That afternoon, I rushed through my snack and worked on my homework. If my homework wasn’t finished, there was no way I could go over to Mrs. Smith’s house at five.
“Chloe, dear, are you going to walk Rosy now?” Momma said.
“I think I’ll walk her a little later. Five o’clock isn’t too late, is it?”
Momma crinkled her forehead. “That’s a little bit later than you normally play with Rosy. Why so late?”
“Well, I figured I should do my homework while I still remember what Mrs. Taylor said.”
“Is it going to take you that long?”
“Maybe.” I shrugged.
My homework did take me a long time, not because it was hard but I kept thinking about poor Mrs. Smith. Sure, she hadn’t been the nicest person to me, but she needed Rosy. She would be lonely and grumpy for sure if she didn’t have her dog.
Finally the clock ticked close to five. “Momma, I’m going to go exercise Rosy for a few minutes.”
“Don’t be too long. Your father will be home and we’ll be eating supper ourselves soon.”
I walked out onto the deck and glanced over at Mrs. Smith’s house. Mr. Brooks was just going into the back door. I jumped down the steps and sprinted to Mrs. Smith’s door, knocking hard.
Mrs. Smith slid the door open. “Oh, hello Chloe. Are you here for Rosy? I was wondering if you had forgotten today.”
I breathed in and out to catch my breath from my run across the yard. “Well, you see, Mrs. Smith, I need to warn you about Mr. Brooks.”
“Oh? Whatever do you mean?”
“Mr. Brooks plans to trick you.”
“Now, Chloe, Mr. Brooks is the kindest man I know. I have a note from him to prove it.” She moved toward her counter.
“Wait. That love note isn’t from Mr. Brooks.”
“It isn’t? It has his name on it.”
“I … well, you see … I sent you that note and one to Mr. Brooks.”
Mrs. Smith folded her arms. “Is that so?”
“I’m so sorry. I just thought that you weren’t so grumpy when he was around, so I …”
All of the sudden, Momma and Daddy walked into Mrs. Smith’s kitchen from the other side. Both Momma and Daddy’s arms were folded across their chests.
Daddy stepped forward. “Young lady, we’ve talked about poking around in other people’s business. It can get you in trouble.”
Mr. Brooks put up a hand to stop Daddy. “Mr. Parker, I did agree that we needed to teach Chloe a lesson, but she did mean well.” Mr. Brooks knelt in front of me.
“You mean you’re really not a bad guy?”
“Nope, I don’t think so.” Mr. Brooks grinned and grabbed my hand. “You were sweet to help Louise and I like that. But be careful meddling where you shouldn’t. It might backfire on you.” He chuckled.
I let out a heavy sigh. “I’m so glad you’re really not mean like that. And I guess you’re right. Some things just need to happen on their own.” I looked at Momma. “Isn’t that what you say, Momma?”
“Yep, I sure do.”
“So, I have one question.”
“What’s that?” Mr. Brooks said.
“Are you going with Mrs. Smith? Like are you boyfriend and girlfriend?” I shivered. “Kinda yucky to me but I just wondered.”
“Chloe Ann Parker!” Momma said.
“That’s okay, Mrs. Parker.” Mr. Brooks smiled. “Let’s just say that I will check the I like you box when it comes to Mrs. Smith and leave it at that.”
“Fair enough.” I nodded one big nod. “Can I play with Rosy now?”
Mrs. Smith grinned. Her cheeks looked pink. “Please do.” She fanned her face with her hand.
What did Mr. Brooks mean when he said that Chloe meant well?
Do you think what Mr. Brooks, Mrs. Smith, Momma, and Daddy did taught Chloe a lesson? Explain your answer.