The previous part here. Sorry for not updating for a while, but the draft isn't written in English so I need to translate and it takes time.
After dinner, we proceeded to the living room. I was strongly tempted to try and see just how wrinkled my skirt was at the back, but refrained from doing that. Aunt Anne served tea and cakes – Catherine made them two days ago, and they were still good. Everyone took their favorite place on the old sofa and armchairs.
- You know, Becky, - I jumped up, startled, when David addressed me, - when I first found out why you are going to live with us, I felt really sorry for you.
Oh no. Why does he have to bring this up now, in front of everyone? Even though his voice was very quiet, I was pretty sure Aunt Anne and Catherine are listening.
- Mom forbade us to tell you this, though, - he went on.
- I'm glad she did, - I nodded, - I don't want anyone to pity me. Around here, I'm treated just like one of you, and that's how it should be.
As soon as I said this, I felt just how true it is. As annoying as it can sometimes get around here, I didn't want to be singled out. Somehow, being treated just like Catherine made adjustment easier.
... Today, Aunt Anne felt better and even ventured into making strawberry jam early in the morning. It smelled delicious. When I went down to the kitchen, it felt as though I'm standing in the middle of a bountiful strawberry patch.
Naturally, Catherine was in the kitchen too, preparing to make pancakes for breakfast.
- Want me to lend you a hand, Cat? – I asked, surprising even myself, though not as much as Aunt Anne and Catherine, who both gave me startled looks. However, Catherine just smiled and handed me the pan. And imagine this, I spent an entire hour making pancakes while I could have been sleeping.
Later, while we were breakfasting and everyone piled up their plates with pancakes and fresh strawberry jam, Aunt Anne declared that today, as a special treat, school is called off. Her last words were drowned in exclamations of delight from Sam, Nat and Rachel. I, however, lowered my eyes and merely played with my food.
- What's the matter, Becky? – Asked Catherine, - Strawberry jam not to your taste?
- No, no, it's delicious, - I said quickly and started shoveling pancake into my mouth. A second later, I chocked, and after a coughing fit and lots of clapping on the back from Catherine, I gave up on eating anything else and just finished drinking my cup of coffee in total silence.
All of a sudden, I remembered that conversation with Catherine, when I first told her about Ted Pearson, the boyfriend I had back home. It might sound strange, but I really wished I hadn't said anything about it. Of course, I only touched the subject once, but I felt sure Catherine could remember it, because of how shocked she had been when I brought it up.