Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Book & Television Universe

Never Go By Kimmy
Written by: Doug Fowler

A/N: The concert, of course, is from "Beach Boy Bingo," with the "squad car incident" fitting nicely a couple months later. Kimmy can be grounded for a month- with a little time off for good behavior - before the Valentine's Day episode (though it's figured by a majority of fans that the part with the sweater doesn't happen in the Book Universe, as D.J. admits what happened right away, or at least watches Steph closer.).

The 800 number was mentioned in "Trouble In Twin Town." In "Birthday Blues" Danny mentions he blotted out 1989 from his memory when he thinks of their friendship. July is used with rkoradio's permission, from the Sam Series. This could be either universe, mostly - though in a different class, Michelle would still know the books' Jeff on the playground - as I don't mention which really is the main babysitter for July, and small jokes match what would still likely happen in the Book Universe, where Kimmy isn't teased by later seasons when the books are.

Danny Tanner's daughters, now fully grown, were together to celebrate the tenth birthday of July - who was born in October. July was the only child of their former neighbor, Kimmy Gibbler, and her husband Duane. "Thanks for taking me to get my ears pierced, Mom," July said happily.

"No problem. I'm just glad you didn't want me to do it myself."

"We know how that turned out last time you tried it," Stephanie said dryly.

July gazed fondly at the three ladies who had been her main babysitters throughout her life; Kimmy had worked most of it as a beautician, knowing that she wasn't as skilled at parenting. Kimmy could be tricked very easily, for one thing. "I love hearing those stories about my mom," July told them.

"Well, you know what we've always said the key is; don't repeat any of her mistakes," Michelle counseled.

D.J. recalled that, "Our Aunt Becky once advised me, 'never go by Kimmy.' Your mom has done some pretty smart things when we guided her. But, you're getting to the point where you'd better take the same advice."

"That's right; soon you'll be wild about some guy," Stephanie said, reminding July of her own tenth birthday.

"What did you do with boys before you met Dad, Mom?" July asked.

"Wouldn't you rather hear about us?" Michelle asked.

"Yeah, some of mine are weird," Kimmy remarked.

"And, that's saying something, if your mom calls them weird. But, I've known my husband since the playground in Kindergarten," Michelle said.

July hummed. To Michelle's dismay, she shook her head. "Jeff does some funny things. But, Mom's stories are always crazier."

"Face it," D.J., the oldest Tanner sister, said wisely, "she'll have to hear about them sometime. Her party's over, it's not quite her bath time; what do you say while the guys are watching our kids, we sit around and reminisce," she told her sisters.

"I'll get some chips and dip." Kimmy ran into the kitchen. Duane was working as a plumber; he'd had an emergency call during the party.

July turned to Michelle, then to all of them. "I know she did some bad stuff. She didn't even get to go to that Beach Boys concert you guys told me about."

"You're right," D.J. recalled. "I'd won tickets on a radio station; they allowed kids under 18 to win, and I'd tried for a while to win one of their contests. I had the number memorized. Kimmy tried to get me to take her, and of course I'd have invited her with the family when the Beach Boys all came by, but then..."

It was late November, 1988, and D.J. and Kimmy were eleven. D.J. was so excited. She'd been so worried about who to take to a concert; and now, the Beach Boys were right there in their living room, having a jam session. "Excuse me, can I call my best friend," she asked in the middle of it.

They were wary, but they'd heard about Pam's death as the group talked, and how the guys were helping Danny raise his girls. D.J. explained that Kimmy had been such a great support through it all; and also hinted that Kimmy was a little "slow," to further convince them - they might accept if they thought they were doing it for a kid with challenges.

Finally, they said it was okay, just as long as she didn't tell Kimmy they were there, so Kimmy didn't call a bunch of other people.

D.J. ran to call her as the Beach Boys began their next song. "Kimmy, come over quick; I've got a surprise you won't believe."

"Sorry, Deej. The closest I'll get to that concert now is that 'Beach Boys' music you're blaring in the background," Kimmy said.

"I'm not blaring..." D.J. stopped herself; she couldn't tell Kimmy they were there. "Er, that is, it's not me blaring it, it's our Uncle Jesse. What happened?"

"I'm grounded for a week."

D.J. expressed shock. "What?"

"Grounded. It means I can't go anywhere."

"I know what it means, Kimmy; why are you grounded?"

