Twinepathy (Part 33): Acting Kind of Strange

Hullo, everyone! Oddly enough, I forgot about the post on Monday (I posted it on Tuesday, though!) but I remembered to post today! My brain must be very confused. Enjoy! If you’re new, start at the beginning.

Jen asks Keller a few more questions, and then tells her that she needs to go to IDIA headquarters. Keller reluctantly agrees to go, but Maddie and I leave. We’re probably going to be late to lunch, but at least we’ll have a good, truthful excuse – we lost track of time.

But my big worry right now is Brooklyn. What is she going to think when she finds out I did all of this investigation stuff without her?

Mom’s already got the food for lunch out, and Brooklyn, Denver, and Dad are already at the table. Mom turns when we come in. “What took you so long?” she asks.

“We lost track of time,” I say, doing my best to act normal.

“You and bookstores,” Brooklyn says, grinning.

I can’t help but smile back as Maddie and I take our seats at the table after I set our shopping bag in the living room. Maddie’s quiet, but isn’t she usually? I don’t know. I’m expecting her to act differently, so I’ll notice it more than the others. Right? I hope so.

We dig into Mom’s delicious homemade beef enchiladas. To be honest, the enchilada sauce is my absolute favorite part. That and the delicious melty cheese on top. It’s one of my absolute favorites – but then again, I say that about pretty much every meal she makes. I do my best to keep up a normal chatter during the meal, but it’s hard because my brain is buzzing with all the new information. We have so many answers now, but we still have so many questions. It’ll be just my luck if Brooklyn notices how distracted I am.

Brooklyn volunteers to help Mom with cleanup, so that leaves Denver, Dad, Maddie, and me to entertain ourselves. We go into the living room to show Denver our books while Dad heads to mow the lawn. Maddie and I show Denver our books, and I give my book to Denver for inspection. He doesn’t read as much as I do, but we have similar interests – mystery and thriller books. I tell him when I find a really good book, and if he likes the description, he’ll probably read it.

Denver flips through the book absent-mindedly and then hands it back to me. He leans forward, his eyes worried. “Are you okay? You’ve been acting kind of strange.”

He noticed, and Brooklyn didn’t? Or is he talking about the past week? True, Brooklyn hasn’t had a chance to ask me, so maybe she did notice. I’ll find out soon, I guess. “I’m fine. I’m just a little stressed out with school. And Brooklyn having her headaches and stress isn’t exactly helping.” Definitely not a lie. Not the whole truth, but it’s definitely true.

Denver nods, looking satisfied with my answer. “Okay. Let me know if I can do anything to help.”

I smile at my wonderful big brother. “Don’t worry. I’ll let you know if anything’s really wrong.” As long as it doesn’t have anything to do with IDIA, I add mentally.

He grins. “Good.” He turns his attention to Maddie’s book, but I pause.

“Wait, weren’t you on a date with Ezra? Why’re you back already?”

Denver sighs. “She got an emergency call from work, so we had to reschedule.”

Now that worries me. Is this something related to IDIA, or is it her real job? Does this have something to do with our discoveries this morning? She wasn’t at the meeting or anything, and she must have got the call around that time. I manage to collect my thoughts. “Did she give any details?”

Denver frowns at me. “You’re starting to sound as suspicious as Brooklyn. No, she didn’t but it’s not any of my business, anyway.”

But if she’s discovering the truth about all of Maddie’s past, then it is my business. And if she’s in trouble… then it’s definitely my business.

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