A Waltons Story
(The Waltons Fan Fiction)
By: Kristi N. Zanker
Disclaimer: All publicly recognized characters, settings, etc. are the property of Lorimar Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. I, in no way am associated with the owners, creators, or producers of The Waltons. No copyright infringement is intended.
John-Boy would know her red hair anywhere. It shone a deep, rich red in the sunlight. He could see her running toward him, then stopping to look around. In the sea of people who had just departed from the train, she seemed to be a tiny child who had lost her way.
This had been her first train ride and more so, her first train ride alone. John-Boy thought about the many phone conversations he had with his mother in the past months about Elizabeth visiting him. She had hemmed and hawed at the thought of her baby girl riding the train into the big, scary city by herself. Elizabeth had been so excited, but two nights before she was supposed to leave, nerves had gotten a hold of her.
John-Boy remembered what she had told him, how she had begged her father to use the phone and call long distance. On the phone, she cried to John-Boy how she didn’t want to come after all, didn’t want to ride on the train, and was scared to death of getting lost and being alone. It took him half an hour to console and coax Elizabeth, letting her know that everything was going to be fine. There would be people who would look after her on the train, and he would be waiting there for her when she arrived at the station. Now, he saw her two thick braids flopping on her shoulders as she ran toward him.
“John-Boy! John-Boy!” Elizabeth called.
“Elizabeth!” he said, as he picked her up and spun her around.
Elizabeth’s suitcase and feed sack bag fell out of her hands as the two of them hugged hello. Her checkered blue and white dress clung to her. Beads of sweat ran down her face. She ran her hand across her forehead.
“It’s as hot here as it is at home!” she said.
“Oh, I know. We have three fans, so our apartment is fairly cool. Maybe we can see a movie while you are here. The movie house is really cold. They have fans blowing on large blocks of ice.”
“I’ll bet it’s nice there. I’ve never been to a movie house.” she smiled at him.
“Well, we better get to Daisy and Melissa. They’re waiting for you.”
John-Boy picked up her suitcase and
as he went to reach for her bag, she stopped him and said she’d carry
it. They weaved in and out of the people at the station and made their way to
the street. He asked her how the train ride was. Elizabeth said it was fine.
She enjoyed the scenery and played games with the other children on board.
“Now, that you’ve been on a train, you’re going to have a first at riding on a streetcar,” John-Boy said.
They heard a loud clanging sound as the streetcar slithered it’s way to them. Both waited for passengers to exit. John-Boy took out a dime and told the conductor it was for him and her sister. The dime made a satisfied thunk as it fell into the coin box. He and Elizabeth found an empty seat near the back.
“How’s your baby?” Elizabeth asked.
John-Boy smiled at the words your
baby and said, “Oh, the baby’s doing fine, as far as we know. She
or he is getting bigger each day.”
Just then, the streetcar jerked forward at such a force that they nearly fell off the seat. It had come to an abrupt halt. The conductor began to shout. John-Boy could feel Elizabeth tense up. She gave him a wide-eyed look that said, “What’s going on?”
“Hey, you kids! Get off there! You ain’t ridin’ for free. Get off or I’ll call the police!” the conductor yelled. He threw up his hands and then muttered, “Juvenile delinquents!” It was loud enough for most of the streetcar to hear.
John-Boy heard laughter behind him. He and Elizabeth craned their necks to see three teenage boys running away from the streetcar, only to turn around and give the conductor a rude gesture. One of the boys had a cigarette in his right hand. They laughed and then ran down the street.
The streetcar neared where they needed to get off. They got off after the trolley came to an abrupt stop. As they started to walk to the apartment building, John-Boy watched as Elizabeth looked around at the city in amazement. He smiled and put his arm around his little sister. She then looked up to him.
“I’m happy to have you here, honey,” he said. “I’m so glad you changed your mind about visiting.”
“Me too,” said Elizabeth. “I miss Mama and Daddy, but I miss you too.”
The two of them rounded the corner and were on the street where John-Boy lived.
“John-Boy this is really something,
it’s so different than the mountain,” said Elizabeth
“I know, that’s the way I felt when I first came to New York City. You remember when I left to find out about my book?”
“Anyway, I have so much to show you while you’re here.”
They walked arm and arm up the stoop to the building and their apartment. John-Boy saw Daisy sitting on the couch, holding green and yellow scraps that would soon look like a baby sweater.
“Elizabeth!” she said and
held out her arms to give her a big hug.
“I’m so happy to see you and I know some one else is glad you’re here too,” she said, patting Melissa, who sat next to her mother on the couch, on the head.
“Honey, I am going to put your things in Melissa's room,” said John-Boy.
“Okay,” said Elizabeth.
He dropped the baggage off and then came back into the living room.
“Are you hungry or anything?” Daisy asked.
“Not right now,” the red-head replied.
”Well good, you can save your
appetite. I made a roast for dinner to celebrate your visit.”
“Oh, thank you! That’s one of my favorites!”
“John-Boy, bring me to the park!” said Melissa. “Elizabeth can come too!”
“Melissa, Elizabeth just got here give her some time to get settled. We can go later,” said John-Boy.
“I don’t mind. Is it far from here?” asked Elizabeth.
“No, it is a couple of blocks away,” said Daisy.
“Then let’s go, I want to see some grass in New York City,” Elizabeth laughed.
“Okay honey, if you’re
not too tired, but before I do anything else I promised Mama and Daddy I’d
call them so they would know you arrived safely,” said John-Boy, heading
over to the phone that sat on a stand in the hallway.
