Chapter 27

Chapter 27: Sadina

“All of you,” says Monica, “are making me crazy.”

All of us—the Chattercat team—are in my kitchen, and everyone’s talking at once.

An hour ago, when I let Rio know that the Chattercat had failed, he rounded up everyone else—Monica, Paulie, and Catalina—and somehow got them here to my house. Now we’re jammed in the kitchen: Rio sitting on the floor near the drawer where Mom hides the snacks, Catalina leaning against the counter with her apple-red nails carefully splayed out in front of her, and Monica and Paulie and me at the table where the Chattercat lies in pieces. If Maddie came through the door right now, she wouldn’t recognize her Bella.

We’ve got to get the cat working. We’re pretty much agreed on what went wrong: Maddie’s voice was too quiet for the cat’s mic to pick up. So that has to be fixed. We just all have a different idea how it’s going to happen. If Paulie is right and we need to re-design it completely, it’s going to be a long night.

I catch Monica’s eye. “I’m going to order some pizza,” I tell her. No one else hears me or notices me as I get out of my chair and slide out of the kitchen. I head for Mom’s office, but it’s not really the phone I’m after, it’s just the quiet.