Early the next morning, one of the firefighters gave us a ride over to the Landgraab Estate. As we approached the front entrance, we could hear the sounds of a very heated argument between Nancy and Geoffrey. It seemed that we had showed up at a really bad time.
“I don’t want the house. I don’t want anything from you at all.” Geoffrey told Nancy tiredly. “Just sign the damn divorce papers so we can be done.” We stood at the bottom of the steps awkwardly. “What’s going on here?” Johnny demanded. “Your father is leaving! He’s moving in with that new floozy of his! I’m going to be the talk of the town because of his very stupid and selfish actions!” Nancy moaned and rubbed her temples. Geoffrey set down his duffel bag and hugged our necks. “It’s good to see you all. I just wish it was under different circumstances.” He muttered. “Where are your shoes, Johnny?”
“Dad, it’s a long story. We need a place to stay for a while.” Geoffrey’s face paled. “So you came here? You should run while you still can. Your mother isn’t an easy person to live with as I’m sure you remember.” He mentioned quietly. “We have nowhere else to go.” I whispered to him. “Well in that case…good luck.” Nancy glared at Geoffrey’s back as he trudged down the driveway to his car. Then she ran her fingers under her eyes to fix her smudged eyeliner. “I’m not complaining but why are you all here?” She wrinkled her nose at the pajamas we still wore. “Oh, no particular reason.” Johnny remarked sarcastically. “Only that our house burnt to the ground.”
She looked at him vacantly for a moment then gasped. “Oh, that’s right! I saw it on the news last night!” He gave her an incredulous look. “What? If you already knew then why didn’t you come check on us? We lost everything we owned!” He exclaimed. She shook her head and sighed. “I had my hands tied here. But please believe me when I say that I’m so very happy that you’re all okay! Please come in!” She gave us a pleasant smile and the held the door open wide. As I walked past her with Lemon in my arms, Nancy leaned in and placed a light kiss on my cheek. “Welcome home, Valerie.”