Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Sadina

It’s three o’clock on a Sunday afternoon and the mall is packed. That works against us as much as for us. As we run, it’s easy to put one wall of people, two walls of people, three walls and another and another between us and the store. At the same time it’s like running through water, like that nightmare where your legs move but you never really seem to cover any distance.

I don’t think I’ve ever breathed quite like this before: raspy desperate pulls for oxygen, worse—far worse—than the wind-down clock-ticking seconds of a basketball game. I’m not winded, just scared. If anyone is yelling after us, running after us, right at our heels or a mile behind, I couldn’t tell you. We’re cutting left and right toward the other end of the mall, and we pass each storefront like it’s a moving diorama I catch out of the corner of my eye. Free Gold Hoops with Ear Piercing! Live Ringtones for Your Phone! Biggest Sale of the Season!