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Mom trails off, but I know where that sentence is heading. They’ll be finding out whether Mom is going to jail. Mom reaches out a hand to me, and I recognize right away that this is my big moment, my chance to let her know I’m okay with all this, that she doesn’t have to worry about me too.

Which makes the next words out of my mouth sound like the most horrible thing I’ve ever said.

“Fine. Just go.”

No good-bye, no good luck, no I love you. Just bare and plain and dry, like bones—but behind my words is a swirling twister of every bad emotion I can think of. Frustration that I can’t make them understand how Bella might be the key to proving Mom’s innocence. Fear that Mom is in trouble she can’t get out of. And worst of all, shame that I can’t give Mom the support she needs right now. I let go of the car door, but I don’t touch her hand. I just step back, out of their way.

The car idles while Mom and Dad stare at me like I’m someone they don’t know. Then Dad hits the gas pedal and they roll down the driveway and into the street, moving forward now like a fish caught in a current, around a bend and gone.

The garage door rumbles shut behind them. End of Scene One. And Scene Two, I know, opens with me in Maddie’s room. I have no idea how that’s going to play out.