Dear Jin and Mama Sun
Saturdays Miss Quinn says we can do what we want. We can still work on skills if we want to but most of us just play on the playground. That is where Violet, Jilly and I were when Brianna came over and asked Violet and I to go with her. She took us to under the tree where Layla and Taryn were sitting.
“Welcome to the rich girls club,” said Layla with a smile on her face.
“Whoa, I’m not rich,” said Violet.
Brianna scoffed. “Whatever! Your parents are doctors! Your mom is a trauma surgeon. You’re rich, trust me!”
Violet sat down then still shaking her head, but I just stood there.
“Sit down Jade,” said Layla. I wasn’t feeling really good about it at all. But I did sit down.
“My family isn’t rich either,” I mumbled.
All the girls but Violet laughed. “Do you know anything about your family at all Jade. Geez you would think you had been living on some isolated island or something! See this,” then she pointed to her lips. “This lipstick was named after your mom. It’s a whole line of makeup called Maya. It’s purple, your mom’s favourite colour.” I looked at her confused. “I wish I had a computer to show you,” Brianna said.
“We’ve all done our makeup for the party. Now it is time to do yours,” said Taryn.
Violet leaned back with her hands up. “Whoa! I don’t think I want to wear makeup. I’m not a makeup wearing girl.”
I didn’t really know what makeup was. You never wear colours on your face Mama Sun. It did look pretty on Brianna and Layla.
Taryn stood up then and said she was going to get a juice. I guess she ran into Miss Quinn in the main house.
“Taryn? What is that on your face”
So Taryn told her about the new rich girls club. Next thing we knew Miss Quinn came to sit with us.
“What’s going on girls?” she asked.
Brianna told her we were putting on makeup to make us pretty for the party.
“I see,” Miss Quinn said. “I’m just curious. Why do you need to put makeup on to feel you are beautiful?”
“Rich people always wear makeup. We always dress in pretty clothes, and wear jewelry.”
“Really?” Miss Quinn said.
“You wouldn’t understand,” said Layla. “You aren’t rich like we are. But that’s okay.”
“Hmmm, so because I don’t wear makeup, wear jewelry or dress in fancy clothes, that is all you need to see to determine I have no money. Do I understand correctly?”
The older girls nodded. Violet and I just looked at one another. “Do you need to be rich to be happy as well?” Miss Quinn asked.
“Of course,” said Layla.
“Hmmmm. Well I must say I have learned a lot here today. I learned that because I am not rich, I can’t be beautiful or be happy. How sad I must be,” Miss Quinn said shaking her head and looking at the grass.
“I think you are very pretty Miss Quinn,” I said to her quietly.
“Awwww, thank you Jade. That is very kind of you. But you know what? I’m not all that concerned about being pretty or beautiful. However, I can tell you that I am very rich and very happy.”
“You are?” Brianna said not really believing her.
“Oh yes. I am so rich, I don’t think there is anything else in the world I could possibly want. You see, I have the best of friends. Loved ones I can always count on to be there when I need them no matter what. I get to be my own boss and do something I have always wanted to do. I get to spend time with children like you. To watch you grow your skills, teach you new things and watch you find that special thing to make you happy. I have this peaceful property, with my own pond. I feel so blessed and happier than you could ever imagine.”
“When I look at you girls, I don’t see the pretty girl with the button nose or the perfect hair. I see your heart, your kindness, your helpfulness to the other girls. I see your different types of humour. I never put labels on any of my girls. I don’t look at any of you and think -oh there is the smart girl, the pretty girl, the shy girl. See in this Simworld, we need to accept each other for all our differences. We are all perfect just the way we are and no amount of makeup or jewelry or fancy clothes or even money, makes one person better than the other.”
Everyone was quiet for a few moments. Then Miss Quinn asked, “Does that make sense to you?” I nodded and I know Violet did too, but I was too busy staring at Miss Quinn to notice the other girls.”Let’s go to the washroom to take that makeup off. How does that sound Brianna, Layla and Taryn?”
“There you are girls. I see you now.”
“Miss Quinn,” said Taryn. “You wear makeup.”
“You are right I do.” Then she washed her face too! “There. Clean face. Now shall the six of us go see what Mr. Huntley made for lunch, cause I’m starving!” I was hungry too, so I was happy it was finally lunch time.
A few hours later, Mr. Huntley had set up a dance floor and a food table for us to eat from. Erin said it was called a buffet table. I hope I spelled that right. We got to put on our fancy dresses we brought from home, then Miss Quinn put on some “pop” music. I didn’t know what that was, but it sounded good and was fun to dance to.
