Hullo, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend, and a wonderful Valentine’s day! I hope you’re enjoying all of the post-Valentine’s sales… Enjoy the part, and check out part one if you’re new.
The drive home is gloomy and quiet. Denver must be thinking about our failure, while I’m just trying to figure this puzzle out. I’m smart, you know. I might not be able to match up with Jen’s brains, but I’m not an idiot. Right now, though, I feel like one. Why can’t I figure this out?
Mom and Dad are up when we get home, and Maddie’s helping them make breakfast. Denver gives them our story: we wanted to go for an early morning hike, which we actually do sometimes. They accept it without questions. Brooklyn’s still asleep, and I don’t blame her. We’ve had a rough week, her most of all. She deserves the rest. But that also means that I can’t go on the computer and check out this Keller person. Everyone else is too touchy about their computers to let me use them, especially since that one time I accidentally deleted Dad’s important twenty-one page paper. And that was five years ago. Yeah, my family holds grudges.
I help my mom with a few little things around the house and then turn my attention to Maddie. I think it’s high time she learned how to play Monopoly. I mean, she’s been here for about a week already, and we haven’t played with her yet! It’s basically a family tradition. So I convince Denver and Dad to join us, and we sit down in the living room, ready to play.
We play for about an hour, with me helping Maddie. She’s far, far ahead of all of us when the doorbell rings. Denver shoots up and races to the door like he’s on fire. What is he…
Ohhh. When he opens the door, I hear Ezra’s familiar voice. No wonder he was so eager to get to the door. He didn’t mention that they had any plans today.
Denver brings Ezra into the living room. “Let me just go get my stuff,” he says, moving towards the stairs.
Ezra nods and sits down, giving us a shy smile. She doesn’t know Dad very well, I know that much, and she always seems to have a little trouble talking to adults. Dad says hello and chats politely with her before excusing himself and leaving. I lean forward, moving my game piece to Go. “Hi, Ezra. Had any good IDIAs lately?”
Ezra gives me a confused look, but then it dawns on her, and she gives me a nervous look. She looks around and then leans in. “Does… does your family know?”
I know what she wanted to ask. Does Denver know? I shake my head. “No.”
Denver walks back in. “Okay, I think I’m ready. Albany, I think I heard Brooklyn moving around. You can probably go check on her.”
Finally. It’s almost lunch time. I don’t think she’s ever slept in this late. I nod. “Okay, I will. Have fun, you two. Make sure your phone’s charged.” I wink at Ezra.
Ezra and Denver both give me odd looks, but Ezra’s has so much more meaning. The front door shuts behind them, and I burst out laughing. Maddie gives me that funny look little kids give grown-ups when they do something that makes absolutely no sense. “You’re weird.”
I laugh harder. “You have no IDIA.”