Chapter 5. Will You Miss Me?

 

On our last whole day and the very last day of school, Miss Jessup said anyone who wanted to could make a card for me. While she was passing out the paper, Henry said:


“What will Libby do?”


“She can draw or write whatever she wants.”


I decided to make a good-bye card for the class. I wondered how many people would make cards for me. I could tell that they were all coloring by the way their arms were moving. But even though I could see some of the drawings, I didn't know if they were cards for me. Even when they were done, I didn't know, because Miss Jessup collected them all:

“I'll give them to you at the end of the day, Libby,”she said.


So I had to wait until we had put our chairs up and were standing on line, waiting for the bell. And then, finally, when we were walking out, she gave me a stack of cards - a thick stack.It felt like most people had made me one!

I flipped through them: I could tell right away that lots of the girls had. There were little pictures, all colored in. They had put their addresses on the back (Miss Jessup told them to do
that) and “Love,“ after the messages and before their names. I was surprised that the girls liked me so much! Or maybe that's just how girls write?


I counted the cards: twenty. But there were twenty kids in the class. Could she have put my card in the pile by mistake? Or had I made a mistake counting?


I looked through more carefully and saw that even Miss Jessup had made a card! Hers didn't have a picture, just the school's address in small, neat handwriting. Inside, she had written:

“Dear Libby,
Your English school will be different, and perhaps difficult. You have a good mind and many abilities: use them. Try your best, even in those subjects that do not appeal to you. And remember that while you are in a foreign land, you are a representative of America. You may, perhaps, be the only American your teachers and schoolmates will ever meet. Make your behavior embody the ideals that have made Americans throughout history proud of themselves and of our country.
With best wishes,
Minerva Jessup.”


That was nice of her!


Henry had drawn a picture of a boat with LIBERTY in big letters on the side.. Inside, he'd written:


“Libby
I will see you in six months. Write to me as soon as you get there and I will write back.
Your friend,
Henry Hart”


Well, no BOY would sign a card “love.” I wouldn't either!


I counted the cards again. This time, too, it came out to 20 - so everyone had made one. I was reading them all in order when Henry came running up.


“Look.”He held out a fortune-catcher - but I couldn't choose anything, because the four squares at the top were blank.

Then he opened it and inside I read:

He closed it - (fortune-catchers always look like little mouths closing and opening to me) - and when he opened it the other way it said:

“Yes,“ I said out loud. “I'll miss you a lot.”

We looked at each other without saying anything and then he ran across the street. After he crossed he turned around and waved and I waved back as hard as I could. I really, really like Henry.

I would miss him - but it was good that he would miss me, too. I looked at his card again, and decided to put it, and the fortune-catcher, inside Grimm's Fairy Tales, so they wouldn't get ripped on the voyage.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blow Out the Moon is in many libraries and some bookstores. If you see it with only its spine showing, please turn it face out so people will see it! Thank you. It's also online at amazon.

Blow Out the Moon (former title There and Back Again) copyright 1999, 2000 Libby Koponen. All rights reserved. The pictures of ocean li ners are from the collection of Kevin R. Tam. Used with permission.


 

This isn't a real card that I got: someone made
it for the book. It's meant to
show the ship's journey. It starts with the
people waving goodbye and ends with an
English soldier. Click it if you'd like to see a
bigger version.

If you draw a good-bye card and
email it to me, I will put yours on the
site, too.