Harry Stevens

Teasing pleasing family


Funny, thought Christy Conway, how you could be part of the same family as other people and not even know them. And yet, because you were related, you were automatically expected to feel close to someone who was little more than a stranger.

It was in this confusing situation that Christy now found herself during her summer vacation. Her parents would have most certainly disapproved of her being alone in the woods with a boy she'd only just met. However, the fact that he was her cousin Jake somehow made it all right in this case.

"This is where I come when I need to get off on my lonesome," Jake drawled, pointing to a grassy clearing among the trees through which a gurgling stream ran.

"It's, uh, very peaceful," Christy murmured.

"Yep, my own private place," Jake said, pitching a pebble so it skipped across the water. "Don't show it to just anybody."

"Why me, then?" Christy asked.

"You're family. Isn't every summer we get visitors we can call kin," Jake answered with a boyish shrug. "Besides, I figured that a city girl like you'd wanna see how us country cousins spend our time. Must be awful different back where you come from."

Christy had to admit that he was right. Her family lived in an apartment where there never seemed to be enough privacy – the idea of being so easily able to slip away from everything and everybody was indeed appealing.

"Yeah," she sighed, starting to relax, "I definitely could use a place like this back home. If I want to be my myself, have to lock the door…" she laughed, "… and then everybody wants to know why I'm acting so stuck-up. Giving me a hard time about what I'm doing in there."

"I'll bet," Jake replied.