The screen door slammed shut, but there was no sound of footsteps coming up the stairs to the kitchen. Aunt Alice waited to see if it was Jennifer coming over for a visit. When no one came into the room, she called out, "I'm in the kitchen. Is that you, Jennifer?"
There was still no answer. Aunt Alice went to see who was there. Jennifer sat on the first step with her face in her hands, sobbing quietly.
"What is wrong, dear? Are you okay?" asked Aunt Alice as she moved down the steps to sit beside the girl. Aunt Alice put her arm around Jennifer and tried to console her.
Jennifer had lived for her entire fourteen years in the house next to the old woman. Aunt Alice was not really a relative, but she was as close to the family as any blood relative could be. She loved to make cookies, and every week she would make some to take to all of the neighbor children. However, she had a special place in her heart for Jennifer's family. Aunt Alice lived alone now that her husband had passed away. Her own children had grown up and had families of their own.