“More than a cell phone,” I add. I’m annoyed to hear a braggy edge in my own voice, like I’m working too hard to impress Catalina. I don’t usually tell anyone about my mother’s job—in fact I don’t even think much about what she does—but for some reason my mouth goes on without my brain’s okay. “It’ll do things I’m not even supposed to talk about—but the best part is, the battery will last forever.”
“Forever,” Catalina repeats. “I doubt it.”
“Well, forever like a year or two. The phone will wear out before the battery does.”
Catalina tilts her head, her eyes darting back and forth between Rio and me. “If that’s true,” she says finally, “I’d buy one.”
That’s not the answer I expected. The corners of Rio’s lips twitch up, and he gives me a look that says see, she has good points. Then his eyes shift over to my hand. I’m twirling a strand of hair around my finger again. A clear signal to Rio that I’m stressed, that I don’t want Catalina around us. But this time he doesn’t reach out to put my hair back in place. And in the next second I’m not even sure he really noticed. His attention is back on the crazy phone, and he’s joking with Catalina again.
I pull my own cell phone from my pocket and call my mother to pick Maddie and me up and take us home.