Miss Quinn said the party was a reward for all the hard work we had done all week. Erin stayed on the dance floor way after every one else had gotten tired.
I felt really bad for her Mama Sun, cause I knew she was worried about going home after not losing any weight and she had worked so hard. She didn’t eat any of the sweets, ate salad all the time and was always running around. I’m glad you aren’t like her mama. I can’t imagine being scared of you Mama Sun, like I think Erin is with her mommy.
Sunday morning we all sat under the tree to read our skill books while Miss Quinn got some stuff done around the camp. She said she had to do an inspection? I didn’t know what that meant. When I asked Violet, she said Miss Quinn had to make sure the camp was safe for us.
Then, after lunch she took us to a movie lot. We got to see a movie being filmed and some of the older girls got really excited seeing the actors. After the movie, she took us to see a movie called I Am A Carrot.
Taryn and Miss Quinn had an argument over the movie choice.
“Can’t we go see Love In The Mist or the Thunder Before The Dawn? This is such a baby movie!”
“No. No we can’t Taryn. There are girls here who are only five years old and neither of those movies would be appropriate for them. Nor you Taryn. You are only 8 years old, sweetie. Maybe we should have a talk about this need you have to grow up so fast!”
Violet was upset with Miss Quinn because she had pulled out her guitar to play for tips, but she had stopped her. “You are too young to be doing something like that and I don’t believe your parents would be happy with me if I let you.”
“But Miss Quinn, how else will I know if my playing is any good if I don’t get to play in public?”
But after that she stood by herself and pouted. I couldn’t get her to join the group.
She was wearing a dress too, which Violet never wears. I wondered if she had gotten dressed up just to play while we were in town. Violet never wears dresses! I wonder where she got the dress.
Miss Quinn declared it was too late to go back and cook, so she took us to the Cloverdale diner around the block. My first restaurant mama and Jin! I was nervous but I watched everyone else to know what to do in the diner and I had fun. By the time we got home, it was late so we all went to bed. It was dark when someone was whispering my name and shaking my shoulder.
“Jade, wake up,” Taryn said. Then I saw Brianna was waking up Violet too.
“C’mon,” they said.
“Where are we going?”
We ran to the back of the lot where the gate opens onto the beach.
“It’s so dang hot,” said Brianna. “We thought we would go swimming.”
I just stood there Jin. I didn’t know what to do. I was thinking about all the things you told me when teaching me to swim. The things to stay safe, like always swim with a grown up. I didn’t want to break the rule Jin, but they were really pushing me to go swimming.
“Brianna, I don’t think this is a good idea. Miss Quinn has very strict rules!” said Violet.
“Oh c’mon! Don’t you want to cool off. Besides Miss Quinn is TOO strict and all that mumbo jumbo about beauty and being rich but not actually rich……. Like whatever!”
“C’mon, it will be fun!” said Layla.
Taryn wasn’t talking. I thought she was thinking about whether this was a good idea too. I was surprised that Taryn was letting the girls tell her what to do.
Brianna and Layla ran towards the water then and Taryn walked slowly. She kept looking back at us, I think to see if we were going in the water too.
“I don’t know what to do,” said Violet. “I don’t want to get in trouble a third time.”
“I am not getting in the water. Jin said kids should always swim with an adult. So no way.”
“My parents say that too. Well mostly my dad, cause he is the one who takes me swimming. Should we leave?”
I just shrugged my shoulders. What we didn’t know is that Jilly had followed us and seen the whole thing. She ran into the main house and up into Miss Quinn’s room. We are only allowed to go into her room at night unless it is an emergency. So Jilly did the right thing.
She woke up Miss Quinn and told her what was going on.
(Jade and Violet changed into their everyday clothes before I caught it)
“Violet Friend what is going on here?!”
“Miss Quinn we were coming to tell you. We weren’t going into the water I promise!”
“We weren’t Miss Quinn, we promise.”
“I tried to talk them out of it but they wouldn’t listen,” said Violet. “We were afraid to leave in case something happened.”
Miss Quinn sighed. “Okay. Jade, Violet, go to bed. We will talk in the morning.”
The last thing we heard was,
“Girls, out of the water. NOW!”
Boy I was glad I wasn’t one of them!
I have so much more to tell you, but I really need to go to sleep. Tomorrow is a busy day at the camp. I will tell you all about what happened after that night in my next letter.