The next day the Lee family moved in. That Saturday was one day that was so exciting that Tulie did not have to use her imagination for one single minute. Mom told Tulie that she was not supposed to bother the Lees while they were moving in but she didn't say that Tulie couldn't sit by the window and watch everything that happened.
As soon as Mom went to work that morning, Tulie took up her position. She was dismayed to see that the Lee's car was already in the driveway. That meant they had already gone upstairs to the apartment. But the moving van was just pulling up. Gran tried to set a good example of minding her own business. She sat in her rocking chair on the far side of the living room knitting a scarf and did not look out the window. Not once. Tulie kept a running commentary of the action and Gran turned up her hearing aid so she wouldn't miss a word.
“Green sofa. Old-fashioned looking. Two brown armchairs. Funny lamp that looks like a statue of a peacock. Mirror with a fancy gold frame. A bike. That must be Winsome's, I guess. Birdcage with oneÉno, twoÉblue parakeets. An empty aquarium. I wonder where the fish can be? White chest of drawers. Coffee table with a glass top. A TV set. Four boxes, maybe dishesÉno, too heavy, must be books!”
The monologue continued for more than two hours and no sooner had the moving van pulled away than Tulie was upstairs knocking at the Lee's front door. Mrs. Lee answered the door with a smile and invited Tulie inside, apologizing that they had just moved in, as if Tulie didn't know that already. Mrs. Lee was very pretty and a little taller than Mr. Lee who waved from the living room where he was putting books onto a shelf. They both were wearing polo shirts, khakis and Nikes. Tulie had been hoping for something a bit more exotic.
“Come here Winsome and meet your new little friend from downstairs,” Mrs. Lee said, raising her voice, but only a little.
Tulie could not have been more surprised. Where was the little Chinese doll like a hummingbird? Winsome Lee was not little. She was taller than Tulie by at least four inches and her blue-black hair was not in a single braid. But it was long enough to sit on. Tulie had been right about that. Why wasn't she wearing the kind of clothes Tulie had pictured? Where were the silks? Where were the dragon embroideries? This Winsome wasn't anything like she should have been. She looked much older than eleven. This Winsome wore hot pink Capri pants, a black t-shirt trimmed with pink sequins, platform flip-flops and long, dangling earrings.