Chapter 5.12: Dear Diary, The Whole Enchilada

by Kymber
48 comments

Dear Diary, farming is not easy work and now I know why my mother decided to do something completely different with her life. When I first arrived in Winchester, I was quite enchanted by life here and I still kind of am. There is a quiet satisfaction in knowing you’ve put in a hard days’ work caring for the animals and land, feeding your family and the community. It’s just not for me.

I figure that was already a no-brainer, I just thought I’d put it out there anyway. I respect everything about this way of life. I even think I’d like to come back here to visit my extended family. My grandparents are wonderful people who love each other more than I’ve ever seen anyone love. In fact, when they think I’m not looking, they still exchange what I’d call googly eyes. Can you believe it? Is this kind of dedication and affection available to everyone or does it only happen for special people like them? I don’t think I’ve ever looked at anyone that way before.

If anything, though, I admire my mom even more than ever because she grew up here, not knowing much about the outside world. Even so, she had the guts to venture out on her own without a single person holding her hand. I’ve read her part of the diary and she had such big dreams and aspirations. I hope I’ve inherited some of her adventurous spirit.

Ellie was over a lot to help out with the chores since my Uncle Charles and his family were away. I learned that Uncle Charles would be taking over the farm once Grandpa decided to retire. Grandpa was pretty strong for his age but he told me he felt good that his son Charles would carry on what he and Grandma began. It seemed to me like every bit of this place was a part of them and I couldn’t imagine them anywhere else.

“They remind me of big dogs,” Ellie said, speaking about the cows.

We’d just shared the chore of milking them which is something she taught me to do. And, that’s a whole other story that maybe someday I will write down. Suffice it to say the first cow hated me so much, I’m hugely uncomfortable with this particular chore.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, when they’re in the field, sometimes I like to throw a big ball out there. They play with it like dogs. They’re really smart, too.”

“I think you’re smart,” I said genuinely.

She smiled and I liked that my compliment didn’t embarrass her. She accepted it as truth because she was confident enough to know that it was.

“C’mere, Buddy,” she said, kneeling down to pet Grandma’s Beagle.

“He’s cute but he kind of smells.”

“That’s how hounds smell. It’s a chemical reaction that is delivered through their hair follicles via their body oils.”

This girl. “I’m amazed you know that.”

“Don’t be,” she laughed. “I am really interested in science and animals.”

When I looked into Buddy’s eyes, I found myself ignoring how he smelled. He was so adorable and sweet.

“Haven’t you ever had a dog?” Ellie asked, scooping the little guy up into her arms.

“I wanted one when I was a kid, but our family traveled so much, it never worked out.”

“How sad.”

Was that sad? I wondered. Perhaps the energy I would have put into a dog went into my dancing. I’ll have to think more on that another time because I’ve found if I don’t pay attention to her, Ellie will have already said a thousand things I could have learned from her.

The best thing about Ellie, though, was that she was easy to be around. There were no strange demands or expectations. She didn’t care how accomplished I was or even that I knew less about things than she did. I felt like she wanted to spend time with me just because she enjoyed being my friend.

“There you are!” she said with a smile one day. “I was working in Leo and Wilda’s garden when I saw you jogging by. Isn’t that hard to do in this heat?”

Shrugging a little, I smiled back at her. “Have a seat if you have time. I jog every day at home, rain or shine, although sometimes, like if it’s really muddy outside, I use the treadmill.”

“I’ve seen you doing something else, too. It’s not yoga.”

“Pilates,” I grinned. “It probably looked really weird.”

“Umm, you’re very… flexible.”

Whenever she laughed, it was expressive, straight from her belly. It was contagious, too. I must’ve smiled and laughed more with her than I had in my whole life.

“For me, that’s the point in doing it.”

“I know you told me you dance in a ballet company professionally, I just never realized all the things you have to do to stay in your field.”

“Not just to stay in my field but to be the best.”

“It sounds very competitive.”

“It is. No matter what you do, I think there is always someone better than you and worse than you. But you have to strive to be the best in order to become a principal dancer and stay there.” I decided to change gears. “What is it about you? I mean, I’ve met a few people here on the island and you seem different to me.”

