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Story Notes:
Companion to A possible explanation for Jo and Counting Blessings
"Mamma!"
"Jo! Where are you Jo?"
"Frau Maynard, I need to check..."
"Mamma? I need ..."
"Joey, can you help..."
"Mother, I need"
"Mrs Maynard, this ... "
"Joey-baba can you just..."
"Mamma, he ..."
"Jo?"
"Joey, the school needs..."
"Lady Russell's young sister, I believe?"
"Oh please, Mrs Maynard..."
"Mrs Maynard, Your son has..."
"Miss Bettany, I am such a faithful reader, could you..."
"Mrs Josephine Maynard, is it?"
"Please, Frau Docktor Maynard is he..."
"Joey! What are you doing, you mad thing?"
"Telegram for Mrs Maynard..."
"Mamma, she..."
"No, Mamma, he..."
"Oh Mother really!"
"Frau Joey?"
"Miss Bettany, Our Society would..."
"Er, Aunty Jo could you ..."
"Joey?"
"Where is it, mum?"
"Mamma, they ..."
"I'm sorry Mamma, I..."
"Aunt Jo, do you think..."
"Frau Maynard?"
"I'm sorry Mrs Maynard, he is with a patient, can I ..."
"Oh, Jo, this latest new girl is ..."
"Mrs Jack Maynard? Letter for you."
"Joey? Is that you?"
"Don't be so dramatic, Jo"
"Oh Mrs Maynard, Mrs Maynard, look!"
"Jo? is that you?"
"Is that you Jo?"
"Jo? Are you there ?"
"Jo? Where are you?"
"Jo?"

Joey stood on the edge of the path, looking out on the mountains, and down the sheer drop.

She couldn't always work out if it was a good thing, or a bad one, having so many places nearby that she could just 'slip and fall over', with the way her mind was playing tricks with her at the moment.

It had become almost like a dare with herself when feeling a long way down, feeling overwhelmed with all of the different people she had to be to everybody. A different voice to all those others tried to be heard.

"Come to the edge, come look down to the valley far below. You do have the choice, you could just 'slip'. You would just be another casualty of the mountain paths. No one would know'

It felt in less rational moments like that might be appealing, at least it would hopefully be quiet, be calm. There wouldn't be demands on her on all sides. It would be quiet in her mind.

But somehow she knew inside herself she wouldn't ever take the challenge her frazzled brain was setting.

In a strange way, going to that edge and saying "Look, I could step off, I could just go" gave her strength to regain control, to count her blessings and step back from the edge. She loved life too much when things were better to cut it short. But it helped in a strange way to know that there was a choice.

A soft furry head suddenly placed itself under her hand, and she smiled down through her tears at a concerned looking St Bernard.

"Don't worry, Bruno" she said, scratching the top of his head affectionately. "Missis is just crying to feel better. Don't worry."

"Missis" was another name to add to that ever growing pile, but somehow it was one of the most soothing of the lot. Bruno didn't care about her past or future. He just loved her and wanted to be with her as much as possible, living happily in the present.

She walked away from the edge, took a deep breath and set off for a brisk walk with the one being to whom she was one thing and one thing only.

She wasn't going anywhere soon. But that invisible challenge from the edge of the path made her stronger, gave her a choice, and a reason to remember that she might be many different things to several different people, but that was just because she had so many different people to love and to love her.

Despite everything, she was very lucky, and when she could calm her brain down enough she knew that deep inside. There were plenty of people with calmer lives. But there was only one life that was hers. And it was well worth seeing what came around the next corner, be it good or bad. She would cope, and meet it all head on with the wholesale way she met everything.

She was Jo of the Chalet School after all.



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