"Oh look, little bo peep just text me, she wants her outfit back."
Penina opened a large book called 'Book of Sign Language' "If Eva wants to tell us something then she uses sign language." Frank explained to her "Do you like it?"
"I love it!" Penina cried, grinning "I will start learning straight away."
"Open the rest of your presents first." Ray laughed, handing her another present.
Penina opened up a small CD "The Black Parade?" She asked "What's that?"
"It's our third album." Mikey told her "Your Daddy's the singer so you can hear what he sounds like."
"Oh wow, thank you!" Penina grinned.
"And here's the last one." Gerard said, handing Penina a third and final present labelled 'From Daddy'.
Penina grinned and started unwrapping it. At that moment Jude yelled "Dad! Look!" But Gerard's attention was on Penina "Dad! Dad! Look! Dad!" Gerard turned around distractedly and Jude did a canonball dive into the pool. Suddenly Penina sqeuealled with excitement. By the time Jude's grinning face has popped out of the water, Gerard's attention is back on Penina "Thank you so much!" Penina cried when she unwrapped the easel and new painting supplies.
Jude was disappointed to see that Gerard was practically ignoring him. Penina threw her arms around Gerard's neck and kissed his cheek again and again and again. Then she looked over Gerard's shoulder at Jude and saw the jealous look on his face. She smiled at him triumphantly. Jude stuck his tongue out at her and got out of the pool before stomping back into the house.
"Actually, there's another present upstairs for you." Jennifer smiled, putting down her plate of food "Do you wanna see? It's in your bedroom."
"Oh yes, what is it?" Penina shrieked.
Gerard laughed "Come on then." He held his hand out to her and she took it with a smile. Everyone followed them into the house.
When they got to the top of the stairs, Gerard put his hands over Penina's eyes "It's a surprise." Gerard laughed and Penina giggled excitedly. He directed her into her room and then took his hands away. Penina squealed when she saw the fish tank from the shopping mall with the interesting tropical fish inside.
"Thank you, thank you so much!" She cried, switching the black light on and off in awe. Gerard put his arm around Jennifer and grinned.
Jennifer and Gerard were getting ready for church on sunday morning. They were rich, wealthy and successful that Jennifer forced them all to go to church on a sunday so that they could show God how grateful they were. Gerard pulled on a red tie, the same one he'd worn in one of his music videos 'Helena'. Jennifer was searching through her jewellery box for something "Have you seen my pearls?" She asked. Gerard shook his head.
Gerard and Jennifer sat next to Valeria and Frank. Jennifer's kids sat on her side while Valeria's side kids sat on their side. A priest read from the bible and Penina followed a long with her own battered copy. Jennifer was reading a long in Penina's bible over her shoulder but then she noticed a photo sticking out of the top. All she can see is the top of a man's head. She eyed the photo suspiciously but then looked away back at the priest.
Jennifer was doing the day's cleaning when she went into Eva's room to tidy up. She put all her books back on her shelves and then went to sort out her bed. There were a few old stuffed animals lying around. And then Jennifer noticed something. She picked up a medium-sized teddy bear. There was a string of pearls around it's neck.
In the living room Eva and Penina were playing a board game while Mia sat next to them talking to them the entire time. Every so often Penina would laugh or make a small comment but Eva just listened silently as usual. Jude was sat on a sofa, playing on a Nintendo DS moodily and refusing to look at Penina. Jennifer came into the room. She tapped Eva on the shoulder "Did you take this out of my jewellery box?" She asked. Eva shook her head "Then how did it get in your room?"
'I don't know.' Eva signed.
"Somebody put this around your teddy bears neck. Who was it if it wasn't you?" Eva shrugged, looking scared. Jennifer sighed "Go take a time out and think about it."
"But we're playing." Penina protested.
"She can finish your game later." Jennifer looked at Eva "Come on." Eva pouted and followed Jennifer upstairs. Penina watched them go and Mia quickly took Eva's place to finish playing the game with Penina.
Penina stood in front of a class full of children. She wished that either Mia or Eva was in her class but Mia was too young and Eva was too old. Jude was in her class but that didn't comfort Penina at all. Penina was wearing an old fashioned dress and thick tights with buckle shoes and most of the kids were staring at her. Even the teacher Miss Crosse thought she looked a little strange "Alright class," Miss Crosse walked over to Penina and put her arm around her "This is our new student. Her name is Penina Way and I want you all to make her feel very welcome today."
One of the girls, Brenda, pretended to get a mobile phone out of her pocket "Oh look. Little bo peep just texted me. She wants her outfit back." She said to Brenda and everyone in the class except for Penina and Miss Crosse burst out laughing. Penina glared at her and Miss Crosse directed her to her seat without telling Brenda off. Penina knew that Miss Crosse thought Brenda was funny too.
Things didn't get better during the day. At lunch time Penina sat down by herself at one end of the table while Brenda sat at the top of the table with the rest of her friends. They glanced down at Penina who was praying over her lunch. The other girls exchanged amused glances while Brenda folded her hands and made an earnest, mocking face "Dear Jesus, please help me not to dress like a freak tomorrow." All the girls laughed but Penina just ignored them.
After school Jude invited two of his friends Austin and Trevor over to his house. Jude took them into the back garden and up to a tree house that Gerard had built for him when he was just a toddler. They climbed up to the top and Jude pulled up a loose plank of wood. Inside was a playboy magazine with Cindy Crawford on the cover "Cindy Crawford?" Austin asked "This magazine's older than we are. She's probably got like wrinkly-old grandma boobs now." They all laughed.
Jude sparked up a joint and then they all heard a voice ask "Do you want to play?"
The boys poked their heads out of the window and saw Penina holding Mia's hand with Eva standing on the other side of her "Get out of here! This is my tree house! Dad built it for me!" Penina just smiled and led Mia away. Eva shook her head at her younger brother and followed them away.
"Is your whole family like retarded or something?" Trevor asked. Austin and Trevor laughed while Jude went flushed, embarrassed and angry.
Jennifer finished running a bath for Penina "I'm not comfortable with you always locking the door."
"But what if someone comes in and sees me?" Penina asked in a panicked voice.
"Nobody's going to come in." Jennifer sighed "I'll even stand right outside the door if that's what you want."
"I could sing for you." Penina said quickly "I used to sing for the sisters at the orphanage so they'd know that I was alright. Please?"
Penina's eyes were desperate, pleasing. Jennifer sighed, left the room and shut the door. Penian clicked the door shut. Jennifer waited for a moment until she heard Penina start to sing. She looked troubled for a moment before walking away.
That night, once Jennifer had finished writing in her journal, she climbed into bed. Gerard kissed her goodnight. Jennifer smiled and surprised him by kissing him again more deeply. Gerard responds. Jennifer put his hand on her breast and he starts to undress her. Then there's a knock at the door. Gerard and Jennifer both cringe at being interupted. Jennifer quickly re-dresses "Come in." She called.
The door opened. It's Penina and Mia. Mia looks happy and Penina's holding onto her hand tightly "We're scared of the lightning." Penina whispered. Mia giggled and Penina nudged her. It was clear that only one of them was scared of the lightning.
Jennifer and Gerard shared a resigned look "Okay, come on. But just for tonight." Penina and Mia excitedly climbed into their bed. Gerard and Jennifer shared an amused look, shaking their heads.