At first, a frown seemed to barely just touch her lips, then she smiled again. It was as if no matter how she tried, she couldn’t be sad for herself. “Well, to make the story short, I didn’t grow up in Winchester. I lived with my parents on the mainland. They were good people and we were happy like any other family.”

“Did they…”

She nodded. “Yes, they died when I was fourteen. Our house caught fire. My father and I got out of the house. He died after he ran back in to find my mother. Later, I found out it was some kind of electrical problem.”

I was speechless. When I compared my life to hers… well, there was just nothing at all for me to be sad about. Ever.

“How are you not destroyed by that?”

“I was destroyed, believe me. I couldn’t get out of bed and my heart ached so badly. I even wondered if life was worth living.”

I took her hand as she spoke. It seemed she was trying to hold back the emotion she felt from telling me about this awful time in her life, but I could feel the grief and despair coming off of her.

“What changed?” I asked quietly.

She was silent for what seemed ages. “Nothing for a long time. What made it worse was that I was a minor with no family to go to. I was sent to a juvenile facility… it was awful. I can’t even describe how much I hated it there. It felt like all the kids around me were angry or just as depressed as I was. It wasn’t until I came here, though, to this peaceful, unhurried life that I began to heal. I know Leo and Wilda were worried about me because I overheard them one night talking about how quiet and withdrawn I was. They were kind and patient, yet I couldn’t make myself do anything worthwhile. If I was able to get out of bed, I sat on the porch trying not to think about how my life was over.”

“That sounds miserable.”

“It was. After a time, they brought me to your Uncle Laurent who is known as a healer here. He was able to treat my depression with some herbs. It helped a little but my big turn around happened when Leo and Wilda began giving me chores to do. I wasn’t their only orphan, there were several children there. I miss my parents with all my heart. But in the end, what I really want is to become someone they would have been proud of.”

“I don’t think you have to worry about that. I just met you and I’m proud of you.”

She rewarded me with that hilariously joy-filled laugh I was beginning to love.

One evening, Grandpa and I bedded down the horses which meant putting the bed back down, arranging the banks and plaiting the straw behind the door so it wouldn’t be trailed all over the yard. Before bedding down, though, we had to muck out the stalls. I didn’t like that part very much but Grandpa and I got it done pretty fast.

I found I liked the horses a lot, but what I loved, even more, was working with Grandpa. He was kind of quiet, a man of few words. We had a pleasant time together regardless of that, however.

“Is this what you always wanted to do with your life?” I asked him.

He nodded. “I can’t imagine any other life, nor do I want to. I was just lucky your grandma wanted this life, too. For a time, I thought she might want to return to ‘busy life.'”

This gave me some interesting things to think on. “I read how you and grandma went to Monte Vista and stayed with all of your kids there.”

“Oh, yes,” he said, his eyes lighting up at the memory.

“You and grandma talked about staying there, didn’t you?”

“Why yes, I believe we did.”

“I remember reading how you would have given up everything you loved to make grandma happy because she wanted to stay there.”

“You are partly right, Son. You see, it’s true that I love it here and don’t really know any different. I do love this farm. But your grandma… well, she rings my bell in a way nothing or no one else can. Compared to your grandma’s happiness, this place means absolutely nothing.”

Wow. Now, that was love! Where could I get some of that? is what I wanted to know.

Of course, I couldn’t ask my grandpa. That would just be weird.

“If it was up to your grandma, you’d stay here forever and marry that little Ellie-gal.”

My eyes widened and I coughed from swallowing wrong.

“You all right?”

“Uh, yeah.”

We climbed the ladder to the loft and I began working on the hay. It had a peculiar aroma that I found kind of sweet and wild. It also made me sneeze.

“Has Grandma always been a matchmaker?” I asked between moving pitchforks full of the allergy inducing stuff.

Grandpa chuckled before answering. “Ever since I’ve known her. I would never tell you what to do. She would, but not me.”

“I feel like there’s a ‘but’ in there somewhere.”

“Well, you might do well to listen to her. She’s never wrong.”

I couldn’t believe that. Well, maybe that was true here on the island, but how could she be right about me when she hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t know any of the other people I knew? I just had a hard time believing grandma knew what was best for me in that department.

Of course, I thought as I stared at the pitchfork in my hands, I hadn’t done very well relying on myself in the love department.

