Chapter 18

Chapter 18: Sadina

The wind is at my back when I leave Rio. It takes me all the way home, cloaked in a stiff sheet of rain and cold and wayward leaves. Right now I would have preferred a fight, a chance to face the storm and punch my way through each gust.

Inside my front door I peel off my raincoat, shoes and socks. They’re too wet and drippy to carry through the house, so I leave them, guiltlessly, in a heap under the coat rack.

I’ve got about five minutes before the bus shows up. Enough time to change into dry clothes, at least. This seems strange, worrying about catching the bus when my whole world is slanting sideways and trying to tip me off. The details of living life just make me keep moving, I guess. Even with all that’s happening I still have to find something new to wear, towel-dry my straggling hair, squeeze three textbooks into my backpack, and round up Maddie.

Oh, yeah. Maddie. Where is she? I check the kitchen and that’s when I notice that everything on the table is just the way I left it. Cup, bowl, spoon, cereal, they’re all neatly arranged on the table. So she never made it down to breakfast.