Alex had a boyfriend when the whole situation with Julie came up. He didn’t much like me hanging around his girlfriend, and told her that. He even gave her an ultimatum over it. Well, I figured that was it for my time in paradise, so I took one last look at Julie. At which point Alex told me to stay sat down or she’d beat me. Then she got up into his face and started chewing him up one side and down the other over daring to tell her who she could be friends with. He may have suggested that I don’t do just friends. A slanderous accusation, I assure you. She displayed a mastery of the dictionary that impressed me at that, and finished with a demand that he apologize to both of us or walk out and never return. Well, he got his pride up and walked out, proving that I was right about him not being good enough for her. Then she sat down with Julie and had a good, long cry. Me? I stayed sat down like she told me to. Momma Hart did not raise a complete idiot. I found out Alex was made of both stronger and softer stuff than I’d known that day. She needed all of that strength and softness in the years to come.

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