"Well, I thought you needed some time to decide who was going to take you, so I went to the mall. There was this really cute boy there; his older brother even has a car. Anyway, I wanted to get this hat in a store near the food court to impress him. I told the shopkeeper I was going to put it back when I got done; I even left the price tag on. But, he didn't believe me," Kimmy explained.

D.J. sighed. This was one of those things her mom had warned her about when she was alive. Kimmy's lack of thinking could get her in big trouble. "Kimmy, I hate to say it, but you need to think more. You really lost out," she said, disappointment filling her voice. She'd so wanted Kimmy to come over. She felt they'd never get a chance like this again.

Kimmy was genuinely remorseful. "I know; you were going to invite me now, weren't you? That's how these things work on TV, anyway."

"You...would have gotten to see them." Which was very true. "Kimmy, promise me you'll never take anything from a store without paying for it, ever, okay? Even if you're just thinking of using it for a minute." Kimmy promised, they talked a moment longer, and she hung up. Thankfully, the excitement of having the Beach Boys there quickly drowned her sorrows. Becky soon came to watch Michelle, and the rest left.

July pointed at the Tanner sisters. "You guys have warned me plenty about that; that's one thing I will never do." They were glad. "So, did you meet that boy again, Mom?"

"Sure. I remember, it was with him, I had my very first date."

Stephanie added, "And, a ride home in a squad car." July's eyes grew wide.

"Your mom has only ever had one ride in one," D.J. said, "because Becky and I had some serious talks with her after this incident."

"And, that's one more than we ever want you to have," Michelle emphasized. "Or all of our neighbors will have the same beautiful garden you've planted to work off some of your punishments."

July believed it. Because her mom had been so easy to fool, she'd tried to sneak a lot by her at times. Thankfully, she hadn't done anything really bad in the last year. She knew she'd always get caught by one of the Tanners, and had started to be quite obedient and not so sneaky. "What happened, Mom?" July asked.

"Something so wild, it's the main reason why our Dad would blot out 1989 sometimes when he thought about D.J.'s friendship with Kimmy," Stephanie said.

D.J. pointed out that that wasn't the only reason. "There was the time right after the new year when you and I were wandering through that store, Kimmy."

"Oh, yeah, that was a big mess," Kimmy said. July grinned excitedly, wanting to hear this perhaps a little more than the other, as the idea of a ride in a squad car was a little scary. "I saw where you could get something to drink, only you had to get the cup yourself and press one of the buttons to get juice to come out. Well, I didn't think it was coming out fast enough out of that udder-like thing, so I tried to loosen it. Instead, I disconnected it from the tap, and it dropped. I tried to wriggle the machine, and ended up loosening a few others. Before I knew, all this juice and pop was spilling all over."

July laughed convulsively at the thought. "Wow, Mom, how long did it take you to clean that up?"

"You know how their dad would be about messes, especially back then. It might not have been that much. Now, let's get the other one over with," Kimmy said. "We saw each other off and on for a little while. Then, he asked me to a movie."

________________________________________ "Deej," Kimmy said excitedly, as she ran into the Tanner home. "I've got a date!"

Stephanie had been discussing plans for her seventh birthday party with Danny. She turned to Kimmy and stated the obvious. "A date?! That means you have a boyfriend!"

Kimmy agreed as D.J. came downstairs. "Yep. Hey, Deej. I was just telling the squirt here about my date." She sighed dreamily. "Tomorrow after school. His brother's dropping us off, and we're going to the food court and a movie. Today a movie. Tomorrow, I'll be falling in love, and someone will be able to take me away from all this," she said, seemingly oblivious to the fact she wasn't in her own home.

"I wondered if someone would do that," Danny said, not referring to Kimmy being in love, but to the fact Kimmy was over there so much.

"That's great, Kimmy. Do I know him?" D.J. asked.

"He's in seventh," Kimmy said, "but you might remember him from last year, when we were in fifth and he was in sixth. His name's Tim, and he was really cute."

"The one who was caught trying to throw his gym clothes up into one of the old light fixtures?" D.J. inquired. Kimmy nodded. "Kimmy, that could have caused a fire. Is he really responsible enough?" She stopped herself; she and Kimmy had had a big fight a few months ago over the company Kimmy kept, and D.J. decided this wasn't a fight she needed to win, unlike at the party she had for Kimmy.

"Of course he is, Deej; I'm the one who messed up when I saw him at the mall a couple months ago, remember?" D.J. nodded. "Anyway, I saw him riding his bike just now. He said he came over to ask me out. We'd talked on the phone the last couple months. He said I sounded like a really fun girl."