“Daisy, is it okay if I have something to drink?” asked Elizabeth, as John-Boy reached Waltons Mountain.
“Of course! Would you like some lemonade?”
“Sure,” she said. “Thank you.”
“Elizabeth,” Daisy said as she handed her the glass of lemonade. “You’re not a guest, you’re part of the family. Make yourself at home.”
She politely thanked Daisy again as
John-Boy came back into the living room and asked for glass of lemonade as well.
The three of them returned from their outing at the park to find the table set. Daisy and Millie brought food to the table and they all sat down. John-Boy told Daisy she had outdone herself with this meal. He enjoyed it so much that John-Boy felt he was home again.
After dinner Daisy surprised every one, including Elizabeth, with applesauce cake. She told John-Boy that she had called his mother up, asking for the recipe. When dessert was over, they went into the living room. It was almost like being home again. Between the stress of losing Grandpa and the transition of getting married, it was a lot to adjust to in a short period of time. It was good for him to unwind and be with his family and friends; it was great to have Elizabeth with them.
They sat around telling each other stories of times on the mountain and listening to Millie who had a captive audience. Elizabeth filled John-Boy in about everyone else and what was going on Waltons Mountain.
One Friday, about a month after Elizabeth
arrived, John-Boy was writing in his journal at the kitchen table. It was almost
eleven o’clock. Elizabeth sat on her makeshift “bed” on the
couch and read. While writing about the week, he heard her get up and head to
the bathroom. A few minutes later, she came back down the hall. He turned his
head to see Elizabeth standing there, looking sheepish.
“Elizabeth, is everything okay?” John-Boy asked.
“Yeah, everything’s fine,” she replied.
“For a minute there I thought you were Daisy.”
“No…it’s just…oh, never mind,” she stammered.
“You feel alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“You don’t sound fine. Why don’t you sit here with me? It’ll be like old times.”
“Only, you won’t be carrying me to bed.”
John-Boy laughed, remembering years back of all the times he used to put Elizabeth to bed. She sat in the chair next to him.
“I’m worried about Daisy,” she said.
“I know, I am too. I tell her to rest, but she won’t listen.”
“I know she promised to take me to the Automat, but if we can’t go, it’s okay. She needs her rest. I can tell.”
“No, we’ll get you there. It’s something that’s not on Waltons Mountain and I would like you to see it. Now, are you sure everything’s okay?”
“I guess so. I’m having a good time, John-Boy. I guess I’m just a little homesick.”
John-Boy remembered a few nights during the first week she was here. He would be writing in the bedroom while Elizabeth slept on the couch. There were a few nights he got up to get a drink, and he heard Elizabeth quietly crying. He would ask her what was wrong, and she would say nothing. He then asked her if she was homesick, and she had nodded. John-Boy could tell something else was bothering her.
She then told him she felt confused about being a grown-up and wanting to still be a child. With her head down, to hide her embarrassment, she told John-Boy that before she came to New York, Mama had told her she had become a woman. She had begun to menstruate. She said Mama had explained how that was God’s way of telling you that you were a woman. Elizabeth went on to say that she hated it, and wanted to go back to being a child for she wasn’t quite ready to grow up yet.
But this “blessing” as Olivia had called it, had happened and there was no turning back the clock. Elizabeth said her mother had told her that Mary Ellen and Erin went through the same thing, every woman did each month. She had explained that this should not be spoken to anyone, that it was a private thing. Elizabeth went on, confessing to John-Boy, that after Mama explained everything, she was too afraid to go to Ike’s and get the things she needed. She had Mary Ellen go instead. When Mary Ellen went inside, Elizabeth waited outside of the store, embarrassed for she thought everyone must know she had it. Mary Ellen was so brave; after all, she was a nurse and had seen a lot. It didn’t bother her one bit to go into the store and buy those products for her. Elizabeth then told him not to tell anyone. She then asked if Daisy could pick up things for her. John-Boy said he’d ask her, but she would need to learn to do this by herself eventually.
“Are you sure you’re feeling alright? Is it…uh, that time for you again?”
Elizabeth bent her head, like she had before and slowly nodded.
“I hate it,” she said. “You’re so lucky. You, Ben, Jim-Bob, and Jason don’t have to do this. I wish I were a boy right now.”
“It’s not funny.”
“I know, I’m sorry, honey. Remember what Mama told you? Every woman has this…even your favorite movie actresses. It’s a part of growing up. And when you’re older you’ll find someone and fall in love, then get married and have children.”
“I don’t know about that.”
“Well, when the time comes, you’ll know.”
He gave her a pat on the back.
“Just let me know when you want me out of here so you can go to sleep.”
“Okay, but I like being here with you. Like you said, it’s like old times. When talking with you, I don’t feel homesick anymore. Maybe tomorrow, if Daisy is feeling well, we can all go to the Automat.”
“We’ll see. If she is too tired, I can take you there with Melissa.”
John-Boy watched as Elizabeth got up from the table and retrieved her book from the couch. She sat back down next to him and read while he wrote some more in his tablet. By eleven-thirty, John-Boy shut his journal and announced he was going to bed. Elizabeth closed her book and agreed.
“Thanks for talking with me, John-Boy. I mean it, I really feel better now.”
“I’m glad to hear that. Goodnight, Elizabeth.”
“Good night, John-Boy. See you tomorrow morning.”
Copyright © 2011 by Kristi N. Zanker
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