Twinepathy (Part 23): Too Late?

Hullo, everyone! Been enjoying this lately? I nearly forgot to post this morning… but enjoy! New? See part one.

I contemplate my dilemma as I take a bite out of my roast beef and pepperoni sandwich. Brooklyn knows me too well. A forty-five minute drive wouldn’t be so bad, if only I was able to drive. But even thought Brooklyn and I are seventeen, we decided to wait to get our licenses until we were eighteen. Now that’s backfiring, for me, at least.

As far as I can see, I have three – no, four options. I can get Blaze to take me there, risking that he’ll tell Jen or refuse. I could walk there… or not. I can get Mom, Dad, or Denver to drive me over, or maybe Ezra. Or I can just give up all together.

But I’m not a quitter. So after evaluating my options, I settle on getting someone to drive me over. Mom and Dad are out of the question. They’ll want to know why, and Brooklyn would be suspicious of me leaving with just one of them. So Denver or Ezra. Ezra’s too law-abiding, though. My guess is that she would insist on telling Jen, just like Blaze probably would.

So that leaves Denver.

But how to convince him? I look down at my almost-gone sandwich. I need more food to think. I head downstairs and grab some pretzels, sitting down next to Maddie at the kitchen island. She looks up at me with those wide, frightened eyes of hers, and I can’t help but offer her a pretzel. She accepts it with an unsure smile.

Maddie! That’s it! It’s all I can do to restrain myself from giving her a hug, but that might ruin everything. Now that I’ve got my idea, I just need to wait until Denver gets home.

Brooklyn decides that we should clean the house, which will hopefully make Mom and Dad not get as angry if they find out what really happened at school today. They’d better not find out, but knowing Brooklyn, if they start to get suspicious, she’ll just blurt everything out. After we finish cleaning, Brooklyn gets started on dinner with Maddie’s help, telling me that the kitchen is off-limits. Clearly, she doesn’t want dinner to be ruined. I don’t blame her. But now I have nothing to do except work ahead in my schoolwork.

So of course I go on the computer and play Solitaire for who-knows-how-long. I mean, come on. Today’s practically a guilt-free no school day! I might as well take advantage of it.

Mom and Dad get home about ten minutes apart, like usual, and Denver get back about twenty minutes later. While Mom helps Brooklyn finish up dinner, I pull Denver aside. Let’s see if I can do this.

“Denver, I need your help,” I tell him. “I need to visit someone, but the problem is that they live about forty-five minutes away. Do you think you could drive me over there?”

Denver frowns. “Who is it?”

I look around like I don’t want anyone to overhear. “I think I found someone who might be related to Maddie, or might know about her, since she works as a nanny. I would ask Mom and Dad about it, but I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. I thought we could check it out, in case it’s not real, and then if it is, we can tell everyone.”

Denver studies me, then nods. “All right. When are we going to go?”

We plan to go on Saturday, but he does mention that we can go before if the school stays closed. I desperately hope it will. If we wait until Saturday, Jen will have already made her move, I’m guessing, and then what would be the point?

Later that night, after dinner, I’m reading in bed while Brooklyn checks her email. Maddie’s in the bathroom brushing her teeth. I’m flipping pages quickly as I approach the climax when Brooklyn lets out a sigh. “That’s that, then.”

I don’t look up. “What?”

She shuts down the computer and heads over to her bed. “The school’s been deemed safe, so they’re opening up again tomorrow. There’ll be police and guards and stuff like that, but they think it’s fine for us to be there.”

I groan and shut my book as Maddie comes in. I wait until she’s in her sleeping bag and then turn off the light.

Looks like we’ll be too late.

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