"Awesome." D.J. smiled at her best friend. "You're right. Have fun. I can't wait to hear about it." Inside, she tried to tell herself there would be no problem. What harm could Kimmy cause? She actually braced herself to console Kimmy if this twelve-year-old ditched Kimmy for someone else, as a boy had done to D.J. recently when he said he'd rather sit by Kathy Santoni.

The next day, a Tuesday afternoon, Tim's 18-year-old brother picked Kimmy up, and dropped them off at the food court. "So," Tim said while they ate, "my brother says it's a good idea to give girls a choice. What kind of movies do you like?"

"I like scary ones; but not too scary. Ever seen 'Wolfman?'" He had. "That's my level. I like action, too."

"Yeah, I like action best. You don't seem like the type to like mushy stuff." She said she wouldn't mind doing mushy stuff like kissing someday, but for now, they could just watch a movie. "Cool. A lot of my friends at Van Atta are seeing the latest action thriller. Let's go there and sit together." Kimmy agreed.

They got tickets and got into their seats just before the 5:00 showing began. Kimmy glared at a couple girls who had ditched her at the mall after that big argument with D.J., but said nothing.

However, even after the movie began, Kimmy and Tim talked more loudly than they should. Despite being shushed a few times, they refused to be quieter, as Tim's antics egged Kimmy on. Finally, Tim shouted, "Hey, knock it off yourself," and threw a piece of popcorn at one of the other Van Atta students. The mini-food fight in the back moved like a slow tidal wave, until it became a full fledged food war in the front.

Tim and others threw popcorn, till Kimmy, defending her boyfriend, threw her whole bag at one of the other boys. However, she failed to consider that the bag would hit innocent people, which is when the major food fight started.

A bag of chips came flying from one of the two girls who had ditched Kimmy at the mall. Kimmy had been sternly told how bad it was to chance having girls over who would trash a house. She was still a bit hurt by their ditching her, and the lectures. So, Kmmy grabbed her and Tim's drinks, took the lids off, walked down a couple aisles, and went and poured the drinks on each of the girls' heads.

Meanwhile, Tim had been escalating things very well himself, sending popcorn missiles from his own bag at several students, and shouting, leading to shouts from other people, including some of the ones in the front. Once Kimmy grabbed the pop, Tim picked up some items from the floor and threw them toward the front, too. This, in turn, caused even a few adults to get involved, though it was mostly a dozen or so Van Atta students.

After a minute or so more of throwing things, Tim saw theater security, and - surrounded by other students - decided now was the time to duck out of the place. He grabbed Kimmy by the arm, and whispered, "Let's get out of here."

Theoretically, they might have succeeded, and gotten away free, as there was a lot of confusion, and some weren't sure who started it. However, those same girls who got pop spilled all over them, with a couple of their friends, noticed and followed, causing a couple of Tim's friends to follow, as well.

They met in the food court, and the groups started throwing garbage at each other and calling each other names. As the other girls trashed the place, Tim and Kimmy threw the trash back at the girls.

Finally, mall security came, and led Kimmy, Tim, and the two girls - who were the clear ringleaders of the food court part of the "riot" - off to the side. The police were called, and each one got a ride home in a squad car.

A little after 6:00 that day, the Tanners had just finished eating. Jesse and Joey were in the living room discussing their latest advertising campaign victories, and everyone was talking excitedly about Stephanie's birthday party the next day. Suddenly, Stephanie happened to look out the window. "Why is a police car pulling in front of Kimmy's?" she asked nobody in particular. "Did somebody break in?"

"I hope not..." D.J. paused as she looked, too; Kimmy was being let out of the car. She quickly jogged over to see her, despite Danny suggesting that it would be best not to interfere. "Kimmy, what happened?" she asked worriedly. "Are you okay?" She saw great sadness in Kimmy's eyes, and nervous anticipation as the Gibblers opened the door.

"You'll probably read about it in the paper. Let's just say my first date turned into a big food fight. And, I'm gonna be grounded for life."

"Look," D.J. said, knowing they might be busy, "I'll get to school real early tomorrow. You can tell me all about it then." Kimmy grinned slightly and said "thanks."

"I couldn't believe it when she told me the next morning," D.J. finished, back in the present. "The only good thing was, she had so little else to do it helped her actually get a C in Spanish that grading period."

"So, you got arrested, Mom?" July said incredulously, not believing that could happen to one of her parents.