As I turned to ask him more about this, we heard Grandma shouting up at us from downstairs.

Old man! I cannot believe you went up that ladder! Get yourself down here at once before you break your neck!”

Grandpa and I shared a smirk, then he shrugged helplessly and headed for the ladder.

After supper, Ellie came by again but this time, we stayed indoors. My grandparents decided to take a walk while Ellie and I visited in what Grandma called ‘the parlor.’ 

“Are you sure that’s Grandma and not Aunt Susan?” I asked as Ellie and I stared at the painting on the wall.

In a quiet voice, full of wonder, Ellie said, “Oh, it’s your grandma all right. No question about it. Years ago, when she was a teenager and new on the island, she met Dax St. Cyr. From what I’ve heard, he was a troubled individual but he had a fascination for her. He even restored her back to health after she collapsed with fever, never leaving her side for even one minute.”

During her recitation, her voice had become almost dreamy sounding and I found myself being sucked into the story the way she told it. You see, I already knew about Dax St. Cyr and how grandma had happened upon Winchester. It was much more romantic hearing Ellie’s version, I’ll admit.

“Sounds like a lot of men fell in love with Grandma.”

I turned to stare at her as she continued gazing at the portrait and going on with her story. “Oh, but they did. Not only Dax but his older brother Elliot and Matthieu, too. Anyway, Dax was the first to meet her when she came to the island. And she was feverish. When she collapsed, he carried her to his room and bathed her febrile forehead with a cool cloth. Isn’t it the most romantical thing you’ve ever heard?”

“Yeah.” At least the way she told it, it was.

Turning to face me, she said, “That’s the kind of love I want.”

“You want to get sick?” I joked.

“No! I just want something so romantic, it sweeps me right off my feet and takes my breath away!”

“How do you know it will happen?”

As she looked at me, I got lost in her baby blues and the pure look of hope on her face.

“Because I have faith, Holden. Someday, something wonderful will happen and I’ll know it’s meant to be.”

Her sincerity nearly swept me off my own feet, but I controlled myself. The last thing I would ever do is allow myself to get overly involved in a girl I’d just met. I was leaving soon and then what would happen? No, Grandma was definitely wrong about this one.

“You know what?”

“What?” she smiled.

“I have faith it will turn out just as you hope. You’ll have the full enchilada and live happily ever after.”

Instead of asking me what an enchilada was, she rushed into my arms, hugging me tightly. She was a tiny thing, but her spindly little arms nearly took my breath away. Her light blonde hair smelled like the salty ocean wind and faintly of flowers.  Of course, I embraced her back but not as tightly since I was afraid she might break in half like a twig if I did.

“It will be that way for you, too,” she whispered in my ear. “I just know it.”

Author’s Note: Thank you again, Jowita for that awesome portrait of Blue you made for me. I’m so tickled I got to use it in the story again!

As always, thank you for reading,

48 comments

bmitjessesue July 21, 2018 - 11:24 am

Oh It’s so good to see the farm and the family again. I really enjoyed this part of the story back then. I had forgotten all the men had become enamoured with Blue. You had us all guessing who it would be. I love this world so much, I wish we could stay there for the rest of the generation, but……

Ellie is such a kind soul. You write her beautifully.

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 11:29 am

Thank you, Bee. I really loved Winchester, too, because it was so different to write. I’m really glad you like how I’m writing Ellie. I already love her addition to the story.

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NotJustaBook July 21, 2018 - 11:55 am

Well, now I’m starting to wonder if there could be something between Holden and Ellie. Ha, ha. They certainly have chemistry 🙂 Though I think Blue’s wrong about him staying in Winchester. That definitely wouldn’t work out 😛
This was such a cute, relaxing chapter to read. Sometimes it’s just nice to slow down and let characters get to know each other. It was a lovely read. Thanks for sharing, Kym 🙂

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 12:10 pm

Thank you, Louise. 🙂 I think Holden and Ellie have a nice chemistry, too. And I agree about Blue being wrong about him settling down in Winchester. I don’t think he could handle that. lol

I’m glad you liked the chapter. Holden definitely deserved a change of pace in my mind. lol

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Marjorie Flo Watts July 21, 2018 - 11:59 am

