This year, for some reason, I want . . . no, I need to make the angels sing. I want to hear them sing. Does that make sense?” Maggie asked fretfully.
“Of course it makes sense. I think it’s a wonderful idea. Count me in,” Annie said. “Now, you know if you include the boys, the fund would grow substantially higher,” she said slyly. The others agreed as they all started to eat.
“Not so fast,” Myra said. “Dear,” she said, addressing Maggie, “did you forget we have an organization that Abner is in charge of that donates yearly, very generously and very heavily, during the holidays? Any new charity or person is always welcome. I thought we all had agreed to that. Last year alone, we donated—anonymously, of course—over one billion dollars, which we confiscated from that monster, Angus Spyder. So, I’m not quite sure what it is you want us to contribute to, and while I have no problem with that at all, I guess I just don’t understand the end result here.”
The women stopped eating long enough to stare at Maggie, waiting to see how she would respond.
“I guess I didn’t fully explain, because I’m not clear in my own mind. Sometimes late at night, when I can’t sleep, I think about my life, my childhood, my family and wonder, as I think most people wonder, if I could do things over, what would I do differently? Is there some wrong in my past life that I never made right, for whatever reason? Just think about that for a minute. I have an instance, and I’ve never forgotten it. I don’t know if money can or will right that situation, but I want to look into it and try. It’s not the same as what Abner is doing with Spyder’s money and all those other people’s money we helped ourselves to. This is personal. That’s the best way I can explain it to you all. Does it make more sense now?”
“Well, yes, dear, it certainly does,” Myra said. “I think you might be on to something. Let’s run this up the flagpole. Now that I understand where you’re going with this, I think we should include the boys in this.”
“I agree,” Isabelle said. The others were quick to agree.
“We can’t call them now. It’s too late,” Yoko said. “They’ll be miffed that they weren’t included in this luncheon.”
“Then we’ll do a repeat tomorrow at my house,” Nikki said. “That’s when we’ll run it up the flagpole, and they’ll never know this was a rehearsal for tomorrow. How about that for sneaky? Do you all agree?”
“What are you going to serve?” Kathryn asked, her mind jumping ahead to the menu.
“How about a little of everything that is takeout?” Nikki laughed.
“Works for me.” Alexis giggled. Not surprisingly, it worked for everyone.
“So, let’s get to the dessert, Maggie,” Annie said.
The women talked nonstop as they devoured the peach cobbler, the main topic being that memories, for the most part, were a wonderful thing, be they sad or happy.
“How much money are we talking about?” Yoko asked. “The reason I ask is that Harry and I are going to China next month, and that always puts a big dent in our budget.”
“It doesn’t matter how much, Yoko. If it’s fifty dollars, that’s fine. If it’s two hundred fifty thousand dollars, that’s fine, too. The point is it has to be our own personal money, whatever we can afford. Gus’s insurance money is just the cherry on top. I’ll be putting my own money in, too. It will all go into one fund, and then, when we’re ready to distribute it to whoever needs it, we’ll vote on it. I think that’s fair. If you all want to keep your amounts secret, that’s okay, too. We should vote on that tomorrow. In the end, it might not even come down to money. Maybe there is someone out there from our past who needs something other than money. Something we can provide for them that no one else can. That kind of thing.”
“I think this is a wonderful idea,” Myra said. “I can’t wait for tomorrow. Thank you so much, Maggie, for bringing this up. Sometimes I think we forget that it’s better to give than to receive. Oh, this is going to be such a wonderful Christmas. The true meaning of it. Truly, truly.”
Annie swiped at her eyes. “Myra’s right. This is just what we all need. We’ve been getting complacent. I agree with Myra. I can’t wait till tomorrow.”
Twelve minutes later, right on schedule, Maggie’s kitchen and dining room were back to normal, with just the autumn centerpiece in the middle of the table. A second round of fresh coffee was served as the girls talked nonstop about what was going to transpire the following day.
“It’s going to take a lot of research to track down people from our past,” Isabelle said.
“And who better to do that than our four in- trepid reporters, meaning Ted, Dennis, Maggie, and Espinosa?” Nikki chortled.
“We need a name for this project,” Alexis said.
The group threw out names and titles, but it was Yoko who came up with the one they finally agreed to. Bright Star.
The Sisters all clapped, making their newest project official.