"No, the report said, 'released to the custody of their parents.' Which is short for, 'It was hoped the parents would give those involved the punishment they deserved.' Although, the mall did press charges against those girls and their friends; the ones who liked to trash places. I guess it wasn't the first time they'd been caught trashing stuff, whereas with Tim and I, it was our first offense," Kimmy finished.

"Kimmy's parents grounded her for almost a month," Stephanie explained. "She had to work off some damages, and she wasn't allowed to see that boy ever again."

D.J. added, "We held her to that. Aunt Becky and I had some very long talks with her about the right kind of boys, and also about proper conduct."

July understood. "It must have been easy for you to fall for peer pressure, huh, Mom?"

"It was. D.J. had to keep me out of situations where boys could take advantage of me."

"You've told me about that party where you got drunk," July said.

"Even way before her senior year," Michele informed her. "She had to help your mom steer clear of situations where some kid could slip something in a drink, for instance. And, the best way was never to hang around those kinds of kids," she said, hoping July caught the hint that she, too, should steer clear of them, even though she wasn't nearly as dumb as Kimmy was. "That's a danger for anyone who's not careful."

"Of course, like those first stories, I caused a lot of confusion myself," Kimmy admitted.

"I remember, that boy named Jake...Bitterman, was it?" D.J. asked. Kimmy said it was. "Your mom stuffed him in a closet, July. She was babysitting and invited him over. He was okay, but he still thought he could convince her she 'wanted him.'"

"And then, there was the 800 number," Stephanie said, as if still disbelieving after all these years.

"What, you mean like a dating service?" July asked.

"No; believe it or not, I managed to get my own 800 number, so I could get a wider range of boys," Kimmy explained.

Unlike the squad car incident, July couldn't grasp the severity of that situation. Still, she knew enough to say, "That doesn't make sense. You could get calls from anywhere. Shouldn't you stick with your own school for friends?"

"Yeah, or at least your neighborhood, because some kids will go to private schools," Stephanie said. "Or be homeschooled."

When told it was Kimmy's tenth grade year, July was surprised. "You were class president then, right, Mom? You should have had lots of friends then!"

"Let's just say your mom was embarrassing herself almost weekly; sometime more often," Michelle said. "We've talked a lot about how you shouldn't take advantage of her, and you are a very good girl now. But, can you imagine how your mom would handle being president of anything?"

July started to giggle, but tried to be nice. "I guess it would get pretty silly."

"It did. So, Kimmy came over to our house one day..." D.J. began.

Kimmy, fifteen, entered the Tanner home early one October and called for D.J., who quickly came downstairs. She handed D.J. a slip of paper. "Here, Deej. I thought you should be the first to have my new number."

"New number?" She looked at it. "Kimmy, this is an 800 number."

Michelle, not understanding the concept, spouted, "800 numbers. The Count's gonna be busy on Sesame Street!" Stephanie explained the idea of a toll free number.

"Kimmy, why do you need an 800 number? That's for businesses and things," D.J. said.

"I know. There was a special offer on one, so I thought I'd advertise," Kimmy said.

"Advertise what," Stephanie quipped, "a confuser help line?" When Michelle asked, Stephanie explained the play on the term "consumer help line."

"No, see, I can get boys from a much wider range," Kimmy said as Jesse and Becky came downstairs from putting their twin boys down for naps. "The way I figure, there's always going to be someone who calls those 800 numbers you see advertised on cable. So, if I play my cards right, I might be looking at love," Kimmy said romantically.

Becky looked askance at her. "Kimmy, you're not out of high school, what makes you think you can run your own dating service?"

"No, see, the ad will do it for me," Kimmy explained.

"The answer is no! We won't do it," Jesse said quickly, anticipating a query for him to write an ad for her. He and Danny's best friend Joey had both moved in to raise Danny's girls after their mom died, and the two men had been in advertising together. When Kimmy said she wasn't going to ask him anything, he said, "The answer's still 'no!'"

"How did you get the number?" Stephanie wanted to know.

"It's not that hard. I told my parents I needed it attached to my phone line because of some work I was doing as class President."

Jesse scoffed. "Your parents will believe anything."

"They didn't believe it when I tried to con them into helping me sneak backstage at a concert once. Of course, the idea that one of the band members had called me was a little odd. Anyway, an 800 number costs me around a dime a minute for anyone who calls. And, more will call on the weekend, I hope. At least, that's when the cable ads will run," Kimmy explained.

D.J. was stunned. "Cable ads?!"

