I must look absolutely ridiculous, standing here in the library dress-up outfit, fidgeting by the receptionist counter and painfully glancing around.
My stomach lurches and tries too hard to gather itself, churning into a storm of worry inside of me. I don’t know if I’m making the right decision. But it’s the logical one. At least. Right?
I wake up, dizzy and disoriented and starving and alone. The note left from last night has been ripped to show off a few choice words.
The inside of the mausoleum is colder than out in the graveyard. I could be thinking sane thoughts and blame it on the insulation from the bricks, but I instead believe wholeheartedly that it’s the chill of the dead, the ghosts wrapping their arms around me. While I’ve accepted that I’m a mess, the thought lingers as I dodge the termites creeping around the rotting wood.
This place is disgusting – I’d rather sleep outside. But if someone found me…
The second thoughts start all over again. Running to the police and calling Dad, leaving Tina to waste her innocent life in jail. I could do it right now, if I wanted to. But I don’t know what I want anymore.
“Calvin, how’d you even end up on this couch?” I wake up to the sun glimmering through the glossy windows, and things feel surreal until my mind catches up with me. What has to be done today.
Just when it seems things are in terrible shape, they get a whole lot worse.
“Calvin, I forgot to ask, but where are your glasses today?” I say softly, it was an observation that had gone over my head all day, but from his deep, guilty swallow I know it shouldn’t have.
“I tried out contacts. But I don’t have the case, and they’re starting to burn my eyes. My glasses are – are at home,” he chokes out, realizing his mistake.
“Andy, wake up!” I hear Calvin say sadly as he shoves my mattress left and right.
“Nooooow!” Max’s voice chimes in. But guys, it feels so nice in this bed. Why would I ever want to leave…?
But then I snap into reality – where am I?
“Now you’re sure it’s okay if I go to work?” Allison asks worriedly, running her fingers through her hair every two seconds. Max and I smile and nod, secretly hoping she’ll just go away. It’s 10:05, and we were due at the gazebo five minutes ago.
“C’mon, Allison, we’ll be fine. We’re just going to draw some pictures again in my room and listen to some music or something,” Max lies, and I’m glad he’s the one lying for me. I’m sure I’d give myself away the minute I open my mouth.