In the driveway at home, I tell Sarah where to park my mom’s car. The exact spot where it was before I took it. She gets out, and like me, closes the door gently to keep from making any noise. She pulls me into a fierce, rib-crushing hug. When she releases me, she turns without saying a word and gets in Officer Lawrence’s car. He promised to bring her back to where she left the pickup.
The front door’s hinges moan as I open it just wide enough to slip inside. No lights are on, except the small one Mom always leaves on over the stove. I feel my way to the stairs, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the dark.
A voice comes from the corner of the living room. “What happened?”
“Yikes, you scared me!” I clutch my chest. The outline of Jess wrapped in an afghan and sitting on the couch near the front window becomes clearer like an old photo developing before my sight.
“Sorry. What’s with the police?” She nods to the window where she must have been watching.
“Oh, God.” The last ounce of energy or whatever was holding me up drains out, and I collapse into the armchair.
“Did you get there in time?” Jess gets up and perches on the arm next to me. “What did they do with your horse?”
My horse. That ring closes around my throat again when I think about Octavia lying under the tarp in the rain. I don’t want to talk about it now. I don’t think I can. “Where’s Mom? Does she know I took her car?”
“Nah.” Jess points to the ceiling. “Been asleep since dinner. You know how it is when she takes her headache medicine. Out of it.”
She slides down into the armchair beside me, her bony hip jutting into my leg. I’m about to tell her to move when she lifts the afghan and wraps it around both our shoulders. That’s when I start to cry and can’t stop.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish