I wasn't trying to save anyone's life or catch thieves that lazy
Sunday afternoon. I wasn't even thinking about the stuff Bryce and I
would do after the last day of school. I was just trying to read a book
and not doing a very good job because I kept nodding off. Do you
ever do that? Try to read in bed, then drop the book and scare yourself
and have to hunt for the page you were on?
I finally gave up and went to sleep. The phone woke me, and I tried
to put on my best nongroggy voice. No idea why I do that either, as if
there's something wrong with someone catching me asleep.
"Kathryn?" an older woman said. She sounded out of breath.
"No, she's not here right now. Can I take-?"
"Ashley, it's me"
Peanuts, her dog, barked in the background. He's a Chihuahua,
so his bark sounds like someone breaking glass in your ear-shrill
"Is your father home?" Mrs. Watson said.
Interesting question. Not a good one when your mind is filled
with Sunday-nap cobwebs. My real dad had been dead for years. But
she knew that. Sam's my stepfather.
"No, he took Mom and Dylan out to the cheapo theater to see
"I just got back from my trip," she said. "Will you have him call
Trip? Mrs. Watson hadn't told us about any trip. "What's up?" I
She tried to quiet Peanuts, but the dog was yipping his head off.
"Something's wrong," she said. "Something's terribly wrong."
"You want Bryce and me to come over?" I heard the thud, thud,
thud of his basketball behind our house.
"Would you?" She sounded like me on my first night of algebra