Eleven

In Which Loose Ends Are Tied


II.


Molly was given the go ahead to start moving around. She ambled around on crutches trying to get used to using them. Gilbert hadn't been in to see her. She was only slightly hurt at first, but assumed he was busy. Molly had waited most of the day to talk to him, but she wasn't very patient. That afternoon she began to search for him despite the throbbing pain in her leg. She found him lounging in the pine needles and dead leaves, leaning against Gringolet. He was looking up at the sky, his face thoughtful and reflective.

"You picked a great day to come outside," he said.

"Gilbert…I found out about…us and…" she paused and he didn't take his eyes off of the clouds. "I just thought I'd let you know that you don't have to do anything. I mean, if you don't want to we don't have to be all that close—"

"Molly, look up at the sky," he told her.

"Gilbert, I'm trying to tell you that you don't have to like me or even be my friend if you don't want to," she told him.

"And I'm telling you to look up at the sky."

She sighed and looked up. It was still cloudy, but the blue of the sky that peeked through set off the light grey of the clouds. Her eyes widened. The sky! The blue sky was back!

"Wow," she whispered. Gilbert sighed and smiled a little.

"Molly, will you be my friend?" he asked suddenly.

"Gilbert, I told you, you're not obligated to do anything," Molly protested.

"I know. I also know that in all my fifteen years, my only friend aside from my brother and Madge is Gringolet. It wouldn't kill me to have one more," he replied. "So…will you be my friend?"

"I've never had anyone ask to be my friend," she said. "That's the beauty of friendship, you really don't have to ask to be friends, you just know. But you're new to this friendship thing, so I'll allow this to slide."

"Is that a yes or a no?" he asked, looking at her finally. She grinned and winked.

"It's a yes," she said. He stood up slowly and dusted off his pants.

"So our future selves will be going back to their time soon," he said walking beside her, adjusting to her slow pace. Gringolet got up and walked just behind them.

"I know. Now that Molly is stabilized they are going to go back home," she replied. "Old Gilbert said he would shave just for the occasion."

Molly grinned as they went through the forest toward the house, Gringolet lumbering behind. He needed a little more polish, but Gilbert made a decent friend.