Even Megan’s uncomfortable around me. Not being able to talk stinks, big time!
Elle pulled out her iPad mini 2 and stylus. “Thanks,” she wrote. She held it out so Megan could read it.
“Fantastic! We can still talk! I wanted to come over and see you, but when I called, your mom said it would be better if I waited.”
Elle scribbled again and handed the tablet to Megan. “I’ve been using the iPad for a while now. I hated trying to get Mom to understand all the sign language.”
“Okay kids, take out your books and turn to page fifty-three. We’re going to go over the material for the test on Friday.”
Everyone straightened up and listened to Mr. Click.
Elle chuckled to herself when she saw he was wearing crocs. They were adorable and fit his laid-back personality. The other teachers all wore proper leather shoes.
The noon bell rang before Elle realized the morning had melted away. She had a lot of catching up to do. It was one thing to read the assignments, but she’d missed an entire month of classroom material.
She noticed a bunch of girls gathered around Jenna’s locker. Jenna was the most popular girl in her grade. They were all laughing and talking. She didn’t pay much attention until she saw Jenna point right at her. They all began laughing again.
Elle kept walking down the hallway, glancing away from them as she went.
“Hey Elle, don’t forget my birthday party on Saturday!” Amber waved from down the hallway.
She thought about her birthday as she opened her locker to deposit her books. It had been so different from last year, when Poppy died and JJ was born. This year her mom threw a party for the two of them. It was weird, sharing a birthday with JJ. She would’ve preferred to have the day all to herself, but she’d never in a gazillion years wish her brother gone. It might be fun to share the day when he got a little bit older.
Mom had taken the time to make two very different cakes. Hers had a Frozen princess theme. She’d have picked something else if her mom had asked, but it was okay. She’d liked that movie, and she’d been singing “Let It Go” over and over again in her head, trying to get rid of all the garbage in her mind since JJ disappeared.
“Hey, Crip!” Connor Matthews stepped right into the middle of the hall as she tried to pass. Elle very nearly collided with him. “Guess we don’t have to listen to you mouthing off with all the right answers anymore!”
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