"Kimmy, we need to talk," Becky said seriously, walking up to her and taking her hands. Becky never teased Kimmy - she knew Kimmy needed lots of help. "Kimmy, you need to think about the kind of crowd you'll attract. And, a lot of other things, too. I mean, you really can't afford anything more than...well, maybe ten seconds once at 3 AM or so."

"No, my Uncle Craig is giving me a thousand bucks early for my birthday." She turned to D.J. and said, "He's the eccentric one in the family."

"You don't say," Jesse said, faking shock.

"Still, there could be some guy who has some really dangerous ides about how to treat women. For every nice community like ours, or where I grew up, there's ones like those only a few miles away from us with...questionable people. When Danny was Bachelor of the Month, women called the magazine first, which had a special number to screen their calls. Like radio deejays. And, any who did call Danny directly, he could tell right away if they were legitimate, and never invited any - even the ones who called the magazine first - into our home. He took a lot of precautions that you're not thinking of," Becky finished.

Kimmy thought for a moment. "Yeah; I guess a national cable channel would cost more, too. I could get a lot more ads on a local one..." She thought for a second. "What time of the morning do farmers usually get up?"

"Oh, when the rooster crows, maybe earlier." Kimmy thanked her, and left. "Was that a complete non sequitir or what?"

"What's that again?" July asked in the present.

"It's a statement that follows another one that's totally unrelated," Stephanie said. "Although, it wasn't here. Kimmy had heard a lot about how much more peaceful life was in Nebraska, where our Aunt Becky's from. So, she got it into her mind to recreate 'Sarah, Plaint and Tall.'" That was a story she knew July enjoyed - as did they - about a widower who had placed an ad for a wife and helper almost a century ago.

July grinned mischievously. "I know you tell me not to say that stuff," July said to Michelle, "but that would be titled 'Kimmy, Dumb and Weird." The Tanners gave her harsh looks, and she humbly said, "Sorry, Mom."

"That is not nice to say about a mother," Michelle scolded bluntly as a reinforcement, though she then let it go, since July had apologized. "Anyway, we figured, for a time, she'd decided not to do the cable ads. We hadn't seen any. But, it only cost a few hundred bucks for a month of ads where she found a station, given their time. And, finally, our Aunt Becky heard...."

Becky came down the steps in early November, a few weeks after the discussion with Kimmy about the 800 number. The rest of the family was there, with several discussions going, though everyone listened in some to the one about Kimmy that was about to commence. "I just had the weirdest conversation on the phone with my parents," Becky said, a little disbelief in her face.

Jesse thought something was wrong; maybe one of Becky's parents had dementia and said something bizarre. "Why, what happened?"

"We were talking about Kimmy."

"Oh, well, that's normal, then," Jesse said, sitting again.

"What did they say?" Joey inquired.

As Kimmy entered the home, Becky said, "They asked if Kimmy had placed an ad on their TV, and whether I thought she needed help of some kind."

"Hola, tanneritos! My first ads appeared on local cable." She turned to Becky. "Thanks for the idea, by the way. I already got a call from a farm boy. He asked if my refrigerator was running; then, he said I better go catch it. It was probably a prank."

"Probably?" Danny inquired.

"Well, then he asked if I was for real, and I said 'yes.' We talked for a minute before he had to go do some chores. I said I was willing to learn how to do all of them." Kimmy grinned. "Just think. I could be a farmer's wife someday. "

"Kimmy, this 'farm boy' didn't happen to be from Nebraska, did he?" Becky asked.

"Sure 'nuff," Kimmy said in a try at a Texas drawl. "Y'all are invited when we get hitched, pardners."

"Kimmy, I hate to break it to you, but Nebraska isn't in Texas," Stephanie said.

"I didn't think so, but I'm learning a lot of geography lately. Apparently, Nebraska has some big lakes in it; he said he was from Grand Island."

"You advertised on Nebraska cable?" Becky said, dumbfounded. "No wonder my parents thought they saw you."

Kimmy grinned. "Cool. Did they like it?" She turned to the others and described her ad. "I did it with my own video camera; my mom held it for me. I held up the number in big, bold red numbers. I introduced myself, then said I was all red for the Cornhuskers' team. Then, I held up a picture of Hawkeye from M*A*S*H, in case the signal reached out to Iowa. I said I knew their Hawkeyes weren't named after him, but that proved I was resourceful. I said I longed to live the simple life as a farmer's wife. I hear rhyming helps sell things."

