Chapter 25

Chapter 25: Sadina

Every day for the rest of that week and into the next, I take the late bus home from school. And every day when I get off at my stop the first thing I notice is that my house looks different.

It’s not something you can touch. I mean, it’s not like somebody smashed a window or slashed the car tires or spray-painted something nasty on the front door. It’s an inside thing. It’s a feeling rising from the pit of my stomach that says nothing is safe anymore. I can go in the house and close the door behind me and shut out the world for a while. The trouble is, all the problems are inside with me.

At the heart of it all is Mom. When she first told me that Flynn had betrayed her and blamed her for all the missing research money, I worried that she’d be behind bars the next day. Instead, the hours and days have dragged with no word from the lab director or from the police. Mom says that doesn’t mean they think she’s innocent—more likely they’re investigating the case and building up the evidence. In the meantime, she hasn’t been allowed to go back to work, and I can tell it’s making her crazy. The kitchen table has become her home base, where she sits with Dad and talks and talks and keeps making more coffee while their cups are still half-full.