So Blue knows best – that makes for a very interesting story line! Ellie is so sweet and naive (or seems that way, anyway), I just hope she doesn’t get hurt. I don’t think Holden would deliberately hurt her in any way, he is sort of in awe of her and all her knowledge about things he never thought about. I hope he gets a chance to dance for her, I’m sure she would be amazed. Your story has taken an interesting turn (as always!!), and now the waiting begins! (sigh) Thank you for this lovely chapter! ♥

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 12:12 pm

Thank you, Marj 🙂 I think Ellie is everything you said. I wouldn’t want her to get hurt either, especially after everything she’s been through with losing her parents, etc. You’re right that Holden wouldn’t deliberately hurt her. Oh, yes! He needs to dance for her! Good thought!

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cathytea July 21, 2018 - 12:04 pm

Maybe my favorite chapter yet? Holden’s description of the scent of hay is the best! And I do love a smart romantic girl!

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 12:13 pm

Wow, thank you, CT! 🙂 I had to add the sneezing in there to show he really doesn’t belong in Winchester but it’s a nice change of pace for him. lol

I love a smart, romantic girl, too.

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socallucyfan July 21, 2018 - 2:58 pm

Awe, what a sweet chapter. It is so great to see Winchester and the farm again. I remember Blue’s generation, but hearing it being told by Ellie just makes it sound even more romantic. <3 <3
There is definitely chemistry between these two. But they come from two different worlds. I can’t see Holden leaving his life on the mainland any more than I can see Ellie leaving Winchester.
But for now let’s enjoy the sweet chapter and the summer romance. <3

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 3:16 pm

Thank you! 🙂 Ellie knows how to spin a tale, I’ll you what. LOL It’s that romantic side of her that gets carried away.

The chemistry is there, for sure. I definitely cannot see Holden staying in Winchester. Perhaps Ellie could leave since she’s only been in Winchester since she was 14. But, she obviously loves it there, so I don’t know. It would be hard.

I love that you called it a summer romance. <3 <3

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socallucyfan July 21, 2018 - 5:14 pm

Well, it is currently 110 degrees outside, so to me it is a summer romance. <3 <3

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 6:46 pm

Holy moly! That’s crazy. lol We get up to the 90s but right now we’re at 75 and rainy.

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socallucyfan July 22, 2018 - 3:11 pm

That’s life in the desert. 🙂 But at least it is a dry heat.
You can also compare the romance to summer in the fact that it gets really hot really quickly, then cools down just as fast.

Kymber July 22, 2018 - 8:08 pm

This is true. I think summer romances are awesome. 😀

Here, we have a humid heat. Sometimes the air feels really heavy.

loladiamond01 July 21, 2018 - 3:43 pm

Oh well, Holden’s falling for Ellie and hard. What really is the sweetest in this chapter is Blue and Matt’s relationship. They’re an old couple, but so in love.
I don’t know how it’d work out for Holden and Ellie, but who knows… One things is for sure: he wouldn’t give up ballet to stay in Winchester. No way!
I’m so glad you enjoy this painting. Gosh, it feels like ages ago that I made it and I almost forgot that I did. My skills with painting making are probably as lame as my pose-making skills, lol. I’m not very crafty. But glad you enjoy it, anyway!

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 4:00 pm

Thank you, Jowita 🙂 You’re so right! I think Holden is falling for Ellie. It’s so easy for him to let go and fall in love, I think. What he needs to figure out is if this is any different than any other time he’s felt that way.

I love Blue and Matt’s relationship so much, too. They really built a good life together and I cringe at the thought of losing them.

You are definitely right that Holden could never give up the ballet. Even if he did, I don’t think he would make it for long in Winchester. haha I just can’t see making that his home. It was perfect for Blue because she wanted out of the limelight and she wanted a simpler life. Holden… well, he’s chasing the limelight.

I love that painting so darn much! 😀 I don’t think it’s lame at all. Your poses look good to me, too. You’re very adventurous to jump into poses and the like. 😀

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loladiamond01 July 21, 2018 - 4:03 pm

Maybe they’re not that lame, but I’m not satisfied with them and I keep tweaking and tweaking, and tweaking… I’m afraid I’ll never get them done!