"Kimmy, how old did you say you were?" D.J. inquired.

When she said she didn't tell them, Joey asked, "Well, how old was this farm boy?"

"We didn't get that far. It was Saturday, so neither one of us would have had school. He'd heard my ad earlier, then called me about 7 in the morning my time. I did say I was president of my class in the ad," Kimmy told them. "It adds something to my resume."

"Provided nobody asks what you've done as President," Danny added.

"What they're getting at," Becky said, "is that that station probably thought you were an adult. And, the callers could, too."

"But, we could be friends till I turn 18. It's good to meet new people," Kimmy said.

D.J., like the others, was speechless for a moment. Finally, she said, "Kimmy, look; I know I seem bossy at times. But, I'm doing it because I want to help you. And, to be honest, the way you're thinking here is just...well, it has its good points." She hated to hurt her friend's feelings, and tried to put something positive into what she said. "You targeted a local station in an area where, hopefully, they'd have a greater percentage of boys who would have been taught to respect you."

"Sure. And, then there's the couples Paul Harvey mentions on his radio show. A lot of those couples married the longest are from Nebraska, right?" Kimmy asked.

Becky admitted it was true, but added, "That doesn't mean all Nebraska marriages do. And ...would you even want to do farm chores? Do you even know how to milk a cow?"

"It's really easy," Michelle said. "We learned on a field trip. I can teach you."

"Thanks, squirt; but, we went out to the country on a field trip in fourth grade. I learned all about how to work that thing with the levers under the cow," Kimmy assured her.

Becky folded her arms, not quite believing Kimmy understood, and said, "Udder."

D.J. held out a hand. "See, Kimmy, you'd have to get used to a whole new way of life. And, if you moved there and the people did take pity on you, would you really want them to be your friends just because they have pity on you?"

"You did at first, didn't you?"

D.J. had to admit it was true. "The first year or so we knew each other I was your friend because I could tell you needed one. But, I quickly found out how cool it is to hang out together, and now we're best friends. And, do you really want to move to Nebraska?"

"Someone out there could become a best friend, too. And, I don't necessarily want to move to Nebraska. It's just that things are so different from when we were younger, and we figured we could be Congresswomen. Class President is the highest level I'll ever get, though." Nobody told her she wasn't even doing that well. "I realized you were right about not advertising on national cable. So, I picked one area where I figured the people were always friendly. And, since Becky's family's from there, if I did move there, I'd know someone."

"Kimmy, you're only in tenth grade. You might find someone really special right here,' Becky said.

"Besides, if you moved to Nebraska, we wouldn't be together," D.J. noted.

Kimmy agreed. "I hadn't thought of that. It's just so confusing."

"Kimmy, if you really want to go to Nebraska someday, that's fine. But, you shouldn't be putting ads with your 800 number, which you also probably shouldn't have," Becky added, "on Nebraska cable stations right now."

"I guess I am rushing things a bit. But, I'm getting that boy's address." Becky said that was fine, but that she was calling her parents back right away and telling them to call the cable company so they could take Kimmy's ad off the air.

Back in the present, Kimmy explained that the "farm boy" wasn't really interested in being pen pals. "He'd just been curious; plus he was about seven years older than me."

"Did you ever try to move to Nebraska?" July asked.

"No, but we've told you how your dad and I tried to get married when I couldn't get into college," Kimmy reminded her. "Nebraska was my other option." She turned to Stephanie and Michelle. "I told D.J. that evening, if I hadn't met Duane when I did, I'd have been on the first flight to Topeka."

"She knows that's in Kansas now," Stephanie assured July.

Duane came in at that point, and apologized for missing the rest of the party. When July said he could still have a piece of cake, he said, "Whatever."

"Hey, Duane. We were just telling the squirt all about my adventures with boys," Kimmy said. "And, now she probably understands why I like you to moo sometimes."

"I guess your aunt was right; I don't want to go through what my mom did," July said.

"Well, don't worry too much," D.J. consoled her. "You'll find someone without having to go through all that she has." She didn't say July was a lot smarter than Kimmy; she was a tad slow, but had overcome that very well, and got good grades, along with having more of a desire to learn.

"Yeah, besides, if that doesn't work out, that boy and I still write each other. He and his wife have a son your age," Kimmy informed her.

D.J. assured her she wouldn't have to move to Nebraska if she didn't want. You'll have lots of help here. As strange as it's been, we've always been there for Kimmy. And, we'll always be there to help you, too."