Missed the beginning? Start here.
They all got back to Juniper’s home really late after relocating the mayor and his group, so Earthstone and Alfred let both girls sleep in. But once they were up and had had their breakfasts, Earthstone said, “Let’s all go into the living room so we can hear your decision, Sabrina.”
Alfred began, once everyone was comfortable. “So, as you know, Sabrina, today is your last chance to return to your world, so you must decide now whether you will stay with us or return to your father and sister. Whichever you decide will be fine and you will have a wonderful life either way. Do you have any questions?”
Sabrina shook her head and said, “No, I understand the choice and it is certainly a difficult one. But the bottom line, I guess, is that I wouldn’t feel right about staying, even though that is what I’d really like, because it would feel too much like running away. And I do miss my father and my sister and I don’t want my sister to have to grow up alone.”
Sabrina looked down at her hands in her lap as her tears started to fall. “Life here is so wonderful and I’ve learned a lot, but I think I must go back.”
Earthstone moved closer to Sabrina and gave her a big hug as she said, “We honor your decision. And remember, you and Juniper will grow stronger in your telepathic skills and Betsy will always be your guide. I know it isn’t the same as being with us all, especially since you won’t be able to tell anyone about your time here, but it is a lot more than you had before you came here. You won’t be so alone when you return.”
Sabrina nodded, unable to speak as the tears rolled down her cheeks.
Alfred stood and said, “We will fly you to the cave entrance, and Juniper, you may come as well. Sabrina, be sure you take everything that you brought with you when you arrived.”
Sabrina went and packed her backpack and Juniper helped. Then Juniper held up a small smooth blue rock. “I want you to have this to take back. It will give you something to hold on to if you are scared or worried.”
“Thanks, Juniper. And we’ll be able to talk telepathically, or at least I hope so,” said Sabrina.
It didn’t take long to reach the ledge by the waterfall. “As we mentioned before,” said Alfred, “we will take you back in time to the moment you left your yard and we will place you right at the edge of the yard but out of sight of the house so you won’t be spotted.”
“Right,” said Sabrina, nodding to show she understood.
“And once you are through the gateway, we will move the link between our worlds for the safety of both worlds. Neither you nor Juniper will know where the new portal is. OK?” said Earthstone.
Again Sabrina nodded. All too soon she was getting hugged by the three dragons for a last farewell, and then she was standing at the edge of her backyard.
Wow, she thought. They really did it. Well, I’d better get back before anyone notices that I was going to run away.
The next morning Sabrina headed off to school as if nothing had changed, but she was determined that things would be different. Her father had told her at breakfast that she wouldn’t be taking French any longer. She would be allowed to take woodshop, which she loved, for the remainder of the school year and next year she would switch to Latin.
It will be nice not to have to suffer through French at least. Still, there is gym. Maybe I can change things there too.
Sabrina was shocked when she heard Juniper saying, I know you can! Can you hear me?
Yes, I can! Oh, you are with me and I’m with you! Betsy was right. I feel much more confident already.
When she walked into gym class she saw that once again, Miss Smith had decided to have teams for dodge ball. And once again, Kari was stuck with Sabrina. But that is when things changed. Before Kari could open her mouth to criticize and bully Sabrina, Sabrina said, “I know you aren’t happy that you have me on your team and honestly, I can see why. I’m lousy at sports and always have been. But I’d like to propose a truce and something that might help us both.”
“What,” sneered Kari.
“Well, as you have accurately stated, I’m no good at sports. But I also know that you are having trouble in math and science. What I’d like to suggest is that we work together.”
“Be seen with you? Never!”
“OK, suit yourself. But if your grade point slips you won’t be allowed to stay on the basketball team. And before you think that I want to be friends or come over to your house or hang out or anything, I don’t. I wouldn’t like that any better than you would.”
“So what do you mean,” said Kari.
“I would be willing to help you with your math and science homework as long as you promise me that you and your friends will stop bullying. And I don’t mean just me. You are to stop bullying anyone. It is hurtful and it harms you as much or more than it harms to other person. So as long as you aren’t bullying, I’ll help you study for math and science.”
“Well,” said Kari, “maybe. But where, when? And what about my friends? Will you help them too?”
“Sure,” said Sabrina. “How about at lunch? A lot of students study at lunch so it wouldn’t be hard to set up a group for math and science.”
“What’s in it for you,” asked Kari suspiciously.
“One, my day will be much more pleasant without all the snide comments. And two, maybe you could help me be less of a klutz.”
“Not sure there is any chance of that,” said Kari, but this time Sabrina noticed that she had a smile on her face, just pleasantly joking.
As they shook hands on the deal, Miss Smith called the class to order. Sabrina didn’t do well at dodge ball, but Kari was reasonably pleasant about it and even commented positively on the one and only good play Sabrina made. After class, Miss Smith called Sabrina over. Once everyone else had left, she said, “I was very impressed by your handling of a difficult situation. Nice job.”
“Well,” said Sabrina, “I’ve thought about the issues around bullying a lot lately and I just figured it was worth a try.”
“It certainly was. See you tomorrow!”
As Sabrina was walking to her next class, she chatted with Juniper. Can you believe it? I’m going to be tutoring Kari and her friends but at least they won’t be bullying anyone.
That’s fantastic, answered Juniper. I knew you’d come up with something. I can’t wait to tell Miss Ingrid, and mom and dad, of course.
Say hi to everyone for me! Talk to you soon!
And with that, Sabrina headed into biology. Maybe I can have both worlds, she thought as she opened her book.