The oooodles of fun continues with nutcase Jean almost starting to show signs of cracking up! Nothing full-blown yet, but it's so much scarier when it's subtle as heck. Have fun, kiddos.
"Did I frighten you? Oh, I'm so sorry." Jean changed at the snap of a finger to a soft-spoken concerned friend. "P-please don't think I'm crazy or something. I'm like that sometimes."
And one of those sometimes you're going to kill me, thought May.
"That's why I need this secret garden, May. The people out there are so mean and nasty to me, not like everything in here. I was hoping you would learn to love this place as well, but apparently you don't."
Now May was making no attempts to mask her uneasiness at Jean. "Listen, we've both got problems."
"You mean I had problems. I never have any problems in the secret garden."
Suddenly the cerulean sky and bobbing leaves didn't seem just that. The beaming trees. The velvety grass. The rabbits and picnics and brooks and see-through streams...all of them could almost be taken straight out from story books and paintings.
"I thought you were having problems with Saras as well, you see, that's why I brought you here. But then you go and become friends with Saras, and she makes you think I'm the psycho around here. Kinda the story of my life, huh?"
"Don't be silly. I'm not friends with Saras. And even if I was, why would that bother you?"
"It shouldn't," Jean smiled sadly and shook her head. "But you know...I'm weird. Misha was like that too. First she was all buddy-buddy with me, hanging out together here four, five times a week. But once she became old like you, she didn't want to be friends any more. She became scared of me."
"Sometimes I wonder to myself - what does it take to have a friend that stays true to you? Everyone tells me to just be myself and I do that. Some others tell me to treat my friends well and I give them a whole perfect garden. And others tell me to be open and share each others' problems. I do that too. Remember me telling you about my parents' death?"
May nodded vaguely.
"But they all end up betraying me. How sad."
Her voice cracked a little. But still she was smiling sweetly as ever.
"I know what Saras told you about me, May. And I know what you're thinking about me. You think I don't know, but I do."