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Garden Spells by Allen Sarah Addison

Garden Spells by Allen Sarah Addison

Author:Allen, Sarah Addison
Language: eng
Format: epub


8

Bascom’s Fourth of July celebration was held every year on the square downtown. On the green by the fountain, families and church groups set up tables and canopies and brought food so everyone could sample delicacies, like a big potluck, before the fireworks display. Waverleys always brought honeysuckle wine so people could see in the dark, but, whether or not the town knew it, the wine also brought about a few revelations every Fourth of July. A side effect of being able to see in the dark, after all, is being aware of things you weren’t aware of before.

The Waverleys had a table off to the side—a most popular table, to be sure but set apart from everyone else. Sydney fidgeted in her seat. Bay was over in the supervised children’s area, making paper hats and getting her face painted, so it was just Sydney and Claire and the honeysuckle hooch. People would quietly come by for small paper cups of honeysuckle wine, like it was somehow hallowed, and every once in a while the sheriff would stroll by and ask, “Now, this is nonalcoholic, right?”

And Claire would answer, straight-faced, as every Waverley had, “Of course.”

When Sydney was a teenager, the Fourth of July always meant spending the day at a friend’s pool, then showing up on the green just in time for the fireworks.

She felt older than other people her age now, people like her old high-school friends, most of whom had obviously come from backyard barbecues or pool parties and had tans and bathing-suit straps peeking out from under their shirts.

Emma was at the Presbyterian church’s table, talking with Eliza Beaufort.

Knowing what she knew now, Sydney didn’t envy that life of privilege anymore.

Curious then, that she felt sad for losing something she never had. Maybe she just missed friendship in general, the camaraderie of people her own age.

Sydney looked away. “I can’t remember the last time I sat here at the Waverley table,” she said to Claire.

“It has been a while.”

She took a deep breath. “It feels okay.”

“Why are you so uncomfortable? No one is going to throw rotten tomatoes at us.”

“Right,” Sydney said. She could be like Claire and not care what anyone thought. She was even starting to dress like Claire—crisp sleeveless button-downs khaki pants, madras shorts, flowy sundresses. What Claire had said that day at the salon, that she had Waverley magic, changed her mind-set completely. She felt like a Waverley. But right now it was a little like living in a country where she didn’t speak the language yet. She could dress like the natives, and it was nice, but a little lonely. “It’s okay to be strange. I can get used to this.”

“We’re not strange. We are who we are. Hello, Evanelle!”

Evanelle had walked up to them and taken a cup of wine. “Whew, I need this,” she said, throwing back the wine like a shot. “There’s so much to do. I need to give something to Bay.” She set the cup down and brought a truly gaudy brooch out of her tote bag.



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