, picking up a book to read but not turning a page in thirty minutes.
Later, Molly and I were sitting down at the table and beginning to eat our homemade pizzas that Josefina had made, all the while I was plagued with thoughts about never seeing my sister again.
“I’m so sorry to hear about your sister,” Molly mentioned sweetly. “I had no idea.”
“Thanks,” I told her.
“I hope Madison will adopt her,” she shared.
I nodded. “Me, too.”
All of the sudden, we heard someone walk through the room door. We both turned our heads to trail up the long legs and meet the eyes of…
“Taryn,” Madison smiled for the first time at me. “I don’t know exactly when, but this summer, if you want to come with me… we’re going to get your sister.”
My eyes widened as my mouth hung open. Then I began to smile, happy tears feeling my eyes. Summer was a long way away, but either way, I was going to get my sister back. And with such a caring family, crazy as they were, I did feel at home; I had been home for Christmas.
And come summer, my sister would join it.
(Listen to the theme song for this mini series. 😄)
If you enjoyed this series, please let me know! Just hit “like” and leave a comment below.
P.S. No, I didn’t get #39… 😛 I felt kind of bad that everyone thought I did, though that was the desired effect… XD #39 is my Floridian BFF, Sierra’s, first doll, Taylor! It was fun to condition Taylor’s hair for her and to feature her doll in a post (that was actually Sierra’s idea! Thanks for the plot twist, BFF! 😄).
I will be purchasing another doll this summer, though, that will be Taryn’s sister! Any guesses on who she is? Actually, I’ve given it away in the comments already. XD