Chap. 1.3 - What About Today
Published Jul 29, 2015

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Page 1 / 34

Whooo—it's here already. Part 3 is in the building—on the site, ready for consuption. So—


Hope you enjoy—

Whooo—it's here already. Part 3 is in the building—on the site, ready for consuption. So—


Hope you enjoy—
“Marisa. Roberts.” She takes a seat on my couch, and so does her husband. “Uh.” What does one do when he has guests? “I’ll get you some coffee. Feel free to use the TV.” I duck into the kitchen. I can hear them whispering to each other while I make the drinks. Strike one, but I decide to not think about it. When I bring back the drinks, I say immediately, “So. Tell me about your daughter. How old is she? What’s her name?” They don’t answer immediately; they glance at each other. Strike Two. I say to make them more at ease: “You didn’t leave her in the car did you?” I laugh at my own joke, and they follow my lead.

But I watch them.
A friend of mine warned me a long time ago to be careful of strangers—no, not my mother, but a man who suggested someone might want to take me. I was never clued in to why someone might want to, but his warning was enough to spook me. I used to look over my shoulder at every bus stop or grocery store, but eventually I told myself I couldn’t live like that.
Now, these warning bells were starting in the back of my head. Should I trust them?
Ruby starts trilling in her cage.

“Please, take a cup,” I say.
“She’s nine.” Marisa Roberts says. “And her favorite thing in the world is jelly beans.” Theo Roberts smiles at her words; I can tell they are sincere. Yet his voice is thick with emotion when he says, “Loves to swim, too. Really anything to do with the ocean.”

I pet Ruby as they spoke. “Ballet, too. She loves ballet, too, of course.”

“When she was younger, we were inseparable.” Marisa Roberts says.
Theo Roberts laughs, “And remember those sandcastles we’d use to make! After we’d finish, she’d trample them! All that hard work!” I laugh with them, charmed. “She sounds like a great girl. What’s her name?”

“Kelly.” Marisa Roberts says.
Theo Roberts, “And, no, she’s not in the car. She slept over at a friends house.” His voice lowers conspiratorially, “We’re thinking this could be her birthday present.”

“Well, I’m sure she’ll love it.”
“Can, I hold her?” Marisa Roberts says with her eyes fixed on Ruby. “Sure—” The doorbell rings. I glance over at it. “Sure. Go on.” Marisa Roberts takes Ruby.

“I need to get this,” I say.
It’s Blake; she moves to step forward, but I close the door behind me.
Blake takes a step back, confusion on her brow. “Hi,” I say.

“What’s the matter—why—”
“I have guests, apparently.” I shrug. “Where’s Dylan?” Though, I think I just saw the greenhouse's front door shut.

She gestures briefly in the direction of the greenhouse—Chelsea's ballet studio—but Blake keeps her eyes on me.
“So. Good news. Bad news.”
“Yeah, three point one four. About that.” She takes a breath. And I know this is trouble, because she only calls me by that nickname when she’s looking for empathy. “Don’t look at me like that!” My face scrunched up, unconsciously. I just say, “Good news first.” Part 3! Donzo! Finito!

We're on a roll here, folks, let's keep it goin', shall we?

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