When Jean Casey walked into her new home, she new that everything will be changed for the rest of her life, on Earth that is. She had never liked being away from home. And leaving everything she ever knew 400 miles away wasn't all too appealing to her. Plus, leaving friends that she had known since Sun Beams is really not the best thing for a 17 year old girl to do. Then again going to Salt Lake City to live with your Aunt was a lot better than going into the unknown world of foster care.
Jean grew up in Idaho, she loved it there. The sun was always shining, it rarely rained, you never had to worry about finding a lake, and camping was just around the corner. Camping was something Jean and her brother always enjoyed. However, James was serving a Mission in Australia and wouldn't be home for 13 months, and the only thing she could do now was wait for his return.
Now here she is, living with her Aunt Ellen, in a semi-new city, with new people, a new school and a new ward.
The only thing she had to remind her of her old life was her dog Cowboy. Cowboy was given to Jean on her 15 birthday. She had always wanted a puppy, and had always loved cowboys, so the two went together quit nicely.
Jean knew that living with her Aunt really wouldn't be bad at all. She was one of the coolest people Jean knew, but visiting someone for one week out of every summer didn't grant you permission to judge if they're a good roommate or not.
So this was the beginning of a new adventure. An adventure that Jean Casey never wanted to begin, but unfortunately it was already started.
"Come on Cowboy!" Jean said as they ran around the last corner. "I'll race you home!" As she ran the last block Cowboy sped passed her and stopped on the lawn. "Oh man! You beat me again!" Jean said sarcastically. She playfully wrestled with her dog then laughed.
They walked inside and quickly got a drink of water. After finishing two glasses Jean and Cowboy headed down to their room. As she descended down the stairs her Aunt Ellen called her from above, "Jean when you are finished with your shower come up here I need to talk to you."
"OK!" Jean replied.
Jean always ran at the middle school track every night, which was just a few blocks away. She had always enjoyed running and Cowboy seemed to love it as well. When Jean's mother was still alive she would go with her. It was good mother daughter time, and Jean sure missed it.
When she finished her shower she went up to her Aunts bedroom. The house wasn't big and the rooms were small, but it was just right for two. The room was filled with paintings and drawings Ellen had done over the years. Ellen Casey was 53 years old and had never married. She loved the Gospel and never complained about being lonely. She greatly resembled her brother Alan, Jeans Father, with the short red hair and hazel eyes. However Jean looked little like either. But rather a great deal like her mother. She had long, light brown hair and incredible blue eyes.
"Hi Aunt Ellen" Jean said when she entered the room. "What was it you wanted to talk about?" Jean sat on the bed next to her aunt and looked up at her.
"Do you know Porter West who lives across the street?" She asked her.
"I've met him, but I've never really talked to him or anything. Why" Jean replied.
"Tomorrow he will be taking you around town to show you the city." Aunt Ellen said with a smile on her face.
"What do you mean? Like a date?" Jean asked.
"Oh No! I just asked his mother if he would show you around. Like take you to the Mall and to the high school so you can get to know the place. Maybe even Temple Square."
"Thanks for the offer Aunt Ellen, but I don't think I'll need a teenage tour guide showing me around. I've been to all of those places before anyway." Jean said.
"And do you think that you'll be able to find them again? You've never lived here before. He could show you some side streets you could take. It will help you really get to know the place." Aunt Ellen encouraged.
"Why do I need to get to know the place? I already know-"
"The track and the book store don't count Jean. I'm not here all the time and I won't always be able to give you directions. Just ask him how to get to wherever you want to go and he'll take you there." Aunt Ellen said quickly.
Jean sighed. "Alright, I'll go. But what if-"
"'But what if' nothing" her Aunt interrupted again. "Porter is a really nice young man and I know he will show you a good time."
"For something that isn't a date, it sure sounds like one." Jean put in.
When Jean was back in her room she lay down next to her dog on her bed. "I sure hope he's different from everyone else Cowboy." She said to him. Cowboy just looked at her and wagged his tail. "I don't think I can stand another friend who only wants to see me because they fell sorry for me. Anyway, I think I'll send James an Email." She kissed Cowboy on the head and got off the bed.
Dear Elder Casey,
Aunt Ellen wants me to wish you luck in your new area and to tell you she prays for you every night. Anyway, I registered for my classes yesterday and now I really wish I was back in Idaho. It's going to be totally different here. The ward, like I told you is great and there is a lot of youth, but I haven't really connected with anyone. And I really hope that I do soon, because the last thing that I want is to be sitting at lunch with no one to sit by. Well, I got to go to bed now. It's almost 11 and I really need to get some sleep tonight. I love you! And don't do anything that I wouldn't do!
PS. Tomorrow, Porter West from across the street is going to show me around town. Please pray for me! Maybe he's just the friend that I've been praying for!
Jean walked across the street. She didn't know why she was nervous. She had guy friends back in Idaho, why was this any different? Oh well. She thought. At least now I'll be able to talk to someone at church. After she knocked on the door, she could the thumping of little feet running to the door. A little boy about five or six opened it.
"May I help you?" He said very dignified. Jean held back a laugh. He was just too cute.
"Yes you can. Is Porter here?" She replied with a smile. The boy nodded and ran off screaming "West! There is a girl!..." which faded in to the house. Jean didn't have to wait even a minute until the boy came running back.
"Hey you live there!" Pointing across the street. "And you have a puppy." He told her very excitedly.
"Well I don't know if he's a puppy anymore, but yeah that's me." Jean smiled. She knew she was going to like this kid. "Would you like to see him sometime?"
"I would indeed!" He nearly screamed. Jean laughed. He really had quit the vocabulary.
"Well, good bye now." The boy said then shut the door.
Now Jean didn't know what to do. He just closed the door when she needed someone to come out. Then she heard Porter. "Did you just shut the door on her, Isaac?"
"Oh! Sorry West I forgot!" Isaac replied.
Then the door opened, they here both standing there looking totally embarrassed.
"I'm so sorry about that. I really don't know why he did that." Porter said to her.
"Hey I told you I just forgot! I can't help it if my brain goes blank once in a while!
And I know perfectly well that yours does the exact same thing!" Isaac informed his older brother.
"We should be going now." Porter looked at Jean.
While they were on their way to the mall, Jean looked at Porter. She had never been able to get a good look at him before. He was always on the stand to bless the sacrament and she never went to mutual activities. She always had an excuse. Porter West had very dark brown hair and looked like it would curl had it been wet. He also had dark brown eyes, Wow that's something you could get lost in. Jean thought to herself.