“Maybe we should wake her up,” I say.
Jess gives one sharp shake of her head. “Why?”
That’s a good question.
Hershey lets out a small dog whimper in his sleep and shifts his body under the table. The house is quiet. Big, empty, and quiet.
“You really think she’ll make us move to DC?” I ask.
Jess pulls her ponytail free from its band, twists the hair, and wraps it back up in a knot on top of her head. It’s something she does when she’s nervous. “Some place in Maryland, not DC. Mom said closer to Baltimore.”
“Same difference. It’s miles away from here.”
“That’s the point, I guess.”
I pull out the chair next to me and prop my feet up on it. Mom hates when I do this. “Great. Dad’s marrying his girlfriend so Mom has to move a thousand miles away to get enough space between them. And drag us with her. What are we supposed to do?”
“Ask Dad if we can live with him?” Jess’s mouth tilts in a smirk. “And his new family?”
Our sharp burst of laughter explodes. I clap a hand over my mouth. The laugh fades in the air, sounding as bitter as it feels. Hershey wakes and stretches.
“So she’s serious, huh?” I reach down to rub his furry head, rattling the dog tags.
“Yup. Called Aunt Liv already and everything.”
I pull out my phone. “Where the hell in Maryland, anyway? What town?” When I press Google Maps, I see there’s a voice message. “Darn, the ringer was off.” When I click it, Sarah’s voice explodes in my ear. I’m afraid she’s going to tell me that buyer decided to take Octavia. My hand shakes as I hold the phone away from my ear, but the desperation in her voice fills and darkens the space in my head. It’s much worse. Much.
I’m on my feet and pulling my jacket off the chair. “I gotta go.”
“What’s up?” Jess gathers her notebook and shoves it in her backpack. “Where you going now?”
I scroll back and see there are two more messages earlier from Sarah. She’s been trying to get in touch with me all evening. “The barn. Oh, my God!” The words colic, vet, say good-bye swim before my eyes.
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