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 4:43 pm

I think in no time, you will have it completely down and they’ll be everything you want them to be. I have faith in your perseverance and talent. 🙂

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loladiamond01 July 21, 2018 - 5:09 pm

Why are you always so sweet? <3

Kymber July 21, 2018 - 6:45 pm

Well, I don’t know. LOL 😛 I just call things as I see them 😀

Lila Remonn July 21, 2018 - 8:35 pm

I’m falling in love with Ellie (and I suspect Holden is too). She has this really genuine, honest and pure aura that is refreshing after all the crap Holden went through in the Ella, Julie, Fletcher and Myung situation. I love that she’s intelligent as well. It’s sad she had to go through such pain when she was younger, but clearly she has pulled through and still has a positive outlook on the world. I really want to see her romantic dream come to life!
Lovely chapter 🙂

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Kymber July 21, 2018 - 9:32 pm

Thank you, Lila! 🙂 I think you’re right about Holden. he’s been learning a lot on this trip. And, the best thing, as you said, is that she is crap-free. LOL I think Holden could use some of that about now.

Either way, I would like to see her romantic dream come true, too. 🙂

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Jes2G July 22, 2018 - 11:59 am

“I don’t think I’ve ever looked at anyone that way before.”
Nope! You sure haven’t! So, can we forget about Fletcher now?? 😀

“Old man! I cannot believe you went up that ladder! Get yourself down here at once before you break your neck!”
LOL Elder Blue is still spicy I see lol.

Ellie is cute like a little puppy lol. And Holden is chasing her around like an idiot (idiot in the clueless, endearing way, of course lol). At least we know she wants to get swept off her feet so it won’t be weird when she decides to run away with him soon LOL.

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Kymber July 22, 2018 - 8:04 pm

Thank you so much. 🙂 LOL I love that, “Can we forget about Fletcher now?”

Elder Blue is definitely spicy! I wonder, though, what would happen if Matthieu ever called her “old woman?” haha

I think Ellie is cute, too. I like how you said Holden is chasing her around and your description of “idiot.” LOL It’s all so true. Run away with Holden? Oooooh, we will see. 😀 😀

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Jes2G July 22, 2018 - 8:13 pm

Oh, it that island would implode if Matthieu ever called her old woman!

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Kymber July 22, 2018 - 9:40 pm

LOLOL I do believe you’re right! 😀

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audreyfld July 22, 2018 - 12:51 pm

It was fun seeing the farm again. I wonder if somehow those two will wind up together. Maybe they will take Ellie to see a performance. And the rest will be history! ❤️

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Kymber July 22, 2018 - 8:06 pm

Thank you, Audrey. 🙂 I’m glad you liked seeing the farm again. I enjoyed going there, too. I agree that Ellie needs to see a performance! That would be great! <3

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audreyfld July 22, 2018 - 11:42 pm

I hope she does…. <3 If he won’t get Julie, then maybe Ellie….

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Kymber July 23, 2018 - 6:38 am

You never know. 😀

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Simsered July 22, 2018 - 9:32 pm

It’s interesting to see Holden working on his grandparents farm in Winchester since I never would have pictured him, a dancer, working on a farm lol. Ellie is so kind and beautiful, but it is obvious nothing could or should happen between herself and Holden. She is happy in Winchester, and I don’t see Holden giving up his career to live there. Though if their love became as strong as Blue and Matt’s anything is possible! For the time being though I see it ending in heartbreak.

Sorry I’ve been so absent on your posts! Life is crazy at the moment, but I always make time to read them even if it takes me awhile to leave a comment lol. ❤️

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Kymber July 22, 2018 - 9:46 pm

Thank you so much. 🙂 It was weird seeing him doing farm work, true. lol I imagine he felt he should chip in.

I love Ellie a lot. You’re right in that it would have to be very special circumstances for anything to work out between Ellie and Holden. He definitely would not ever give up his career and if he did, I really can’t see him living in a place like Winchester.

No worries about that. 🙂 I’m just so glad you’re back! 🙂 Thank you so much for including this story in your busy life. <3 <3

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raymondsanti July 23, 2018 - 2:53 am

Awwwwwww Ellie is a cute, strong girl. I think her and Holden would complement each other well… Wink wink, Blue is never wrong 🙂 Blue and Matt have a fantastic relationship, even well into old age, and I think Holden would do well to take some pointers from them.

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Kymber July 23, 2018 - 6:47 am

Thank you 🙂 I love your entire comment because it’s all so true. lol Holden definitely needs to take some notes from Blue and Matt. LOL

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Rosie Sims July 23, 2018 - 12:33 pm

It makes me feel old to hear Blue’s story from her grandchildren’s perspective. Blue’s generation was ongoing when I found this blog. Oh, the memories! Now here we are, on generation five and love is blossoming on Winchester once more. I think Hodlen should listen to his granny. She really does know her stuff. 😉

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Kymber July 23, 2018 - 2:06 pm

Thank you, Rosie! 🙂 These characters lives fly by too fast, I think. lol I’m so glad you found this blog and stuck around. I really enjoy your feedback. 😀 It’s kind of fun for me being back in Winchester again. I didn’t realize I missed it until Holden came here. You just might be right that he should listen to his granny. 😀 Blue really was never wrong about that sort of thing. haha

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lisabeesims July 23, 2018 - 7:27 pm

I love the farm but somehow it just cracks me up knowing that Holden is on the farm trying to help. I agree with “grandma” But I am cautious about the Ellie ship yet 😁. It’s a cute little ship but even cute little ships have been known to sink

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heatherfeather19 July 25, 2018 - 11:39 pm

Hmm, Ellie and Holden could make a great couple if their situation were different. I think they are attracted to each other, but underneath that they both know that they belong in separate worlds and won’t pursue anything romantic. At least that’s what I felt from the last scene.

I love Matthieu. And Blue Knows Best would be a good sitcom name. 😀

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Kymber July 26, 2018 - 6:35 pm

Thank you, Heather. I think you’re right regarding any kind of romance between Holden and Ellie.

“Blue Knows Best!” I love that sitcom name! lol

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Simsophonique July 27, 2018 - 5:01 pm

Maybe Ellie isn’t the good choice to marry but she has the knack for cheering Holden up and make him convinced he’s more than a genitor or somebody to play with.

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Kymber July 27, 2018 - 5:48 pm

Thank you 🙂 I think you’re right about that. I think she treats him like someone who’s fun to be around. It’s a nice summer friendship.

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Simsophonique July 27, 2018 - 5:56 pm

Sometimes you meet people who give you confidence back again at you because they just believe in you. They are like a temporary guide. Ellie sounds like one of them.
Yes I think their friendships are sincere and it’ll probably last, as Julie and Holden one.

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Kymber July 27, 2018 - 8:16 pm

I think you’re right about it.

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Simsophonique July 28, 2018 - 10:11 am

I don’t know but non Western cultures could got a key to understand the world.

sempreviva July 29, 2018 - 6:43 am

This chapter was so awesome and sweet! <3 And I love Ellie! She’s so positive – despite all the horrible things that happened to her – , so romantic, optimistic and full of life..! Oh, and sooo pretty 💕
I might have to agree with Blue here, I can totally see Holden with her, I think she will be able to balance out his more realistic, cold and kind of jaded way he sees the world.
But he is a city boy to the core and I don’t think he would be happy if he had to stay in Winchester forever… maybe Ellie would be willing to give her way of life up? Or find each other somewhere in the middle?
I loved the part where Holden talked with Matt… and how he described the – still strong – relationship between his grandparents… I had really missed them and their awesome farm! <3
That was such a beautiful chapter – and I hope we will be seeing much more of Ellie in the future! 😉 <3

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Kymber July 30, 2018 - 5:05 am

I’m so glad you liked this chapter. 🙂 And I’m glad you like Ellie, too. You’re right about how positive she is; I think being in Winchester really helped her heal.

Blue just might be right. <3 I think they’d make a really nice couple, too, if they could work it out. I really like how you described Holden’s personality, too.

I had really missed Matt and Blue and the farm, too. I didn’t realize how much until I went back.

I think perhaps you can count on seeing Ellie again, but we’ll see.

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Violincat July 30, 2018 - 5:57 am

Ellie is really sweet. It sucks that she had to go through all that, but she seems to be doing really well now. And is a good friend.
I don’t know if shipping them is a good idea. They are in very different places in their lives.

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Kymber July 30, 2018 - 11:59 am

Thank you, Violincat. 🙂 I’m glad you like Ellie. It definitely would take some doing to get these together.

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